Tag Archives: courage

Redefining the Learnings of Love

10 Feb

A/N: Well today’s post is much later than anticipated, but I’m happy to be posting, nonetheless. This essay was written in several different parts, over several different days, from various locations. I started writing when I  was down in L.A. for Bobby Long’s show. But since, I’ve traveled back home and have experienced several events that urged me to keep writing, despite any issues with continuity. In other words, it’s how I roll. Thanks for flowin with me, Lovelies, and thanks for not being too hard on me for being a complete fail with comment and email replies. My goal is to finish them this weekend!…Anyhoo, Let’s go forth, mmmkay?

***

A soul connection is a resonance between two people who see each other’s essential beauty, behind their facades…a sacred alliance, whose purpose is to help both partners realize their deepest potentials

~John Welwood, Love and Awakening

Well this very spur-of-the-moment trip down to my hometown found me in possession of several outfit options for various weather, including scarves and hats, though it is so mild and perfect here in SoCal, I fear I’ll be lynched by those of you in blizzard country experiencing heinous conditions. As indicated, I’m only kinda prepared. I have makeup (which I only really wear when I go out to shows or in meetings), though no makeup remover; my phone and wall charger, but no car charger, which proved to be a hindrance as I charged my phone in a public bathroom at an L.A. shopping center during lunchtime yesterday. I have my trusty MacBook Pro (and charger, yippee!), but not my usual Musings Notebook; no books of poetry and psychotherapy to prompt me, not even a spiral notebook. I don’t even have a pen!  You Office Supply Junkies know WhatImmaSayin when I mention needing the right writing utensil in order to truly produce good work.

This is like porn. #OfficeSupplyJunkie

I am of course struck with inspiration to write and to create after  yesterday’s jam-packed day of travel, good food,  and unbelievably dazzling stills from On The Road. Top the night off with attending Bobby Long’s show at The Troubadour and we’ll call it a good, good day, my friends.

Let’s talk about the just-released OTR stills a minute, ok? Or not. Really, I don’t know that there are words to adequately describe the rush of euphoria that overtook me when I first saw them. I had been away from my phone and the internet for most of the day since I was flying in and enjoying a lovely day of catch-up with @Edmett and @RobKris13. I checked my email/Twittah timeline and saw these pics, each one more breathtaking than the last.

Ohai, Sal. I mean, Sam.

And I nearly caused poor @Edmett to swerve off the 405 as I screamed and showed her this still on my iPhone:

I cant even.... *sputtering*....legs. Garrett. Sam #INeedThisMovieNOW

The  third picture–you know what I’m talking about–features our Reigning Other Queen in a suspended moment of exquisite magnificence. I literally moaned and chanted OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODDESS over and over when I pulled it up on my phone’s decidedly too-small screen.  I had just basically handed our lives over to @Edmett in showing her this picture while crawling through L.A.’s Rush-Hour Traffic. How we didn’t slam into another car in that moment I’ll never know, but MAD PROPS to my friend’s stellar navigation skills. Because…LOOK. AT. THIS!!!

...And if we would have died that day, I would have been ok with that

“… because 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 that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn…”  ~Sal from On the Road

Not only is this picture sensual and visceral, and captures our Rebel Royal Kristen in a moment  of oneness with her Inner Beatnik Beauty, but to me this scene depicts exactly what I envisioned the jazz club scenes to look like as I read On The Road so many years ago. Kristen appears glorious as the sweaty, heady, possessed and unfurling MaryLou(Stew). This moment just drips with spontaneous creative expression and liberation. She is completely enslaved by the music she hears, having no choice but to undulate. I will admit to you that I moaned when I caught a glimpse of this gorgeous film still. The Beats, in their celebration of creativity, sexuality, music, prose, and non-conformity were some serious trailblazing Others were they not? I cannot even begin to describe my elation at knowing Kristen is in this movie, along with Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund. It cannot be here fast enough, in my opinion.

Oh, and speaking of magical moments,  let me say how soulful and brilliant I find Mr Bobby Long (singer, songwriter, harmonica-and-guitar-playing, Britpack-rolling-shy guy) to be. He felt all the notes in every cell of his body. With grimaces, gyrations, body-sways, he appeared consumed entirely and I was enraptured. I hadn’t seen him live before, just via YouTube, and I was utterly captivated  by his gritty, passionate voice and his talented guitar-playing.

It also struck me that I hadn’t been to this particular  L.A. Venue for at least three years. The last time I’d been at The Troubadour, I had arrived extremely intoxicated via limousine for a birthday party and a live show. I technically wasn’t single, as N and I were trying like Hell to keep our über long-distance relationship afloat, but it was a darker time in our courtship.

I swear Bobby was on par with me this week as he performed his breathtaking song “Who Have You Been Loving”. The night was already enchanted as I got to spend a teeny bit of time with dear friends (big waves to my KSIBTU Crew Girls Iris & Kim) and  enjoy the company of my sister Mari/Pai, @RobKris13 (whose pictures of Bobby I’m featuring) and @edmett while participating in one of my favorite activities: watching brilliant singer-songwriters perform live.

Love as a Transformative Path

So let me go back to the beginning and  tell you that I knew I was going to write about love and relationships this week, and not because we’re approaching that obnoxious-pink-hearts-and-teddy-bears-day, February fourteenth. I wanted to address Kristen’s admirable poise as she sidesteps the intense scrutiny and curiosity into her  own love life, and I wanted explore the question that arises in relationships in general: Is this relationship worth the struggle?

So while in SoCal, I had hoped to write, severely lacking in notebooks and writing utensils, even as I was bursting on the subject of Amore (Italian)! I stayed in my childhood bedroom while down in L.A., which is peppered with baskets and drawers of little treasures I couldn’t part with. In one basket I found an old journal, started two years ago. There was only one entry in it. It began with the line:

“I am on United Flight 53 to Maui”

To my joy, I discovered that this is my traditional airplane journal entry commencing the start of a new travel adventure. This time, N and I were embarking on our honeymoon. Perfect. Just another confirmation to write about the faith and consistency of love, despite setbacks, challenges, immigration and wild speculation from external naysayers–obstacles that Kristen and her partner Robert have to address nearly every day.

Let me inject briefly with a clarifying statement.  I do not believe in “Valentine’s Day”. I believe in love, I believe in declaring it as often as possible to my beloveds and I believe  in sacred contracts with numerous soul mates (see last week’s Musings). But I do not need a specific day, decked out in cut-out hearts and boxes of chocolate to dictate how I express my fondness for those in my life. So again, I’m not writing about Liebe (German) in reaction to the event that occurs next Monday. Instead, I am writing about  Szeretet (Hungarian) because I believe loving someone is always worth any struggle… And because N and I are going through the next phase in the permanent residency/Green Card process. And because I had a mind-blowing lunch with a childhood girlfriend while I was in town. (Meg is a newlywed, and is discovering who she is as a married woman). . .and because our Reigning Other Queen Kristen and her chosen consort Mr Pattinson are trying to navigate the pitfalls of being in a relationship under the telescopic spotlight amongst cynics, set stalkers, “nerdy bloggers” and the spectacle that is our society’s expectations.

Swear that youre in it to win it

Our Majestic Misfit Kristen is only 20 years old. I know it’s easy to forget this when we witness her stunning transformation into MaryLou(Stew), or when we realize she’s portrayed more sage, battered old souls then most of us have had jobs (most of us. I’m into my twenty-something job since I’ve been seventeen). But it’s true Kristen is just out of her teen years, chronologically. I ask us all to remember what it was like to be in our early twenties, attempting to negotiate a career, decipher what we want to do with our lives, falling in and out of infatuation with the gorgeous kid at our work or in our classes.

John Welwood–author, psychotherapist, and founder of the field that is my doctoral studies currently: East/West Psychology–notices that  most beliefs about love, commitment and marriage have been altered drastically today. Welwood writes in his article Intimate Relationship as Transformative Path, that the definition and function of loving relationships and marriage in particular, were prescribed by family, society and religion, and upheld (supported? Whaaa?) steadfastly by the community. Today, however, perhaps due to cues from television, movies, and new media, the loving relationship has become the wild frontier and almost the exception.

Ummmmmm. So what happens when your “community” is Hollywood, land of the 5-times-divorced-but-let’s-have-a-reality-TV-show-about-our-crumbling-relationship-mentality?  What happens when you’re trying to grapple with social networking sites, Tweets, twits, gossip blogs, camera phones and your own “fans” fighting, plotting and sorta-kinda hoping/wagering that your relationship fails?

It may be frustrating to some, but Kristen and Rob’s policy of keeping their personal lives to themselves is a policy that is effective. The curiosity may be at an all-time high right now, but the rabidity will fade eventually, and the bond that exists between our Royal Rebels is probably only strengthening as they face the challenges purported by being outrageously famous, together as a partnership. John Welwood’s thoughts on long-lasting couples echo this:

“What can sustain a couple through the most difficult times is knowing that they are together for a larger purpose–helping each other refine who they authentically are as people.”

All I’ve Ever Learned From Love

“But all I’ve ever learned from love, was how to shoot at someone who out-drew you.”

~ Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah

I cannot imagine the horror Kristen and Robert must feel when they recognize they cannot even hold hands in public for fear of retribution, of the Vultures swooping in and pecking away at their still-warm forms. I  have great admiration for  how they both have waded through the speculation and obscene invasion of privacy. Could you say you’d handle it with the same finesse? At age 20 and 24, what were (or are–Musings has Readers of all ages, ranging from 15 to 65+) you doing, and how did (do) you view love and intimacy? What cultural, familial or religious factors govern your views on love, commitment, marriage…?

When I was 20, I was a junior in college, just having declared my major for the sixtieth time (Sociology. English. Journalism. Psychology. Music. ) Speech Communication was the winner…for about 1 semester until I stumbled upon Counseling Psychology. I was in the final months of my relationship with my first  boyfriend as an “adult”. I was already experiencing the heartbreak of first love, first loss, the first discussions of marriage, and why or how it wasn’t in the cards for me just yet (if ever). I can’t imagine trying to process these overwhelming emotions while in the public eye, with my face splashed across every rag mag counting down the minutes to my demise.

As Mr. Welwood asserts, times have changed in how society views love and relationships. No one culture or religion views Mahal (Filipino/Tagalog) and marriage in the exact same way. In India and some African villages your soon-to-be spouse is chosen for you and you don’t meet your new honey until a family-chaperoned meal is arranged. In 1950’s America, the ultimate act of love a woman could display is finding a husband for whom she can immediately birth children and tend his home.

I never believed I would get married. I was raised by a spectacularly efficient single-mother and I had no example of marriage to draw experience from. I grew up surrounded by peers who all were married and having kids by the time they were 24, which is great since these girls and guys have always, always envisioned their lives playing out exactly so. I looked upon my future in love as nebulous. Mostly because I couldn’t imagine settling in one place long enough to anyone’s liking–I have expansive dreams of traveling and an impulsive nature to boot–hence the  reason I carry a passport in my purse nearly all the time.

But this is not always acceptable, even today. I have friends who recount to me how patronizing and judgmental people are  because they are single. One of my Possum (aka Aussie) Besties, @Justice_Aussie (Jai) came home one afternoon after a doctor’s visit. The nurse receptionist called Jai …wait for it..“Socially Infertile”. Meaning, she is single, and not able to hang onto a partner, and most likely decreasing any chances that Jai could have children, whether naturally or with some help. My friend Jai, granted, I’m biased, but I still speak truth, is a beautiful, intelligent, snarky, accomplished lawyer in her twenties. For some stranger to offer up her opinion (a narrow, cruel and uninformed one at that) unsolicited, is an abomination. And it rocked Jai’s confidence. My beautiful, strong Possum felt a moment of uncertainty.

Oh, fuck no.

Now. Can you imagine the onslaught of unsolicited opinions that our divine, royal Queen Kristen must receive on a daily basis?

Creating A New Definition

I met my now-husband N when I was single and traveling on a personal quest. I spent 3 weeks wandering through China, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, with my mother. Then I spent one week solo traveling through a few places within my Motherland, The Philippines. I was 27 years old (waaaay too old for some people’s liking and waaaaay too single) seeking some understanding of a culture that is mine but little experienced since I was not raised within it. N was working as a dining room steward on the cruise ship my mother and I toured with. We met in Osaka, Japan. It was not Love, or Cinta (Indonesian) at first sight, but it definitely was a bond of respect upon first meeting. After I left Asia, N and I kept in touch with the assistance of modern technology: Skype, Chat, long-distance calling cards. Long, wonderful, movie-worthy story short, despite ungainly obstacles (cultural differences, religious differences, nearly insurmountable long-distances–like all the time; our family’s skepticism, and our respective communities’ concerns), N and I are now in the home stretch of his garnering permanent residency and his green card. We just have to pass this second interview proving that we indeed are a genuine, married couple and have been for the past two years. We’ve worked hard these two years, fought for this, defended this. And we two wanderers just created a love story of unconventional means. But it works. And I have a single journal entry detailing our honeymoon flight to Maui.  SCORE.

So again, I bring attention to our stunning Rebel Queen Kristen and bow humbly at her feet for the incredible strength and grace she endures to have her personal life include one Mr Pattinson. How do we know she’s in this relationship for the long haul? Well we don’t know as an absolute, nor should we, but from what I’ve observed, our Queen has withstood great distances, public criticisms and concerns, meddling film studios and co-workers, stalkerazzi, obsessed and delusional “fans”, all while in the spotlight. They’re defying predictions and excruciating scrutiny, and they’re making it work. And it’s so pretty.

Reminiscent of the fair Snow White and her prince, no...?

Kristen, Rob, and our Featured Rebel have explored ways of creating a new definition of old values. While the idea and concept of Amour (French) is as old as time, the way we practice it, protect it, and live it is all our own accord. Others refuse to be labeled or pigeonholed in one identity, despite external pressures to choose just one definition. Others continue to refuse compliance  to industry and societal expectations in their work and in their expression of values.

Featured Royal Rebel: Viggo Mortensen

This beautiful, multi-talented man not only worked with Kristen in On the Road this summer, but his name is attached to the new film project Snow White and the Huntsman, which would feature Reigning Queen Kristen in the titular role of Snow (if she accepts the offer) and Mr Mortensen as The Huntsman. Viggo alone would be enough for me to want Kristen to do this film. Everything that he produces is just better. He caught my attention first when he was the sexy, hippie vagabond in A Walk On The Moon with Diane Lane, but Viggo Mortensen has been on the scene for much longer than that. He is a Danish-American actor, writer, painter and musician boasting an incredible list of accomplishments and an array of exotic locales in which he lived. Perhaps he is best known for his work as Aragorn in epic and one of my personal favorites: The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (yes I apparently was a geeky fan girl for much longer than you knew), but it was his most recent work in a series of esteemed director David Cronenberg’s films A History of Violence and Eastern Promises (for which he earned an Academy Award nod) that elevated Viggo’s status to glorious heights.

Mr Mortensen always provided glimpses into his Otherness, even from his childhood. His mother is American with family from Nova Scotia Canada, and his father is Danish. Perhaps Viggo was destined to be a wanderer and seeker of more since his parents met while traveling through Norway. The first eleven years of his life, the artist lived first in Denmark, then Argentina, where his father managed chicken farms and Viggo learned Spanish, the language he speaks fluently today and is the language in which he reports feeling most comfortable communicating. His parent’s divorce prompted Viggo and his brothers and mother to return to the States, and he spent the remainder of his childhood in New York. To address his restless spirit in which he reported needing “to define purpose of life” (very appropriate he is in On the Road, no?), Viggo chose to travel and live in Europe, including Spain, England and Denmark after he graduated from university in New York. He held miscellaneous jobs such as truck driver and flower seller until he returned to The States after two years, to pursue acting as a career.

His first film role was as an Amish farmer in Witness alongside Harrison Ford, and since this film Viggo Mortensen has produced a steady string of well-received movies over three decades.  His  film work includes The Portrait of a Lady, Crimson Tide, A Perfect Murder, Hidalgo and Sean Penn’s The Indian Runner among so many others. He has cultivated a career that is highly diverse as well as intriguing and it would take maybe three more pages for me to list his incredible hobbies and rewards. In addition to acting, Viggo is a poet, a jazz musician and a painter. He refuses to comply with Hollywood’s expectations with statements like, “I wouldn’t do any more movies, quite frankly.” He also declined his agents’ suggestions to change his name to Vic Mort. He has been knighted in Norway, he is a published poet and writer, a musician who has released at least three CDs, an accomplished equestrian, mural painter and linguist (he speaks French, Spanish, English, Italian and Swedish fluently). He’s a translator, a hockey buff (big supporter of the Montreal Canadiens), and a skilled swordsman (residual from The Lord of The Rings). And he is a co-parent to a now 22-year-old son, with his ex-wife Punk singer Exene Cervenka (of the band X). Throw on top of that the honors he’s received in being named Sexiest, Hottest or among the Most Beautiful nearly every year for the past decade. He indeed created his own idea of what it means to be an artist. Neither fame nor money are of importance to Mr Mortensen, only the opportunity to express some facet of himself creatively. One of my favorite quotes I’ve read from him is in his musings on being an actor:

“It comes down to the fact that you supply the blue, and other people supply the other colors…and mix them with your blue. Maybe there is some blue that wasn’t there before. Maybe there wasn’t supposed to be any there in the first place. So have fun, and make a good blue.”

Offenses of Otherness:

*Hadn’t pursued the now-legendary role of Aragorn for LoTR until his 14-year old son convinced him to reconsider

*Does not approach filmmakers for new roles, prefers to “wait to see what comes” to him

“Life is short. I like to pay attention while I’m going through it. I will create and filter my own idea of what that means”

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

So in this fairly long Musings on redefining an idea or identity despite age-old expectations, we sidestepped the antiquated Valentine’s Day-like title of Love and discussed different definitions of that ubiquitous emotion, verb, title. We applauded our Majestic Misfit Kristen because she reminds us that falling in Love, and expressing Love “Ninakupenda” (‘I Love You’ in Swahili)  can look very different from what we expect. We all are informed and influenced by our childhood/cultural/religious communities  in constructing meaning for a concept or title, whether it be:

LOVE or CREATIVITY or GUIDANCE or ACTOR or ARTISTIC or HUMANITY  

Kristen also reminds us that only one facet of her being is in-tuned with portraying Bella Swan…Kristen has the means and the courage to embrace her inner MaryLouStew as well. This is doubly and triply confirmed by some of Kristen’s OTR costars: Amy Adams, Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund. Maybe (hopefully) Ms Stewart will embrace the true role of a Rebel Queen by the name of Snow White, as well as embody the role of a transgendered prison inmate (K-11) this year. Maybe she’ll take the time she wants to write and direct. Maybe she’ll arrive at the BAFTAs this Sunday with Robert on her arm as she passes the torch of Rising Star to this year’s deserving recipient (Maybe to fellow Others Emma Stone…Or Andrew?). Whatever role or creative plan she chooses to share with us, I do not doubt it will be all Kristen. As she defines it. And that is seriously beautiful.

Role Call: Other Queen? HERE. . . P.S. Thank Buff & N again for this photo/edit collab. Its my very favorite.

Offenses of Otherness:

*Remains grounded about the enormous success of her career

*Strives to channel celebrity into philanthropy

“You should have the opportunity to be more than one person with different people – because you have that within you.”

Go on. Go and challenge what you’ve been taught about expressing yourself, expressing your emotions, expressing your gifts. Take your “blue” and make it the best blue you can. Question and defy the critics who label you “socially infertile”, give the double-bird salute to anyone who tells you that Valentine’s Day must somehow involve paper heart cutouts and flower delivery companies. Remind yourself what it’s like to fall in love, fall out of love; to seek identity and direction and to create a new model, a new culture, a new language. Redefine and REPRESENT Otherness.

Viggo is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others create a new definition for expression.

Embrace your Other.

***

Question: What factors influence your beliefs about Love, Creativity, Expression, Individuality? Do you ever challenge these factors?

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A/N: Again, I thank you for your patience with me as I try to make peace with a new posting schedule. It may be bi-weekly now for a while as I tackle 3D happenings such as Immigration interviews, MOO Missions and a fledgling Private Practice. The response and support for the last essay was unprecedented and I am stunned.

You read the glorious and genius KStew Is Better Than You, yes? Well it’s KSIBTU’s BIRTHDAY today, February 10! One year ago, CC blessed us with her gift of humor and intellectual sexy and altered everything. I count her among the inspirations and co-creators of Musings. I’m kinda indebted to CC for life because she first found the courage to publish her brilliant and effective defense of Queen Kristen.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KSIBTU!!! To many, many more years of laughter and Cat Quotas.


This Essay is For: Possum Bestie Jai, to my friend and beloved sister, CC of @KStewsBtrThanU, to Ree (my warrior), Megs (I could spend hours with you), Cheermom (You’ve been blessed by Angels) and N (I’ll gladly challenge immigration with you any day, Babylove).

Big thanks to @RobKris13 and @edmett  for an incredible day-long adventure in L.A.

To Bouffant: You’re my brand of Cray-Cray. Love you.

To Mari/Pai: We’ll need to make it a tradition, our girls nights out. Love spending time with you, mi hermana.

To my Cyber Sisters/Readers: Muchas muchas gracias, Te Amo.

Check out the New Resources for Beauty Page….I’ll be adding new material often, and hopefully including links and videos.

See you soon. Yours, KJ


Revisiting Resolutions

13 Jan

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

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

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

*IOW traditions drift into the sunset*

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

The Chosen

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

oh. MY.

And…here…

Whatcha lookin' at, Rob?

Annnnd here…

So telling, this photo. I see a bubble.

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

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

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

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

such joy. and color coordination. usual.

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

New Resolve, New Vision

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not too shabby, eh?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Featured Royal Rebel: Natalie Portman

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serio. How hot is THIS?

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

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

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

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

Offenses of Otherness:

*Prefers getting an education over acting

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

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

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

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

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

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

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

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

Offenses of Otherness:

*Unwavering dedication to the protection of her personal life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Natalie is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others recognize the importance of revisiting resolutions.

Embrace your Other.

 

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

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

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

You Already Know

2 Dec

What happened to fury?

What happened to accuracy

or accountability?

What happened to kindness?

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

What happened to teenagers marching and refusing

Instead of exploiting and using?

I say let’s speak it

Let’s fight it.

Let’s right it.

It sucks but it’s true.

It’s you and me, baby.

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

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

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

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

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

A GIGGLY NARRATIVE

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

Try to catch me Ridin Drrrty

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

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

You can actually HEAR this in the commentary

YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO

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

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

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

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

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

whispered the still, small voice

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

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

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

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

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

So what does a Rebel Queen do to preserve herself?

REBEL TIPS FROM REBEL QUEENS

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

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

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

Annnnnddd….

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

KRISTEN:

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

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

WE OTHERS CAN:

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

FEATURED REBEL ROYAL: CLAIRE DANES

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

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

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

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

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

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

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

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

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

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

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

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Unapologetically independent

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

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

~

CLAIRE IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS REALIZE THEY ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

* * *

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

A/N:

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

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

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

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

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

Gratitude for Stew and You

24 Nov

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

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

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

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

KJ’S LIST OF GRATITUDES

SEAN PENN

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

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

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

CEDRIC DIGGORY

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

CATHERINE HARDWICKE

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

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

I get it, Cathy. I do.

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

BRAZILIAN WATERFALLS  & BATHING SUIT THERAPY

*THUD*

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

this eventually is the EW cover via twilighteranonymous

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

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

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

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

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

COLLABORATION AKA, SHARING IS CARING

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

lip service of mutual admiration,

Chess strategizing…

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

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

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN JAYMES STEWART

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

Courtesy of KBitch’s Tumblr

Courtesy of the sublimely named: ItsOkToNOTbeOK

REBEL ROYAL SUPPORTERS

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

See how well we fit together? 

WE ARE OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

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

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

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

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

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

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

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

Buff, CC, Bouffant… you complete me.

My CYBER SISTERS/READERS: Happy Anniversary, Ladies.

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

Carry On.

xx, K

The Places That Scare You, Part 2

16 Nov

So let go, let go. . .There’s beauty in the breakdown~~Let Go by Frou Frou

Ohai, Monday!! *peeks around with large eyes on an unfamiliar day*. I’m picking up right where I left off from Thursday, my Lovelies. Did you enjoy meeting our Featured Rebel Royal Zooey Deschanel? Well, It’s been yet another incredibly knowing weekend for me, and unbelievably illuminating weekend for our stunning Other Queen Kristen. I’m going to stick to my original plan from last Thursday by finishing up with the theme of pushing through fear and feature our Reigning Other Queen per usual, as well as tell you the stories of the two weeks prior to this essay. The two weeks included numerous Welcome to the Rileys viewings in which I spent a little time with lovely new friends, good friends, and a birthday party weekend that involved sparklers, bonfires, prosecco and a very comfortable and confident Kristen Stewart in her return to the iconic role of Bella Swan. Marking a return to regular publishing, this Thursday’s Musings, will address some of the more recent events (as in, last night) of security breaches, body image and the heartbreak and triumph of truly being OTHER in society. So where were we? Ah yes. HERE.

Annnd they're NOT filming in this moment...

Images and video from the first days of the Breaking Dawn filming began to surface over the weekend of November 6th, the same weekend I was down in my hometown for the soiree weekend commemorating my birth or some silliness like that. It was our first glimpse of Kristen in the vintage nude dress and Michael Kors pumps…and of the comfortable and open nature in which Kristen and Rob expressed their affection for one an other. Those dedicated fans in Brazil caught nearly every possible living, breathing second of time that transpired in those days of filming the honeymoon in Rio de Janeiro.

The anatomy of a high-five as demonstrated by Stewie and Flippy

And of course…some wandering hands…Which REMINDS me:  WHOA, Like, WHOA  you guys sure LOVED the gif at the end of Part 1’s Musings last week! Nearly all the comments and tweets I received in response came from those of you entranced with watching Edward Cullen familiarize himself with his new wife’s …ass..ets.

Well, it's KJ's birthday. Let's give her a gift, mmmkay?

I of course, was on my phone tweeting and texting with CC who was in the same room witnessing this onslaught of awesomeness in the company of Jamie and Kim, and I also was on Twitter with my girl @robkris13 while capturing the images alongside my Cyber Sisters & Readers. Each new picture brought the anticipation of Breaking Dawn (which surprises me since I’m not the biggest fan of that book) and elation in that Kristen and her partner Robert were showing public affection in between takes and throughout the whole night. These DAY ONE pictures only capped off what had already been an incredible week days. I wondered, did the Birthday Goddesses grant me my wish that Kristen and Rob would feel safe and comfortable enough to just be even while in public? Was my sceptre and tiara THAT POWERFUL? Or did my power derive from the pink diamond replica from The Titanic that hung around my neck?

Well I dunno, quite honestly, if the sceptre and tiara were the catalysts behind the epicness that is Day One of Breaking Dawn filming, but I do know that they were the reason why I kept having drinks and desserts comped by pretty-faced, bouffant-sportin waiters (I texted my girl Bouffant and told her the news excitedly about Pretty Waiter’s Bouffant), and why fruity shots and bottles of tasty prosecco were sent our way, generously. Tweet  from CC at 7:20PM:

KSTEWSBTRTHANU

Hottie waiter (with a killer bouffant and pretty face) just picked up @MusingOnOther‘s tab. #thankyouRitz now out for dinner! 7:20 PM

This is what we had been drinking before dinner, when CC sent that text.  Pretty, right? Note the beautiful sunset backdrop. The weather, not surprisingly, was stunning the entire week’s visit in my hometown. Hot, dry and smoggy which made for a breathtaking sunset every night. My girls among the KSIBTU Crew–@kstewsbtrthanu (CC), @just2cusmile (Iris), @jhiggs86 (Jamie) and @kimmcarr (Kim)–picked me  up  while dressed to the nines in sexy dresses and killah heels. We stopped (of course) at In-N-Out, because we are not on a healthy eating plan as the entire Breaking Dawn cast is, at least not this night. We made our way down to the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Orange County, which, for those of you who follow the timeline, know that Kristen and her “deliciously handsome” costar Robert have visited in the past for a low-profile getaway weekend. The view is …is…well…spectacular.

CC and Jamie held it together pretty admirably when a couple of the Real Housewives from Orange County sat down with a group for drinks at the table next to us. All this was going down while an acoustic guitar player, of course, strummed and sang Van Morrison songs (again, in honor of Kristen, Rob and Otherness? perhaps…). With a bit of reluctance, though not enough to keep us from missing out on grubbing on tasty food, we left The Ritz and headed to a small Italian restaurant for dinner nearby.

It was there that  I just became plain ole sloppy. There I was, in my tiara, with my sceptre, my necklaces of bling and Titanic proportions, all Ritz’d out and in the company of fine, fine ladies, when it became of utmost importance for me to…Charge. My.  Phone. It became  such dire necessity because my phone battery had died and I wanted to tweet, text, call The Goddess only knows who, and I knew I could charge my phone in Iris’s car. I thought it made perfect sense to excuse my self from the table to do this. In the car. Which was in the parking lot. I was drizzunk. The girls found my reasoning for trying to tip toe out of the restaurant hysterical.

Tweet from CC @ 9:38PM (post-prosecco, countless shots, comped martinis and a couple saxophone serenades).

OMG @MusingOnOther just tried to get up from te table to chart her phoeb  9:38 PM

My urgent need to charge my phone was Tweet-worthy apparently.  In case you were holding your breath in suspense, I did NOT get up from the table to “chart my phoeb”.  I sat there instead and fondled the baby salt shaker, caressed my beautiful necklaces, and wondered how the hell I became so lucky to be surrounded by such incredible people. What had I done to be rewarded  so blissfully this year? My answer is, essentially, the moral of this two-part essay:

I WENT TO THE PLACE THAT SCARED ME

With the same determination that Kristen Stewart, our Reigning Majestic Mistress of Other, immerses herself in roles to play off-beat, quirky, unusual rebels with resilient spirits who appeal to her soul, I determinedly began pursuing a life that resonated with my soul. To pursue the Creative Life which is filled with music, art, a BoHo Bay Circle, some Musings, Royal Rebels and Kristen Stewart…and was rewarded in ways that were wholly unexpected and light-years beyond any expectations I ever, ever had. I was laid off from my soul-sucking job over one year ago from Bastard Nation, and I walked away from doing psychotherapy and healing so that I could put myself and Hubby N back together again. We did not have any money (uh, thats still the case), we did not have a plan, we did not have a home, we had no idea what our next source of income would be. Despite the fact that I had spent almost ten years developing myself as a licensed mental health practitioner, and despite the fact that I was beginning to earn some decent money and status in my field, I chose to walk away. Scary. As.Fuck. My mother, my colleagues, my husband (maybe just a little) and some of my family members thought I was insane–ok, they still do–and they told me as much. They told me constantly how afraid they were for me. How they feared for my well being. And yeah, not gonna lie, there were moments where I was absolutely devastated and exhausted, and I recognized the bumpy path ahead of me. It was a World of “No”.  But I reconnected with that dormant part of me that wanted to express emotions properly, sing, play piano, write, and because I pushed “PUBLISH” on June 3, 2010, at the encouragement of CC and Bouffant, I opened the door to a positive world, a “Gift of ‘Yes'”, as Kristen says in the wonderful article by Sarah Kuhn for the publication Backstage.

Kristen's *Headdesk* is infinitely better than mine. Better than everyone's. Just sayin.

And The Gift of ‘Yes’ keeps giving…Kristen’s Gift of Yes manifested in the form of a successful franchise such as Twilight allowing her to “keep doing what I’m doing”. She is able to develop and work in projects that may not have had an opportunity before Twilight, such as Welcome to the Rileys, The Runaways, and On the Road. My Gift of ‘Yes’ keeps giving in that I have made the most wonderful friends who are stationed around the world through a fandom that I was merely an observer in, drawn to the charisma of an Indie film actress and a rakish, charming British musician who played the doomed Cedric Diggory in a Harry Potter film. Because I decided to go the scary route, I was able to walk away from psychology for a whole year and return just now, refreshed, thirsty, inspired, and extremely convicted that I can merge Plan A with Plan B, and be delightfully happy about it. Part of why these past 3 weeks have been so powerful for me, is because I was able to integrate my skills as a therapist trained in Satir’s Communication theory, and Carl Jung’s discussion of archetypes with this psych training seminar, into my world that has become important and prominent to me as a result of appreciating Kristen Jaymes Stewart. I realize quite contentedly,  I get to attend clinical psych trainings AND Bonfires with my KSIBTU Girls:

I have the privilege to build a “Magical Little Practice” for psychotherapy on my own terms, but with the knowledge that I am also an Other Queen in training. I have a plethora of positive reinforcers and physical anchors to remind me of this:

Gifts from my KSIBTU Crew girls. More on the KSIBTU Scrabble Tile necklace in the A/N.

I am writing this on Monday, in the aftermath of the HOLY HOTNESS,-KRIS-AND-ROB-ARE-IN-THEIR-BATHING-SUITS!! pics, and the disturbingly invasive video footage obtained through a serious breach in security (or massive bribery of a crew member) which showed our favorite Rebel Royals on set and in their down-time. So on Thursday, I’ll address those matters, but in the highlighting of our Reigning Other Queen today, I wanted to draw attention to an article that I alluded to earlier in this post, in which Her Royal Otherness Kristen spoke of The Gift of ‘Yes’. The  interviewer/writer Sarah Kuhn surveys Ms. Stewart’s career from her discovery in a Christmas play in elementary school up to what the writer refers to as “the recent indie sensation Welcome to the Rileys”. In the midst of a time when the scrutiny is intense on Kristen (you’ve seen the breakdown of a High-Five at the top of this post), this article champions Kristen’s dedication to an authentic portrayal of characters she embodies.

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

Aside for her penchant of posing in ridonk sexxah photo shoots (err, see above: shoes…hose…is that General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard in the background?), Kristen carries herself with a confidence and certainty that only a child raised in a show-business family can possess. Kristen was discovered by an agent when she was performing in a Christmas play while she was in elementary school. Her script-supervisor/director mother Jules and her TV producer/set-managing father John were always on a set of some sort, and Kristen, finding herself on sets with regularity was curious about “getting a job” in the family business. She always believed she’d be crew, a writer or producer, but when the agent discovered Kristen in that school play, she found herself auditioning for and landing parts in films at age nine. Her breakthrough role as the diabetic daughter of Jodie Foster’s character in Panic Room was granted to her after having to “work [her] ass off for it. It was not a quick thing”. In this writer’s eyes, Kristen appears firmly ahold of strong intuition, and her ability to pick new projects to participate in are solely rooted in her reaction to the story and a compulsion to do “the proper work” to authentically represent her character’s story.

Taking the role of Mallory, the near-broken, simmering and battered stripper/prostitute in Welcome to the Rileys was a decision made by Ms Stewart nearly two years after first reading the Rileys script. She did not believe she held the confidence nor maturity to play the part. She did not film the role until she was eighteen and had completed her work in Twilight. Of course, Twilight, and Kristen’s own path towards Bella Swan is steeped in it’s own now-legendary lore. Director Catherine Hardwicke, like Jake Scott of Rileys discovered Kristen’s unique charisma based on her small but pivotal role in Sean Penn’s haunting film Into the Wild. Hardwicke flew to Pittsburgh to meet Kristen while Kristen was filming the lovely Adventureland and introduce the idea of accepting the role of Bella in the Stephenie Meyer-penned saga. Kristen admits to Backstage, that she could not truly consider the project “of that magnitude”, but after her meeting with Hardwicke (oh Chatty Cathy I adore thee) and actor Jackson Rathbone (yum, btw. For those of you who aren’t Twilight followers, Rathbone is the actor who portrays Jasper Cullen in the films), Kristen found herself invested and hopeful about collaborating with Hardwicke in what was intended to be an “Indie film with a built-in, supportive following”. She had no way of knowing her participation in the Twilight Saga would alter her life so dramatically. However, Ms. Ambassador of Other  is thoughtful and grateful for the success of the franchise. If Kristen doesn’t realize it yet, this writer along with Sarah Kuhn of Backstage certainly are willing to imply: Kristen’s success today is a direct result of her steadfast reliance on instinct, and her courage to push beyond the fear. Her insistence on going to places that scare her has bestowed upon her “The Gift of Yes”.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Prefers the more challenging roles of atypical, non “pretty girls”

*Is filled with a sense of wonder and humility about high-quality projects she’s asked to consider

“I cannot make something work that doesn’t completely speak to me”

Welllllll….It’s super late now on a Monday, but I feel I’ve had the chance to talk a little about the gravity and importance of the past couple weeks for me, manifesting in a two-part Musings about trusting instinct and pushing through the fear. Rewards and opportunities for betterment are abound when we make the efforts to remain authentic despite the varying and numerous surrounding sources cautioning us away from going to the dark place. In psychotherapy and in supervision of psychotherapy (which was the topic of my psych conference these past two weeks), we engage in challenging what frightens us because it uncovers our truest motivations and values, our most authentic selves. In our chosen fields of work, taking the risk and pushing through the dark  may open up more opportunities to participate in projects close to our hearts. In confronting what scares me (and my mother),  walking a path different than what others and society would advise of me, I was lead to Musings, creativity, Kristen Stewart and incredibly enriching friendships with folks who watch Welcome to the Rileys with me, you , anyone  at the drop of a hat, several times (looking at YOU @ellelala, @robkris13, @kstewsbtrthanu @Just2CUSmile and @kimmcarr); wave illegal sparklers in the air (um, burning holes in fingers, much??), consume large quantities of pasta and wine, encourage a broke, unemployed mess of a girl to “PUBLISH”,  “SING” and “SHARE”…the benefits and rewards are extraordinary.

ZOOEY IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS GO TO THE PLACES THAT SCARE THEM, TO UNCOVER THEIR AUTHENTIC SELVES

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

Question: Is there something (someone?) that you have avoided challenging in your life for fear of the changes it brings? Have you considered some of the benefits of confronting your fear?

I’ll see you again Thursday to talk a little about the hotness that is Bathing Suit Therapy with Kristen and Rob, Breaking Dawn filming for Days 2-5…Falling In Love, The Ability to be Naked, Breaking Outta The Cage, gross privacy invasions, and The Pretty.  Thanks for hanging with me through this wonky posting schedule, Loves. I adore you madly. xo, KJ

Per usual. Me...awaiting an airplane.

A/N: The beautiful and ultra hip KSIBTU Scrabble Tile Necklace I’m wearing in the picture of my “anchors” is another @JHiggs86 Original. She is hoping to create more necklaces to place on her site at Etsy. Go there. She is insanely talented along with stunningly beautiful and kind. I couldn’t stop staring at her when I met her. CLICK THIS—> JHIGGS ORIGINALS

The Kristen Stewart interview and article I am quoting is Runaway Talent by Sarah Kuhn of Backstage <—CLICK FOR ARTICLE. Published 11/3/10.

Kathryn, thank you for grounding me as I floated away a few times this month. Get your SKYPE ready, we’re scheduling our Business Meetings for the next year now.

Possums Jai and Aai, Mari, Twi2, Macaroni, all my Cyber Sisters and Readers, we have an anniversary approaching, and you have been a huge blessing as a result of our shared love of The Pretty. You ARE my Life Now.

CC, Buff, Bouffant, my Team Other Captains, you push me further. You inspire. Gropages and slobbery confessions of love your way.

To the lovely ladies I met and spent time with in 2D and now in 3D in all my travels to and fro: @ellelala, @edmett @iampancakes, @Drowninit @KPattzNews @Robkris13 you are absolutely the best part of being in this fandom. Incredible and beautiful women you are. All of you.

Lastly, but not leastly, of course: MY KSIBTU Beloveds@KStewsbtrthanu, @Just2CUSmile, @KimmCarr @JHiggs86, I’ll NEVER LET GO. #iloveplayingwithfire #DoYOUknowtheGermanNationalAnthem? #Bonfires #INnOUT #WTTR #Sunsets #TeamRosendo #Froyo . Thank you for the most incredible birthday party. EVAH.

Watch your fingers, CC, my love. Serio. Not all CVSs are open 24 hrs.

The Places That Scare You, Part 1

11 Nov

Confess your hidden faults. Approach what you find repulsive. Anything you are attached to, let it go. Go to the places that scare you  ~~advice from her teacher to Tibetan Yogini Machik Labdron.

Hello my dearest of Dearhearts. I AM BACK! It’s been two weeks since we’ve talked last, and I have missssssed you!  For the first time in Musings history, I did not post a weekly essay last Thursday. Not posting caused me some anxiety, to be honest. Thank you to Emma and Sbella of @TeamKristenSite for checking in on me when I was radio silent last week, and to my Manager Kathryn, my Welsh Muse, for helping me ground after I floated away  for a moment. I am currently poised to hop on yet another plane tonight, for a trip down south to attend the second half of a psych training, but I would really love to tell  you all about these amazing, Ah-MAY-Zing couple of weeks since we’ve last visited…may I? There were inspiring psych seminars, multiple Rileys viewings, bonfires, birthdays, copious amounts of alcohol and yummy food, and reminders of Kristen’s Royalty EVERRAH WHERE. . . So of course we’ll talk about the gloriousness that is Rio de Jan-you-believe-how-freaking-hot-ohhh?

This is beyond sexy for me. I can’t even..I don’t know how to…

Let’s get to it, friends, because we have some serious chemical events to address this week!  So much that I am dividing this post into two parts. Part One is today, and Part Two will be next Monday. In Review: we last convened in the days before Halloween, a.k.a. illuminate-the-repressed-side-of-you-Day, a.k.a. Day of Other. How was that for you all? Let me tell you, since my last Musings, I have had the most incredible birthday that I can ever recall. Truly. I have been nonstop bodyrock for over two weeks now, and I’m on the verge of collapse, but it’s been incredible.

Firstly thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your kind comments, tweets, texts and emails filled with birthday wishes and warm thoughts. I received ALL OF THEM (looking at you, Mullet, @Nhess_V and @horny4Kristen of IMDb for making a special Birthday Thread, and YOU, @kstewsbtrthanu and @buff_82 for my beautiful KStew Bday Card and special shout out in KStew Is Better Than You’s Halloween post). I felt like I was wrapped in a big fandom Snuggie, in a good way, not in the so-heinous-it’s-brilliant-infomercial way. So it began like this: two Thursdays ago, I flew down to my hometown and was picked up by my childhood friend/ next-door neighbor who was kind enough to take a break from fashioning her halloween costume of one of the singing California Raisins of the I Heard It Through the Grapevine TV spots that were always a little creepy, but my god, charismatic!

Ok, so remember how I’ve  spoken of Plan A versus Plan B with you? This means merging all your facets, introducing your cyberworld with your 3-D world, wearing your Chucks with your Tiaras/Crowns? My birthday celebration and the last two weeks were filled with magical moments of synchronicity and encouragement to plow through the anxiety and fear of combining my two plans. I am accustomed to going home and being the brunt of snark and judgment from family members and old acquaintances who don’t understand my unconventional plans for my future or the atypical decisions I’ve made for my career and personal life. And well, I encountered ALL  of those things when I went there this week. But, I also encountered great, great moments of clarity and joy that encouraged me to go forth and continue to pursue the merging of Real Life versus Undercovah Creative Other Life. These facets can exist together. I don’t have to exhaust myself trying to play “Good” Psychology Student, Responsible Daughter and Business owner at the expense of  the parts of me that are Other-Queen-in-Training, Kristen-and-Rob-supporting, klutzy, though always dancing, singing, sometimes-loopy creative girl who likes to write.

Miracle Bubbles = Plan A & B Merging

A sampling of my First Week of Otherness: Friday morning, I walked into the seminar after taking a year off from psychology, ready and primed  for inspiration. I got it. I was inspired, motivated, confirmed and encouraged for doing the right thing in starting my Magical Little Practice and going independent as a small business owner in lieu of working for Bastard Nation in the Sea of Hopelessness out there. A quote was flashed on the presentation screen to serve as segueway into a discussion about guidance, inspiration and technique for teaching:

“People seldom improve when they have no other model, but themselves” ~Oliver Goldsmith

Isn’t that what it’s all about? Instead of looking for structure and pre-designed technique to make change and be ok in the world, we are to look to ourselves to be the role models, the guide. Ourselves. Sure, we can grab suggestions or inspirations from folks we admire and people who inspire us (hellloooo, KRISTEN STEWART), but the improvements aren’t made unless we make the conscious effort within ourselves, and when we acknowledge that it STARTS. WITH.US. But this quote also indicates that we can’t do it alone. So collaboration and remaining open to external input is extremely correlative with success. But we have to make the conscious efforts to make change, to grow. I already know what to do . I’ve been trained. I have been given the tools to use. Now I must apply them in my daily life to create momentum for change and to actively pursue happiness.

Ok, Mr. Riley, shall we talk about the places that scare YOU?

Ok, so let’s use this moment to talk about Welcome to the Rileys. Since last chatting with you all, I have seen that powerful little movie THREE TIMES. The lovely Iris (@Just2CUSmile) and Kim (@Kimmcarr)  were my hot dates for my first viewing of WTTR, of course, and like good Kristen fans, they were on viewings 2 or 3 already…

um, I didn't remove all my black nail polish from my thumb yet. Don't judge.

You’ll notice the title of this essay perhaps, and think it’s a bit odd. It really was meant to be the overall theme in this long, two-part post, about how we let fear hold us back from pursuing our bliss, and consequently miss out on opportunities handed to us.

In Welcome to the Rileys, we meet Doug and Lois Riley, or rather, people who look like Doug and Lois Riley but are really just empty vessels moving through their daily activities, aimless, hopeless, anguished and grieving. They have shut down. The scariest place they can go in that moment, is back up, to break the surface. In Lois’s case, the scariest thing she could do is walk out onto her front porch, leaving the shelter (prison?) of the walls behind her.

In 3D world, behind the scenes of this film process, our Other Queen, Ms. Kristen, was on set by herself for the first time in her professional career. She was 18 years old and about to take on a role as a stripper/prostitute in New Orleans, Louisiana, post-Hurricane Katrina. Kristen did have moments of anxiety in the beginning of filming, as she reports in interviews. But as she immersed herself in Mallory’s skin she found she was able to access some deep, dark, “feral” place within herself to possess the strength to express to portray such a raw, passionate, fierce woman. This woman in the film helps Doug and Lois Riley realize they have been holding back living due to their own fears…This woman recognizes that she is a survivor and resilient in and of herself. And Kristen? Well our girl Kristen is receiving the highest critical acclaim of her career for going to the place that scares her  to conjure up Mallory…

There are more examples, many more, of how challenging the things we fear most can be the catalyst for breaking through a new level of functioning and awareness. I have just begun to detail some of the moments I’ve encountered just in the past ten days. We’ll revisit them for Part 2…But I wanted to throw in a few visuals that express the awe and the AHHHHH of the past few days too. Because really? How freaking incredible has Kristen and Rob’s time in Rio been?  SERIO.

@robkris13 and I dropped everything (postponing FOOD even!) we were doing to check these pics out when they surfaced. #hardcore

FEATURED REBEL ROYAL: ZOOEY DESCHANEL

The lovely Zooey “Zo” Deschanel is an actress, singer and model, recognizable for her deadpan, sarcastic roles in films, and most recently as the “She” in the indie duo She & Him with producer, songwriter/guitarist M. Ward. Zooey was born into a family quite familiar with show business. Her father Caleb  is an Oscar-nominated cinematographer (Passion of the Christ) and her mother Mary Jo is an actress (Twin Peaks). Zooey’s older sister Emily is also a well-known actress, most notably for her work in TV’s Bones.  I knew Zooey from her role as Anita in the lovely Cameron Crowe film  Almost Famous in which she played the older, rebellious sister hell-bent on following her heart’s desires in the 1970’s. Her film debut was in the comedy Mumford, but it was her performances in The Good Girl in 2002 ; plus,  All The Real Girls and Elf opposite Will Ferrel and James Caan in 2003 that solidified Zooey’s presence in the film industry. The LA Times called Zooey  a recognizable and desirable actress due to her “deadpan, sardonic and scene-stealing performances”. She often is cast as the “Best Friend” in roles, about which Zooey commented:

“I don’t even have that many friends. In high school, I stayed home all the time. How is it that I’m everybody’s friend now?”

Ms Deschanel received critical acclaim and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead in 2003 for her work in All The Real Girls, all while pursuing creative expression as a musician. She is featured today as a Royal Rebel as she is successfully balancing her love of creating music with her rising profile as a respected actress, walking the fine line between independent artistry and blockbuster fame, much like our Other Queen Kristen. In 2009, Zooey married Ben Gibbard, frontman of the band Death Cab For Cutie in what indie music writers called, “a match made in Indie Heaven” and she starred in one of my very favorite movies, 500 Days of Summer with her 3D friend and recent Featured Rebel Royal Joseph Gordon-Levitt .

As a child, Zooey traveled a lot, as her parents were working in locations all over the world. While she is a Los Angeles native, Zooey reports growing up in exotic locales such as Canada, Yugoslavia, England and South Africa, though her sadness at constantly saying goodbye to her friends made for a lonely childhood. Zooey told L.A. Times in an interview at Coachella this summer: “I think California is our nation’s greatest state. It’s multi-faceted…it can have a melancholy about it.” After the exotic travels of her early childhood, Zooey  eventually settled into a private high school in Los Angeles where she became friends with future costars Jake Gyllenhaal and Kate Hudson, and she had planned to pursue a career in musical theater. After just under a year of study at Northwestern University, Zooey left university to pursue acting full time.

She. And. Him.

Perhaps she was destined for Other Royalty, having been named after the male character of Zooey in Salinger’s Franny and Zooey; also, with her nomadic childhood,  and her reports of feeling always on the fringe of circles. Zooey credits her ability to sing as a big reason she received the role as Jovie in Elf. She sings with a Cabaret group called If All The stars Were Pretty Babies in addition to her cameos in comedy groups and her singing/songwriting/performing with She & Him.  A self-proclaimed homebody and old-fashioned girl, Zooey exercises awareness and sidesteps the scandals and drama associated with other young Hollywood artists. She is interested in finding film projects similar to “Rushmore and Being John Malkovich” where young directors are “doing different things in cinema. That’s what I’m passionate about”. She acknowledges that growing up in a show business family requires that she has to fight even harder for work and respect in the field, and that she is not in the film and music industry “to be famous” and that her job is not to be “the beautiful”. Smoothly and gracefully navigating the line between artistic integrity and Hollywood It-Status, Ms Zooey is a sublimely lovely embodiment of Other Royalty.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Is uninterested in fame or notoriety

*Successfully balances several facets of creative living, as well as indie projects and blockbuster work

“Always the aim for me is making people feel like they are not alone.”

***   ***   *** ***

ZOOEY IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS GO TO PLACES THAT SCARE THEM.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

A/N: This is where I’ll end Part 1 of this essay. I have yet to pack for my flight and if I keep writing, I’ll miss it. That wouldn’t be such a hot idea. I know I haven’t even brushed the surface of  the epicness that was Breaking Dawn Day One, which coincides with the night we refer to as THE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION with my KSIBTU Girls. We’re talking booze, The Real Housewives of Orange County, Bonfires, CC lighting herself ON fire, Van Morrison, and the introduction of Bella Cullen to the world, Rio style.

The power of birthday tiaras? INSANE.

Ritz Carlton What?!

Here’s something to gawk at til I see you in a few days…

Get it, Rob...I mean, Edward...I mean...really, ROB...Damn.

I shouldn’t have put this gif up so early. It’s like having dessert before dinner. I can’t even write beyond this, because when I do, it causes the page to scroll down and I can’t stare anymore. It’s mesmerizing. Much like Kristen’s famously robust butt, from which Rob seemingly cannot (and quite understandably) keep his hands away.  Let’s look again at this (right, like you haven’t been staring, open-mouthed this entire time, probably having watched the loop about 47 times by now).

Rob, er, Edward bends Kristen Bella backwards under the passion of his kiss, while his hands drift first from her face and neck, bypassing her waist and going straight for the motherlode….*fans self* phew! Um, it’s a good thing I’m ending this post right here.

SEE YOU ON MONDAY for More Musings, my Lovelies! xo, KJ

Into the Wild, Into Synchronicity

14 Oct

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Voted #1 Magazine Cover of the Year

 

SERENDIPITY, SYNCHRONICITY

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

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

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

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

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

FEATURED ROYAL REBEL:  EMMA STONE

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

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

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

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

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

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

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

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

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

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

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

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

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

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

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Is spontaneous and willing to go off-script

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

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

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

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

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

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

EMMA IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

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

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

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

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