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Sources of Light: Candles and Mirrors

22 Sep
A/N: I may have gone overboard. This essay may cause seizures between the playlist, plus all the pictures, gifs and videos (YAY videos!) included. It may take your computer/phone awhile to load up. The images featured are not mine. Many resources are cited in embeds if you click the pics. Per usual, very, very unbeta’ed. Have mercy.

 There are two ways of spreading light–

to be the candle;

or the mirror that reflects it. 

~Edith Wharton

And  so I muse today: With the light that every single one of us emanates, how do we express it? Who is a Candle? Who is a Mirror?  *deep breath* Hello, my friends. It’s been a couple of weeks and I’m a day or two off of my usual Thursday posting schedule. I’ll happily tell you reasons for the delay another time if you are curious and/or you inquire.  But I can honestly report that I’ve had enough peaks and valleys to impress the National Death Valley Park in the past few weeks and I’m a bit bleary. But I’m so pleased to be here with you all. So, let’s chat about sources of light today, shall we?

Firstly, let’s check in with  our gorgeous Reigning Other Queen. Ms Kristen Stewart has been undercovah, immersed in the filming of the project Snow White and the Huntsman in London. But with her ethereal and haunting cameo in Marcus Foster’s music video for his soulful song ‘I Was Broken’ (and the subsequent entrancing of all of us Rebel-Watchers) we were mesmerized by, and drank in her loveliness with thirsty eyes. Need a reminder? YES, PLEASE.

Satisfied and inspired anew, I really hadn’t expected to see our Rebel Queen surface  again until perhaps it was time for promotional duties surrounding Breaking Dawn. However, a couple weeks ago, on September 13–which, yes, I know this information, was Isabella Swan’s birthday–the trailer for Breaking Dawn Part One dropped online and on entertainment reporting outlets. And as I watched it, my heart expanded in my chest and I felt …something. Anti-climatic I know, but  me feeling anything is revolutionary, see, because I was actually one of the folks in Camp Apathy when it came to all things Breaking Dawn. It’s my least favorite book of the series, but when I realized the film adaptation was inevitable, I held hope that it would be just one movie, albeit a longer one, instead of a two-parter. But since the folks at Scummit Summit didn’t request my input, whattaya gonna do? But I cannot ignore the significant events in this story. For instance: Edward and Bella finally are a solid union.

The beautiful, brooding vampire puts a ring (we’ll probably never talk about that light source anytime soon, but it’s..big. and kinda ostentatious) on it. He marries his eighteen-year-old human soul mate Isabella Swan and they make sweet, sweet (headboard-thrashing, bed-shredding and canopy-ripping is my idea of oh-so-sweet) love, consummating their marriage on their own private South American island named after said vamp’s mama. Ok, I can hear my tone of voice growing slightly mocking  incredulous, so I’m gonna stop here. But not without paying homage to a few moments in the trailer that broke me from the realm of  Camp Apathy.

cue my first sob

Billy freakin’ Burke kills me ded. Beautiful, beautiful Bella is The Bride and Papa Charlie swears to ‘Never’ let his baby girl fall.

This movie finally, finally gives a forum for the insanely talented Kristen to shine. When Kristen Stewart says goodbye and her heart breaks, my heart breaks and I weep for and with her. While this tale later spirals into science fiction-land to include Teeth Babies and Jedi Mind Tricks, the basic narrative surrounding a young woman making choices that affects The Bigger, Greater Picture is front and center. She says goodbye forever to her best friend who in a few weeks will be her enemy. She has to part from her parents. Forever. It’s gonna sting a bit. Her new reality is that she’s getting hitched to an immortal blood-drinking creature who is something like one hundred and ten years old. Let’s let her have her human moments. And no one. No one breathes relatable humanity into Bella Swan Cullen the way Kristen Stewart does.

Annnd…THIS. One of my biggest concerns with Breaking Dawn the book was how a previously mercurial, passionately expressive Edward Cullen was reduced…to a ‘burning’ shell of a man…on MUTE. In the book, Edward stewed quietly on the periphery, nearly nonexistent in presence. But as the decidedly charismatic (and heartbreakingly beautiful) Robert Pattinson portrays Edward, at least as we see in the trailer, we pant over observe an angry, anguished appeal from Mr Cullen as he realizes the dire circumstances in which he and his new bride find themselves. In an interview for the film, Rob said:

 “It’s failure to Edward, who has to choose between losing Bella and transforming her. It’s the toughest scene I’ve ever had to film in my career because this choice tears out my heart.”

I feel you, Rob. The goosebumps covering my arms while watching this blip didn’t disappear for a long time afterwards. I want to kiss director Bill Condon for sharing with us a glimpse of his work, and for luring me from a state of indifference to one of pleasant curiosity. In these first days of the Fall Season (my favorite season, btw) I am cautiously …excited about this new interpretation. So I’ll be seeing you all in November, yes?

The Fairest In Front

With the release of the Breaking Dawn trailer and Kristen’s luminous presence in ‘I Was Broken’, I found myself impressed and even a little more enthralled with our Other Queen’s ability to captivate. Is our girl Kristen a Candle, burning steadily and brightly even while surrounded by shadows? The answer is YES.

a beacon of light

Taking a breather from the physically and emotionally demanding role of Snow White, our Royal Rebel made an appearance alongside Robert Pattinson’s childhood obsession, uber-model Kate Moss, in the front row of the Mulberry Presentation at London’s Fashion Week on September 18.

I literally gasped aloud when the pictures emerged. Ms Stewart debuted her long, glossy, black Snow White locks while wearing a pretty print dress and black booties from Mulberry’s Resort 2012 line. Not only was she whimsical, feminine and simply lovely, but Kristen exuded a calm and quiet certainty that even surpasses her Comic Con Confidence that knocked us silly in July. Somehow, she has emerged in the public as even more sensational. And that was before we laid eyes on her at the Mulberry Afterparty! 

I mean. come. ON!

O_o *recovers slightly*

Light (definition) n.  

1.) Electromagnetic emission that stimulates sight and makes things visible  

2.) A flame or spark serving to ignite

3.)  Mental or spiritual illumination; enlightenment 

Light (synonyms) n. As from a candle:

LUMINESCENCE, BRIGHTNESS, RADIANCE, GLOW, LUSTER, BRILLIANCE

Others Alight

Light (definition) n.  

2.) A flame or spark serving to ignite

3.) Mental or spiritual illumination; enlightenment 

So Kristen…well, she’s a candle. What are you?  Well, in my experience with you all over the past year, I’d say you are candles …and mirrors. You emit kindness and support and wittiness that inspires creativity and confidence in me. You nudge, and lead and clarify. As I said, I’ve had a rough go of the past few weeks, and you all have contributed in coaxing me away from the ledge, whether you know it or not. I’ve always been a bit of an independent spirit, choosing instead to ground and meditate on my own, especially in the aftermath of prolonged socializing (which I also love). However, N is out of the country, on an island on the other side of the planet, and I found myself alone and grappling with my demons in an empty apartment. But you all were light for me. Whether it was through Skype convos (kisses @Kate_Suena on the cheek), through DMs (@RobKris13, @JRollin5, @Dizzy_Ladybug) or emails (@DeeDreamer16, @Bouffant and @KStewsbtrthanU and my @CyberSisters and Readers) you lit the way.

To me, you are mirrors because you reflect and spread the luminosity. While Kristen and our Featured Rebel Royals (today’s Majestic Misfit being no exception whatsoever) are burning vividly, you all use your powers of persuasion via pictures, music and articulation to extend, disseminate, purvey and broadcast your experiences of Otherness and your encouragement for the acceptance of our Other. It’s glorious to witness.

Earlier this week I reviewed some archived essays from Musings 2010. On MOO’s Facebook Page, I  suggested you revisit this post: You Already Know In that essay, we outlined Survival Tips for Others. Basically, we note how it is that Kristen as a light source (A Candle) modeled respectful ways of doing, of being…and how we (As Mirrors) can authentically communicate and share these ideas among our community…especially when some of the darker elements set in::::: >>BULLSHIT PEOPLE::::VULTURES::::THE CRITICS.. <<:::::And our Royal Rebels and you all have been doing this…brilliantly. 

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 thingbecause 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 OTHERS and Majestic Misfits to Preserve and encourage our Fellow OTHERS ?

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 and critics
  • 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 Royal Rebel: Adele 

Let’s dive into the absolute miracle that is our Featured Royal Light Source (I say she’s a Candle and a Mirror; What d’you think?) There isn’t much that I can say about this lovely lass that you haven’t already discovered on your own. So instead of  rehashing information you may already know or could easily Wiki yourselves, I’ll list the traditional MOO Offenses of Otherness and share some of the images and videos I’ve stored in my absurdly large YouTube stash. You all have them collected in your accounts too, I’ll bet.

Some of you, you lucky, ducky dogs you, have actually seen this Goddess live. In person. I’m pretty sure that I may not ever be fit to see in her in person, seeing that I sob and cry over the mere videos of her performances. So while I’m burning with envy at those of you who have seen her live, I know that it’s really for the well-being of everyone that I do not.

This video, for instance, still brings me to my knees, even after the 3029175th time I’ve watched it.

Adele Laurie Blue Adkins is only 23 years old though you wouldn’t know it, not if you’re listening to that voice. She channels the soulful heartbreak of Etta and Billie and the late Amy Winehouse, but she credits The Spice Girls and R & B artists like Mary J. Blige and Alicia Keys as influences.  In 2008, with the release of her debut album 19, music journalists and critics began referring to Adele as one of the trailblazers in the ‘next British Invasion’ and among the bringers of “Blue Eyed Soul” .

Born in North London, Adele was raised by a single mother who she refers to as one of her closest friends today. Before 19 began garnering critical acclaim, Adele was a teenager attending London’s BRIT School, which is a public performing arts program. Famous classmates and alumni include Leona Lewis and Amy Winehouse. According to Adele’s friends and the singer’s own report, Adele didn’t exactly strive towards musical greatness while in school. She was nearly expelled from the program for her lackadaisical relationship with time. Err, she would oversleep.

Her seminal album, 21, which was named–like 19–for the age in which she wrote and recorded the album tracks, was inspired by her relationship (and it’s deconstruction) with a man who was older and whom  all her friends greatly disliked. This sophomore album broke records from the moment it debuted, eclipsing 19‘s moderate success. 21 has gone platinum over four times and it stayed at Number 1  for months in sixteen countries.All of this is overwhelming news to her, and she remains modest. She is admittedly star struck by ‘celebrities’ even though just about every famous person you can think of in the moment idolizes her. Beyonce once told Adele directly that when she listens to Adele, she feels like she is “listening to God’. Plus, whenever she performs a concert a plethora of famous fans including Christina Aguilera and my personal favorite Other Rebel Rob Pattinson attend.

“I don’t want to be on the cover of Playboy or Vogue. I would rather be on Rolling Stone or Q.”

Ask and you shall receive, lovely lady

Featured on Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘The Best of Rock’ issue, the article finds Adele telling journalist Toure’ that she suffers from severe stage fright and anxiety. Adele reports having quit and re-started smoking a handful of times, and that she really has no interest in losing weight or slimming down.

“I don’t have time to worry about something as petty as what I look like.”

A self-professed wine lover, Adele reports she’d rather hit a pub with her mates instead of going to the gym. She swears like a sailor and has a propensity towards rattling off dirty jokes. In addition to that incredible voice she is also a guitar player, bass player and percussionist. She wears billowing sweaters as “shields and comfort” and admits that she was weary of the first record producers that approached her when she was eighteen years old. “I thought they were dirty, internet perverts”. A valid concern, I think. She does, after all, emanate the most incredible light. We’re drawn to her. I happen to think she is a most excellent Ambassador for Otherness. She is radiant. 

Offenses of Otherness:

*Has no interest in prescribing to the industry’s definition of ‘ideal’ body image

*Utilizes her musicianship–not her sexuality–to garner consideration

“I don’t make music for eyes. I make music for ears.”

So today (tonight?)’s post was an ode to resources for illumination and enlightenment. The quirky, unconventional, beautiful and talented Adele reminds us to pursue Bliss byway of our skills and competencies…and priorities. Our Reigning Queen of Other Ms Stewart re-surfaced in tantalizing ways over the past two weeks, reminding us of her sexy certainty and special brand of gorgeousness. We look to her to be a model of Misfit Mayhem, in the most complimentary way possible. She reminds us of the Etiquette for Otherness in her maintenance of privacy for her self and her loved ones, and in assuredness in her decisions for her career. She inspires us to follow our instincts…..and to inquire into Mulberry’s 2012 line. She reigns supreme.

And you my rebellious royals, continued to move onward and despite any shadows or pitfalls you encounter, you provide light and guidance for me. Thank YOU. #OtherON.

We are Other.

Adele is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others exude a constant, vivid light.

Embrace Your Other.

*    *    *

Question(s): How are you a Candle or Mirror? Who/what serves as a Candle or Mirror in your life? Thoughts on the Breaking Dawn Trailer? MulberryStew (Stewberry)? Adele?

A/N:

I reined it in. I had 2 or 3 more videos waiting in the wings to share. Thank me later for sparing you a seizure or three. I’ve upgraded MOO with Video-capabilities and today’s post was a bit of an experiment. Too much? Or ok? MORE?

To everyone I mentioned in this post and really, every one of you readers, tweeters, Facebookin Fools out there…you all were tremendous this month. I read every single one of your letters, comments, messages and tweets, and I cherish them and you.

Special Mentions:

@TheRainGirl4 –thank you for the pretty encouragements.

and to Possum Bestie @Justice_Aussie, @Mari-Pai  and @Been2Forks….

HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BELOVEDS!! 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LADIES!!!

Lastly, I updated the Sentence Completion on the About KJ Page. Check it out..complete the sentences. Whatever you want. I’ll roll witchoo.

xo, KJ

PLAYLIST FOR THIS ESSAY: 

Novocaine For The Soul ~ Eels

Flightless Bird-American Mouth ~ Iron and Wine

One and Only ~ Adele

Fair (acoustic) ~ Remy Zero

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 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.

Me…but more

15 Jul
Why So Broken?

It seems that (not surprisingly), I encountered many signs encouraging me to re-intergrate aspects of myself this week. Ahhh… Lady Synchronicity appears again. Firstly, you all know that I stumbled quite serendipitously upon the new space for what I refer to as the “magical little practice”. It was a case of Psychotherapist Kj introducing herself to the bliss-pursuing, Other Queen-in-training Kj. Then, on Friday night I went for tapas and cocktails at a Spanish lounge with my beautiful Welsh Muse, Kathryn, to whom I refer to as My Manager. She literally is to me what I believe Ruth is to Stewie. She keeps me tuned in to my path of Creative Living, and talks me up and tries to book me for public gigs (hey a girl’s gotta make the rent payment somehow!). That night (further details in a moment), the Other Queen-apprentice part of me shook hands with the Musician part of me. And both aspects waved a warm greeting to Psychotherapist Kj. The night ended with me handing over my psychotherapy business card to our lovely waitress Kelly who in turn handed it to the restaurant’s manager. My Manager and I set up an audition to sing and play piano as a musical guest at this lovely Spanish restaurant and lounge (cue freaking-the-fuck-out riiiight now). Well, I didn’t stay out too late that night, because I was set to be On The Road with Marble Pole the next morning, early, so that I could meet up with my Cyber Sisters/ Readers of my Twilight group in the center of this state.

So I pondered (it’s what I do, and then I ramble about it to you generous, patient people every Thursday, thank the Goddess): Why do we fragment ourselves? Why do we keep parts of our personalities, talents and interests concealed? My Sisters and Readers had a vague idea of my field of work, but that I did some sort of counseling and I am looking for my niche (i.e. a job). They didn’t know I was a musician or a writer until I began this lovely project–Musings. No one in my family (with the exception of my sis Puss) or on Facebook know that I write Musings; or that I have a healthy admiration for Kristen and Rob (TRANSLATION: I totes crush on them both and have them on my Freebie Five List).

Do you have a separate group of friends who know the serious, work-focused you, and then another group of friends who you speak to about falling in love and raising a family? Perhaps you have another cohort of colleagues that you speak with about shared interests like: sports you play, hobbies you have? Or say…hmmm… Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart? Do your partners and family members know that you’ve seen Eclipse four times already? Do your parents, siblings and co-workers know why they hear a THUD and not surprisingly find you on the floor, unconscious below your desk? Could it be because of these, um, OUTTAKES??

*thud*
Did I lose a few of you just now? Yeah. I thought so. 

Or these??
Her gaze and his smirk burst with secrets, no?

Come Together

With my Twilight Roadtrip weekend and my attempts at pimping out my musical services, I realized that I had initiated The Merge. Cyber Sisters are now my 3D friends. I have faces, voices, facial expressions, perfume and an assortment of sensory associations linked to previously 2D acquaintances. A month or so ago, I met a few gorgeous ladies of The KSIBTU Crew in person even though we’d been “friends” online for some time. After our meeting? These ladies and I have strong personal relationships outside the World Wide Web. I call and write my Sisters and the KSIBTU girls for advice and guidance, just as I ask my Sister Puss and my husband. Though I base my Musings on events inspired by Kristen and her Homecoming Court of Misfits each week, the emails and correspondence exchanged with you all are about the issues we ponder and navigate in OUR lives. So again, I ask myself: Why do we fragment?

Remembering concepts found in all previous book recs I’ve featured here, like Eve Ensler’s I am an Emotional Creature and Marianne Williamson’s A Woman’s Worth, we realize that whether we asked for it or not, we are categorized in society by labels and gender roles. We are expected to take certain actions in fulfilling roles while we’re criticized for being frivolous if we try to embrace unexpected roles or paths. Take a look at all the roles we fill. Um. It’s a shit-ton.

WIVES. MOTHERS. LOVERS. SISTERS. CARETAKERS. COMFORTERS. CHEFS. DRIVERS ATHLETES. PROVIDERS. ARTISTS. DAUGHTERS. CREATORS. STUDENTS. TEACHERS. FRIENDS. SCIENTISTS. ACADEMICS. INTELLECTUALS. PARTNERS. WARRIORS. MISFITS. REBELS. POETS. DEBATERS. DETECTIVES. BLISS-PURSUERS. DANCERS.

QUEENS.

Williamson suggests, as do social psychologists, spiritual healers and medical practitioners, that the key is balance. Only when we embrace all aspects of ourselves are we truly whole. So much energy goes into denying pleasures or attributes that we have. We can be (M)others as well as Career Women. We can be compassionate, nurturing and nonviolent all while being strong, firm, athletic and intellectual. We absolutely can be “pretty” while driving a tractor or truck, debating the virtues of molecular biology, planning the recovery methods of hydrocarbons in petroleum engineering. Likewise, ballerinas may be beautiful swans on the performance stage as well as auto mechanics during the work week. The point is, we don’t have to deny ourselves our talents or interests in favor of social acceptance, although most of the time we do. It’s exhausting to fragment and deny. Its detracting from focusing on the work, the journey in front of us. It prevents us from meeting amazing people with similar interests. It causes us to lose confidence, increase anxiety. Why cause more heartache for ourselves? Here’s what I think: We can have it ALL. Fly the “freak flag”, yo. Take it all in. Merge your many facets. We can, in fact be Chucks- and tiara-wearing Royal Rebels.

 

courtesy of the extraordinary @buff_82

Marianne Williamson and one of my favorite writers, Sonia Choquette, Ph.D, advise that while society programs us to question whether or not we are “beautiful”, we are more vulnerable to the LIE the further we detach from our selves. Our self-awareness, our beliefs, our hopes, our connection with our Higher Power, whatever that may be. And how do we connect with our self-awareness? YUP. By acknowledging EVERYTHING we are. By not fragmenting ourselves. By embracing all of our strengths and challenges. By recognizing, not segregating, owning what is OURS. This is the pathway to bliss, the pathway to authenticity.

“Authenticity: ‘the courage to be imperfect, set boundaries, and be vulnerable’ “

The above quote was from Dr Brene Brown, a researcher, professor and writer on the very important and essential topics of shame, resiliency and authenticity. Thanks to the sublimely lovely @TheUrbanWhisk, I stumbled upon Dr Brown’s amazing work. Check her enchanting messages of hope, courage and authenticity here: Ordinary Courage

This is what we may look like once we begin The Merge and Balance of our fragmented souls:

Yippee! I love salt, Rumi, fanfiction, dance movies and office supplies! 

So how does becoming more You, More Other, More Authentic look in the 3D world? Well, for me, it started with the meeting of my Cyber Sisters and fellow KSIBTU Crew gals…it’s progressed into following the Miracle Bubbles to the Healing Center for my new counseling practice…then introducing myself to the Spanish Lounge’s staff to set up a singing audition…and will probably culminate in me linking Musings to my Facebook pals. Its the small steps towards embracing my Other…I probably won’t wear my I UNF FOR KSTEW tee-shirt to the family wedding I’m attending this weekend. But you can bet your sweet asses I’ll be wearing it for my first singing gig at the Lounge.

courtesy of CafePress and @buff_82. again.
See why she’s a Goddess?

Let’s talk about this week’s Rebellious Royals, shall we? I’m featuring another ginger, kids, I know, big shocker. Why not? The redheads seem to be the penultimate rebels don’t they? Shirley Manson, singer, songwriter, activist, actress certainly embodies all the great qualities of Otherness.

Featured Rebel Royal: Shirley Manson

Not only was a fan of hers and her band GARBAGE for the ten years and beyond, but I simply fell in love her all over again and wanted to give her massive props for her very public defense of our Other Queen Kristen in a Facebook Memo. Quite honestly, if you haven’t been a fan of Shirley’s already, I think now, my fellow Musers and Team Other mates, you NEED to be, simply on principle. Like. NOW. Here’s the link to her full passionate note: SHIRLEY MANSON’S NOTE
And here is an an Excerpt: 

Why are people so turned off by Kristen Stewart?!?!?!
I don’t get it.
I think she’s the best thing about the entire Twilight franchise.
Absolutely.
She’s delicious to look at.
She’s a talented actress.
(I don’t care what anyone else has to say about her acting because I think she behaves EXACTLY the way me and all my pals did around that age of the character she is playing so THERE!)
AND she’s articulate.
And she’s a little shy.
And clearly very thoughtful.
What’s not to love?
I hate it when she gets trashed.
It hurts my teenage self
SAVE OUR SMART GIRLS
SAVE THEM NOW

Ms Shirley Manson lives and works in Los Angeles now, but hails originally from Edinburgh, Scotland. Known for her distinctive voice, her personal lyrics and rebellious attitude, Shirley gained international success and acclaim with her band Garbage in the mid to late 1990’s. She began her musical career as a backup singer and keyboardist for the Scottish band Goodbye, Mr Mckenzie. She caught the eye of record producers who approached her to release an album as a solo singer. In 1993, she released her solo album performing under the name of Angelfish. It was her solo efforts that grabbed the attention of her future bandmates of Garbage. The band invited Shirley to record an album with them. The result was the mega-successful, grammy-winning Garbage. She remains with the band after another three albums. The songs Stupid Girl, Only Happy When It Rains, and #1Crush are among the most recognized songs of the Alternative Rock movement of the Nineties and early 2000s.

Shirley cites a difficult social upbringing for her forays into “rebel life”. According to biography, Shirley was bullied in her first years of secondary school, leading her to suffer depression and utilize self-injurious behaviors such as cutting and substance use. With forays into shoplifting, truancy and delinquency, Ms Manson was largely absent from any form of structured education system.

Beauty Marks: 1. Distinctive voice 2. Female front for an all-male band 3. Honestly discloses personal experiences with low self-esteem, stress and anxiety. 4. Overcame her self-defeating behaviors to become a voice for social issues and awareness of animal mistreatment

Offenses of Otherness: (per Other Hunters, Schoolyard Bullies and Ass Clowns) 1. Wears short skirts with Tall Boots 2. Wears clothing that accentuates her feminine attributes 3. Outspoken in her activism 4. Brutally honest in lyric-writing, citing controversial issues such as self-mutilation and substance abuse.

In addition to her songwriting and fronting for Garbage and her various solo musical projects, Shirley is an acitivist and participant in raising awareness for cancer research for children, several AIDS research groups and PETA. She experienced the heartbreak of being a bully victim, and turned her previously self-harming coping skills into activism. Because she speaks up for the oppressed, overlooked, and misunderstood, Shirley Manson is Rebel Royalty.

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

Our lovely Ms. Stewart has begun Beatnik Bootcamp in Montreal, Canada this week. Gone are the mis-shapen, frizzy Bella Swan wigs, and in their place are Kristen’s natural, strawberry-blonde locks for the embodiment of the iconic figure of Mary Lou in the film adaptation of On The Road. Kristen told reporters on the Eclipse press junket that she has been attached to On The Road for a few years now, but is so pleased and relieved to finally reveal her participation in the story she refers to as her “first favorite book ever”. Already, movie critics are praising the casting of our Other Queen in the role as MaryLou, not only for her impressive status as a result of The Twilight Saga, but due to an observable maturity and depth in her extraordinary acting talents.

Beauty Marks: 1. Reveling in her domestic goddess ways, baking pies for cast mates and press junket interviewers 2. Supports her friends’ projects publicly, despite knowing paparazzi will be there 3. Completely dedicated to embodying all faults and assets she posses 4. Gifted in physical movement: Juggles, golfs, throws spiraling footballs with precision (in 4-inch heels while sick no less! See the now-legendary Jimmy Fallon appearance)

Offenses of otherness (per Other-Hunters, Bullshit People, AssClowns): 1. Keeps composure despite intrusive photographers’ insults as she attends public events 2. Does not confirm or deny her personal relationship with Rob Pattinson 3. Is awkward and uncomfortable 4. Is honest in her reactions, but shy and cerebral in interviews. (This confuses people who want to categorize her by a singular emotion.)

This week, as Kristen prepared to be out of the country and away from her home, friends and family, she made headlines simply for stepping out with Rob to attend a show in support of musician friend Bobby Long. The reigning Other Queen wants to enjoy her limited time with her beloveds. In the aftermath of the chaotic world-gallivanting promo tour, Kristen is preparing to immerse herself in work again, which is something that she not only loves doing, but marks her impressive dedication to her craft. Once she returns from her On The Road filming, Kristen will delve into preparation for filming Breaking Dawn parts 1 and 2. With her departure to Montreal, as usual, the BullShit People, fame whores and Ass Clowns crawl out of the woodwork to concoct wild rumors and speculation.

LIGHTBULB MOMENT: These shit-stirrers who call themselves “fans” may be why some of us try avoid claiming any association with the “Twilight fandom”. And instead attempt to redefine the true meaning of support and appreciation for Kristen, Rob and Twilight. Some of the more extreme (i.e. stalkers, fame whores and embarrassingly delusional) followers in this fandom sure know how to degrade and misrepresent, don’t they??

Talk all you want. We’re still going home together.

While the “fans” work themselves into a foamy lather, our girl Kristen and her Rebellious Partner in Crime Rob don’t appear to bat an eyelash. Perhaps this is the greatest indicator that Kristen and Rob are balanced, un-fragmented, whole spirits: they know each other and themselves well enough; have confidence in their chosen friends and beloveds (did you see how TomStu and Sam shielded Kristen from the Other-Hunters at Bobby’s concert?) to cast away the doubt, nonsense and hate from their awareness in pursuit of their bliss confidently, calmly, wholly.

Smoothing The Splinters

Because I am letting the inner therapist and the neglected musician follow the path of the Bliss-Pursuing Other Queen, I am moving towards embracing my Otherness as a Chucks-and-tiara-wearing Rebel Royal. 

Because she turned her experience of victimization into a distinctive voice in defense of neglected, forgotten and persecuted Others, Shirley Manson is an Other Queen.

Because she adamantly refuses to give into the jeers, insults and rumors meant to tear her apart, and instead keeps her focus on her craft and the path ahead of her; within company of encouraging beloveds who know all of her, Kristen Stewart is the reigning Other Queen.

I am Other.

Shirley is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others know that embracing the whole is the greatest rebellion.

Embrace Your Other.

Question: What can you do to bring your splintered roles, interests and loves closer together?

A/N: Did you enjoy the Special Edition Musings this week, with guest writer Bouffant? Did you let her know here or on Twitter? She’s @Bouffant00. I am off to be in my 3D world, and may even be on a plane as you read this. I am spending time with my family and attending a cousin’s wedding. Then, N and I are flying off to Hawaii for a week with my mother, to introduce her to the islands that are so very special to me. She hasn’t been before. I don’t know for absolute certainty that I’ll post next Thursday per usual. But The Muses are so very unexpected, so I may very well hole up on the patio with a cocktail and babble away at you again. I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, please check out my girls’ projects: Visit @Bouffant00 of course, and also @Buff_82. Buff is a goddess, we’ve established this. A photographer and graphic design genius, even though she denies it. Go visit her on Twitter and on FanFic.net as she is the author of Eclipsed Heart (completed) and Redeem Me. Obviously check out CC’s brilliant @KStewsbtrthanu because she’s outrageously gifted and clever, and she’s my sister. Join @TheUrbanWhisk‘s culinary adventure on her gorgeous blog celebrating all things food. See my profile here and peek at the blogs I follow, give love to my girls @Takemetobliss, @Frayo and @Jwink…the possibilities are endless. Many thanks to Marble Pole, Puss, Kathryn My Manager, Julie, and Clog-Wielding Queen. To the lovelies who helped me brainstorm the name of “the magical little practice”: You stun me. Lastly, as usual, my Cyber Sisters/Readers/3D friends, I’ll see you in the morning, like everyday. LOVE YOU.

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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