Tag Archives: Confidence

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

Within and Beside You

28 Jul
A/N: The images & lyrics featured here are not mine. Many resources are cited in embeds if you click the pictures. Song lyrics cited in the tail-end A/N along with today’s playlist. This essay is embarrassingly unbeta’ed. Be kind.

Open and just hold the lantern in the doorway

For the freedom of it

And you take the night air through your nostrils

And you breathe in out, in out

And you breathe just like that, just like that

Ohai there my loveliest of lovelies! Well, my Beauties, I am not even going to attempt to cover all facets of  the supreme epicness that erupted from this year’s San Diego Comic Con. Most of you witnessed it first hand either in San Diego after waiting in line for days (Props to my warrior girls @RobKris13and @Edmett) or by hovering around your computers watching a live-blogging and Twitter feed from morning til night. And the numerous blogs and sites were superb in gathering and posting images, sound bytes, and video clips for the fandom faster than a Cullen driving a Volvo, so we were never left wanting for long. You can read the accounts and the interviews to your heart’s content all over the place for hours and still have footage you didn’t get to yet. There’s a lot, is what I’m saying. I don’t need to add my tangential ramblings to the cacophony, so today’s Musings will be my attempt at being succinct *snickers* and hopefully not repetitive. Let’s see how that goes, mmkay? But I wanted to highlight what I thought lent to the reasons for our Rebel Queen’s rousingly successful Comic Con weekend and why her pristine beauty somehow grew demonstrably more profound . Kristen Brought. It. This was the best she has ever been. EVER.  What is our Unconventional Beauty’s secret? While  all the cooking channel viewing and fight training have certainly contributed, I’m willing to wager  that her impossible loveliness is in response to something more subtle, and personal. So let’s explore this further, yes? Ok, Cats, put your mittens around your kittens, and A-WAY we GO!’ (name that quote and I’ll love you for always).

Beauty In Loving The Craft

And we saw her standing there

Our first glimpse at our reigning Other Queen before the Breaking Dawn Press Panel arrived in the form of the above picture, and the accompaniment of gasps and endless—> !!!!!!!! 8302%)#!@$%@&-<–the joys of communicating emotions in cyberspace. However, the incoherency was understandable, in my opinion. Her hair in tousled waves framing her immaculate skin above a sheer top revealing the black bra beneath, Ms Stewart appeared effortlessly sexy and gorgeous.

And then she sat down at the microphone for the panel, flanked by her amorous colleagues (including the calm and gifted director Bill Condon), and spoke candidly, excitedly and engagingly with the press amid flashing lightbulbs and murmurs.Within moments, it was evident that  the girl deemed by previous critics and naysayers as “awkward, uncomfortable and hostile” was no more. Ladies and Gentlemen, your Reigning Other Queen has arrived.

Is this Heaven or…

We always knew she was a lovely gal, but she has far transcended that descriptor it’s almost insulting. I could wax poetic about her flawless complexion and luminous eyes for years, but I want to acknowledge the unapparent internal structures lending to her almost otherworldly loveliness. It has been said that true beauty emanates from the goodness and light within. Kristen’s light derives from a newfound self-assuredness Over the past year she has gained confidence by way of  interpersonal work in staying centered and trusting her inner compass. She tuned out the constant barrage of criticisms and heckling from haters and from those who simply do not get it. She became involved in highly respected film ventures a la’ On The Road and she maintained close contact with her longtime supportive network (her family, her partner, her work team including the lovely Ruth and the constant John). She also continued to research challenging and compelling work projects.

Film industry  greats and Stew-colleagues such as Sean Penn and Jodie Foster have raved about Kristen’s accurate instincts and sagacious decisions around projects she pursues and people with whom she endeavors to work. It is the home stretch of what will be a five-year project of Twilight. Kristen’s instincts as a seventeen-year-old Indie film actress did not lead her astray. When she first spoke with Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke in 2007 regarding potentially taking on the role of Bella Swan in the film adaptation, Kristen reports she accepted the job  because she felt an affinity with the awkward, shy protagonist and her path towards self-awareness. Because Kristen felt that there was an honest, universal, relatable story about Bella and her great love Edward.

And what a story it is. And how correct Ms Stewart is. She committed in every way (as Kristen Stewart does) to the role in what she thought was a “small independent film” with a large readership. Four years and three Comic Cons later, her colleagues of past, present and future, as well as the very late-to-the-party media community are bestowing accolades for the fierce and refreshing force that is Kristen Jaymes Stewart. Her confidence is derived from knowing that she was correct in following her instincts and in her investment in the work. She loves what she does for a living and it shows. There’s congruency–what you see is truly what you get–that indicates less tension and more certainty. There isn’t a need to downplay or mask  joy or displeasure (if that be the case) felt. And we can see her. All of her. The positive, confirming feedback is pouring in. SHE. WAS. RIGHT.

And she is DEFINITELY en pointe again. And if we thought her comfortable lightheartedness at Breaking Dawn’s Panel was illuminating, then hold onto your hats and glasses, folks, because her appearance at the panel for Snow White and The Huntsman two days later was stunning 

I did not find Kristen’s decision to take on the role of Snow White particularly alarming. I’ve read an earlier incarnation of the script and found myself nodding in enthusiasm as we learned that Ms White wasn’t going to be just your average singing Disney cartoon. It made sense to me and I felt connected to the message of this incarnation of The Fairest of Them All. This Snow White, Kristen Stewart’s Snow White would be a strong, courageous warrior and ambassador to The People. When Kristen walked out on stage Saturday afternoon for the Q & A session for SWATH, I felt the distinct chills in knowing that we are witnessing the evolution of royalty. 

A Beautiful Ferocity

You’ve probably seen the Comic Con panel videos by now. If you haven’t, and I understand if that’s the case–there are SO many goodies it overwhelms– check @Robstenation‘s site for the videos: here for Breaking Dawn  and for the Youtube version, click–> here for Snow White and The Huntsman via @epnebelle. Also I encourage you to visit a SWATH Fansite created and ran by a couple friends of mine, @Dancer1 and @Cheermom called The Enchanting Beauty. You’ll find the latest news for SWATH production and  Kristen  without the gossip.

There are noticeable differences in Kristen between Thursday’s Breaking Dawn interviews and SWATH’s panel. For one thing, Kristen and her SWATH co-stars have barely spent any time together as they’ve all been working on other films. And for another, discussing, defending and explaining Isabella Swan Cullen’s actions and motivations are so deeply ingrained for Kristen after these several years, there were some slip-ups, and blurred lines between Kristen’s and Bella’s identities. Mostly though, I would attribute Kristen’s comfort in discussing Bella because she has had the luxury of marinating in and portraying a character over a longer, wider arc of time than most film roles allow. And Kristen is a passionate defender of her Bella.

*raises eyebrow* mmmhmm

But for the Snow White panel, we caught glimpses of Kristen in the company of extremely attractive new co-stars, exhibiting an eagerness, curiosity and pride on a level unfamiliar to us. Between her playful and almost sisterly-like banter with Charlize Theron, and her witty and self-deprecating responses to questions, Kristen, passionate and proud SWATH cast member, answered the call to portray the Beautiful Royal Hellion Snow White. 

It probably doesn’t hurt that the cast and crew boasts Oscar nominees and winners, as well as some of Britain’s acting elite (HELLO Ian McShane and Bob Hoskins). And these promo shots of the leads in costume…? *sputtering*

Truly a Rebel Royal, yes? 

Though the project is still in pre-production, the SWATH Panel at Comic Con sufficiently raised the bar and generated overwhelmingly positive buzz from..like, everyone, including the press and respectable journalists. Forbes journalist E.D. Kain writes:

 “But if that still shot of Kristen Stewart [up above] is any indication, I will be lining up for tickets when Snow White and the Huntsman hits theatres.”

There is something extremely awe-inspiring about people who face situations that are unchartered. Quitting a job one has had for years to participate in the construction of a starter company; speaking truth when everyone around you has been dishonest. Kristen is leaving behind the usual art house indie films she calls home, as well as the enveloping, familiar arms of her Twilight family to take on a film touted as on par with Lord of The Rings (oh HELL yes). There is a ferocity about this decision that is so very Kristen and so very Other. 

 Beauty Surrounds Her  

You say which way, which way

That’s all right, we’ve gotten hip to it

Behind you, beside you, beside you

Since the beginning days of Twilight Tuesdays and pre-Twitterazzi, Kristen and Robert have sought each other’s company and support as they catapulted from quiet obscurity into the view finder for millions of  rapt “fans”. A large factor in Kristen’s almost ethereal Comic Con appearance is the presence of love, support and encouragement in her immediate circle. Both Rob and Kristen have referred to one another as “my best friend”, and Kristen includes Taylor among a small group of people she “would do anything for” in the name of protection.

In my psychotherapy practice, I often recommend and encourage my clients to attend group counseling sessions in addition to individual sessions. I do this because there is a basic propensity for people to gravitate towards one another, especially when bound by similar experiences. And healing expedites when we have partners and supportive players on our side. Rob has mentioned in interviews in the past that because he and Kristen moved through the utter chaos of becoming famous together at the exact same time, they shared a deep and loyal bond, running even deeper than their immediate, easy friendship.  No one can quite understand the challenges and successes that come from being thrown into public consumption the way that Kristen, Rob and to a similar degree, Taylor can. They have become their own little huddle. #BesideYou

At the last Comic Con the Twi-Trio attended, (2009), Kristen literally took time out of  her shooting schedule for The Runaways to attend the convention to talk about the heartbreak and depression she had to communicate on-screen as Bella Swan. While some people heard Kristen’s words, she was more-often-than not defined by and questioned about her hair style (called a shag, not a mullet), and the Bullshit People and Haterade-drinkers skulked off and created wholly new websites and chat forums to bash Kristen. When asked about Kristen’s hair by an entertainment reporter, Kristen’s friend and confidante Taylor declared, “I think she looks sexy”.

Meanwhile, Rob, Kristen’s accomplice in Otherness, stared lovingly at her the. whole. time…This year, in the debut of Confi-ConStew, Kristen returned the supportive, encouraging, uh, appreciation for Rob and his Cosmopolis half-hawk.

saucy

Isn’t it fun having supportive ridonk sexy partners in crime? Of course, Rob’s hair didn’t spark anything remotely close to the riot that Kristen’s shag did. Don’t think that Rob didn’t notice the hypocrisy, by the way. Robert Pattinson is a clever, observant bloke. He attended Comic Con with his unusual hairstyle full-well knowing that people would most likely comment, judge, and question him. I actually fist-pumped when I caught a glimpse of his interesting coif. I noticed he had cut it even shorter than how he wore it for the Cosmopolis shoot. Whether it was his intent or not, Rob drew attention to his hair and his just-completed, non-Twilight film while simultaneously illuminating the double standards that “supporters” in this fandom practiced all the time. Why is it that Rob is revered and celebrated as “quirky” and “charming” for rocking a half-hawk at Comic Con while Kristen, having her hair styled as Joan Jett for her [awesome] work in The Runaways was ripped to shreds and called (and still called) every derogatory name in the Smack Book??

C’mon, Ladies. We can do better than this.

Something to think about, no? Bottom line: One more reason Kristen shined at San Diego Comic Con this year was due to the reassuring and encompassing presence of her dearest Accomplices in Otherness. Of course Rob and Taylor have faith in Kristen, they always have. But it was evident as the Breaking Dawn and SWATH panels progressed through the convention, that dozens if not hundreds of folks were finally jumping on board the KSTEW Support Train. One fellow leading the Kristen Stewart Fan Club charge was the kind and visionary director of Breaking Dawn, Bill Condon. Mr Condon may have praised Kristen’s dedication and love for the story in six different occasions. He is Team Kristen all the way. Another new mentor and commanding Rebel Beauty in Kristen’s supportive group appears to be another Rebel Queen~

A Beautiful Congruency

‘Cause I need Freedom now

And I need to know how

To live my life as it’s meant to be

Can you spot our Rebel Other Queen?

While all her Twilight co-stars wore dresses and stilettos…what did our girl wear? *HUGE GRIN* The final point I wanted to highlight this week was congruency. In geometry, congruency is when lines are the same size and shape. In philosophy and sociology, congruency refers to harmony between actions and ideas. In psychotherapy, someone is acting congruent when they are speaking of feeling a certain emotion, and their face and body language reflects said emotions. Happiness and excitement may look something like this:

When I say I’m a defender of Others and Misfits, I will act accordingly. You will not witness me throwing insults or jokes around at the expense of someone who has a different appearance or set of beliefs from my own. Neither will you witness Kristen acting incongruently. If she is nervous, you’ll know it. She’ll bounce that knee all over the place, and bite her nails to the quick in between interview questions. What you see is what you get. The reason Kristen Stewart is our Ambassador of Other is because she never  falsifies who she is, even when she is pressured by outside sources (um, MEDIA TRAINING? Are you kidding me??) to conform to the out-dated cookie-cutter ideal.

Congruency is Kristen exhibiting pride in and excitement about the choices she’s made in her profession. It is in knowing that she will be in a very physically demanding role with SWATH (“I’ll have swords and cool weapons”) and preparing herself by training in horseback riding, yoga and weapon-wielding.

It is in the way she is not hiding the affection and respect she holds for her partner Robert. It’s lovely to see their open, mutual affection for one another…Not that he  could ever effectively downplay his admiration for her, but still…The one and only joint interview for the press produced their most warm, inviting and organic interaction of the whole Comic Con weekend. It was mesmerizing to behold, even though it was only 3 minutes long. A content, confident, open, uninhibited, supported and cherished young woman again redefined an antiquated idea of “Beauty”.

Well, my lovelies. There you have it. Those are my thoughts on the jaw-dropping awesomeness of Comic Con 2011 and the Other Legacy that is our Reigning Other Queen. I attributed her heightened (how is that possible??) beauty to her confidence and the confirmation of her solid intuition; also her congruency and her amazingly constant and unconditional support team. There’s excitement  and eagerness for her upcoming projects and the love she feels for her craft.  Ahhh, love. Let’s not forget: She is loved and she loves in return. And it shows. That may be the best reason of all for Kristen’s transcendence this week.

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others realize that beauty cultivates from within and beside us.

Embrace Your Other.

*    *    *

QUESTIONS: What were your reactions to Comic Con? What elements contribute to your confidence and beauty? Do you love your work? Do you surround yourself with supportive family and friends? Are you congruently (authentically) living your life?

A/N: Next time I’m resuming the usual MOO outline featuring “What The Fangirl Learned” and  a new Rebel Royal. You were lovely with suggestions last week, btw, thank you! You can expect a couple little stories about gals named Christina and Ellen in the near future.

Squeezey Hugs and Sloppy Kisses To:

@Nhess_V for always, always spreading the Other Support and Musings postings all over the place each and every week.

@Mel452, my Aussie Darl for having a BIRTHDAY this week!

@DeeDreamer16 for always checking in on me …and even though she didn’t mention it, for celebrating a BIRTHDAY as well recently.

Bouffant. For listening to me talk shit out. Per usual.

Katie. For sharing the best conversations EVER and pulling me out of the funk when I go there.

Lyric excerpts featured: 

Beside you ~ Van Morrison

The Cave~ Mumford and Sons

Essay Playlist: 

What I Am ~ Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians

Santa Maria~ Gotan Project

The Cave ~ Mumford and Sons

The More I See, The More To Know

5 May

He who knows best knows how little he knows ~ Thomas Jefferson

Greetings, Lovelies! My hope is that this new essay finds you and your families healthy and flourishing. A lot of  time does not need to pass before something wonderfully Other and so luxuriously Royal occurs, cueing my mind to spin out of control with ruminations and reactions and the overwhelming urge to analyze and then appreciate…and then celebrate. The past two weeks away from Musing with you lovelies have been so jam-packed with these glorious Other Moments that I realized first with sadness–and then with glee–that I simply cannot address them all. Not in one sitting at least. *smirks* There have been equal parts Reigning Royal Awesomeness  paired with reeling introspection personally, that this I’ve decided to switch up the structure of MOO. I’ll get back to that, though. Let’s do this, let’s jump in and review some of the spectacular moments that have surfaced since we last convened. ANNNNNND GO.

Oh. ummm. #$*!@#$!^)% What was I saying?

*recovers, sits up from position on the floor* Ok, lemme work up to the gloriousness that was The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala (aka The Met Gala, aka The Oscars of Fashion) in NYC. It’s been a busy, exciting, near-overwhelming slew of goodness this week for our Other Queen,  so let’s back that thing up.

Princes, Previews and (a) Bear, Oh MY!

Just yesterday, while we still await cautiously for  the introduction of the actor who will take on the titular role of The Huntsman in Kristen’s next film project, Snow White and the Huntsman, we met the fetching British bloke who will portray Snow’s Prince Charmant. Say hello to Sam Claflin, everybody! 

While I’m still stinging at the loss of Viggo Mortensen in the role as The Huntsman (who, due to filming conflicts, dropped out of the project), and swatting away the teasing possibility of Hugh Jackman  (who also passed on the role, which was offered to him when Mortensen vacated), the announcement of Sam Claflin landing the part of The Prince provided a little soothing. Twenty-four year old Claflin is from Suffolk, England and is building an impressive resume with TV performances (The Pillars of The Earth) and with upcoming lead roles in the newest Pirates of the Carribean film and The Seventh Son opposite acting royalty Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore. Looking forward to seeing Sam begin work with our Reinging Queen Kristen, who, of course, is the fairest of them all in the role as Snow White, this retelling of a tale from the Brothers Grimm.

Another week, another Entertainment Weekly cover to hunt down. But I got smart and returned to the same bookstore that sold the previous hard-to-access EW covers. No more driving all over town for ME! We saw our Majestic Misfit Ms Stewart leave Vancouver after wrapping the principal shooting of Breaking Dawn, though we weren’t entirely sure when or where we would set sights on our lovely Rebel again. We know that Kristen’s Partner-in-Crime-as-well-as-Life, Robert, has been on an exhaustive world promotional tour for his beautiful and whimsical film Water For Elephants (Did you see it yet? Have we talked about our impressions yet? No? Ok, SOON.), but we weren’t sure where our stealthy girl would be–which is ideal. #StealthyNinjasNeedRefugeToo. Enter EW.

EW explored with Kristen, Robert, and Taylor their sentiments about wrapping the final movies of the Twilight Saga, and while nothing earth-shattering was revealed with this interview (thanks to the massive leak of unedited film images and footage, the speed and prevalence of Twitter, and Rob’s numerous on-camera appeals to the Twi fandom to cease the hacking and spreading of said images), still, some illuminating recollections emerged from and about our Reigning Rebel Queen Kristen.

  • She was angry and “gutted” by the Breaking Dawn leaks.
  • *spoilers* She was affected emotionally while filming the wedding scene as well as the brutal childbirth scene.
  • Director Bill Condon is not immune to Kristen’s overall awesomeness nor her royalty, deeming her “hugely talented” and most likely able to “mold a career around who she is” and not the other way around.
  • Kristen is extremely satisfied with the wrap up of the story telling and filming process of Breaking Dawn, sounding downright giddy. “We ended on such a high note…” reaching a “state of exuberance”.

"exuberance" has never been more stunning, Your Highness

Oh, I can’t help it. Whenever there’s a pause I am absolutely compelled to paste an image of #MetGalaStew because in my opinion, Kristen embodied everything that is unique and edgy and unconventional and sexy and confident and simply regal. 

Having said that, there is one more event I wanted to acknowledge before we delve into the wonders of the Met Gala. Again, there were so many Royal goodies these days, but yesterday was simply a banner day for our Queen and her royal court. We not only met Kristen’s newest SWATH co-star in Sam Claflin, but we met a particularly special addition to Ms. Stewart’s family, the decidedly, Other Rebel: Bear.

Bear sees YOU.

This adorable adoptee, a German Shepherd-Pit-mutt-mix whom Robert and Kristen saved from euthanasia in a Baton Rouge shelter, has been a favorite subject of several of Rob’s interviews while on the road promoting Water For Elephants. In interviews Rob has made several references to “we” in the ownership and rearing of the rescued pup; and, yesterday, a whole new level of frenzy ignited when pictures of our girl Kristen walking with Bear in New York City surfaced. I will talk more about the soulful-eyed Bear a little later, as I delve into the discussion topic of this essay. But I have never seen such an explosion of opinions and reactions to a gangly, four-legged companion like this in my life. And I’ve seen some cray-cray, lemme tell you. Kudos to young Bear-san for a spectacular debut!

A Savage Beauty

But let’s cut the bull and celebrate another spectacular debut, shall we?

The Lady in Red with her dashing dates Jack and Lazaro- Proenza Schouler's designers.

Well, ok, so I’m not a fashionista, let’s just qualify that right now. But I understand that Monday night’s Met Gala was a night celebrating late designer Alexander McQueen byway of a theme of Savage Beauty, and our Reinging Queen arrives on the carpet in a ruby red floor-length gown designed by the aesthetically pleasing designers themselves as her dates, so stick a fork in me: I’m DONE. I was absolutely mesmerized.

I am not well-versed in the language of Couture, but I can appreciate silhouettes, and colors and fabric and texture. I can go out of mind with lust over edgy lines, and boldness in hues. I can ascertain the theme Savage Beauty as Queen Kristen interpreted it: fierce, delicate, powerful, sensual and strong. I kinda understand  how maybe the heaviness and texture of Kristen’s Proenza Schouler gown lent a draping quality. And I can absolutely understand and admire the beauty and aesthetics of …the back. 

Holeeey Hell. *gulp*

I can applaud Ms Stewart, a typically reserved woman who has admitted to feeling great discomfort at red carpet events, for buckling up calf-high Proenza Schouler heels on “Fashion’s Oscar Night” and gracefully posing for the bazillions of flashbulbs …before trekking up those stairs. Knowing those few things might just be enough.

Savage defined: fierce, wild, untamable, cutting and ruinous. Yes. She certainly destroyed it that night. I thought she looked, well, unapologetically, exquisitely, magnificently… Royal. 

All I Know, I Learned From. . .  

So. I opened this essay by mentioning that I would be changing up the flow of Musings to accommodate the swell of Moments of Otherness that have transpired lately. See, it’s usually here at this point in the post where I would introduce the Featured Royal Rebel for the week. I know I said we’d discuss a new Rebel today, but I’m deferring the discussion til next posting so that I can try this new format. I’d like to send special acknowledgement and long-hugs to a friend of mine, author Miss Betty Smith, whose own blogging style inspires and informs the new MOO Format with which I hope to play and muse. Whaaaa? There could be some form of organization to my ramblings?

Even MessengerStew is a bit skeptical.

Here’s the deal: I’ve been apart of the Twilight/Kristen/Robert fandom in some incarnation or another since late Spring of 2008 which means, good Goddess, I’m hitting a 3-year anniversary!! I’ve been writing MOO, defending Kristen and fellow Others for almost ten months (y’all are gonna celebrate the year anniversary with me in June, yeah?).  I have been a practicing mental health specialist, psychotherapist and social worker for over ten years. One of the deciding factors behind my pushing the PUBLISH button on the very first Musings last year was the excitement of possibly ceasing an opportunity to incorporate my skills and knowledge of sociology and psychology into better understanding why this fascination and passion in defending an actress called Kristen Stewart came to be. When I began tossing around the idea of Musings ten months ago, I remember saying aloud, “What is the draw? Why so fascinated with the fascination?” Well, besides the obvious.

Post-Met Gala, perhaps my fave?

Okay, why now? Why am I outlining a specifically-focused MOO? In addition to having a few charged, tense, personal encounters with friends-cohorts in this fandom, these past few weeks have additionally proven to be the most frenetic, passionate, eye-opening, jaw-dropping, temper-eliciting couple of weeks in this community that I’ve ever witnessed in the three years I’ve been here. And beyond the initial shock of seeing people go rogue, I realized I wanted to stay and keep representing the fight for fellow Misfits.

In one event, I found myself disappointed  by friends’ actions and by the quick judgments they issued that were very un-Otherly. But I realized it was my own disappointment to work through, not anyone else’s (other than what they take responsibility for) and an indicator of grace and poise is in conflict resolution. I reached out in all three occasions to open the lines of communication. Of the three different encounters of disagreement, I handled one instance very well, another one tolerably well, though quietly, and the third, well, not great.

And in other surprisingly controversial news, ummmmm: Bear (?)

I dunno bout you, but I derive so many fantastic, positive things from this picture. Rob is out of town, across the pond promoting WFE, so it makes sense that Kristen, a known dog lover and cat owner, is caretaker for their shared pet. Kristen is in  New York, which means she brought this puppy with her while she attended The Met Gala so that he wouldn’t be left behind with strangers or placed in a kennel. That dog travels better than I do, that’s for sure. Also, these pictures clarify (at least to me) who the “we” Rob refers to in interviews when asked about Bear’s guardians, and it further encourages the kind-hearted act of adopting animals from shelters. But apparently, that is not a shared sentiment.

Comments have trickled into my Twittah timeline or email box (people send them to me so I can laugh)  accusing Kristen of “animal abuse”, clearly since she attempted to force an animal against its will to “like her”, like ‘Snow White’, by “dragging” poor Bear along behind her on the cold, wet streets of New York. Other folks have dismissed Kristen walking Bear as her attempts to “copy everything Robert does”, adopting her own dog only because he adopted one. Because they couldn’t possibly share the animal, this could not be Rob AND Kristen’s dog. Then there’s the ridiculous theory that she’s using the dog to gain supporters for her career. Come again? I can’t even address that charge without snorting with laughter. But I do wonder–how does it make sense that to win the heart of your beloved you trash and insult his beloveds?

Does this scene look familiar?

hmm. I see that you're incredibly dedicated to proving your point...Your cynicism isn't at ALL alarming.

I’m only spending energy on highlighting some of these preposterous claims to illustrate the climate amongst The Bullshit People and Nonsensicals.

Leads me to think—->POTENTIAL DISCUSSION TOPIC #3: Haters Gonna Hate? 

For every new MOO post, we will still review and celebrate our Reigning Other Queen’s successes and endeavors as she barrels forward on her path, and we will discuss and highlight an Ambassador of Other/Royal Rebel, but we (“we” meaning, you, me, and occasional guest writers) will also survey some of the concepts and topics that have arisen simply because we are apart of this very interesting, and undeniably passionate collective.

Miss Betty Smith writes a feature called Ten Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Started Writing Fic  on her blog and it’s the format I’m fashioning the following new MOOs on. Check out Betty’s blog, it’s brilliant and insightful and alarmingly revealing. Also, if you read FF, read Betty’s stories including my favorite Full Disclosure.

I’m going to write something along the lines of: Case studies at work have NOTHING on the workings of folks HERE.  The interesting is not at the clinics I’ve worked in, they’re HERE. At this point, I don’t have a title for my new feature…I’ve tossed around ludicrous ideas of course:

  • Ms Therapist Finally Learns The Meaning of Cray-Cray
  • All That I Know, I Learned As A Fangirl
  • What The SpiderMonkey Saw

Let me know if something strikes your fancy, or if you think of a suggestion to pass along…And the discussion topics may range from a variety of observations I’ve had over my tenure in this passionate community…including, but not limited to:

:::The love we have for L.O.V.E.

:::Searching for perfection– (aka, are you projecting unrealistic, Vampiric expectations onto some poor unsuspecting mortal?)

:::Coping mechanisms for stress– (some eat a lot, some blame a lot, some pick fights a lot)

I may know of a diagnosis if this is the case for you ...or..

:::Extremes in this fandom–NOT. THAT. DIFFERENT. The “Haters” do not behave ALL THAT MUCH DIFFERENTLY than the “Supporters”.

:::Anonymous Cruelty–aka it’s okay to be an asshole as long as you moniker up.

:::The WOMAN’S Wrath–Ladies, when did you become so harsh?

:::The pursuit and struggle for power– (are YOU a Top”Insider”?)

:::Are we highly supportive, or actually scary-fanatic?– (How many hrs a day do you dedicate to involvement in your interest in Kristen, Rob and/or Twi?)

:::Double standards and hypocrisy–guess what? We don’t practice what we preach.

:::Brilliant and Creative Expression– (ahem, do you photoshop yourself into pictures with Rob and pass them off as real? Just wonderin’.)

Though there are some colorful challenges in this community, I will always try to express my deep gratitude and humility for being apart of it as well. The people I’ve met and encountered through this fandom possess the unbelievable capacity to love, and a fierce loyalty, and they (you) remind me how brave and courageous and soulful humans can be. And how freakishly funny and witty we can be too.

It has dawned on me how IN this I am. How personally invested I’ve become in this fandom and how, because I’ve continued to attempt in merging the fragments comprise my daily living, it isn’t an option to separate my Musings and 3D life anymore. …And how I’ve witnessed this become truth for many of you, my cohorts, fellow Others, as well. I did not see that coming. It isn’t a bad or a good thing, it is what it is. I should reiterate that there are no regrets, I am incredibly humbled and grateful if anything. Because my life is extremely colorful and challenging and exciting and filled with laughter and some very good friends whom I hope to have for a lifetime.

I check in with my Cyber Sisters as well as some of you folks every single day whether on Twittter or via email. I don’t talk to my own mother as much as I speak with you guys. We know about some of the heartaches and successes in each others’ lives. You all have hung with me while I navigate this new world of unemployment-turned-business-ownership and Bliss-Pursuit. And you cheer my husband and I on as we claw through the hoops dangled in front of us by Immigration.

Which reminds me: Psssssst!! N got his green card!!! !!!

See? I knew you'd celebrate with us. I feel your joy all the way here in Cali.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say, in my usual rambling, roundabout way…We’s haz lots to talk about. We always do. And it’s personal.  We have so many opportunities to gain knowledge from our Royal Rebels and our Reigning Queen, but also from each other. We still have boundaries to push and passions to defend and Otherness to embrace. But there are new lessons to be learned in every interaction. I seriously have enough potential discussion topics to run MOO another several months without needing to search. . .  Just with the “FANS'” behaviors alone!!

Some pretty profound events on a global level occurred this week as well: hello #ChangingRelationsWithTheMiddleEast; Hi, #RoyalWedding; oh hello #ExtinctionOfOBL; Top o’ the Morning to you #OperationEndIslamicVilification… and it was incredibly charged and emotional and stunning to experience these events with you all. So as things continue to shift, and ebb and flow and construct and destruct, let’s roll through it together, mmmkay?

Next time? We’ll discuss a few things: R & R for Kristen and hopefully Rob; Coping Mechanisms and A Woman’s Wrath (seriously, I knew women could be harsh, but this is bananas)…plus we’ll chat about The Gypsy Spinning Queen herself, Stevie Nicks. Until then, my Majestic Misfits, be well, be kind to one another. See you soon. xo, KJ

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others know that there is always more to know.

Embrace your Other.

* * *

Question: Have you found that you’re in deeper than you realized? When did you know?

A/N: Sorry it’s so late in posting tonight. Had a hard time summarizing. You know me. I am rarely succinct.

I’ve updated the Sentence Completion of About KJ

Playlist for this week:

Rescue Song (RAC Remix)~Mr. Little Jeans

Flightless Bird~ Iron & Wine

Kites~Geographer

Crystal~Fleetwood Mac

Gratitude and strength to my usual suspects: Cyber Sisters & Readers, Puss, Monkey

Infinite love and lunch date dreams for @MissBetty Smith

Super hugs and gropes to: Bouffant and Beanai

For What We’re Worth

21 Apr

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

A Confident Beginning

Ohhhh, boy… *blows a long breath out* Hello my Rabblerousers and Majestic Misfits, how goes it? Things have been insane in the membrane since we last convened, right? Not in a bad way, but in a really, busy, joyful, Ohmahgawd-I-can’t-believe-how-beautiful-yet-how-involved-I-am-in-all–of-this sorta way. You know what I mean. Since we last ruminated together, Our Reigning Other Queen celebrated her 21st birthday,  which involved Twilight co-stars and friends, her good buddy Taylor Lautner and his pretty girlfriend Lilly Collins. Also included an adoring, attentive Robert ….and a motorcycle…

ok, so maybe not THIS motorcycle...but the boy was there

And she inspired folks to raise nearly $17,000 for charity. . .Bowing down to all who contributed to this incredible cause in the name of Kristen, and with the hopes of eradicating the very serious issue of teen homelessness. Also, such gratitude to those who contributed to other charities in support of Kristen’s philanthropic wishes. All of you are truly incredible.

Well, let’s see…Our Majestic Misfit managed to make a profound statement of support and confirmation in New York City this Sunday. And she did it all without saying a word. She quietly attended Rob’s Water For Elephants premiere, looking almost obscenely stunning in a J. Mendel dress. She did not walk the red carpet–she would never want to overpower or detract from Rob’s moment. Because that’s what would happen if she had set just one toe out there on the carpet. She never intends to, but unwittingly, unknowingly, she compels us to look.  She is charismatic and magnetic, and would undoubtedly cause an epic frenzy if she had chosen to walk in the front door of the theater instead of the undercover side entrance. Because..uh, LOOK. AT. HER.

It’s criminal how insanely sexy these two are together. Look at the pandemonium inspired even as she remains in the background !!!

…and within a mere twelve hours later she surfaced in Vancouver, BC for stunt work for Breaking Dawn.  She flew back and forth across the continent between Rob’s movie premiere and the film set…so she could run on a treadmill while wearing a hot blue dress and black sweatpants. Because kick-ass Bella Cullen will run in a dress, dammit, but our girl is smart enough to know her legs might suffer in the cool Vancouver air. I won’t show the pictures of her on the vamp treadmill, mostly because I cannot tolerate the camera hound who took the pictures and I don’t want to endorse his stalking and opportunistic tendencies. But I will  illustrate that nonverbal communication for which I adore Kristen and her protectors.

This is a good crew. I see why she will miss them.

This morning (Wednesday), our extremely dedicated and well-traveled Royal was spotted, thumb brace still in place, at Vancouver International Airport, having wrapped the principle filming for the role of Bella Swan Cullen. *sniffle*

Only Royalty looks this good at 5AM

It’s a bit bittersweet to watch Kristen fly away from The Breaking Dawn set, as we’ve been on a journey alongside her while she created, crafted, shaped and injected a compassionate, endearing spirit into a girl who had merely lived on paper and in our minds’ constructs. Kristen loves and passionately defends Bella’s decisions and actions to the very end (did you listen to the Eclipse Commentree?). She personified, sympathized with, and injected confidence into a restless and pretty young thing, perhaps because she found personal truths in common between herself and Bella… And perhaps this is just another glimpse of Kristen’s brilliance as an actor. She inspires our faith in a character that we may struggle to identify with…Or, conversely, over-identify with. Kristen granted the strands of conviction to those who merely viewed Bella (or themselves) as a too impulsive, too naive seventeen-year-old girl with an infatuation.

With considerable skill, Kristen Stewart took a vague caricature amongst a less-than impressive screenplay (sorry, Rosenberg, you and I are not besties) and produced a determined, complex, and impassioned young woman for whom we cheer on. As there will be reshoots and voice work, and two more movies to promote through 2012, we have not seen the last of Kristen’s Bella, but there still is a lingering sense of melancholy as we watch Breaking Dawn wrap, the actors and crew flying away from Vancouver and dispersing. Thank you, Ms. Stewart for all that you have done to create a fierce, relatable, unforgettable Bella Swan.

Playing The Game

So while Kristen has quietly (as a roar) displayed her propensity for sparking near-riots I finally did it. I finally sat down and read The Hunger Games. I hadn’t read them up until this point not because I resisted, but because I’ve just been busy and boast a bedside table bowing beneath the weight of the 208,371 books I already am reading (in addition to my fanfics). I finally sat down and read Hunger Games and within 36 hours had devoured the three books as if I were a wild raccoon ransacking a campground dumpster (check it: opposable thumbs are fierce). However, since I was late to the party in reading this magnificent series, I’ve made up for it by becoming wholly and utterly consumed these past two weeks, reliving, re-reading, basking in the genius that is Suzanne Collins’s tale of war, our society’s obsession with appearances and the healing profundity of loyalty and love. My reading of The Hunger Games Trilogy coincides with the casting of the film adaptation scheduled to release in March of next year.

This is REAL.

WARNING: An Oncoming Other Teachable Moment: Because of the amplified scrutiny of the casting process, and the passion of my fellow readers, there are strong reactions and declarations emerging. It is very, very reminiscent of the casting process for a one beloved young adult series called Twilight. I won’t launch into a full feature of defending Otherness today…but I want to say that I have complete faith in the actors Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, who have been chosen to play two of the three leads in the film.

I don’t put too much stock into any discrepancies of physical characteristics, because a.) We as OTHERS know more than ANYONE that our external attributes are only one slice of our Misfit Majesty and b.) becoming someone else is what actors do for their jobs. Both Jennifer Lawrence (Ohai Oscar Nomination) and Josh Hutcherson exhibit proclivity in their craft, i.e. MAD SKILLZ. I say we sit back and witness what these talented folks bring to the table before judging them. It’s the least we can do as fellow Others, long recipients of preconceived notions and unfair judgements ourselves.

We of the askance tiaras SEE you. We get. IT.

And to highlight two very significant events: Remember how dubious folks were when Robert Pattinson was cast as the iconic Edward Cullen almost four years ago? There was a freaking petition circulating in which thousands of people signed, proclaiming extreme dissatisfaction and doubt in Robert’s abilities: to act..to be sexy..to be beautiful. Um. LOOK AT HIM NOW.

Things didn't turn out so badly, did they?

Secondly: At the risk of being skinned alive by my peers, I note, in the case of Josh Hutcherson, that he has pretty solid cred in the business (did you see The Kids Are All Right?) AND, most importantly, our own Reigning Other Queen Kristen, she of the infamous BULLSHIT DETECTOR, and “incredible instincts” (per Sean Penn and Jodie Foster) deemed Josh as Good People years ago when they were costars in the film Zathura. According to Josh, he nursed a pretty serious crush on our Rebel Queen (ok, that right there implicates the kid’s supremely good sense), and she bestowed a baby turtle on him for his 13th birthday. If Kristen Stewart is gifting baby reptiles to this dude, I venture it’s safe to say he is not the devil incarnate. I guess I just ask us to hang back and reserve evaluation. . .And I’ll deftly and sweetly change the subject….nao.

I get it. And I like it.

She’s Got Skillz 

Other than procuring a new obsession with a book about teenagers brutally killing each other, I’ve been extremely busy since we last checked in. A sweet friend from Australia, Miss @Mel452 and I spent a couple days exploring my beautiful city…and hanging out with The Beats (we may or may not have gotten drunk where Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund hung), and introducing my Aussie friend to the wonders of IN-N-OUT. Partaking in Italian food consumption, smokes and “Jack Kerouacs” cocktails?  In short, it was divine.

I’ve been cultivating time and lessons learned with my clients. I’ve attended traffic school, the first part of  training for the Red Cross Disaster Relief team I’ve signed up for…I’ve been hanging out with N in the rare moment he has time off work–we have our wedding anniversary approaching next week– and I’ve been gathering courage to take the next step. The last activity has been the most challenging for me.

In a nutshell: I’ve been trying to accept the good. I’ve been digging deep and trying to take my own advice and look in the damn mirror. I’ve made the decision to expand the Magical Little Practice, not shut it down (see, Buff, I won’t give up, I won’t!). Without delving into too much detail, I have been constructing a curriculum to broaden my connection with the community of folks out there who seek empowerment and direction. Also this means I can finally, finally do what I’ve always felt I am meant to: teach, present, consult and collaborate. With the assistance of my business-minded manager-sister, I am trying to take back and own my accomplishments by channeling my skills into creating the perfect job. The job that I was chasing with other companies, outside of myself. I realized after a consultation with a colleague therapist that I can CREATE MY OWN PATH using the tools I’m already equipped with. One problem: I don’t quite have a Rebel Queen’s Confidence. #ReframeTime. Rather, ok, if I do have it, I have a hard time remembering I do.

“Letting circumstances or others determine worth gives them inappropriate control and power,” ~Anonymous 

grounding.....grounding....breathing

My Manegent (the term my brother dubbed my manager-agent) Leon began making calls to agencies and organizations to begin spreading the word of my expanded services, and we have been met with enthusiastic and promising options. Now all I need to do is present myself as capable and skilled and confident in my abilities.

*Commence knees shaking*

Leon asked me to piece together a bio so she could present a quick and direct introduction to folks who don’t have time to check my gorgeous website or peruse my flyers and business cards.

Guise…??? I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t tell Leon a thing about me that I found marketable or desirable. Not. A. Word.

“But what about your Masters degree?” Questioned Leon.

Nope.

“What about your certification in parenting, group leading and clinical supervision?” pushed Leon.

Nuh-uh.

“You make a connection with people. You provide comfort and kindness.”

Me, blushing, stuttering: “Ummmm.”

“What about the three thousand face-to-face hours you put in for your internship and licensure over three years?” She pressed.

“Eh, I paid my dues like everyone else who goes into this field. We’re not doing it to be rich or right,” I say, ever placating.

Exactly,” replied Leon. “You. Have. Worked. Your. Ass. Off. And because you chose to, not because you had to. And not for the accolades and great monetary rewards.”

*crickets*

Why? Why is it so difficult for us to hear and accept the positive attributes we have but so easy to believe the criticisms? Why is the bad so much easier to acknowledge than the good?  Dr. Glen Shiraldi, psychiatrist and lecturer, cautions us that mistakes and past traumas, external criticisms and chronic seeking approval from outside sources all deplete our confidence and abilities to see ourselves as worthy.

We lose our ability to accept the good, and accept that we’re good the minute we forget to realize that our core worth already exists. We were born unmarred, pure, untouched by externals (money, physical looks, status, possessions). See it’s when we begin to listen to our Detractors, The Vultures, The Nerdy Bloggers, The Bullshit People when we go astray. Rob and Kristen have it right in ignoring these loud critics and asking for the focus to be on their work. What they do. 

Our internal strengths are essential, unique, eternal and unchanging in value. Our internal strengths are what comprise our Royalty. 

Our Otherness. Annnd, I begin writing a bio for the business presentations. . .

 When I thank and admire and muse about the Royal Rebels that serve as our models, (please see EACH AND EVERY FEATURED REBEL IN THE HISTORY OF MOO), I actually am thanking them for delving deep within and finding that internal compass, that core self which implies we are still, in the scheme of all the chaos–traffic school (I have a clean record now!), final exams, job stressors,  movie premieres, the unemployment claims…. doing all right.

Our Rebel Queen Kristen consistently provides graceful examples of how to transcend the landmines that are externals:

  • She disregards the clamoring about her attendance at her partner’s work events and goes–while wearing a slinky dress, a bold red lip color and a thumb-brace that red carpet cameras will not capture. She didn’t dress up to be” seen” except by who matters most: herself, and Rob. I think he’s appreciative, yes?

Yeah, I'd smile that hugely if I were you too.

  • She returns to her base, her craft, to complete her journey as a girl named Bella.
  • She peers in front of her, eyeing the next project that highlights her talents (her goodness)..That could mean filming K-11 and Snow White and the Huntsman;or, promoting her next movie On The Road (breath stutters in excitement), and maybe perfecting the recipes she’s tweaked from The Cooking Network.

It doesn’t really change the fact that whatever she chooses to do next, it’s her call, not anyone else’s. I’m pretty confident in her confidence.

These past two weeks, while our Reigning Other Queen has steadily taken steps towards her blazingly bright future, quietly but fiercely casting off the criticisms and judgements shoved onto her, I am following her lead. I am tentatively placing my feet on the road before me, re-learning how to forge onward as well, still wearing my Chucks and a (slightly askew) tiara.

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others do not let externals determine their worth.

Embrace your Other.

* * *

Question: How have you let externals inform or derail your chosen path?

A/N: I plan on returning to the usual MOO format of highlighting a new Featured Rebel next time.

Thank you to everyone I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with this week in those quiet moments of uncertainty.

Thanks to Leon.

Love to Reb and love to my longtime Bestie S who I miss madly.

Thank you also for everyone I’ve spent time rejoicing in Otherness with:

@Mel452

My HG Girls–Beanai, Webby, Kris, Peri,  Sail, Brothaa

Thank you for musing and contemplating with me: @ThistleFi @PrimaryColors1 @MadamThang, @DeeDreamer16  @edmett @robkris13

Long Hugs to: @beammeup_00 @Kate_Suena @MyCleverAlias        @Justice_Aussie @Ophelia2010 

As always, my constants: My Cyber Sisters & Readers

**Are you going to see Water For Elephants this weekend? Puss and I are hitting the matinée tomorrow. We’re coming with tissues and waterproof mascara (along with snack money–nachos and popcorn are a MUST). Let’s meet next week to chat WFE, ok?

I’ve updated the Resources For Beauty Page  as well as About KJ, but will probably run another sentence completion before this weekend.

See you next time. xo, KJ

Other, Everywhere.

9 Dec

Hello my Unusual Beauties, Happy Thursday! I must issue a bit of a warning: my Musings were plentiful over this past week, and I am having a hard time organizing the ponder. A lot of my thoughts and reactions have stemmed from the last week’s Musings post. Let us start with that, then. The response to last week’s monumentally locquacious essay on intuition and self preservation was unparalleled. I am so stunned, that I have not written one reply for fear of interrupting the sheer reverence that has since been my companion. I am incredibly humbled and  I am shaking my head in astonishment at those of you Readers who contacted me in some form to share your own stories of following intuition and also your harrowing experiences of having to choose self-preservation in an episode of fight …or flight. Such warriors among us! Not at all surprising, of course, since we are Kristen Stewart supporters, after all; and she, the Reigning Other Queen is an exemplary guide of courage and self-preservation in an increasingly chaotic environment.

So what had began with what I can only really describe as a buzzing, the last six days have been eventful. Purchasing the Eclipse DVD with “commen-tree (duh)” aside, there were not many instances of  Stewie sightings or amorous pictures  illustrating Kristen and Rob’s undeniable mutual admiration for one another–which lends to the listless energy rippling through the fandom–but I mean eventful in terms of isomorphism. What is isomorphism, you ask? Well, via google, you’ll find jargon highlighting mathematical logarithms, alignment, similarities and equal points…but really I’m referring to that moment of realization of:

INTERCONNECTION. OTHER IS EVERYWHERE.

*Insert snicker-snorts from my brother Chew and maybe my mother, for my unabashed reversion to my hippie roots.* Luckily, my brother doesn’t read Musings very often and my Mother doesn’t read it at all (another story, another time, my friends). So no patchouli jokes from the peanut gallery today,mmmkay?!  I found that there were so many similarities, links and moments of synchronicity this past week that I was staggered and speechless. Impossible, KJ, you may scream, You, Speechless?? Simmer down a sec, and let me ‘splain.

The entire reason I began writing Musings was to help promote self-reflection and isomorphism–the recognition that not only is Kristen Stewart Other and worth defending, but WE ARE OTHER and we are worth defending and preserving as well. Last week, more than any week to date, I received private messages, emails and DMs from you poets outlining your reactions. A disproportionate, frightening number of you have experienced something similar to my scary KNOCKING encounter last week, and an alarming number of you have reported experiencing personal invasions and/or assaults that have, of course, effected and influenced you to this day.

Kristen's ponder > my ponder

Last week in my anecdote The Gift of Fear, I referenced an incident mentioned once in a previous Musings: I had experienced a life-altering event that I refer to as The Breakthrough, in which I talked a sexual predator/burglar out of harming me further when he broke into my home in broad daylight while I was alone.

** *SOBERING STATISTIC ALERT* ** Crime is on the rise in these dire times of our economic crisis. In the United States, according to The U.S. Justice Reports of March 2010, 1 of every 5 homes experience a home invasion/break-in, translating to approximately 8,000 break-ins per day. Even more terrifying, 38% of assaults and 60% of rapes occur during these home invasions.

Last week’s KNOCKING encounter re-triggered several reactions resonant with my own trauma recovery, and I suddenly found myself in an unfamiliar (to me) position of expertise. My mother’s email the next day  requesting my assistance with her friend (D, as I introduced him to you last week) was a startling reminder to me that every single day, people experience frightening incidents and will need support to process these events. I can do that. I can share my knowledge to help an Other.  This. Is. What. I’m. SUPPOSED. To. Do. Empower, support, guide, share.

I had begun a personal memoir project while in therapy back in 2006, in the aftermath of my own experience, because The Breakthrough drastically altered my path, actually righting it, but still causing unrest and tension. I was single, a first year doctoral student, in my Goddess-Only-Knows year of a psych internship; I moved out of my apartment, moved in with my family, took a leave of absence from my jobs, and traveled. I became ….pensive..However, I put that writing project aside a couple years ago in favor of pursuing Plan B (which placed me in the talons of BastardNation); so any creative or blissful leanings fell to the wayside. As a result of last week’s KNOCKING (Who’s there? Ohai Opportunity!) Episode, and sharing it with you Majestic Misfits, I am pulling out the old files, dusting off the journals I wrote and reinvesting some time and attention into finishing it. Just in time for my attentions to turn to a little private practice into which I’m trying to inject a spark of life. . .

Because it is the magic of Synchronicity, The Magical Little Practice began gaining momentum this week as well. I have received an influx of inquiries into receiving counseling services and have even booked a regular client. Also…*clears throat* I received a phone call from a mental health referral company requesting an interview with me to be videotaped and released online, as they found the practice and website (promoting Otherness and Bliss) on Google. So um, tomorrow (Friday) at this time, if I so choose, will be immortalized and possibly already going viral in promotion of The Magical Little Practice. I’m kinda freaking out, not gonna lie. While I feel pretty comfortable with my my skills in my job and my hope to have a thriving private practice, I’m nervous about details…Um…These are the important things I am plotting: Cut my hair? Tame it? Will my voice sound as tinny and whiney to prospective clients as it does in my own ears?  (though CC and JHiggs tell me I have a phone-sex voice, will that distract??) Will the camera pan to my shoes? #onlyhalfjoking

Louboutins...Appropriate Interview Shoes? Sometimes. Powerful? Always.

This all happened in the past few days after I felt the distinct SHIFT of isomorphism/synchronicity. Not a moment too soon, as I am just barely staving off the tsunami of panic surrounding financial hardships and am thiiiiiissss close to collapsing in tears on the floor in the fetal position.

Do you see it? Do you see how it all weaves together? Your letters  and comments highlighted your willingness to be brave and share a bit of yourselves with me. Your courage–like Kristen’s, like Claire Danes’s and our past/future Featured Rebel Royals, our shared traits of Otherness–inspires and reminds those of us who are flailing that we are powerful and can contribute in many ways for movement and harmony. We all are Ambassadors of Other.

MANY, MANY MUSES

In addition to encouragement for me to finish some highly personal projects that I neglected for years, and aside from the shift in realization that I had much to contribute to healing, you all have inspired me to seek other moments of isomorphism in the world of our Reigning Queen of Other, Ms Kristen Stewart. I received letters from a handful of folks suffering the heartbreak of trying to encourage Otherness in their children. Some Musings readers have young Royal-Rebels-In-Training experiencing the discomfort and agony of seeking self-identity in the shark-infested hallways at school. There is bullying, taunting, alienating, physical fighting, fractured hearts and shattered self-esteem at stake here, and these kids are only just entering in double digits of years of life. Sound familiar?

I recognized that these young rebels are experiencing the scrutiny and disenchantment of being labeled much like our Reigning Queen Kristen and her fellow Royal Rebels.  A friend, @Nhess_V sent me a message in reaction to last week’s essay containing a March 2010 article from The Independent, The Independent: Kristen’s Musings from The ‘Twilight’ Zone. In this article, Kristen shares with Charlotte Cripps her thoughts of labels placed on her, even in the midst of receiving BAFTA’s Rising Star Award. “I felt overwhelmed,” Stewart states regarding standing on stage in front of legendary actors in the industry (and Royalty, as Prince William was in attendance and presenting that night as well). She was ‘overwhelmed in the presence of “….These industry people, whom I don’t just admire, but who are the foundation of what I want to do”.

While Kristen refers to herself as awestruck, inspired and overwhelmed, her BullShit People, detractors and AssClown Critics label her instead as “Anti-Hollywood”, aloof, cold, distant and ungrateful. Even in her nomination and subsequent receipt of The Rising Star Award, Kristen’s attackers and the “nerdy bloggers” would diminish Kristen’s professionalism and her skills as an actor by referring to her as ‘that twilight girl’, claiming that she only won the award due to her appearance in a block-buster franchise. Of course, we know that she has an impressive resume bursting with critically and publicly renown work  (which leant to the Rising Star nomination in the first place), but commenters, evaluators and spiteful critics don’t acknowledge that. Because she presents as a shy, thoughtful young woman with an independent streak she is labeled unfavorably. The harm in labels however,  as I tell the mothers of Young Misfits and Others-In-Training, is that they are limiting and incredibly subliminal. Lather and repeat. Lather and repeat. If we are labeled enough, we begin to truly internalize this and sadly, we believe it.

those quiet moments, reacquainting ourselves ...with ourselves

Humans label, categorize, pre-judge because they simply need to know how to interact and behave themselves. I advised my friend K–whose daughter is struggling with Mean Girls-type behavior while in Middle School–that the Mean Girls bully and single out her daughter because she simply doesn’t act according to the label that was placed on her. K’s daughter is a perfect example of Other. She is highly intelligent, bright, enjoys school, is confident in her knowledge, and does not prescribe to just anyone’s expectations for her. She marches to her own beat, and that alone is what causes the bullies to ostracize and resent her. They are disconcerted and unsure of what to do with a confident adolescent girl…Because aren’t teenage girls supposed to be compliant (people-pleasing), feminine (but not too feminine as to be sexual), and well versed in popular cultural icons (but not in academic subjects)? It’s a travesty that K’s beautiful daughter questions her identity and strength and worth simply because she doesn’t discuss the latest lip gloss shade with her peers. It’s no wonder that middle school kids feel the pressure of great expectations, what with media or Hollywood outlets forming these ill-fitting labels and implementing them publicly on highly visible and relevant public figures such as Kristen Stewart.

“I am myself for myself and not for anybody else.”

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Attempts to go unnoticed in public

*Possesses an ‘unflinching sense of truth’

“Sincerity seems to be a problem today, but I prefer to be hated than be false and fool people.”~ Kristen Stewart

So, as I cautioned in the beginning, I had a sackful of thoughts but didn’t have any structure at which to address them, so we flowed. I won’t feature a new Royal Rebel today, not because we are lacking such beautiful creatures, but because I wanted to take this week’s post to address the profound effect you all had on me in the past several days. We’ll have plenty of weeks to get to know the many Soulful Majestic Misfits out there…Having said that, I cannot express my gratitude to you enough. You used your voices and spoke your truth. You encouraged me to access my power in the act of you highlighting your own. You shared with me personal experiences and struggles you and your beloveds, encountered;  you explained and better yet, implemented your role model status and represented Otherness in the community–at least you did, you beautiful rebels.

The Twilight Saga author and a particularly acerbic, mouthy Canadian “entertainment blogger” had a harder time of it, committing particularly painful faux pas. The former practically endorsed  a Kristen-Hating/Rob-Obsessed (not the harmless kind) website in her own audio commentary, and the latter caused unnecessary panic by issuing  misleading “spoilers” about the Breaking Dawn screenplay. Well, we can counteract those little wounds by continuing to seek out how we can further the movement of EMBRACING OTHER amongst the fandom and ourselves. In the next couple weeks as we near the end of 2010, we’ll review this epic year for Kristen and her Partner In Crime Robert; We’ll address holiday spirit, friendships, LOVE, Marriage, and OTHERNESS. New Featured Rebels queued for closer inspection? ….Natalie Portman, Helena Bonham Carter, Robert Downey, jr, Ziyi Zhang

Until next week…Keep Going, Guys. Keep On…Always, KJ

WE ARE OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS PROVE LABELS IRRELEVANT AND INACCURATE.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

QUESTION: Do you have any  personal projects that were pushed to the wayside that you’d like to resume?

Do you have any tips for me on how to best present on-camera? *grimacing*

 

A/N: Thank you to my Cyber Sisters/Readers. You all provide me with such knowledge and support. You’re glorious and I bow down.

To the providers of all The Pretty…Tumblr has become my new go-to source for inspiration and gorgeous, gorgeous pictures. I think every single picture in this posting was found on Tumblr. I tried to link the sources to the images. Some I was successful with..Some not so much. THESE IMAGES ARE NOT MINE.

Marble…you’re my awesome partner in crime for plotting ways to get into a Sam Bradley concert. We TOTALLY have it for next time.

BOUFFANT… I just love you. Thanks for all the support and promoting you do for this little piece that I can contribute.

You Already Know

2 Dec

What happened to fury?

What happened to accuracy

or accountability?

What happened to kindness?

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

What happened to teenagers marching and refusing

Instead of exploiting and using?

I say let’s speak it

Let’s fight it.

Let’s right it.

It sucks but it’s true.

It’s you and me, baby.

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

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

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

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

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

A GIGGLY NARRATIVE

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

Try to catch me Ridin Drrrty

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

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

You can actually HEAR this in the commentary

YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO

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

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

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

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

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

whispered the still, small voice

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

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

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

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

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

So what does a Rebel Queen do to preserve herself?

REBEL TIPS FROM REBEL QUEENS

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

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

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

Annnnnddd….

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

KRISTEN:

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

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

WE OTHERS CAN:

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

FEATURED REBEL ROYAL: CLAIRE DANES

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

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

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

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

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

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

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

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

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

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

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

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Unapologetically independent

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

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

~

CLAIRE IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS REALIZE THEY ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

* * *

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

A/N:

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

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

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

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

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

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