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The Gathering

14 Jun
A/N:  Images displayed on this anniversary post are not mine–Thank The Goddess for Tumblr, Imagebam & Pinterest. No copyright infringement intended. Click the image to link directly to its origins. Musical inspirations listed at the bottom of post.  Words usually pre-read by a luminous team of Rebel Beauties, but not today. These garbled ramblings in all their flaws and glories are mine, all mine.

Four Years . . .

My loveliest, most Majestic of Misfits, it is nice to see you. More than nice, really, though I’m actually indescribably happy to be here, writing, connecting with you.  In efforts to gently reacquaint, I’ll just ease in for a moment or two, in small increments. It has been, after all, a year since we last chatted. And much, of course, splendidly, has surmised. The inception of this little gathering space we call MOO occurred  four. years. ago. 

UKElle2

I’ve been working on novellas, “shorts”, or “Muselets” as I’ve called them, for a week now. And today’s little post is simply a hello note, one bursting with gratitude, but a greeting nonetheless. It has been a long time since I’ve written in this forum, on WordPress, and I’m eager and timid and elated all at once. Thank you for bearing with me as I re-acclimate. I hadn’t known I was going to publish today, but here I am, and would you mind terribly if I shared a little story? 

Kristen Stewart, Self Assignment, May 2014

MOOing Pages

Writers I’ve admired, from Carolyn See of the Literary Life, Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) and now the great Diana Gabaldon, poet and sire of my all consuming love (Outlander) remind me: return to your roots, do not let the muscle atrophy, do not let yourself become stagnant. Write. Write. Write every single day. I have not been writing every single day, and I am suffering because of it. Carolyn See says 1500-2000 words a day. Julia Cameron encourages the writing of Morning Pages. Morning pages unlock, they clear the space.  The MP invite and do not judge and instead allow a forum to just be, bestowing freedom and space. That freedom is endless and boundless and I’m struggling with wanting to go back and correct typos and add grammar and punctuation and that is exactly the point of MPs–let go of the “shoulds” and tear down the barriers to creativity.  A recent addition in my life, a work consultant called Mr O’Donnell recommended I return to what nourishes me. Do I know what that is? he asked. Yes. I know what that is. *looks lovingly towards you* 

The words below are this morning’s Morning Pages, or MOOing Pages, I’ve referred to them, because they’re my lighthouse, beckoning me home. They led me to piecing this Muselet together today, when I had least expected. The sentences are unedited, missing serious punctuation, and obscenely affronting to all grammar manuals, but meh. MOOing pages do not judge.

writing again 2014

* * *

morning pages PDX version, saturday 10.30AM

song: Roses and Wine by Diego Garcia

Seated in a Portland coffee shop, trying to take stock of my previous 36 hrs, catching up finally on #TheRover goodies, seeing that #AmericanUltra wrapped… Since chatting with you all, I met one of my favorite authors (the spectacularly talented and inspiring Diana Gabaldon of #Outlander). Ms Gabaldon spoke of the writing process, kilts (paying winking respects to Sam Heughan’s authentic Scottish identity, bless), and character development and I swear I could float away on a cloud forever now that it seems I’ve found another muse for Otherness in the diminutive force of nature named Diana, Creator of Badass, Brilliant English Women (Claire Randall Fraser) and her gallant warrior King of Men (James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser).

So, in driving home from the Diana Gabaldon event, starved, dehydrated and with a dead cell phone (none of this foreign to me, I am an original Twilight fangirl for God’s sake) I was pulled over by a cop hell-bent on lecturing me on the virtues of safe driving (what in GOD’S name had me driving so fast? Did I not see the STOP SIGN? Only one earbud allowed while driving, did you know this?) but in the end, Mr Policeman didn’t fine me; instead he generously granted me personalized directions to my ultimate destination of In-N-Out Burger at 130AM. Girl’s got priorities, you know.

Operating on 2.5 hours of sleep, I trudged to work (my new job as of two months ago is working with county mental health programs to ensure counseling is made available to low and no-income consumers), and took refuge in a hazel-nut flavored coffee brewed by the office’s Keurig coffeemaker.

I took a working lunch in which I pulled on my journalist’s hat (more closely resembling a knit beanie with unraveling edges), and ducked away into a small conference room in which I could gather my thoughts and prepare for an interview with a very eloquent, talented musician namedGarrett Williams, founder and lead singer/guitarist of #EvolutionBeat, a contemporary ska band. This would mark my second interview with a rock star in my side gig as contributor and music reviewer for LASF Magazine, an arts, culture and entertainment publication based in Los Angeles and San Francisco, my two home turfs, incidentally. For nearly one hour (save the ten minutes I fumbled with my session microphone, causing, to my utmost embarrassment, the call to drop), Mr Williams and I chatted the transmutation of ska music, Dolly Parton, Scottish bagpipes and broken bones while deciding that we are helpless to the lure of music and its healing properties.

I grabbed a northbound plane after work last night, and sat in aisle seat in the emergency exit row.  I had the fleeting thought that I would be a worthless hero to anyone, should we need to exit the giant vessel via side panels. I had no jacket, thin, ballet flats for shoes, and my dinner had consisted of corn chips, whose salt crumbs still clung to my lips. I’m pretty sure I saw the flight attendant’s eyes flit over them while she explained the emergency evacuation protocol to my aisle mates. She may have then switched her attention to the strapping men who stationed themselves in front of the actual 30-pound removable doors and could actually be of assistance in the event of a water landing. However, I am a pretty braw swimmer, so I may be redeemable after all. 

* * *

So…. That is how I found myself in Portland, Oregon, hanging out in a stuffed arm chair by a fireplace, even though it’s the summertime. One wouldn’t know  it was mid-June if basing this observation on the constantly overcast, cool and damp Portland weather, but let me tell you, fireplaces are kinda wonderful.  Especially as I settle in to connect with you all and tell you what I hope to do, to tell you about MOO in its latest, most honest incarnation. 

Four of Words

I’ve been blessed with having this space, and you wonderful readers to share with for four years. In the next few days (weeks?), I’ll post a series of new short essays paying homage to elements that have emerged as a result of Musings On Other Queens’ creation. For instance: The celebration of WORDS…. Four years of rejoicing in interview quotes from Kristen Stewart and fellow Other Ambassadors.

“Someone saw an old movie I was in, The Safety of Objects, and realized that the little boy in it had grown up into this girl — me.”  ~ Kristen Stewart 

%22BeHealthy%22 tumblr_moo2galcEn1rom6zso1_500

Four years of sharing, exchanging,  and falling in love with new stories that bind us in a shared admiration for coherency and eloquence and the written word, and the emotions and images associated with those words.

7f3aa8ae11cc9e7472f23edee5434d3d

Four of Redefining

We’ll also explore a new entry for the Other Anthology: Transparency.  I’ll tell you about my LA-SF road trip in which I gallivanted around my home cities with dear friends @robkris13 @mel452 and then viewed the Sundance presentation of  Kristen’s film CAMP X-RAY. Some of my lovely girls of the Bay Area joined me for Q & A session with Camp X-Ray’s director Peter Sattler post showing  in which praise and accolades for Kristen were reverent and abundant. Transparency indeed.

PvtColeXRay

Four of Red

A third Muselet queued up to post this week will speak to the color RED, as we’ve seen over four years, indicators of our Rebel Roots and bold declarations of UN-convention. Starting with the very FIRST Kristen Stewart picture posted on Musings On Other Queens June 3, 2010. 

Kristen Elle 2010

FIRST RED 2010

and..

CannesBeautyRed  2014

CANNES BEAUTY RED 2014

Do you see where I’m going with this, my Other Warriors?  Still with me? Ok. So I’ll be seeing you around the hood.

Always, KJ ❤

P.S. Thanks for hanging with me these four glorious years

P.P.S. And thanks for having me back. Rambling and law-breaking and all. #OtherOn

Embrace Your Other.

 * * *

Fourth Anniversary Playlist
Wildest Moments ~ Jessie Ware
I Wanna Get Better ~ Bleachers
Only Love ~ Ben Howard
 This Much I Know ~ Speak
Gotta Have You ~ The Weepies
Meant ~ Elizaverta
My Song 5 ~ HAIM

MOO Memoirs: BD or Bust Pt 1

13 Nov
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 belong to yours truly. Click the button over heee-yah to subscribe to MOO and receive posts in your email————————————>

Guise. GUUUUISEEEE. We’ve been trying to keep this sssimple, right? I know. I know. I’m about a week late, and a few days off usual posting schedule, and all the while there has been epic occurrences nearly every single hour for our Reigning Other Queen Kristen and her brilliant, beautiful Warrior Poet Consort Robert. But it’s beyond the realm of reality now for me to keep up with all the updates in our Royal Rebels’ lives, at least these days it is, as we are in the weekend before the World Premiere of Breaking Dawn. 

This post commences an experimental format for Musings, one I’ll use when I’m on the road (as I am now), and/or when the amount of fantastical rebelliousness is off-the-chain-insane and abundant (again, as it is now). You all know I’m a chatty one, and one of my biggest challenges has been to  find a way to Muse On Otherness in a succinct fashion. Um. #BigFATFail

well, when pictures like this surface, how can ANYONE focus?

Well, maybe it’s because it’s obscenely overwhelming to simply pick one or two events to talk about in the sea of greatness during the Breaking Dawn promo tour currently in the works (annnnd do not get me started on the SWATH stills, banners and TRAILER just yet, mmkay?); also, because I have had not one day off since the start of my newest job three weeks ago; and maybe because I’m only able to read drabble fics these days, we’re doing smaller doses of Musings for a bit so as to cover the insurgence of incredible #RoyalRebelGoodness. 

Leeeegggggs

For those of you who don’t know what “drabble” means, it’s simple. Fewer words, posted more frequently, it packs a profound punch, and is often addicting. Basically, I get to take a crack at that elusive succinctness (which I’m already failing at, seeing I’m several paragraphs into ramblings, but anyhoo); We get to see The Pretty; we get to do some Musings On The Pretty, and we get to chat and convene more often!! So let’s get into it. We’ve got a loooooot to talk about in this, my first attempt at MooDrabble

Connecting Again

Here’s the ‘Memoir’ part of the MOODrabble.  Do you know where I am right now? Well, right now, I’m actually visiting my mother and doing my laundry in a bit of a mini-break. I am about to grab some breakfast with mom (after I hit ‘PUBLISH’) and then some friends will pick me up and bring me back to The Nokia Theater and #TentCity, where I had been hanging out for the past few days. Literally. 

I flew from my place in Northern Cali to L.A. on Wednesday of this week. And as I was listening to the supremely awesome Breaking Dawn Soundtrack on my iPhone (in AirplaneMode), I found myself itching to write. It occurred to me how disconnected I’d been from the physical act of writing. Since I started my new (and third) job about three weeks ago, I have not had a single day off. I was not writing anymore. I missed the physiological response of a calm contemplation that usually trickled over me. I was feeling disconnected from this community and my Musings readers and Other Queen Kristen Stewart even though phenomenally wonderful things were happening for everyone this week. When Kristen joined the promo tour, the Heavens rejoiced. But I couldn’t enjoy it with you all.  Hence, the VOM BAG. 

 

Awww, the birth of The MOO Memoirs. I was reading a handwritten love letter from my dearest @DeeDreamer16 while on the plane down to L.A. And not only was I astounded by the brilliant poetry on the stationary in my hands–not that Dee isn’t a poet, she is a sublime writer–but I gratefully embraced the the tranquility that washed over me as I pulled out my own pen and sought out material surface on which I could write. I’ve always written thoughts down on any available resource–napkins, my hands, my mini-journal, sweatshirts…vomit bags. This particular day, as I grabbed the paper sick basket from the magazine holder in front of me, I felt no “Motion Discomfort”. I felt like I had come home. Lovely connecting thought: The first draft of Musings On Other Queens in May 2010 was borne from scribbles on a Vom Bag. It’s almost synchronicity that the birth of MOO Memoirs as I fly towards the site of the Breaking Dawn premiere also manifested on a paper bag designed to hold purged stomach contents. Because it’s purging time, babies.

A Convention of Beauty

We’re gonna talk about everything that we can. The journey to the Breaking Dawn Premiere including my near-altercation with some Russians when I had to shove my way off the plane to watch the newly released #SWATH Trailer…

I mean, seriously. I. CAN. NOT.

…and the adventures I’ve had since arriving here. But we’ll also talk about the amazing week of promotional gorgeousness we’ve witnessed in the days leading up to this stellar weekend.

Dear Kristen, I know we haven’t formally met, but Holy Hell I am beaming with ridiculous pride for you as if you are of my flesh and blood. This is a BFD.

Love, Me

um, hellllo, beautiful

Summation: This first  MOO Memoir is to give you the 411. Musings in smaller increments, more frequently. Cool? It’ll serve as a little road map for the next week too, I hope.

For instance, the next MooDrabble will include the story of my interaction with Scummit event planners and security…and we will certainly pause to gape at:

and

touching feet forever. #thud

and

Annnnd, to wrap up this first post of the series, I wanted to share with you all the glorious talents of my girl @Jhiggs86, purveyor of beautiful KSIBTU Art…

These are the signs I have with me for the Premiere. They are my cues and signposts to Kristen and Robert that I am in the sea of people at the Nokia Theater giving a Rebel Yell of “OTHER ON!”

mesmerized? I am.

So come and find me at #TentCity or look for me on the Black Carpet at the Premiere…Say hey and let’s talk Other and Royal Rebellion and Unconventional Beauty right there on the sparkling (appropriately so) sidewalks of L.A. Live, mmmkay? See you soon!!!

A/N: I Luff you guys. Thanks for bearing with me through this rough transitional time as I hammer out a posting schedule and maintain my sanity…. MOO Memoirs Part 2 later today! xo, KJ

PLAYLIST for THE MOO MEMOIRS 

*Playlist is the same throughout the series unless noted

Acid Tongue ~ Jenny Lewis

We Wont Run ~ Sarah Blasko

Riot Rhythm ~ SleighBells

The Sea ~ Morcheeba

Sail ~ AWOLnation

Young Blood ~ The Naked and Famous

We Are Mad To Live

27 Oct
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 belong to moi. Musical playlist and Shout-outs at the bottom, including birthday wishes. Click “Subscribe” in the side panel to receive MOO in your Email…over heeeyah——->

“…the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding…”

~Jack Kerouac

Hey my Royal Rebels and Other Warriors! How’s it hanging? Lotssss of stuff going on right now, yeah?  Honestly, while it’s all positive, I’m a bit overwhelmed. So let’s focus and just dive in because there’s much to discuss. We last met about two weeks ago and, of course, in that time, the sky lit up with Royally Rebellious fireworks.

This month GlamourStew and the stunning British GQ article (which we’re discussing today) debuted…and the European Breaking Dawn promo tour commenced with our Warrior Poet Robert Pattinson leading the charge through Paris, Belgium and Sweden (looking dapper all the way through). Just this morning, our Reigning Other Queen transcended the realm which we mere mortals reside, into a Goddess via GlamourUK. . .

O_o….Let’s back that thing up, mmmkaaay? We’ll get to GlamourUK next time. Promise. On a personal note, I’ve encountered a few jarring bumps in the road as well, which tested my resilience and abilities for self-preservation. It was so very apt that my last full Musings was a call to Armour-Up because the moment I pushed “PUBLISH” on that essay, I found myself pulling on my boxing gloves. For a few days after writing about self-preservation and defending my worth, I found myself not speaking to my husband, and several times, in bouts of tears in different public places, including the laundromat and a science museum…and in front of my dear friend @kate_Suena via Skype. (Thank you, Katie for holding the space for me, and for reacting appropriately to my anguish).

I needed to speak up. I felt disrespected and dismissed. I had to remind myself of all the times I’ve asked you all to embrace The Good even when we don’t always believe it; and accept Otherness as desirable even though it can be alienating and daunting. My husband  N has not always understood my choices to pursue Bliss, and he was disconnected from my passionate involvement with Musings. He did not understand my essential drive behind seeking a peaceful coexistence for Otherness, (though he is an Other Rebel himself) nor did he see the bond I have with you all…not even when we initially encountered this: 

This is an angklung. It is a musical instrument comprised of bamboo tubes mounted on a bamboo frame. The tubes are carved to produce a resonant pitch that sings out when shaken or struck. Check it out on Google and YouTube to hear it’s dulcet, warm tone. Folks play symphonies and Top 4o Hits on these bad boys!! They are popular throughout Southeast Asia, but originated in West Java, Indonesia, from where my husband originally hails.

The picture above is of the actual instrument in my house. It was a gift from a lovely  Musings Reader named Icha (@ichaluvcat). Icha lives in beautiful Indonesia, in the Bandung region. When she heard that N was in Indonesia last month, she arranged to have the gift sent to him. N brought it home in pieces in a box that he carried on his lap for the duration of the 20 hour flight back to California.

Before boarding the flight, he called to tell me in an awed voice that his countrywomen’s gift for me was incredible. Icha, according to N, wanted to express her gratitude for what Musings provided for her. And then for the first time ever, N started to realize that Musings, and this collective, cohesive journey we’re on together as Riotous Rebels is bigger than he could  comprehend. He [hopefully] began to see that his disregard and dismissal of my pursuit of Bliss and my work with Musings actually disregards and dismisses me.

I wanted to share the story of the angklung with you to illustrate a few concepts: firstly, you Majestic Misfits are everywhere. Other. Is. Everywhere. I am thrilled. Icha is literally on the other side of this planet in Indonesia, and yet, we are able to connect over our admiration of an Unconventional Beauty named  Kristen Stewart, but also on the idea of pursuing bliss and embracing Otherness.

we get IT.

Secondly, Icha’s unbelievable kindness began to smooth over the sharp fragments that jutted between my husband and I, and he is finally understanding that it is no longer an option to separate me from Musings, and my pursuit of Bliss (as I define it). It’d be as if separating me from a limb.

An age-old idea that we’ve discussed several times in MOO. We do not need to exist in pieces, in fragments. I’ve made peace with the idea that I do not have to splinter myself to ease the discomfort of someone else. It is such a waste, and it makes me less than whole..less alive, less sensitive, less aware, less authentic. Ms Kristen appears to have arrived at a similar conclusion as of late. We’ve witnessed our Reinging Other Queen as she recognizes and introduces her authentic, whole self  as well. And it’s been absolutely captivating.

Kristen Emerging 

 As we transitioned into this beautiful month of October, we were still trying to catch our breath from the stunning Marcus Foster music video–featuring the desolately beautiful Ms Stewart–and we watched the video claim it’s title as the most viewed/downloaded video of MSN in 2011 (fist-bumps fellow OtherQueen supporters). We also caught glimpses  obsessively looped the official trailer for Breaking Dawn:—-> 

And oh my gawd, suddenly, what a sweet, sweet surprise!  There’s Ms Stewart in her California Girl Glory sitting barefoot and smiling on the cover of the U.S. Edition of Glamour.

Wrung out and panting by this point, I don’t think any of us saw what came next. Biz-ZAM.

DAY-um

 “I looked like a boy for a long time. Now I feel like a woman.” 

You guise. YOU. GUISE. I don’t know where you were when the British GQ pictures and subsequent glorious interview surfaced, but I know that my knees buckled and all coherence seeped out through my mouth, which was agape. Pre-GQ, we knew this much: Kristen has been living in London for the past few months as she works on what looks to be the incredible film Snow White and the Huntsman. We knew that due to her responsibilities to SWATH, she cannot be as visible a fixture in the upcoming  Breaking Dawn promo tour we’ve enjoyed in previous circulations. In short…We missss her. We don’t see her as often as we’d like.

However, now we know, with the help of her Glamour article and this brilliant, gorgeous Norman Jean Roy-photographed British GQ interview, that Kristen Jaymes Stewart is present. Aware, confident, grounded, and knowing. She is vital…alive…burn,burn,burning…and here. She is okay with that. And she lets us know she’s okay with that.

I loved this article, madly. I loved everything about it, not the least, the styling. While far from an original idea, Classic Hollywood Glam still is devastatingly beautiful on Kristen. And I love how feminine and vital Kristen is when styled this way. It’s fitting that she reports feeling more like “a woman” now. With her dark red lips and vintage lingerie and swimwear only the feminine divine presides. The interviewing journalist was Jonathan Heaf, senior contributing editor for GQ, and he opened the article in an intriguing, complimentary fashion, by highlighting  characteristics and behaviors that our Reigning Queen of Other did not display. No, instead Mr Heaf observed Kristen’s beauty and the steps she’d take to ensure privacy and anonymity (“her voice drops to a whisper as another customer clatters through…”)  He doesn’t fault her for her self-protective mannerisms.

 “Kristen has been watched. And Watched. And trailed. And stalked. And Hunted.”

Rebel Renaissance

So this awareness we’ve talked about today–Kristen has it in spades. This wasn’t always the case, she acknowledges. She understands that she didn’t always exhibit welcoming, accessible vibes, especially at the onset of the Twilight fixation in 2008. She reports that at age thirteen, already five years into her film career, she was “bitterly self-conscious”, and distractedly so. But it’s present-day, twenty-one-year-old Kristen who exudes a startling grounded energy, sans the bitterness.

Instead of concentrating on not botching up an interview answer, she is self deprecating and humble but also cognizant that she is fallible. While acutely aware of the gossip mongers, BullShit People, The Critics, The Haters,  the various warring camps of “Stens”(folks who adamantly support the idea that she and fellow Royal Rebel Robert Pattinson are in a romantic relationship or not), she replies “I don’t worry about it at all” And she repeats a mantra that has long been effective and essential to this warrior queen:

“I like to keep whatever is mine remaining that way.”

I am only going to gloss over the next part of the interview for the small handful of you who haven’t read it yet. During her photo shoot on the previous day, Kristen was overheard mentioning her wish to see more of the UK as, “My boyfriend is English”. Of course, when Mr Heaf broached the subject with her during their interview the following day, our fiercely protective Royal visibly tenses and says:

“I never would have said that if I knew you were  going to be interviewing me.”

This exchange is significant in that Kristen made the rare inference to her personal life, and instead of denying, diffusing or ignoring the inquiry, she concedes to Heaf’s verbalized observation of the mass quantities of evidence available on the world wide web that has captured Ms Stewart and British-born Pattinson together in countless photos or videos.  Citing the accessibility of her personal life via Google, Ms Stewart sighs,

“Come on, Guys, it’s so obvious.”

I can share with you what feels ‘obvious’ to me. We are watching a young woman who previously felt unprepared–and was criticized by the Bullshit People for ‘not playing The Game’–thrive, evolve and mature and settle. And I mean that in the sense of a cultivated confidence and acceptance, a tranquility that wasn’t there a couple years ago, maybe not even seven months ago. She didn’t react defensively when Jonathan Heaf alluded to her  perceived “notorious sulky-slacker vibe”.  She instead acknowledges that she was a particularly self-conscious kid trying to find a niche amongst her peers while also working a very unconventional job. Admittedly, while Kristen didn’t become defensive at the comment, I did.

It irks me endlessly that a person cannot possess discernment and be contemplative without having the “sulky, aloof, moody” label slapped across her forehead and reputation. I digress. See, this is why Kristen Stewart is an Ambassador for Other on the Homecoming Float. She acknowledges and assents to her many facets–warm, fuzzy and otherwise–and recognizes their essentialness in comprising who she is…as a woman..wholly.

A New Dawn

We’re all starting  new adventures together I think. Some of you have been apart of this community from the beginning, early 2008 or sooner. I joined not too much later–late summer 2008, circa Vanity Fair photo shoot time, before Twilight was released as a film. In just a couple weeks, we’ll be camping out in line for the the premiere and the midnight shows for Breaking Dawn.  Kristen will be wrapping up her SWATH filming near the end of November/early December, but not before taking a few days to promote and celebrate the premiere of the final Twilight installment: Breaking Dawn, Part 1. There are the TV interviews (Yay, she’ll be on Ellen for the first time!) And the handprint ceremony (Grauman’s Theater may shake in the thunderous screams for Kristen, Rob and Taylor as their famous appendages are immortalized–Fingers crossed that Kristen wears her Chucks!).

As mentioned earlier, Rob has been the tour master across Europe this week, and he’s done a mighty fine job of it. Like his partner Kristen, he also appears more grounded, settled and alive as of late. Certainly joyful and…less inhibited than we’ve seen.

Perhaps it’s because the seminal characters he and Kristen portray onscreen are a settled, assured unit finally. It has, after all, been four years since we met the star-crossed pair.

Or maybe Rob appears content and more centered because he feels content and centered. He and Kristen have trudged through theTwi maelstrom with linked arms. Both professionally and personally, they have crafted and maintained a tight-knit, highly respectful partnership that is joyful to behold.

And my silly arse will see that electric chemistry in-person!! Yep. I’m heading down to Los Angeles to attend the premiere at the Nokia Theater. I always believe that everything is worth trying at least once, so this year that philosophy is going to be applied practically on November 14. I haven’t attended a film festival  Q & A nor any of the Comic Cons yet, so I figured: we’re nearing the end of this journey, and it’s time. I’ll be in line for the wristbands for the viewing stands at 6AM on Thursday November 10. Will I see any of you lovelies there too? With carafes of coffee? And bagels?? If you’re there, let me know. Let’s chat Rebel Beauty in the morning.

The giddy newlyweds

Well, my beloveds, it’s super late here and I want to post this on a Thursday, like old times. I have 48 minutes left  to do that if I go by California time. I’ll have an hour more if I go by Hawaiian Time. Uh, so, Aloha and Mahalo. This isn’t a conclusion nor my usual Musings wrap up…just a brief rest. So we’ll pause here, to be continued next week. See you soon, Lovelies! xx, KJ

We Are Other.

Kristen Is Other.

Others are desirous of everything; mad to live.

Embrace Your Other.

*   *   *

Questions–Birthday Edition:  Thoughts on your own Rebel Renaissance (a renewal, a rebirth, new awareness) over the past year…?

Thoughts on our Other Queen’s GQ photo shoot and interview?

What is your Halloween costume?

Best Birthday you’ve had?

A/N: Birthday Shout-Outs to my October Birthday Girls down below. Be sure to wish them a happy day as well–you know these girls.  There are more things to chat about…always there is. We’ll get to them next time. GlamourUKStewGiveaways for GlamourUSA and BritishGQ…

GIVEAWAY DEETS next WEEK!!

Breaking Dawn Premiere Plans…

Rob’s candidness and rambling press conferences (seriously he provides unbelievable entertainment on the road).

*A new About KJ Sentence Completion has been added!! It’s the SPOOKY-BIRTHDAY Edition…

Oh…and in all this madness–

I got a new job. . .!! 

It’s Halloween a.k.a Embrace Your Other Day  

Pssst~Please don’t send gifts for my birthday, you sneaky, lovely ones. Instead I’ll request that you engage in Fair Philanthropy and learn about and consider donating to one of the organizations I support:

American Cancer Society 

American Red Cross 

Lupus Foundation of America 

It’s BIRTHDAY SEASON

Happy Birthday to My Lovelies:

Webby, Meow, Kristin75,

Nhess & DizzyLadybug

Playlist for this Essay

Acid Tongue ~ Jenny Lewis

We won’t Run ~ Sarah Blasko

Riot Rhythm ~ Sleigh Bells

The Sea ~ Morcheeba

Look Into The Air ~ Explosions in the Sky

What’s Behind The Door ~ Shady Bard

Girls, Put Your Armour On

10 Oct

You go ahead, let your hair down.

You’re gonna find yourself somewhere…somehow.

~Corinne Bailey Rae, Put Your Records On 

Hey everybody! I’m shaking my head because I realize this day is not Thursday, no matter how hard I wish for it to be. It’s looking like my “Update Day” really just became my “Think-about-writing-and-maybe-put-together-a-playlist Day”. Thank you for rolling with me. And this essay is gonna be all over the place, just to warn you. So much to talk about–and suddenly I’m feeling like I’ve little time. *pauses to think about it* Pffft. We’ll just write a dozen MOOs to cover it all if we must, ok? Let’s do this.

Fight Like A Girl 

So the title of this essay was rumbling around in mah head, to the tune of Corinne Bailey Rae’s lovely anthem of self-acceptance and our ability to make the choice to move forward even when we are knocked off-balance. The song, Put Your Records On, is on this week’s MOO Music Playlist, though it’s of a completely different genre than its accompanying selections. Do me a favor and sing along when the final swelling chorus erupts, “Girls, put your armour on!”  I found it incredibly satisfying. Or maybe that’s just me and I should put away my hairbrush-microphone and turn off my wind machine (aka floor fan). *ahem*

The message (or war cry) throughout the music (and the following Musings) is universal.

Despite our personal propensities towards introversion or extraversion; impulsivity or premeditation, we can create positive movement as long as we remain true to our personal missions and philosophies. And these personal beliefs and values we construct for ourselves–they are worthy of protection and support. They’re worth fighting for.

*Pauses a moment to breathe in the rain-soaked Fall air* Fall is my favorite time of year. I adore Fall. I live in Cali so I don’t actually see the seasonal shift, but I can feel and smell it…Crisp air stinging–not mine, not really, except when I’m down at the water–your cheeks; scents of wood-burning fires and cinnamon, and the pumpkin patches and jack-o-lantern creativity. This is also my favorite month. Not just because it’s my birthday month, but because October is the month where we have the free reign to #EmbraceOurOther in the form of wholly accepting our #Divergence #ShadowSides #AllThatWeAreAfraidToAdmitOutLoud…at least for one day. The great month of October also has mad boasting rights because it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month….

Every year, approximately 200,000 women and 1,700 men are diagnosed with breast cancer. Of the diagnosed, 40,000 women and 450 men will die. It is highly likely that we know or are connected to at least one person diagnosed with breast disease. It’s a BFD. It’s personal. My SIL’s mother and my own maternal grandmother had breast cancer.

I’m all about cultivating riots of hope here in Other-land, so I’m just gonna ask you all to blast through some of the more sobering statistics and use the knowledge as fuel for pro-activity. Do and be anything you feel comfortable with to spread the word about Breast Cancer Awareness this month. This could mean donating to cancer research organizations; signing up to participate in WALKS for the CURE, volunteering,WEARING PINK or simply SQUEEZING YOUR BOOBIES !! It’s all good  as long as we’re spreading the word, getting educated and having our cha-chas checked out for prevention and detection. Seriously. Get felt up and tell your posse to do the same. Breasts and lives depend on it. 

Armour Up

Speaking of Rebel Warriors and Tough Chicas, let’s check in with our Reigning Other Queen, yes? My, oh my, how she has kept us busy since we’ve last connected! We saw our girl’s long, glossy, Snow White locks when she popped by the Mulberry show in London during Fashion Week last month. We also knew, the creepers we are, that our girl had been working out and received tutelage from equestrian experts in preparation for the physically demanding role of the Rebel Royal Snow. All this preparation for the much-anticipated production of Snow White and the Huntsman. The film’s producers and creators had advised Comic Con audiences in July that SWATH aimed high–Lord of the Rings high; and we saw (and gasped and cheered) when the promotional photos for the film were released. So we knew all about that, or rather, we thought we knew all about it. However, when the photos from the set began surfacing and we caught our first glimpses of  Ms White on a Welsh beach atop her noble, white steed, leading the charge of revolution….? 

brb, gasping and flailing

Chills wound up and down my arms and I may have grown a little misty eyed, not gonna lie. I felt certain when I heard that Kristen took this role that she was meant to take this role. The pictures only confirmed it for me. Who better to represent an intensely courageous, exceptionally convicted, and passionately focused royal rebel than Kristen Jaymes Stewart?

So she’s armour-clad and leading her army towards confrontation. *Note* I am spelling the word armor/armour using The Queen’s English because, well, not only is Kristen in Britain working these next several months, and she is a royal rebel portraying a British Royal Rebel, but  also, her “boyfriend is English” (via GQSTEW next week), so I find it so very, very appropriate. This film production is based on the version penned by the Grimm Brothers, not Disney, quite obviously. And because we enjoyed the promo previews at Comic Con, we knew our girl would be suited up and armed with a shield and various badass weaponry. But to actually see her in costume, in character, working on a project unlike anything she has ever participated in before, I had this overwhelming thought:

There. She. Is. 

FEEL. IT.

Kristen Stewart as she is. Beneath the thick, steel barricade of a bodysuit, I believe this is the most congruent, centered, feminine and gracefully assured Kristen I’ve ever seen. She is in her element. She is tackling a complex and ambitious role with ferocity and determination, but in extension of what she loves most about her work: relating to and sharing a story. This story features a girl named Snow who finds strength within to defend her right to believe in what she believes, travel where she wishes, love as she wishes…to defend her right to live authentically.

Armour does provide protection and a near-impenetrable defense mechanism from any external sources intent on harming her. But it also serves as preservation and containment for the strength and capabilities she already has within. 

The Superhero

And these weeks, with the release of the almost-surreal images from the SWATH set and subsequent magazine interviews (that we’ll get to a bit later), I feel as if we’ve witnessed Ms Stewart embrace her multitude of strengths and abilities. And that they and she are worth defending.

While metal suits and sharp weapons can serve as armour, we also can equip ourselves with less tangible defense mechanisms: a sense of humor, a fierce shyness, a really, really ill-timed, bellowing laughter.  Or, like me, a proclivity for skipping town. Really. When uncomfortable and feeling vulnerable, I actually throw myself out into the bigger world and search for a new place–elsewhere. I moved something like seven times in about five years  (I simply refer to those sordid years as ’02 to ’07). It was all about a new apartment, new city, new boys as distraction….

Edward attempting to distract Bella from sexxin... with a staggering game o' chess.

A word about distraction: I became mesmerized and deterred…err distracted when I searched out images to plug-in emphasizing the level of distraction I encountered in the Time Known As ’02 through ’07…

Another example of distraction—–>How great is it that I typed in ‘Distraction’ into Pinterest and this picture came up? As Rob can attest, #DistractionByStew is a common affliction.

The best kind of distraction

I love Rob's blatant disregard for the photoshoot taking place.

Ok, sorry. Armour. Back to talking literal and metaphoric armour. When armour is used as a preserver of valuable internal assets, it can manifest in very impressive boundary-setting, as modeled by our Reigning Other Queen.

She greets inquiries into her personal and family life with radio silence, and perhaps the switching of topics. With Vogue earlier this year, Kristen simply responded to yet another question regarding her relationship with Robert Pattinson:

“It’s not my job”

To physically ground herself, she wears clothes in which she feels comfortable: her standard jeans, hoodie and Chucks. All of this in support and sustenance of  her basic though essential value:

Keep what’s yours, yours.

Another round of "Spot The Other Rebels"...annnnd GO

Preserving and supporting what you value most is a sign of self-respect and self care, something we all struggle with periodically…and for some, like me, sometimes, daily. Lets continue to push through our hesitancy in accepting The Good. Let’s be proactive. Let’s take our cues from our fellow Others around us, like Kristen her partner Robert. Let’s model ways to support and protect ourselves by implementing proactivity and preventative steps. And because it’s October, something proactive you can do is go get your boobies squeezed. It’s all about protection, friends.

A Glamourous Girl

As if we hadn’t already been stunned stupid with the SWATH photos and with images of Her Royal Highness charging forward with a rebel yell, we get a surprise magazine cover too.

Note the article’s title: The Real Kristen Stewart. Nope. Not a coincidence. While apparent to those of us Kristen-supporters for ages now, the fashion and movie industries are finally also recognizing that our Reigning Other Queen is flourishing. Perhaps her “real” persona was half-hidden all these years due to the confinements of her role in Twilight. Or maybe the naturally introverted Stewart was misquoted and misidentified by the Critics and Bullshit People as aloof and disconnected. Probably a combination of all the aforementioned. It’s no wonder she needed a particularly steely brand of armour to survive the brutal attacks of the last four years.

Lace and combat boots, your Highness? #OtherOn

An outtake only because it's just tooooo pretty perhaps?

The 'Real' Kristen Stewart will please stand up. hnnng.

In her Behind-The-Scenes video for the Glamour shoot–like with every other BTS vid (*ahem* Flaunt and W) Kristen is candid and accessible and even more beguiling than meets the eye. She admits she believes her pets talk to her, for Goddess’ sake! Of course I feel a kinship with her on many levels, and talking to my pets as if they would answer me back is just one connection. But it’s an important one.

Her voice is strong and clear. Knowing. 

The Glamour interview, as conducted by the Twilight Saga author Stephenie Meyer, was brief but not without some moments of brilliance. Ms Meyer asks Kristen if she has any advice about relationships to share with the magazine’s readers. Imparting sage words so very Kristen, our Reigning Queen says:

“…being honest and knowing yourself. Don’t be an asshole. That’s my advice. Don’t be mean. Don’t take shit. Don’t settle.”

While our Majestic Misfit wielded her protective gear as a defensive mechanism over the years, I believe we’re watching as she dresses in her armour, that it is not in avoidance, but rather in support and maintenance of all of her luminous qualities.

In celebration of their splendor. It’s an acknowledgement that confidence, conviction, strength, passion, humor, warmth, kindness and accessibility has always been real, and always been present.

She just knows it now. And she will defend it.

We Are Other.

Kristen Is Other.

Others recognize that they are worth the fight.

Embrace Your Other.

*   *   * 

Question(s): What is your armour (protector as well as defense mechanism)?

~Mine is running away into the world….and red, red lipstick. Oh, and a certain pair of knee-high boots.

What do you think of the emergence of Kristen’s SWATH photos? Glamour?

 *    *    *

A/N: We’re doing British GQ next time, folks.  And we’ve got LOTS to talk about: Breaking Dawn Premiere (I’m going!), Sam Bradley (I went! Again!), an Other Art Collaboration and another Giveaway (or two?)….SO MUCH!! I told ya, I’m willing to post a dozen MOOs to cover the greatness that is Kristen’s Rising.

I’m most likely closing down my personal Twitter Account–>@kjn52 by the end of this month. I’m running too many operations right now between Twatter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, WordPress and The Magical Little Practice.
I’ve nothing to hide from you all anyway. You know more about me now than some of my family.
You can chat me up at @MusingsOnOther
Thank Yous, gropes, sloppy kisses to the usual suspects: My Cyber Sisters, Good Reads Girls, MySmut&SmokesSisters, & my Twitter Lovelies of Team Other
Musical Playlist for This Essay:

Glory Box~ Portishead

Roll On~ dntl (featuring Jenny Lewis)

Shake it Out~ Florence + The Machine

Morricone: The Mission~ Yo-Yo Ma

We Won’t Run~ Sarah Blasko

Put Your Records Armour On~ Corinne Bailey Rae

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

Letters To Muses (and Whoa, W)

11 Aug
A/N: This is unbeta’d per usual. Please forgive me the typos, grammatical slips and bobbles. I do not own the images featured in today’s essay, and I try to embed the links to their original owners/creators . Just click the pics…Bowing down to Tumblr and my newest addiction inspiration Pinterest.

Dear loveliest Rebel Royals and Majestic Misfits,

I have become a big filthy liar…yet again. Last time I said that I’d return to the Musings format that included both What The Fangirl Learned  as well as feature a new Royal Rebel in this post, and that is simply not the case today I’m afraid. Nope. Not when I woke up this morning and was greeted with such epic goodness in the form of a new joint Kristen and Rob interview for Breaking Dawn as featured in Entertainment Weekly (aka The biggest Twi FanGirls aside from @JoshuaHorowitz). 

As you already knew, since a lot of you are in a different time zone than I, EW included a 7 page spread in this Fall Movie Preview Issue (there are other movies released this Fall, not that you would know it) featuring the much-sought-after-though-rare joint interview with our Reigning Other Queen Kristen and her always illuminating partner Robert Pattinson. One of Kristen’s biggest supporters, director Bill Condon, also discussed insight and thoughts on the filming process.

I won’t rehash the interview with you all, firstly because I don’t have the magazine in my paws at this moment and I would like to comment and respond to something concrete (I’m all tactile and shit); and secondly, because this time tomorrow, you all will have probably already read, memorized and maybe created a gorgeous Tumblr edit featuring your own very favorite quotes from that interview. So this is me merely letting you readers know that I think you’re super-swell, and I’d like to ask you for forgiveness for not posting a timely Musings nor one that highlights the topics I had hoped to discuss with you. We can savor the lovelieness of the EW pictures and article together, though mmkay? I figured you’re all cool with it. Especially after glimpsing sputter-inducing pictures like:

Edward, LOOK at your HAWT new wife! And you're playing CHESS?

And zingy exchanges between Kristen and Rob such as:

Kristen: Now that I’ve seen parts of it [the final movie], Jacob and Bella’s chemistry in this movie is better than it’s ever been.

Rob: [Faux-glares at Stewart]. So uncool. 

Rob and Kristen, I mean, Edward and Bella enjoying a stroll

Kristen: [On finishing the final filming of the saga] It was oddly emotional the first time I got to set and saw everything and everybody.

Rob: Yeah, you were really sweet when you first showed up.

Kristen: Oh, shush. 

They would go on to “shush” each other, and speak of marriage and relationships and machinations of “chewing” through the brutal, bloody childbirth scene….It’s a fantastic interview. One of their very best in recent memory. Comfortable, light, playful and teeming with intimacy and admiration. Great enough to prompt me to rethink my topic of discussion for today’s essay.

I figured I would speak about the risks and benefits of participating in the work we love–our life’s work–as prompted by observing the joy and pride Ms Stewart invests and reciprocates within her own craft. As we witnessed her confident enthusiasm at Comic Con last month,

and rejoiced along with her when she arrived in London to begin production of Snow White and the Huntsman;

I  planned on discussing with you about how we can ensure such delight and pride in our own chosen paths and professions; to explore the tremendous courage it takes to embark on a new project as Kristen is, and to revisit our own steps taken to pursue our true bliss. Are you doing what you would like to, versus what you’re expected to do?  Are you settling? Are you taking the steps on the path that feels most fulfilling to you? It has been awhile since we’ve talked about following Bliss, hasn’t it, friends?

courage to be creative=following the bliss

My friend and fellow bliss-pursuer, @DeeDreamer16 linked me to an incredibly relevant blog post at–>> InOverYourHead.net . The author, Julien Smith, contemplates whether being lackadaisical is a major indicator that we are not following our bliss, not practicing and enacting our Life’s Work. Smith wonders if our nonchalant way of viewing our daily tasks in fact makes us useless. I gotta say, I tend to agree. If we’re not at least somewhat daunted by our goals, then why have them at all? The minute we become complacent with our surroundings, we lose the edge, the motivating elements that push us onward, towards the finish line…onward towards risk and and perhaps satisfying, glorious rewards that may include self-confidence, monetary security, a compassionate connection with others, meaningful personal relationships, pride in doing something for yourself, a contribution to humanity.

#bliss

I want to tell you, you Unconventional Beauties, that I’m pursuing a couple of projects for the Magical Little Practice and in some of my writing…and I’m absolutely quaking in my Chucks. I guess I haven’t grown too comfortable, as I feared I might when I was laid off from BastardNation two years ago. I’m a bit relieved to recognize  that I have not become useless and rote, while I easily could have. I’m freakin petrified. So I guess I’m on the right path after all.

Kristen, our Warrior Rebel, is moving onto her first high profile role since wrapping The Twilight Saga. She is stepping from the familiar perimeters of her co-stars (including her “never confirmed but obvious boyfriend” ~EW …WAT) and crew, from a character she embodied and inhabited for four years towards some unchartered territory. She is playing Snow White, Ms Badass Royal Rebel herself. She is shedding the comfortable skin of Bella Swan Cullen and embracing a new (literally) set of armor. Princess Snow is steadfast, precocious and full of conviction. She also, per Kristen’s report, is terrified. Except that instead of succumbing to the fear, Snow White is channeling it, using the uncertainty or doubt as kinetic fuel for her limbs and for her voice…She emerges empowered, confident and beautiful….and not at all surprisingly…This summer, so is Kristen Jaymes Stewart.

So here, my Other Warriors, is the reason why I cannot write anything more today about following Bliss and why I cannot find the words to illustrate my lessons learned as a fangirl…or why I cannot introduce another Royal Rebel this week. Because Kristen Stewart, our extraordinary and staggeringly stunning Reigning Other Queen, has arrived by way of a truly royal carriage: W Magazine. The photos and interview dropped online today, and after I picked myself off the floor from a dead faint, I realized I had absolutely no words. NO WORDS with which to construct a proper new Musings. And I’m typically a wordy, wordy bitch. So I sign off my letter to you MOO Readers requesting your forgiveness… but something tells me you don’t really mind. If you’re even reading these ramblings anymore. Because, yeah. Kristen looks fucking phenomenal. And she appears poised and ready. to. go. That’s all we really need to know right now.  That and how great I think you all are. You serve as my muses every day…just as our Reigning Queen does.

I would like to articulate to you one day soon how honored I am that some of you have chosen me to be a sounding board and guide as you pursue your own blissful endeavors. The talent you possess knocks my socks off. I will tell you as much personally if and when I get the chance…Until then, check you at the bottom for a couple of announcements, my Lovelies. Take care of yourselves and each other. Continue following the Bliss and embracing your Other. xo, KJ

And I fucking love the way you growled and sneered just a little bit there in your declaration of love, Ms Stewart. Anyhoo, the following letter is just a note of appreciation to The Muse Kristen herself..a muse for me, for MOO, for the masses….

Dear Kristen,

I don’t think you quite understand the profundity of power you hold. You have stricken myself and other extremely eloquent and erudite friends/bloggers/writers/artists/Intellectuals/KristenSupporters/OtherSupporters completely wordless. Stunned. And it’s not just because of the loving, yearning dynamic you and Robert exhibit in those Breaking Dawn/EW pictures nor the glam-vixen beckoning to us from the cover of W. Arguably, this new photo spread and interview (plus screen tests, please, pliss can we see the outtakes of this otherworldly shoot??) for featuring photographs by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott; and Styling by Edward Enninful (bowing down) is your most spectacular to date. You invoke the spirit and ferocious beauty reminiscent of Bardot, Hepburn (Audrey and Kate), Fonda, Priscilla P, and Jackie O with your piercing, cat-lined, green eyes and tousled, voluminous bouffant; the leather, the fur, the pillow lips…

This is the most glamorous and unabashedly sexy version of you I’ve ever seen, but I believe that you have reached this pinnacle of smolder due to the collaboration of external assistance–your makeup artist and hair stylists are genius–with your luminous inner facilities. You are congruent and authentic. You are kind, but reserved; sensitive but guarded; Strong but not impenetrable; confident but not arrogant. We’ve watched you grow more comfortable and sure-footed in your own capacity to communicate your truth over the years, and it’s that quiet certainty that you exude that pushes you beyond the barriers of “lovely”, and into the realm instead of  resplendence. 

You tell W Magazine in your extremely cool and captivating screen tests what you were conscious of; your moment-to-moment awareness while growing up:

“I have….that so-called boyish quality was something that I was deathly self-conscious about when I was younger. I was, like, No, I’m a girl. Actually, I’m still embarrassed to say that.”

Uh. Yes. Yes you are indeed a girl. An astonishingly accomplished and genuine girl. You’re an excellent role model for anyone seeking an authentic guide…and an inspiring ambassador for #Other.

You said that upon filming your final, final scene for Breaking Dawn,

“I felt like I could shoot up into the night sky and every pore of my body would shoot light.”

I promise, you could…and you do. Thank you for providing some light, Kristen. Because now…You’ve sparked a whole new movement. Your supporters are pioneering, fierce, ambitious, genuine, confident, sensitive and uniquely gifted warriors, just like you. And we’re with you all the way. Keep going, Your Majesty, keep going. In awed gratitude, KJ

We Are Other.

Kristen Is Other.

Others exude light that can spark a new movement.

Embrace Your Other.

*   *   *

QUESTION(S):  Are you taking the steps along a fulfilling path? Are you settling? Have you recovered long enough from the shock of the W shoot and interview to share your reactions? 

A/N: I’m pursuing a couple of personal projects and business plans these next few weeks so I don’t think I will be able to write another full-fledged Musings for a little while. Quite possibly I’ll be back around Aug 23rd, but if Aug 28th rolls around and you haven’t heard from me, don’t panic. I’m leaving tomorrow for my hometown, to spend time with family, participate in some renovations and stroll down memory lane (could be traumatic, actually). I also will be seeing my gals from the KSIBTU Crew to celebrate Iris’s birthday in person. I will hopefully spend some time with my Cyber Soul Sisters @Mari and @RobKris13 as well (and maybe see Rob and Sam at the grocery store as they re-stock the kitchen?). Plus, I’ve some Red Cross projects I’m participating in, as well as an exciting writing adventure about which I’ll hopefully be able to elaborate on with you soon. Take care you gorgeous rabble rousers, and I’ll see you in a few weeks. Where we can talk Good Reads, Ramadan, the late Amy Winehouse, Sam Bradley, Cancer Bites and of course..Kristen Stewart and Otherness. Yours, xo, KJ

Shoutouts and SqueezieHugs:
My lovelies: @Kate_Suena and @MyCleverAlias
My sounding board and constant-cheerleader: Bouffant
My Aussie Posse: @Ophelia2010, @Justice_Aussie & @Mel452        
To sparks in the dark and my muses for words: @107_yroldVirgin and @TeamSmella23         
It’s my friend @TheRainGirl4’s BIRTHDAY tomorrow (Aug 12)!  Go and wish her love and schmexy thoughts for inspiration, and check out her fics: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2185580/
PLAYLIST FOR TODAY’S ESSAY: 
Head Full of Doubt ~ Avett Brothers
The Funeral ~ Band of Horses
Gray or Blue ~ Jay May 
The First Day of My Life ~ Bright Eyes
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