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Not Broken, But Blinding. We are.

1 Sep
A/N: The images displayed in this essay are not mine–Thank Goddess for Tumblr and Pinterest. Click the image for a link to their origin. So very unbeta’d–all mistakes and typos are mine. Lyrics, unless noted, belong to Marcus Foster. Playlist and GIVEAWAY INFO at the bottom.

In my time I’ve melted into many forms

From the day that I was born,

I know that there’s no place to hide

*drawing in deep breaths* So I wasn’t planning on writing today. I was acutely aware that I had only posted one Musings essay in August but I found myself unwilling to post another MOO until I was content with the quality. I wasn’t about to throw something up on WordPress simply because it was due. Suddenly, August passed by in a rush and I have no idea how that happened without my notice. When we last conversed, I told you that I had some ducks to get in line: Stuff for The Magical Little Practice and some training courses for Red Cross Instructor Certification. I also spent some time in my hometown for several days assisting my mother with some renovations on my childhood home (which provoked some memories long dormant and locked away), and I squeezed in visits with childhood friends, as well as a couple Cyber Soul Sisters @Robkris13 and @Mari. I also had a brief but surreal afternoon and evening with the lovely ladies from the KSIBTU Crew which included the luminous CC (@KstewsBtrThanU), the gorgeous artist Jamie (@JHiggs86) and my fierce August Birthday Girls Iris (@Just2cuSmile) and Kim (@Kimmcarr). But I had planned to be back before now to check in with you all.

A gift from @robkris13 via Comic Con: The stunning display of Follicle Issues Trading Cards!

Here’s the deal: In addition to all those wonderful events of the last month, I have been taking steps to complete a separate writing project that was proposed to me three weeks ago. So when I returned from my visits and completed my Certification courses last week, I tried to gather the energy needed to focus on my new task at hand.

No dice.

I have never been diagnosed with ADHD, but I’m seriously wondering if I should be assessed. I definitely am a tireless champion of PROCRASTINATION, a habit that may never be broken because I’m constantly enabled in it. I was on the verge of despair these past few days, beating myself up over an unreasonable deadline I failingly tried to enforce. I elicited my tired and true writing tricks: Listened to inspiring music; read provocative books and stories; organized my office supplies 🙂

A color-coded map of mah head

Today was that self-imposed deadline. Which means that last night I was a hot mess, and not in the complimentary way. So I didn’t quite have a Dark Night of the Soul, but I had a few moments resembling it’s bleak cousin Melancholia. And Melancholia whispered knowingly to me: “You are in over your head, Chica. You’re not ready for this. You don’t really want this. You’re not good enough to do this.”

For .0234 of a second I believed it. And I felt relief. Like finally I could acknowledge the truth, and now everyone could see it and I didn’t need to swagger around the room anymore in an act of bravado.

And then…I listened to the song that was playing on my speakers…It was one that I featured on this week’s Inspiration Playlist and had listened to maybe fifty times earlier. And yet, I didn’t hear it until last night in that insular moment. You can hear it on the playlist for this essay. Or click it for the YouTube:–>Illuminated

Suddenly my eyes are open, everything comes into focus.

We are all illuminated, lights are shining on our faces. ~Hurts

HURTS

While soaring to HURTS‘s ethereal melody, I found myself hashing out a rambling email to my friend @DeeDreamer16, a soul who also at this very moment is taking the risks to pursue her bliss via creative expression. I hadn’t given thought to the mundane or tedious when I began describing for Dee the post-it-pocalypse of my living room, so I forwent proper grammar, punctuation or politeness. I must have repeated about four times “I am beating myself up, NOTHING is done!” before a funny thing happened. I felt my shoulders dropping from my ears and my breaths growing deeper, slower. And I was writing. I produced full sentences about how I used procrastination as a shield to intercede between not my fears of failure but my fears of success. How I often leave things to the midnight hour because I want to challenge my boundaries and perhaps create my own obstacles.

I wanted someone to call me on my bullshit. However, by the time I hit “SEND” to Dee, I realized that the one person who needed to call me on my bullshit was …me. We are our most brutal critics and the most cunning of wall-builders. And that’s just plain ole exhausting, and I had enough on my plate thank you very much. So I went to bed, nursing my broken and bruised fragments, but lighter than I’ve felt in many days.

When I opened my eyes this morning, what greeted me? Resplendent Synchronicity.

We. Are. Blinding.

It has been weeks since we’ve seen our Reigning Other Queen. In the midst of unconfirmed sightings and speculation, our fierce Snow White was pictured at the Playstation Launch in London, emerging from a maze (a video game simulation?) within proximity of  one Mr Theo Hutchcraft, of (oh hell yeah), the band HURTS…. Seriously, of ALL the people Kristen could have been near? “Well,” the voice-no-longer Melancholia whispered to me…”We are illuminated. We are good. We’re so bright, we’re blinding.” 

But I had not recovered enough to truly be prepared for how the rest of this day would unfold. 

Click this pic to view Marcus's Music Video feat Ms Stewart

A personal favorite of mine, Marcus Foster, is a bluesman, singer-songwriter, poet, guitar player, master sculptor and childhood friend of Mr Robert Pattinson. This glorious morning he debuted his music video for the single ‘I Was Broken’. And the stark, raw, beautiful song of familiarity featured a video spotlighting a quiet, haunting and ethereal young woman, who despite appearing fragile and tenuous, is in fact, the polar opposite. Marcus’s lyrics hold such simple brilliance. We are not shattered, at least not indefinitely. And Kristen’s presence in this video brought me to tears. Compelling and mesmerizing…I cannot seem to break the spell.

But I will stand here till the end, I know that I can take the moon

Haunted by the things I've made

I wasn’t going to write today. I was a bit battered from my own encounter with that insistent wench Melancholia in the late hours of the night. But when my eyes opened this morning, I was inundated with such joyful motivators to still push forward, I simply could not stay away. The exquisite @DeeDreamer had responded to my late-night confessional in the form of an email, and we chatted into the morning about the risks and benefits of pursuing Bliss and the power of synchronicity–when we say “I’m ready”, the Universe has it’s way of supporting us.

So what if I didn’t make my deadline today? It was a completely unreasonable limitation to place on myself, I realize now. Was it not enough that I’d successfully completed my training courses for Red Cross and I’m now a Certified Trainer with a respected and effective humanitarian organization? I have the capacity to teach and share some of my knowledge as a therapist with people who go out onto the frontlines in response to disasters and tragedy. I have the opportunity to go out to the East Coast and work with the survivors of IRENE personally, like I did in Joplin. How incredibly privileged am I?

Well you walk these lonely streets that people send, people send.

There are some wounds that just can’t mend, I do pretend, pretend

I was broken, for a long time.

But It’s over now

Am I not incredibly grateful that my Sister PUSS was granted the opportunity to see a world-renowned specialist for her immune-deficiency illness on this very day? Am I not blessed with the most incredible friends and supporters of Otherness in my every day life? Its incredibly fortifying to see that the Army of Others is as widespread and present as it is. Represented by you incredibly gifted MOO READERS, in the Featured Rebel Royals; in Poet Warriors like Marcus and Robert and …Kristen Jaymes StewartIs it not extraordinary that there is a splendid woman like Kristen Stewart to turn to for a model of resilience and strength?

This morning I hadn’t planned on writing. But I acknowledged and welcomed the kinder, gentler way that I regarded myself. I know I hadn’t experienced some existential crisis of self these past few days, but my confidence and focus certainly wavered. And sometimes, we have to deconstruct the working whole, examine and focus on the little fragments, pieces and cells of a project before moving forward steadily and with certainty. We are resilient beings. We are extraordinary creatures. We may feel broken at times, but that’s over now.

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others are beatific pieces of The Whole.

Embrace Your Other.

* * *

A/N: The lyrics (other than those as credited to Hurts’s ‘Illuminated’) featured throughout this essay belong to Marcus Foster and his song ‘I Was Broken’.

A GIVEAWAY! A GIVEAWAY!  Looky at what the Mail Lady brought me today….My extra ordered copies of W MAGAZINE!!!

I have 2 copies to give away to anyone who leaves a comment on Today’s Essay with an answer to at least ONE of these questions:

1. How have you reassured yourself to finish a task that you once viewed as insurmountable? How do you bounce back after these dark moments? 

2. What do you think of Marcus’s song I Was Broken? Of the video featuring Ms. Stewart? 

3. Have you experienced Synchronicity before? When you needed a nudge or confirmation most, in what form did it reveal itself to you? 

*Musings has it’s own FACEBOOK PAGE now! Check it out and join me for discussions and the sharing of pictures, books, quotes, videos and ideas of Otherness where we’re not limited to a measley 140 characters.

*GINORMOUS Thank you to my friend @DeeDreamer16. You have NO idea.

*GRATITUDE to my Good Reads Girls who give me unconditional support and cheerleading even when I go rogue.

*To Puss. You’ve got this, Sis. You’ve GOT. THIS.

PlayList For Today’s Essay:

Illuminated ~ Hurts

Don’t Die in Me ~Mirah

Outloud ~ Dispatch

All That She Is

19 May
A/N: Images seen here are not owned nor created by (c)MusingsOnOther. Today’s essay is unbeta’d per usual. Forgive me any mistakes or imperfections you may find. But that is how I roll. This post is a long one. Make yourselves comfortable.

“You’ll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you”

~Stevie Nicks, Silver Springs

I hope this new MOO finds everyone well. Did all you incredible Mothers, Parents, Aunties, Mentors, Providers, Caretakers and Grandmamas have a lovely Mother’s Day? My hope is that you did. I was able to pull off an impromptu visit down south with my own Mother, spending treasured time with my immediate family in the same city, which is a first for us, in a very long time.

In Royal Rebel news, it has been a pretty quiet, sighting-less week of our Stealthy pair, our NinjaQueen and her Royal consort. And it makes me happy. Between his punishing world promo-tour for Water For Elephants, the six months of international gallivanting for Breaking Dawn filming, plus recent birthdays for both of them, any quiet, unduh-covah time they can grab right now is probably sweet, sweet salvation. And it probably isn’t long enough, this break. Rob returns to work, starting the gritty, raw film Cosmopolis at the helm of esteemed (and frankly, in my opinion, really cool) director David Cronenberg (History of Violence, Eastern Promises) on May 23rd in Toronto, Canada (where he and Kristen have been spotted walking the infamous puppy dog Bear on more than one occasion).

I’m ridiculously eager to watch this project unfold, if anything for its stark difference in roles for Rob. Hello, apathetic billionaire-business man seeking connection through increasingly self-destructive ways….How fun does that sound??

Ok, how ’bout now?

My name is Eric Packer. I need a haircut. And financial advice.

We’ll talk more about this film as it progresses, okay?. . .The little “break” time that Kristen may be enjoying now isn’t all that much longer for her either. She is scheduled to begin her work on the small film K-11 soon, as well as preparation work for Snow White and The Huntsman. We received the great news that the titular role of The Huntsman was finally cast (well hello there, Thor) last week, but also the nice surprise that the film will be released six months sooner than originally projected. Filming begins in August, and the premiere is scheduled for June 1, 2012. A summertime kickoff by our Reigning Other Queen! So while our Royal Rebels are under the radar, hopefully grounding and recuperating in privacy, we are not lacking reasons to celebrate their growth and successes and remember why we began admiring and supporting them as artists in the first place.

Oh, for Pete's sake, that's just ridonk pretteh.

 What the Fangirl Learned

“Did she make you cry, make you break down, shatter your illusions of love?” ~Stevie Nicks, Gold Dust Woman

For today’s topic, as the first discussion in this new feature, I had planned on discussing a woman’s incredible capacity to love wholly but also to acknowledge her capacity for destruction (sometimes intentionally, sometimes not) in her passionate wrath. I was going to explore some of the themes I saw in our own community, in our fandom, because I’ve met the most incredible women, brilliant women, as a result of being a Kristen and Robert supporter. Conversely, I’ve observed in public venues no less, the most shocking behaviors emerge from my fellow sisters.  *This was the last section (the Fangirl Learned) I needed to complete today (I write MOO in all kinds randomness…the Muse visits when she is damn well ready, y’know?). But since receiving a phone call that I’m detailing down below, I may re-work how to address this topic…

The (M)Other Within

*ANNOUNCEMENT*  

Remember when I told you lovelies that while I have no money, I do have time and skills to contribute in these dire hours? I literally received the phone call right now as I’m finishing up today’s post. I have been cleared for and accepted onto the Red Cross Disaster Response Team as a therapist. I’m deploying out to the Tornado/Flood Zones back east (Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina-esque areas) next week to administer frontline counseling and emotional support to the tornado and flood victims. Its looking like  it will be Tues or Wednesday when I fly out. I will be gone for at least 10 to 12 days and could potentially remain out in the field for up to three weeks per cycle. *side note*  Even if I leave on Tuesday morning, I’ll still have been able to see SAM BRADLEY perform the night before. PHEW! A girl still has a couple of #priorities.

The American Red Cross

So while I’m away for potentially the next 2 to 3 weeks, I’ve asked my fellow Team Other Captains (CC, Buff and a behind-the-scenes technician Bouffant) if they wouldn’t mind keeping an eye on MOO and perhaps contribute some of their brilliance to continue the support of Otherness in my stead. The wonderful gals that they are, of course, all stepped up immediately and exuberantly. So I’m going to thank you amazing Readers in advance for welcoming them warmly and wonderfully as you have in the past when they’ve contributed. And besides, CC and Buff already have their own mass followings (because they’re geniuses and I kinda hope to be a little smarter just by associating with them). My friend Starlust may contribute a written piece as well. She has been my  good friend since the very beginning and I trust her with heart and soul. You will too when you meet her.

This leads me to discuss what I had hoped to, even before learning that I was going to deploy. Look back to one of the earliest Musings ever. I wrote an essay called Aphrodite and Kristen Go Against Code  <—–click it to check it, yo. I responded to the Entertainment Weekly preview of the roundtable interview that Kristen, Rob and Taylor did in promotion for Eclipse.  Remember this hotness??

The Musings  written in response was almost one year ago, on June 24, 2010. What did I see at the bottom of the brief EW preview back in June 2010? Within moments of going viral, the preview had already garnered nearly one hundred commenters’ reactions to the excerpt and these comments were quite criticalNo, worse. The majority of comments were cruel and hatefulI won’t go into specifics because I don’t have the energy nor do I want to taint this supportive Kristen and Rob site with anything remotely negative. But I will share my observations. The majority of commenters both critical and supportive, presented themselves with female monikers. And the harshest, most cruel of the comments were from women. Women who reported they were mothers, professionals.  Also, I noticed that most comments were disproportionately supportive and defensive of Rob, but were incensed and enraged towards Kristen. She was torn down for anything from her physical appearance to the way she phrased her responses. In those commenter’s eyes, those predominantly female commenter’s views, she could do nothing right. The need to tear others down to feel imposing and powerful and bigger has perhaps been an evolutionary trait, leftover from our earliest days on earth–survival of the fittest…but the way that women attack is especially fascinating and …disturbing. 

Today, in 2011, when I watch my Twittah timeline and scan the PMs filled with updates from around the fandom, I notice that the anger and resentment towards our Reigning Queen has become more specific and therefore illuminating about the folks who spew the Haterade. After witnessing success after success for Kristen as a professional and as a woman, her Critics–the Bullshit People as she dubbed them last year in an interview–grapple with any new angle from which they can attack.

Their options are becoming pretty limited.

Criticizing her relationship with Robert as publicity-driven holds little weight since Kristen’s professional and critical success has only increased in the past year, what with the ovations from film critics and audiences flooding in for her work in stellar performances in The Runaways and Welcome to the Rileys (Example: MIFF Award–to be addressed in a bit).  Plus there’s Robert’s direct statements in interviews that his relationship with Kristen is in no way calculated or “nefarious”. So the anti-Kristeners focus on…her abilities to walk young Bear…??

This gangly, awkward, beautiful creature caused major damage to the Bullshit People's campaign. Powerful little guy.

 And instead of calling Ms Stewart some of the degrading and hateful names they’ve given her over time, many Nonsensicals simply refer to her as “That Girl”, which in the scheme of things isn’t the most horrendous, not compared to what they’ve called her before. Also we have identified some of the boldest of the BullShit People in the past year. Kristen and Robert have names and information about the particularly heinous of the Unhappy Ones. When attackers are no longer faceless, offensive plans can be created. Kristen and Rob’s incredibly good-looking effective security teams have been quite active and occupied this year.

Another shift I’ve noticed over the year, is a growing, greater compassion emerging in this fandom. Perhaps it’s because we have been in the trenches together now for several years. We have created friendships and support networks and camaraderie. We have faces and voices to names…This again, is in that universal movement to remove the masks we wear, and efforts made to consciously embrace our Otherness. We’re finding we have so many more commonalities than differences.

Last year, my Welsh Muse Kathryn wrote me a poignant letter detailing her journey embracing her Otherness and it was in embracing her abilities to be a new M0ther. It was in her exploration of what motherhood meant for her that she realized she was truly embracing her authentic self, quirks and oddities and all, that she already had the propensity to accept herself in all that she is. She was similar to me, in that she hadn’t planned necessarily on having children, opting instead to focus on pursuit of bliss and career and expression. And yet now she’s all of those things: beautiful, kind, compassionate, artistic, and a Mother. (I miss you, K).

When we sit down and examine all the ways someone can be “motherly”, we conjure up feelings and associations with universal, human qualities such as:

LOVINGNESS…DEVOTION….PROTECTIVENESS…CREATIVITY….COMPASSION…SELFLESSNESS…KINDNESS

When I survey the descriptors above,  I don’t feel as defensive of  my near-certain decision to not have children. Believe me, society and peers are pretty critical (i.e. harsh and judgmental) about people who decide to not have children too. One of the most incredible things a couple of my Cyber Sisters Nail and Mari have said to me in the past few months involved the employment of my favorite strategy: REFRAMING. They said,

“You are mothering and providing, even if you’re not technically a child-bearer. You give nurturing and compassion and protectiveness to your clients, to your friends…and to MOO Readers.”

See? We all gotta do a little reframing sometime. And I can see this next step on my path in my work for Red Cross is an extension of that concept. I do carry a wish that as we each evolve and thrive and stumble and then pick ourselves back up again that we are finding, that there is less of a need to deconstruct or tear Others down coasting on fear or ignorance. Because we’ve gotten to know each other a little more. Our (M)Otherness has kicked in, perhaps?

Anyway, in light of the somewhat unexpected events occurring in this moment, I won’t delve further today into the reasons why, psychologically or emotionally, women behaved in appallingly harsh ways over the past year. But I certainly can appreciate some of the improvements and changes that have occurred …and I can pin some hope that the changes have made due to steps closer to embracing Others’ Otherness.

And lets take some time to get to know and then celebrate these incredibly brave Unconventional Beauties, shall we?

 Featured Royal Rebel: Stevie Nicks

Stephanie “Stevie” Lynn Nicks, called everything from eccentric, legendary, a gypsy, a witch, a sorceress, and a poet, since her debut in the music industry forty years ago, is the epitome of Other to me. I have my own fascination and adoration of her, have since the early 1990’s when I accidentally stumbled upon a music video on VH1 called “Gypsy” and then later heard songs from the Fleetwood Mac live reunion tour “The Dance”. I didn’t know it then, but with a few bars of the haunting song “Silver Springs” soaring from my car radio’s speakers, I had encountered music’s Other Royalty.

A little background: Stevie’s grandfather Aaron was an aspiring country singer, and from the moment Stevie could speak, she was singing country ditties and picking out melodies on a guitar which was handcrafted for her by said proud granddad. Stevie credits her grandfather for teaching her to love music and for inciting her passion for songwriting and musical crafting. It was at a northern California high school that she met a singing-songwriting-guitar-playing boy named Lindsey Buckingham. Stevie and Lindsey immediately forged a strong bond which would ultimately prove to be an outrageously productive musical and intimate partnership. Stevie tells The Guardian (UK) that she believed joining the band Fleetwood Mac in 1975 was predestined, but that upon reflection, she ventures that Lindsey Buckingham feels the opposite.

You have NO idea how loud I screamed when I snagged this vinyl off Ebay years ago. Yeah, and they're nekkid.

At the start of the year 1975, Stevie and Lindsey (apart of the rock band Fritz) had already been cultivating a small, devoted following in San Francisco, CA. Their time with Fritz granted them once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to observe and learn from rock legends Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, both for whom Fritz performed opening sets. When Fritz disbanded, Stevie and Lindsey became the duo “Buckingham Nicks” and recorded their one and only debut album by day, and worked as servers, house cleaners and carpenters by night. The album did not meet commercial success, and the duo was dropped from their record label. Meanwhile, British blues band Fleetwood Mac had just parted ways with yet another guitar player and as the now-legendary story entails, Mick Fleetwood, the group’s co-founder and drummer approached Lindsey and invited him into the band. However, in a serendipitous exchange, Lindsey refused to join without Stevie, saying, “We’re a packaged deal”. So the California hippie kids joined the British Blues Crew.

And so it began. Fleetwood Mac 1975

Ok, novels and ever-expanding Wikipedia entries can barely cover the expanse of this Majestic Gypsy’s forty years in the music industry, and I will not attempt to reiterate the glorious peaks and valleys of Ms Nicks’s life here today (but sit down with me in person and I’ll happily chatter on with you about my adoration for her). But I can try to highlight a few reasons why she, for me, is a true Rebel Queen.

Of course we cannot overlook Stevie’s distinctive, raspy-growly voice, her whimsical, journal-entry intimate lyrics, and her propensity for flowing, ethereal dresses. And it’s quite a testament to her artistic influence when she can count among her legions of fans some musical greats such as Billy Corgan, Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow, Courtney Love, Adam Levine, and Taylor Swift to name a few.

In days long preceding concepts like Stalkerazzi, Twitter and Celebrity Rehab, Stevie Nicks navigated the pitfalls and customary practices of a Rock-and-Roll lifestyle in an extremely human, relatable manner. There were the drugs–she had a ten-year cocaine dependency stemming from early days with Fleetwood Mac, and then in the late eighties through early nineties developed a harrowing addiction to prescription medications, namely Klonipin which she weaned from after a painful near-fifty day course of rehab. There were personal tragedies, including the death of childhood best friend Robin Snyder who succumbed to leukemia two days after giving birth to Stevie’s Godson Matthew; and there were the emotional and physical illnesses such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, depression, anxiety and weight fluctuation (which was relentlessly criticized by critics and “fans”). And then there was the love. Always the love.

“In ’75, ’76, we were beautiful, fast,  sexy, love was everywhere and we were moving from person to person. That’s it. Love was around every corner”

Of course there was/is her musical and personal soul mate Lindsey Buckingham, with whom she shares an “Edward and Bella-like” love, but there were many other lovers and inspirations famous and not-so-much (including her Fleetwood Mac band mate Mick Fleetwood, Eagles rockers Joe Walsh and Don Henley; music industry legend and current American Idol mentor Jimmy Iovine). Her relationships with these men informed and influenced her songwriting and musical creations engendering some of rock and pop music’s most famous songs…ever. We’re talking songs that have permeated our collective consciousness. For instance: Landslide has been remade or covered by everyone from The Smashing Pumpkins, Tori Amos, and The Dixie Chicks, to, recently, Gwyneth Paltrow on an episode of Glee). Last week alone was a Nicksapalooza with Glee dedicating an entire episode to Fleetwood Mac’s seminal and legendary album Rumours (which detailed the band’s scandalous divorces, break-ups and affairs with each other and as a group).  Also, my new favorite TV show The Voice featured competitors singing Stevie’s song Leather and Lace and in conclusion Maroon 5’s frontman and Voice Coach Adam Levine reverently declared, “Stevie Nicks is The Greatest.”

At 62 years old, the woman is showing no signs of stopping. In fact, she just released her newest solo album, her first in a decade to the highest reviews of her career. She admits to an obsession with The Twilight series and even wrote a couple of songs on this new album inspired by Our Reigning Queen Kristen’s portrayal of a broken Bella Swan in New Moon. Ok, seriously. How do you not LOVE that???

Stevie Nicks has your back, Bella!

Ms Nicks is about to embark on a tour to support the new album titled In Your Dreams, but also a world tour with Fleetwood Mac in 2012. Perhaps my admiration for Stevie Nicks stems from her grace in managing conflict and life while in the public eye. Perhaps it’s because Stevie struggles with body image, insecurities, relationship concerns, and anxiety, channeling angst into catharsis byway of songwriting and musical performance. Maybe it’s because the tambourine-shaking, leg-warmer-wearing, spinning, whirling songstress never compromises her beliefs or ambitions when all of society pressured her to.

Stevie’s new album sounds more like vintage Stevie than ever, recalling early Fleetwood Mac rocker sentiments while also preserving her poetic whimsy. Admirably, she rebuffed traditional gender-specific expectations when she was younger (she was a lady of rock in an arena of men) and later regarding marriage and motherhood in order to pursue “freedom in following [her] art.” I can relate on such a basic, visceral level to this decision, as I’ve shared with you all earlier today. Because Stevie twirls through very personal and genuine tribulations gracefully while wearing 4-inch platform-boots and diaphanous dresses that Couture designers have tried to emulate since 1975, she forever is a stunning Queen of Other.

Offenses of Otherness:

*Emphatically celebrates her feminine divinities: love and beauty

*Invites an intimate and realistic connection to her personal heartbreak and struggle

*Opted out of the gender role expectations of marriage and motherhood

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

While we may not have seen Ms Rebel Queen herself in a while, we have been gifted with a few wonderful events that are pretty spectacular all the same. From the interview that keeps on giving, i.e. Uk Elle, we have some more “outtakes“…And good gracious, I do not envy the photo director who had to make the final cuts on these beauties…

The prestigious Cannes Film Festival is wrapping up this week and while this landmark annual event is designed as a showcase for new and developing films, it is a coveted  forum for filmmakers to exhibit and sell projects based on their artistic quality to distributors from all over the world. This year, a six minute trailer from one small but mighty film was shown to a Cannes audience of potential buyers.

According to attendees, after watching the diminutive six-minute trailer, buyers rose to their feet, passionately clapping. With the warm reception of the highly anticipated Francis Ford Coppola-produced project, On The Road has emerged as prevalent and desired today. Now. This adaptation from the book about restless souls seeking the elusive “It” to soothe post-war disillusionment has been anticipated for something like 30 years. Director Walter Salles and his outrageously gifted cast wrapped filming in the fall last year, and the news of positive reactions to the short film teaser gives us one more reason to hope that we will be seeing Sal, Dean, and Marylou on screen very soon. I cannot tell you how excited I am for this movie. If I did, it would sound something like this: $#!(*$*@#@&!@#!)&%//!!

nope. Not even close to getting old.

Hmmm, what else? Our Reigning Other Queen has had quite the week, as we’ve said. Even though we haven’t laid eyes on her since we saw her in New York, we have had plenty o’ reasons to rejoice. At another International Film Festival, Milan this time, another one of Kristen’s films, or more specifically, Kristen herself was the toast of the town. On May 11, we learned the news that Ms. Kristen Jaymes Stewart received the coveted honor of being named Best Actress at the Milan International Film Festival (MIFF) for her portrayal of the electric, vibrant, almost “feral” but vulnerable teenage stripper, Mallory in the effecting Welcome to the Rileys.

Congratulations, Kristen!! 

ICU dedicated actress with the bruised up legs and arms

One might observe that being called “THAT GIRL” as almost complimentary…? That Girl has been named Elle’s Woman of the Year…That Girl has a Young Hollywood Award, several MTV Movie Awards and a BAFTA. This same lady has the respect and love of legendary colleagues and filmakers. Ms. Stewart may very well be one girl who doesn’t really need introduction. She doesn’t need a label to garner praise and respect and prestigious awards. She does after all, make a living dressing up and portraying everybody else other than Kristen Stewart. But it’s still wonderful to watch as the authentic, grounded, intelligent, witty, kind, dedicated, compassionate, articulate and talented woman named  Kristen Jaymes Stewart continues to follow her genuine path, and embrace her royalty and Otherness.

Offenses of Otherness:

* Celebrates her feminine divinities: compassion and protectiveness.

*Unapologetic about displaying confidence, assertiveness and independence.

*Spurns the idea of downplaying her intelligence or genuine emotional response.

*  *  *

Stevie accepts all that she is. And is Other.

Kristen accepts all that she is. And is Other.

Others accept themselves and all that they are.

Embrace your Other. 

*  *  *

Notes: 

Wellllll. This one was long and it was all over the place, I realize. There were a lot of Royal Rebel events that occurred, on the sly, as well as over the course of the WFE promo tour….And in tying it up here, I struggled to organize and address all the goodies as well as the Otherness stuff.

Thanks for hanging with me, everyone. It’s been a crazy few weeks and now it’s gone outer limits with this new Adventure I’m heading on in a matter of days.

I don’t know exactly where I am going to be stationed on this assignment. I don’t know exactly how long I’ll be there. I don’t know where I’m sleeping. I don’t know if there’s a consistent stream of electricity and I doubt there will be steady internet connection. I don’t have a good set of work boots since I gave my Doc Martens away last year. But I will communicate as often as I can with my girls on Team Other, and maybe through Twitter if I can get a signal. I’m  @MusingsOnOther . . .

I DO know that this has always been my life’s hope–to combine humanitarian work in the fields. Its why I became a therapist in the first place. I am ecstatic and nervous and proud and scared all at once. I totally told @DeeDreamer16, @Kate_Suena, @KStewsbtrthanU and my CyberSisters today that I “want to vom right. NAO.”

Oh. And I also know that I kinda love you all. Madly.

The pristinely talented and lovely author @PrimaryColors1 (Firefly in Summer) is already out there on site in Alabama donating, transporting supplies, giving water to workers and folks in shelters on a daily basis. Consider donating time or money to assist the victims of the Tornados and Floods. Every little bit helps, especially to folks who have lost everything.

Talk to you laters, Lovelies. Until then, be well and be kind to one another. We’re really all Other together.  Yours, xo, KJ 

More:

This Essay’s Playlist

Trampled Rose ~Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

I Shall Believe ~Sheryl Crow

Starlight ~Muse

Gold Dust Woman ~Stevie Nicks

Winter Winds ~ Mumford & Sons

A Musical Love Letter

6 Oct

Just a Muselet here, lovelies. Tomorrow I’ll post my regular Musings,  featuring a new Royal Rebel and our usual love for KStew and her Misfit partners in crime… Today I’m happy to announce the winners of the Musings On Other Soundtrack Giveaway, aka: KJ’s Old-School-Love-Letter-poured-into-a-mixed-tape-but-on-a-CD-to-Others. I always enjoyed writing and receiving a good letter. It started when I was in fifth grade, and I took a week-long trip to Washington D.C. with some classmates, and I met new friends who lived in exotic places like…Florida…and Colorado. To have a long-distance penpal when ten or eleven years old, having met them while traveling abroad, seemed pretty damn cool, in my opinion.

Letter writing became my all-consuming world when I was in seventh grade. I knew how to fold the 8 1/2 by 11 inch squared paper into a heart, a circle, an envelope, and perhaps, when computer class became too boring, a swan. And do you know what these little “letters” (notes) would say? Something like this:

Dear M,

Hey honey! I’m in Mrs K’s class, English. I’m so bored. Did you see Joe today? Oh my god, he is soooo fine. Do you think he still likes Kelly?

I LOVE U. K.I.T. BFF. Budz4Life. WRITE BACK.

Love Always, K

Clearly, not on par with Beethoven’s prose to his Immortal Beloved. But a definitive step higher than:

DO YOU LIKE JESSICA?

PLEASE CHECK THE RIGHT BOX:

YES: ___

NO: ___

So here’s the delio: I love you guys. I love you so much I don’t have words, and that in itself is telling, because I always have words. I also love music, it’s an integral, essential part of my being, and it shapes Musings in a very personal way. If I we were still in junior high or high school, I’d write you all and pass you a swan-shaped note in which I checked the box that said YES, when asked if I love you. And, as was the case of my first love, Joe (see above, 7th grade Joe was beautiful), I’d exchange mixed tapes filled with music of light-FM love songs and R & B. And instead of stealthily passing the note while en route to History class under the pretense of fixing my hair scrunchies (YES, SCRUNCHIES, facepalm), I would implement today’s technology of Twitter, Skype, Email, Chat, Texting…where beautiful, devoted poetry has been reduced to:

I heart U, u hot biotch. Txt me. xx

Swoon.

Ok. While this is perfectly fine for every day interactions, and for moments where we are in between meetings and errands, and the eighteen jobs we have…This lackluster statement leads me to think: we have lost the ability to connect in a more meaningful way.

Let’s think about this a second: If you could write Kristen Stewart, our Reigning Other Queen, which medium would you use, what words would you use? How would you communicate your admiration for her? Would you put thought and time into composing a text message? Or would you perhaps like to speak a little bit about your propensity towards domesticity and baking…Kristen puts time into planning and creating meals and desserts for her loved ones, don’t you think she’d appreciate something a little more personal than a statement that could only fit amongst 140 characters a la Twatter?

 

If she doesn't inspire hand-written love sonnets...

 

So, let me send you my love letter to Others…Here are the winners of the first Musings On Other Giveaway, based on the comments left on last week’s first Musings’ essay from the new website (If you left more than one comment, I counted you once, and I only included commenters on the main Essay’s page)…

From Random. Org: The Integers

Generate  random integers (maximum 10,000).

5

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

1-21

Here are your random numbers:

16
7
5
10
3

HOORAY! To my lovelies: (16) Dano, (7) Buff82 (5) Nail, (10) Jessica (3) Medelia_Fi , you will be receiving the MusingsOnOther Soundtrack/My  Aural Love Letter to YOU in the mail as soon as we get in touch and I have a your contact information. CONGRATULATIONS!….As a Reminder, here are the Tracks:

1. Trouble–Ray LaMontagne

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

3. Acid Tongue–Jenny Lewis

4. Crucify–Tori Amos

5. Hallelujah–Jeff Buckley

6. Soul to Squeeze–Red Hot Chili Peppers

7. Wake Up–Arcade Fire

8. Not Afraid–Eminem

9. Lying–Martina Topley-Bird

10. It’s a Fire–Portishead

11. Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What A Wonderful World–Iz

12.  Never Tear Us Apart–INXS

13. Dig–Incubus

14. Wave of Mutilation–Pixies

15. The Shining–Badly Drawn Boy

16. Addicted to Love–Florence + The Machine

17. The 6th X: For Kelleen–Richard W feat. KJ on vocals

18. Joyful Girl –Ani DiFranco

Why am I doing this? Well, I realized that I miss the old-school way of expressing affection, with an old-fashioned letter written by hand. I miss the romantic sentiment behind homemade gifts, and the excitement of receiving envelopes or packages in the mail. So that is what I’m trying to resuscitate: the personal connection we as humans, have the privilege of exercising. Even now, as I pieced together the playlist for the Musings Soundtrack Love Letter, I could just post it up on PlayList.com for you all to peruse. But if I did that, I wouldn’t get to send you the CD, in the mail, and write you a little card in my own hand. You wouldn’t have the pleasure of receiving a small parcel in your mailbox. I wouldn’t be able to tell you that every single song on the play list was featured in a Musings essay past, and contained a specific message: Love, empowerment, encouragement, gratitude, solace, grief, joy, affection, inspiration…

 

How do I love thee, let me count the ways

 

So I’ll see you tomorrow for our regularly scheduled Musings. We’re talking Creative Living, Following Bliss, The Social Network, and the resurfacing of Kristen and Rob, three nights (going for 4?) in a row…Last night, they took in a show by one of our Featured Rebel Royals, Jenny Lewis. SWEETNESS.

And let’s take a moment to gaze at the gloriousness that is the Official Welcome to the Rileys Movie Poster, shall we? *Stares, hypnotized* Ok. Well, I’ll see you tomorrow, my dears. Much Love, KJ.

P.S. WINNERS, make sure you send me your contact info! P.P.S: I will most likely be creating a Volume 2 of the Soundtrack. There is just so much good music out there by Others and for Others.

 

 

Strawberry Confidence & A Little Help From My Friends

1 Jul
Quick A/N: Please forgive the lateness of this Musings. I was out late late last night seeing Eclipse and downing Vodka. And because there is SO much Other goodness to choose from, I needed to narrow down my topics of conversation because you all are already infinitely too patient with my long ramblings already. I know you were up at the Midnight Showings for Eclipse too, so y’all are sleep deprived. Also, a quick moment of stunned gratitude to the now-retired @KStew411 who recommended this blog on their “MUST” list in their departing posts last night. I am shocked and humbled. You ladies will be missed. Good luck on your future endeavors. Lastly, I did not have this post beta’d by my amazing pre-readers Bouffant00, Buff_82 and CC. This one is ridonk late and it’s ALL me. Ok. Onward with the Musings…. 

I’m lonely.

I’m scared.
…Or Desperate for a way
to be awake without faking
to be alive without freaking
to be serious
to be true
to even think of loving someone
when you’re already doomed
You tell me how to be a girl in 2010
…They left it to us.
It sucks but it’s true.
It’s you and me baby.
-excerpt from I am an Emotional Creature by Eve Ensler

Last week, we surveyed and gawked at how cruel and destructive our fellow women are towards each other. We discussed how women were relegated to The Feminine Code and when breaking through that code, you do so at the risk of alienation, isolation and criticism, a very familiar position for our Other Queen Kristen Stewart. But here on Team Other, we realize that “Breaking The Code” earns you a spot on the Homecoming Court alongside legendary Rebel Royalty. This week, I am going to showcase and celebrate the teams of people who serve as support and encouragement for Others as we foray into Code-Breaking territory. Instead of giving anymore clout to the women and critics who tear down Others, let’s focus on the power of alliances and friendships. Because let’s face it: We can’t do this alone.
In addition to my weepy love letter to friendship and support, I must speak of this extraordinary week for Kristen. I want to gush but I’m nearly overwhelmed. How do I summarize the epicness that was The Eclipse Premiere? Can we talk about Kristen’s STUNNING makeover in preparation for next month’s On the Road filming? How ’bout the way her growing confidence and poise translated so beautifully, she was able to withstand and transcend the assault of David Letterman unscathed???
Black (Carpet) Magic Woman
So we know Kristen and Taylor had just returned from their punishing world tour in efforts to promote Eclipse (um, I dont think they have to worry, at time of writing this, Eclipse has already broken the $30Million mark for just the midnight showings only already). So shall we start our review of Kristen’s most Epic week, EVAH? Yessss. The arrival carpet is not RED, per usual, no, our Rebel Royals walk the Black Carpet. 

That’s probably all I’ll post of the Trifecta, if anything to highlight the way Rob, Kristen and Taylor exude genuine affection and love for one another (note: Kristen’s death grip on Rob’s jacket. He anchors her to this Earth at times…See? Support, people)…. and their ability to color coordinate beautifully. Kristen wore a pearl Eli Saab embellished one-shouldered mini dress which received mixed reviews. I can tell you in my most un-educated way that I adored just about everything in her look, but had to warm up to the asymmetrical sleeves (or lack there of). But the lack of symmetry was made up a billion-fold by Kristen’s amazing legs, bare back, her “robust butt” and flawless makeup (Sharpie Incident sidestepped). Ok, really? Why did this night kick start the night of all epicness? Oh yeah. THIS.

uh huh. And THIS.

and really? Weren’t we just waiting for THIS ONE?

Well, we got a million shots of Rob’s openly adoring, loving gaze upon his girl. But THIS one, nearly made me weep. Not gonna lie. I think I teared up just re posting it here.

Rob: I’m here with you. I ADORE you. Kristen: Thank GOD for YOU. I can DO this.

This is a complete 180 from last year’s premiere for New Moon. I don’t think Rob and Kristen were on the carpet (a RED one, mind you) at the same time, let alone anywhere near the same camera lens. This year indicates a major shift. Suddenly we see emotions! Affection! Physical touching! How do I know that this year was different? Well, for one, Kristen, her Royal Highness, displayed and exuded a confidence that we’ve never seen before. And it was GLORIOUS. More on that in a minute. Secondly, I knew the premiere was spectacular because I literally heard the SQUEALING from all sides. I was on the phone with my friend @BellasMommy86 for 5 and a half hours watching the live stream online, she in Florida, I was in Cali. Was exchanging tweets with, and texting, emailing my Cyber Sisters and Readers, and I capped the night off with a conference call with my Team Other/KSIBTU Crew. And that’s really what I want to talk about. The common love that brought us together in this fandom births a stronger, luminous connection…friendship.

Where My Girls At?

I’m going to take a moment to quite candidly tell you that I’ve had a truly difficult couple of weeks. My own personal band of Bullshit People surfaced and were harping away at me for every single thing I did. My physical body nor my state of unemployment were off limits either. Everything was vulnerable to the vultures. In the eyes of my inner critic, I could do nothing right. As these essays are of utmost joy to write for me, they are catharsis, but in my case almost an exorcism. After writing, I feel like I’ve crawled through the entire myriad of emotions: excitement, anxiety, irritation, contemplation, melancholy, release, elation. Last week, as you all know, I was on my cold-tablet high, and feverish. Perhaps the fever burned away the last of my resolve, because suddenly I heard every single critical snarky remark my inner critic and outside forces said to me. For months I’d kept my head held high and refused to give into the dire stress of my current living situation. Nope. Not last week. Much sobbing. MUCH.
Let’s talk about how my female support system saved my ass. The psychological and spiritual benefits of having women friendships and support are vast and numerous. By nature, women simply bond with other women over the exchange of ideas and confirmation of worth. Knowledge and information is exchanged which leads to increased self esteem and perceived control over situations seemingly out of control. Often when women have close female companions, self-esteem and overall positive outlook increases and remain high. Statistically, when women have strong feminine support systems in place, incidences of depression, anxiety and anger are decreased. Cool Fact: There is a society in Indonesia, on the island of Sumatra, in which the women are the tribe leaders. It is a matriarchal system in a predominantly male-led, Islamic-based land. Anthropologist Peggy Reeves Sanday documents the arrival and maintenance of peace and accommodation in this successful and thriving Matriarchal tribe in her work Women at the Center.  

So The Minangkabau (Indonesian Matriarchy featured) very clearly tout the successful existence of women leading and collaborating. This awe-inspiring society of people is known in Indonesia for their literary prowess, business dexterity, and egalitarian, peaceful coexistence between men and women alike.

We are joined in a common struggle between remaining firm, and assured and authentic versus conforming to society’s expectations of us. We share the daily joys and heartbreak of loving our partners, oh, then hating our partners; loving and then loathing our bodies, relishing in and rejecting our roles in society: caretaker, pleaser, eye candy, mother, child, daughter, sister. We are in this together. And this is my request to rejoice in not only our shared love of Kristen, Rob and Twilight, but also in our strength in union. I ask the feminine critics we visited in last week’s Musings to remember that we really ARE the same. We share the same struggles and insecurites that even Kristen Stewart, Christina Hendricks and Tori Amos experience.

Another amazing book I’m reading that I want to share with you right now: I am an Emotional Creature. It is written by Eve Ensler, writer of The Vagina Monologues. In this amazing little volume of GIRL POWER, Ensler presents essays and poetry using voices of the EveryGirl…American suburbanites, Bulgarian sex slaves, pregnant women… We are ALL Other.

I have a thirst for knowledge and research, so I am always seeking answers, questions and information. Thanks for bearing with me as I share my book recs to you. The knowledge of others is ours for seeking, but one thing I do undoubtedly know: I would not have emerged from the dark nights without the calming, grounding support I received from my ladies. Not only during premieres and Red/Black carpets, but for my wonderful addictions and eccentricities. Not only do I receive phenomenal fan fiction/smut recommendations from my Reader Sisters and KStew411, I’m guided in my search for my YouTube clips and interview publications. The ladies @KstewAngel and my girl Jamie steered me in the right direction so I could get my paws on the Kristen-covered Entertainment Weekly that we discussed last week.
That IS a build-your-own Parfait Station
Because the ladies steered me towards grocery stores and away from bookstores, I grabbed the last 2 copies of EW from a swanky specialty grocery store where people go to olive bars and buy kitchen tongs worth more than my car. The shoppers there don’t have as much interest in entertainment magazines nor in dazzling, sparkly vampires. At least not outwardly. Ok, I lie, the cashier guy actually fangirled a little with me over the Eclipse premiere.
And because my Cyber Sisters/Readers were holding my hand and drying my tears while I sobbed at my failures in life, I was available on chat and email when the new pictures of Kristen and her Slammin Confidence surfaced. HELLO, STRAWBERRYSTEW!

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

Her EYES. Mah. Gah.

Of course, we saw the debut of her lighter locks (preparation for On the Road filming) as she stepped out of her car in New York before becoming David Letterman’s target;  but, we got to see some luminous Stew at the New York Eclipse Premiere later that same night. I do not know how it’s possible, but I think Kristen has grown even more beautiful in these past 3 weeks alone. YES. It’s her assuredness in herself. She seems comfortable (finally) in the knowledge that she is OK. She’s articulate, intelligent, quick-thinking, and charismatic. Only now, I think she may actually believe it herself, just a teensy bit. 

The catwalk called. It wants its runway model back pronto.
Not really going to talk about David Letterman. Other than to say that I usually don’t mind Dave’s crochety, dry humor, but the night Kristen came on to his show, he was a TOOL. Another mark of Kristen’s new solid self-possession, was that she emerged from Dave’s condescension and awkwardness as the adult in the interview. She was poised, mature and she steered Dave away from any politicized land mines, all with grace, and snark. She even gave a little back. “Um, I dunno, Dave. What’s a WUFF?”

Oh, Letterman, you petty, simpering man. I’m Team Coco.

This post is all kinds of Other today, friends. I’m going to switch up the Featured Rebel section a bit, but no worries. A little variety has never hurt anyone right? I’ll finish gushing over Kristen and her epic week, and then introduce this week’s Royal Mention. Oh yes. I’m talking bad ass Mofo Feminine Queen Extraordinaire: Ani DiFranco. I said it, bitches, I did. But let’s review some more KStew Beauty shall we? I must mention only in passing (though it breaks my heart to do so) that the night after The Black Carpet Premiere, Kristen was at the LA Film Festival promoting Welcome to the Rileys’. She looked beautiful, confident and proud. And the movie itself? Mah. Gah. The reviews pouring out for the little indie are brilliant. But the reviews specifically for Kristen?? Staggering. I’ll talk more about WTTR in future essays, because I truly believe that the subject matter and Kristen’s recognized genius in her role combine to make a movie that will be…extraordinary.  

Beauty Marks: 1. Fascinated and committed to the joy of doing her job. 2. She is humble and almost extremely uncomfortable with compliments. 3. She gets by with a little help of her friends (hi, Ruth, publicist extraordinaire; Taylor and Rob on press junkets; PoutyScouty for musical roadtrips) 4. Not afraid of embodying her new role: cut, dye, shag or pole dance, she is GAME.

Welcome to the Rileys. Welcome to my adoration of you, Stewie
Offenses of Other-ness: (Per Ass Clowns, Witch Other Hunters and Bullshit People):
1. Refuses to be bought off (She turned down “ridiculous” amounts of money offered by Summit and cut her hair for The Runaways anyway) 2. Refuses to give nosy journos any details about her personal relationships (“I’ll never tell. Because once I do, it still won’t stop. People will still want specifics.”) 3. Uses metaphors and the English language in a correct and articulate way (Breaks Feminine Code by publicly seeming too smart) 4. Declines all offers to be on the world wide web. She calls Twitter Twatter, Mofos!!
Featured Rebel Royal: Ani DiFranco

Born Angela DiFranco, Ani is a musician, writer, defender of social issues and politics and all-around Bad-Ass. She plays “staccato” guitar in the realm of folk contemporaries, blurring the line between folk, rock and alternative. She openly claims to be bi-sexual and writes about her relationships with both genders. She is tattooed, aggressive, sexy and charismatic all in one small package. Her voice is melodious and heartbreaking even while screaming over complicated and mesmerizing guitar playing. Many of her songs are concerned with contemporary social issues such as racism,sexism, sexual abuse, homophobia, reproductive rights, poverty, and war. She cruised onto the music scene in the early 1990’s with her albums Ani DiFranco and Not So Soft (Such a perfect title for another Musings. dude). She cemented her goddess and Other status (in my opinion) with her trailblazing creation of her own record label Righteous Babe Records when she turned down lucrative recording contracts to write and produce music on her own terms.

 

Beauty Marks: 1. Received the Woman of Courage Award for her contributions to the awareness of feminism 2. Writes autobiographical songs about controversial subjects: sexuality, war, inequality and racism 3. Played local bars and pubs with her guitar teacher since she was aged 9 4. Created her own recording label to make music on her terms.



Offenses of Other-ness: (Per Other Hunters, Critics and BullShit People): 1. Openly expresses her sexuality 2. Blurs the lines in music styles and Gender Roles (is she a folk singer? An alternative Angry Woman? Is she gay? Why did she marry men and have a baby? ) 3. She turns down lucrative, expensive recording projects if it compromises her vision.

ICU, Joyful Girl

Ani was a prodigious musician at a young age, and she speaks her truth. Per Wikipedia, “the combination of personal and political song-writing is somewhat the upsurge of Ani’s early popularity among college students, particularly those of the left wing, some of whom set up fan pages on the web to document DiFranco’s career as early as 1994. DiFranco’s rapid rise in popularity in the mid-1990s was fueled mostly by personal contact and word of mouth rather than mainstream media.” She has openly discussed her expansion and broadening feelings on topics such as religion and sexuality, and as the years progress, her open-ness has only grown more inspiring. She became a mother in 2007 and has told live audiences that motherhood has effected her views on religion and feminism. Because she is so open minded and willing to challenge her own convictions publicly and gracefully, Ani diFranco is an Other Queen.

Get By With A Little Help From Friends

I let my inner critic, my personal unemployment agent and carb-mongering snark-conscious rip me a new one this past week. I began to doubt my convictions in moving forward when I heard from my beloved husband that my creative pursuits caused dissension and concern. But, by turning to my ladies, my sisters, my fellow Others for guidance, a shoulder to cry on, a drink to share with, a quickie IM, directions to the nearest Kristen-covering EW, I recognized my strength in numbers. We Others need to remind ourselves and each other that we are ALL Others, and we are strongest when united. Separate we fall, united we stand. Because I rely on you brilliant Rebels, Misfits and Unique kindreds to calm my inner uprising, I am an Other Queen.

Ani plays hard, abrupt, staccato passages on an acoustic guitar. She promotes independence, honesty and courage in herself and other women with her music and lyrics. She willingly admits her own convictions are challenged, and remains open to expansion of ideas. Her record label’s name Righteous Babe alone puts her on the Homecoming Court.

Kristen showed us on Lopez Tonight that she juggles, golfs and cooks Mexican Food for large family gatherings. She rocks one-shouldered dresses and two very different colored coifs. She wears Chucks and black cocktail dresses to movie premieres and press junkets. She holds on for dear life to her friends and supportive system, and claims they are who keep her grounded and earth-bound. All these reasons just further concretize Kristen as our reigning Queen.

I am Other.
Ani is Other.
Kristen is Other.
Others create harmonious tribes.
Embrace your Other.


See you all next Thursday. Maybe sooner, because we need to DISCUSS ECLIPSE. WE MUST.

A/N: ONE BIG ASS THANK YOU TO THE OTHERS WHO PULLED ME THROUGH THIS WEEK: My sister Puss who may need to barricade me in my bed again, to prevent me from running away. Julie (Constant) for checking in with me each day and encouraging me to cry. My dearest Kathryn L for teaching me about (M)othering and for helping me sing. In public. To @Jittpattzing for sending me the article about Kristen and Rob that decidedly was ANTI-OTHER and then raging with me over it. To @Kate_Suena and @Evalola80 for writing me the most exquisite emails in my darkest hours and showing me the silver lining. @Buff_82 for the pretty. To the KSTEWSBTRTHANU Crew for texting, calling and tweeting the epicness of KStew’s Royal Tour this week, and also sending me pictures of demolished desserts. To @Just2CUSmile for texting me her love even though she was in NYC with the rest of the KSIBTU Crew. To @BellasMommy86 for giving good phone and plotting our careers as the next great Entertainment Correspondents. To ProRobsten, my sister, for trying last minute to get me to L.A. and to @KimmCarr for trying desperately to step in and take it for the team in the final minutes. To @Bouffant00 for everything. Special shout outs to Teb (for helping me find my inner-Kj) and OJ for showing us how to transcend difficulties with grace.  Possum Besties A and E–love you. @MissBettySmith thanks for being on standby for magazine patrol. See you tomorrow. xo To my Cyber Sisters/Readers: YOU YOU YOU are my muses.
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