Tag Archives: Following Bliss

Muselet: An Other Day

28 Oct

A/N: We’ll call this one a Muselet (a silly one at that), ok, Lovelies? There will be no Featured Rebel Royal in today’s essay, but I will more than make up for it next time, cross my heart. I also am pressed for time as I’m writing this just before I’m to hop a plane for a short flight down to my hometown, to attend a psychology training over the weekend, and celebrate my birthday with family and my hubs, who will fly down just to hang with me for a day or so. Of course, I also plan to squeeze in a viewing of Welcome to the Rileys’ with a couple of girls from the KSIBTU Crew. #Priorities.

Sooooo, hello, my Majestic Misfits, how have you been this week? I’ve been well, though super busy as of late, but nonetheless well. I know it’s been a rather sparse time, in the aftermath of last week’s StewiePalooza,Welcome to the Rileys Press Tour, a.k.a. Kristen. OWNING. IT.  But we’ve had a few little nuggets here or there that help us coast through the week. For one, our beloved bestie Tom Sturridge and one of our  lovely Featured Rebel Royals Carey Mulligan have been seen hanging together outside of hotels, at Whole Foods, whatnot. Oh, and we can’t forget that our favorite Warrior Poet Rebel Mr Rob Pattinson allegedly purchased a bicycle and has been seen riding around the lakes at the university, near  Baton Rouge where he and fellow cast mates are in pre-production for the six-month shoot of Breaking Dawn.

Might be his best bet in evading the set-stalkers

With stellar (insert sarcasm) precision, someone, somewhere has happily tweeted or Facebooked,  or interviewed a store owner to obtain the latest details regarding Kristen and Rob’s location, their possible living arrangements, and food consumed while in Baton Rouge…..And, well, let’s not dismiss the stories of Voodoo Weddings and elaborate Halloween bashes that Rob is supposedly throwing! No wonder the poor guy bought himself a bike!

But I digress. The newest story today purports that Rob is hosting a massive Halloween party for his fellow cast mates (which, I wouldn’t put past him, as he appears to be a very generous guy), in which he will dress up as…wait for it–A Vampire. It feels a little unusual for our notoriously shy guy and his equally shy partner Kristen to be bringing attention to themselves. But it does address the goodness that is October 31, and I’d like to take a minute to discuss this lovely day with you all.
You may recall our lovely Ms. Stewart visiting Jay Leno on The Tonight Show a couple weeks ago. In her interview, she spoke about her family’s enthusiasm for the swiftly approaching holiday known as Halloween a.k.a. The Day of Other or The Day of Embracing All Facets of Self. Maybe The Day the Invisible Becomes Visible…or…The Also Known As Day…?

Our Reigning Other Queen giggled (perhaps Stew Giggles compose the sweetest sounds ever) when she told Mr Leno that her mother, the ultra-talented Jules Mann-Stewart, is a big Halloween buff and that Halloween in the Stewart household is kinda a huge deal, like, a Bigger-Than-Christmas deal. And for several years in a row, Kristen admits to dressing up as, ironically, Dracula.

Mwahahaha! Perhaps Kristen can loan her old costumes to Rob for his party-hosting gig this year?

How bad ass is that? She wasn’t a girly vamp, Kristen cautions us. No, she wore the long cloak and rocked the widow’s peak. Man, KStew is so much better than me. #KSIBTU.  Can I say that I tend to feel the same way  as The Stewarts? Let’s think about it shall we? Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, is a day in which–according to English and Celtic lore–the veil between the OTHERworld and this world is thinnest. The Celts believed the souls of the dead (both benevolent and malevolent) roamed the streets and villages on this night. Family ancestors were honored and invited into the home, as rooted in the Festival of Samhain, but evil spirits were cast away when the celebrants wore masks and costumes of demons. Also? Bonfires. Lots of bonfires involved–to signify heath and home, but also as a cleansing ritual as people would throw the bones of slaughtered livestock into the flames, signifying the end of summer, and the dawn of winter. In traditional Celtic festivals, folks would hollow out and carve faces into large turnips, to place in the windows of homes in order to ward off harmful spirits. Would it look something like this?

um. errr. grrrr...? I'm sorry, I would hardly call this repulsive. Concerning, maybe, but I wouldn't run from the room screaming.

So here’s the deal. There are many perspectives on Halloween, influenced by old cultural traditions, and religious beliefs. Most countries don’t even observe it at all, not as the North Americas and some European countries do, anyway. Halloween in its incarnation today is not the same as All Souls Day (Nov 2) as traced back to the middle ages in which poor folks would go door-to-door seeking food in return for prayers for the dead–although you can see in which today’s Trick-or-Treating customs are rooted. Also, this day should not be mistaken for, though often is, The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) the holiday observed in Mexico and some South American countries in which family and friends gather for prayers and offerings in remembrance of those who have already passed on.

Here is my perspective. Halloween is the opportunity for  us to present the repressed and reveal the hidden, and acknowledge the shadow, recognize the undervalued facets of yourself…One might say it’s the ultimate day to Embrace the Other? Clearly, it’s time to declare October 31 as Day of Other? Well, in my world it is a special Day of Other, because it also happens to be my birthday. *nudges you* It makes so much sense, right???

Again, this looks NOTHING like me. I certainly don't wear aprons.

So it’s true: While I already was self-conscious and awkward and hyper-aware that I looked differently, dressed differently, seemingly formulated thoughts differently than my peers and family, additionally, I endured the heckling of uncouth peers because of the day I was born.  According to these geniuses, I was born on Satan’s Day and that I must be the spawn of  the devil…and that I was so ugly it was no wonder I was born on Halloween, because I already came equipped with my own mask, yadda yadda. Seriously, don’t cry for me, Argentina, it’s cool. Made me stronger and more aware of the Destruction of Others at a young age.

Are we agreed? Shall we declare October 31 Day of Other? You all must see the signs now:  Other-endorsing agents everywhere, opportunities to react in unexpected, unconventional, unusual, quirky, odd and rebellious ways in our every day lives. Signs encouraging you to fly your freak flag and embrace it all…right? There are the endless musicians, actors, and activists that Team Other and I try to highlight every week for you in with Musings, we also have literary heroes like LisbethSalander from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and it’s sequels, and let’s not forget the beyond brilliant  TV show Glee please, all righty?

A brief reminder: while Halloween can be one official day of Embracing Otherness, I still want to encourage you to seek out the unique and extraordinary every other day as well.We’re not making Day of Other like that ridiculous poseur “holiday” Valentine’s Day, now. Nah. Other Day should really be DAILY OTHERNESS, a conscious mantra. Although, I must say I enjoy some of the holiday TV specials that arise as a result of Hallow’s Eve:

Back to Glee for a sec. Have we not talked about this show together yet? I mean, it’s a show about Otherness, outcasts, misfits and rebels set to song and dance for cryin’ out loud!! It has succeeded where poor Cop Rock could not. Just two nights ago, they did their tribute to  Rocky Horror Picture Show, quickly earning itself a spot in my Top 5 episodes ever. Happy Other Day indeed!  All right, we’ll talk more about Glee in future essays. But I just wanted to illustrate how prevalent and relevant Otherness is. It has permeated the collective consciousness in gloriously unusual and creative ways.

T-T-T-T-Touuuuch Meeee


Our Reinging Other Queen Kristen definitely recognized at an early age of her exclusion from the “Ordinary Club” and therefore her membership in the Other Category. The sweet girl was not a fairy princess  or a ballerina  for Halloween,  (not that there is anything remotely “wrong” with either of these costumes/roles, they are examples of the more acceptable, gender-role-supportive via our society), she chose a notorious masculine, blood-sucking, erotic, influential, literary antagonist instead. When asked by friend CC of @KStewsBtrthanU: What should Kristen be for Halloween? I replied: Bettie Page.

The defiance of gender roles has nevah looked sooo good

Kristen, according to peers and filmmakers, exudes a strength and maturity far, far beyond her chronological age. Not surprisingly, Kristen was reading books such as Kerouac’s On the Road when she was a pre-teen, and  at 17-years old, she was hand-picked by Greg Mottola to play the conflicted college student Em in the wonderful wonderful movie Adventureland . Most recently Jake Scott, director of Welcome to the Rileys’ reported that despite Kristen’s age (only 18 years old when she was cast as Mallory), he had complete faith that Kristen could tackle the emotional and physical obstacles to portray a broken, near-hopeless teen runaway/stripper/prostitute in his film. She is so unexpected, fresh, unique and unparalleled when comparing her to her contemporaries. Melissa Leo, Kristen’s co-star in WTTR said:

“She was 18 when we shot the movie — almost too young to know all the stuff she does, to get inside something like that. She had the willingness to literally be exposed in the way she was.”


As I mentioned earlier, I had a pretty solid recognition of my Otherness when I was in grade school, and anytime I looked in the mirror (what? I’m Filipino and Puerto Rican for The Goddess’ sake, and my parents and big brother are Swiss-German, it was all kinds of obvs). But between The Great Yearbook Photo mix-up of Junior High and The High School Other Homecoming Queen nominations, I would say that I opened up to my Otherness quotient in the middle-to-late nineties.

Just this week, I was catapulted back to the Grunge Years as I found myself reading a new fan fic called The Ride by the sublime Aylah50 (whose own birthday is tomorrow Oct 29th~HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my fellow Scorpio Grunge Baby!). The story chronicles two people’s trajectory after a very romantic, sensual encounter at a concert by one of my favorite bands LIVE in 1996. Let’s just say that in my nostalgic haze, I could very remember the traces of purple Manic Panic swirling around the drain in my sink as I would dye my  hair and my friends’ hair (if we weren’t using KOOLAID, remember that shit?), hear Trent Reznor’s voice sing of how he gets Closer …to God, see my Doc Martens peeking out from under my floral dresses or completely inappropriate lingerie; I can remember perving on the beautiful tattooed guy behind the  counter of the coffee shop I would frequent….ahhhh. Well that 90’s Flashback and today’s playlist was brought to you courtesy of BIRTHDAY GIFTS TO ME, INC.

Just relax, yo, I was grunge. Not self-mutilating emo.

Ok. So I’m gonna leave this essay as is, right here. We talked a bit about the possible origins of Halloween, birfdays, declaring October 31 an Other Day. We of course discussed the brilliant and rebellious genius of Kristen Stewart and I promised we’d pick up next time and talk about a new Featured Royal Rebel, but we conceded that Other really is permeating our collective unconscious, right? I asked you all to remember where you were when you realized YOU. ARE. OTHER. and I moseyed down Memory Lane and found myself thinking about Nine Inch Nails, LIVE, and unrequited Coffee Shop crushes.

I’ll see you next week at some point, after Halloween, but before the LA SHIT SHOW, a.k.a. Good Times and Birfday Celebrations with The KSIBTU Crew. I’ll want to talk with you all about seeing Welcome to the Rileys as it will have had it’s wide release tomorrow. I’d like to talk about risk-taking, and bliss pursuing, and the ecstasy of love but the absolute agony of loving in the eye of the storm, Cosmology and Spirituality, Body Image and more and more… Until then, enjoy the music, go and read Aylah50’s The Ride, and think a little about when you chose to be Dracula instead of Barbie for Halloween. Have a wonderful Day of Other/ HALLOWEEN/ SAMHAIN/WHATEVER IT IS YOU DEEM IT, but continue to seek and celebrate your Otherness beyond the 31st. I’ll see you soon so we can check in on how that’s going for ya… Take Care, xo, KJ






Gropage & Giveaways: Awareness and Artistry

13 Oct

Hello my dearests! Happy Wednesday to you. Today is just a Musings Moment, not even a full-fledged Muselet or Memo…Just a moment to announce the Kathryn LeGrice Print Giveaway Winners of  last week’s post. Also, I want to address a few points that I think are essential to all of us…

Firstly, HAPPY OCTOBER!! This is my favorite month, not only because it’s my birthday month, or because it’s the first full month into the Fall Season (my favorite season). It’s a fantastic month because it’s BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. That’s right, friends, I cannot outline the importance of self-gropage for early detection. I have always existed in this world with an awareness of how rampant, devastating, life-altering, and shattering cancer can be.  Unfortunately, I am willing to guess that you all have been exposed to cancer in one form or another-via family, friends, coworkers, and/or your own encounters, no matter your age. Breast cancer does not effect just older women. The women I’ve known who have experienced breast cancer or a cancer scare are as young as 21 through 65. It effects men, young women, families, friends, YOU.

Ladies, if you’ve got ’em, feel ’em up. Do your self-breast exams, get your Mammo-hugs, encourage everyone you know to do the same. Early detection is the key. Go. Go feel yourself up.

Secondly, I want to let you know that you all blow me away. Serio. I am stunned every single day with your comments, tweets and emails to me. Last week was no exception. The courage, the insight, the honesty that you all exhibit bring me to tears, bring me to my knees. I know I say that Musings’ Readers are the most brilliant and brave of all the people out there, but I am saying it in all sincerity, YOU ARE BRILLIANT. Not surprising, since you are KStew and Rob fans. I couldn’t even reply to the comments this week because I felt no words would suffice. Please know that I read all of your comments and thoughts, and I love that you all are interacting with each other a bit, providing support for Fellow Misfit Rebels…You truly are magnificent souls. BRAVE. I bow down to you in humbleness.

During a time when Date Night with Rob and Kristen spark in-fighting and obscene rumor mongering, plus a few Twitter wars, I see you guys staying above it, staying out of it, and concentrating on the bigger picture…WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER. This common admiration we share for OTHERS, and our OTHER QUEEN KRISTEN and her MAJESTICAL MISFIT PARTNER ROBERT  is what brought us together in the first place, and I applaud you for remembering this. I know it gets noisy out there. It gets petty, gossipy, immature, and downright vile.  There are far more positive things to be focusing on right now…Like, the upcoming wide release of Welcome To The Rileys:

Or awesomely happy talk show appearances:

And tapping into that neglected creative part in you, leading to authenticity, dancing in the bubbles:

Know that your warm sentiments and compliments for Kathryn’s artwork has been passed on to Kathryn. She is humbled and stunned at your reaction. She wants you all to know how grateful she is for your words. I urge you to continue peeking into Kathryn’s website: http://KathrynLeGrice.com to watch for her new works. Last week, I showed you three prints that the lovely Welsh Ms LeGrice contributed to Musings as a reminder to all of us Others to keep pursuing our endeavors, no matter the naysayers, the doubters and critics (those include the inner critics, especially). Commenters automatically entered their names in for a chance to win one of the three prints…


Bryant Park



Central Park



San Francisco


I counted your first comment if you left more than one, and I did not include a commenter who asked that I withdrew her name from the drawing to give the chance to someone else to win. (Hi, Fi. You’re so generous, it’s ridonk). Thank you. So, here are the winners of the Kathryn LeGrice Artwork Giveaway–A Reminder to Pursue Creativity:

Part 1: The Integers

Generate  random integers (maximum 10,000).


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

1 thru 19

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:





The winners are: (12) APRIL , (15) NHESS_V, (3) MISTY

Winners, we will get in touch via Twitter and/or email. When we do connect up, I ask that you number your preference of painting (which is signed by Kathryn and presented in a lovely matte frame) from one to three.

Thank you all so very much for participating and sharing a little piece of your selves and your creative journey with us. I will be back tomorrow with my regular Thursday Musings…I haven’t narrowed down the topic just yet, but I imagine it will involve self-reflection, love, creativity, bliss-pursuit and Kristen Stewart. I know, shocker, right? You are absolutely adored by me. In the meantime, GO AND SPREAD BREAST CANCER AWARENESS, PROMOTE THE GROPAGE. Also, please continue to take your risks, remain open (in mind and heart) and continue to celebrate the EMBRACING OF OTHER.  See you tomorrow. Much love, KJ

*A/N* This week’s and last week’s drawing results were obtained through the usage of RANDOM.ORG-Integer Generator.

A Creative Life IS Personal

7 Oct

“Our creative dreams and yearning come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity” –Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

It is quite the decision to explore creative possibilities, pursue a life of authentic expression. Whether it’s unconscious, or a hard-won battle after years of not pursuing  your desired life, it still is a decision that we make. Or is it? Social psychologists note that we are governed and motivated by our desire for approval of society and of our own personal societies (our families, our culture, our ethnicities). Do you find yourself hiding your talents because you fear disapproval from your “society”, in essence denying your Otherness?

Reigning Other Queen Kristen Jaymes Stewart and her Partner-in-Otherness Robert Thomas Pattinson are very aware of their peers’ and industry’s hopes for them. Fortunately, both Kristen and Rob were blessed in their supportive surroundings and families who allowed our Rebel Royals to explore their own aspirations. Supportive, encouraging environments are more likely to produce individuals who are confident in following their natural path, even if considered unconventional (Other). Kristen reports that despite growing up on movie and television sets, she did not believe she’d be an actor. She imagined she would write and possibly direct, like her mother. And this is just one more reason I love her, and personally elect her to be forever Queen:  Though she did not anticipate being “famous”, she reportedly practiced signing her autograph because of her love of pens.

We could be office supply besties...maybe?

Both Kristen and Rob have stated their interest in many avenues of creation such as writing, directing, producing, musical composition and performance. They are fortunate to be able to make a living on their art, which they love. Kristen says:

“[On acting] I love it because I love to tell stories. I like being in movies that have a great story. Acting is such a personal thing.

So that is the base of Musings today. Are we telling our stories, making it a personal thing? Do you love what you are doing? Are you interested in living creatively, and have you actively made choices to support your authentic, creative life?

Free to Be

You all know of my decision to live PLAN A, after Dancing In the Miracle Bubbles, and getting the boot from my unhappy existence in PLAN B-for-BastardNation. I can acknowledge that psychology is a realm in which I have some skill, so it makes sense that I would try and make a career out of it. But was I happy? Was I feeling creative? I realized:  I, like the social psychologists I referenced earlier, was one of the folks allowing my peers and environment govern my decisions.  I found myself submitting to the fear of disapproval, and in Western society, that can mean, fear of “not making a lot of money”. Well, I tell ya, after playing piano and singing in choir since I was 4 years old, and then studying sociology in college, I knew I would not be a monetarily wealthy gal. My mother was only partially placated when I told her I was attending University for psychology instead of music. Again, I asked, is this what I want to be doing? In choosing to focus on disproving Freud’s archaic and misogynistic thoughts re: psyche, I put my musical composition, my singing, my heart’s soothing on hold, denying a facet of who I am, essentially voiding my right to carry my Other Card.

In the inspiring and brilliant Zen and the Art of Making a Living, author Laurence G Boldt cautions readers in not becoming “trapped” playing a role of someone else, simply to gain approval. The minute we begin hiding our humanity and acting only as our societal ROLES, (be it Students, Actors, Doctors, Teachers, Parents, Engineers, Accountants etc), we have become inauthentic and to a degree, less happy. So there I was, playing the role of Psych Student, only partially fulfilled and lacking a creative outlet. The creation of Musings has led to dams bursting, and I find myself writing every singe day. And yesterday, with the release of the Musings On Other Musical Love Letter to which I contributed a musical collaboration of my own, I took another step to reclaiming what is naturally mine. Reconciling the fragments to become whole.

Pathway towards

Pathway towards wholeness

My “manager” Kathryn, has a similar story to mine. She was a computer programmer in Wales straight out of University. She was good at her job, happily making a living, was able to contribute to comfortable living with her husband Keiron, also a computer programmer and Undercover Artist. Things were all right. But Kathryn really only delegated a small amount of time, if any, to her creative expression–in her case, painting–and this only contributed to the restless feeling lurking in her mind and heart. It would take her a period of contemplation and consulting with her family and husband, but Kathryn eventually decided to spend more time painting, if anything, because it soothed her and gave her a creative outlet when work, family, life became a bit noisy. Today, my dear friend has her paintings on walls of galleries and she just officially launched her website and business See Musings’ Sidebar: http://www.KathrynLeGrice.com . She is no longer a computer programmer, and she and her husband live here in my beautiful city in California, teaching, writing, painting, looking after their nearly-two-year-old son. Keiron is about to have a book on cosmology and philosophy published, and Kathryn is enjoying increased interest and inquiries into her artwork. She recently sold a painting back in the U.K., and was able to travel to New York City to meet with more of her Muses.

Bryant Park

In honor of Others following their Bliss, and taking the risk to live creatively, I am featuring three Kathryn LeGrice paintings here today. Kathryn has generously donated them to Musings to remind us Others to continue  pushing the boundaries and seeking wholeness. We should not deny or hide our gifts and contributions simply because we think society or family or peers will judge us and disapprove. I am giving these 3 prints away to Musings readers who comment today and tell Team Other a little about how he or she is taking the steps to living genuinely, and embracing  Otherness despite any judgment…

Central Park

This is only tiny sampling of Kathryn’s work. I encourage you to visit her stunning website and witness her interpretations of Paris, New York, Wales, and  San Francisco, as well as her paintings of missions, churches interiors and landscapes. She may have been a spectacular computer programmer, but I believe her decision to embrace her neglected creative side was her liberation. She truly is an Other pursuing her bliss. And now bliss is pursuing her.

San Francisco


Firstly, I’d like to wish Jesse a belated Happy Birthday, as he turned 27 on October 5. The wonderful  New York City-based actor is currently on a world tour promoting his new movie, the brilliant The Social Network overseas. He grew up in a family of entertainers: his mother was a clown and his sister is the former child actress Hallie Kate Eisenberg. Jesse was a teenager when he debuted on Broadway as an understudy in the production of Summer and Smoke .After TV roles in Get Real and movie roles such as Roger Dodger and  Cursed , Jesse earned rave reviews and award nominations for his portrayal of Walt, a teenager struggling in the after math of his parents’ divorce in the indie-drama The Squid and the Whale.

Some filmmakers would say that Jesse’s “breakout role” was in Zombieland in which he and Woody Harrelson and Emma Stone (oh yessss) sought a land free of zombies post-Apocalypse, but I personally disagree. I say that Jesse stole my heart as James Brennan, the virginal college graduate looking forward to traveling abroad for the summer, only to wind up working at the amusement park  called Adventureland. The movie? Oh, that would be  Adventureland, starring our Other Queen Kristen Stewart. This movie was pre-Twilight and coined by many critics among the Best Movies of 2009 (to which I must concur).

He chooses offbeat and typically awkwardly (Team Other’s favorite characteristic) sweet characters in his films, and he, like his friend and co-star Kristen, seamlessly vacillates between smaller independent projects including theater productions and better-known films. He received positive reviews for his portrayal of a Hasidic Jew roped into dealing Ecstasy in the film Holy Rollers, and is now enjoying overwhelming acclaim for his characterization of Mark Zuckerberg, the genius co-founder of Facebook in the film The Social Network. In interviews, the soft-spoken, polite fellow from Queens and New Jersey, is often humble, unassuming and complimentary of his co-workers. In addition to acting, Jesse is interested in writing for stage and screen. He’s laughingly referred to himself as “not your typical leading-man type”, and I must say, that makes him all the more interesting. An Other after my own heart.


*Can seamlessly and successfully move between smaller projects, theater and big-budget films

*Is articulate and unashamed of displaying his intelligence

*Is humble and quick to downplay his success


Kristen is twenty years old, but has been acting for over a decade and has appeared in over twenty movies already. She was raised by her parents John and Jules, both of whom work in show business. Kristen’s father is a stage manager and producer, known for working on televised shows like Ryan Seacrest’s On Air and currently with George Lopez Tonight, alongside world-broadcasted events such as The Academy Awards and The Emmy Awards. Kristen’s mother Jules is a script supervisor and director. On her childhood, Kristen says:

“I never wanted to be the center of attention. I grew up watching my entire family behind the scenes and on sets. They were crew. I never sought out acting”.

After a talent scout caught Kristen’s performance in a grade school play, she found herself playing non-speaking roles in films such as Thirteenth Year and The Flintstones. She was ten when she landed roles in high-profile films such as  The Safety of Objects and Panic Room. She essentially has been a working actor for over a decade, and blowing our minds with her fierce honesty and uniqueness the entire time. Kristen’s musings on expression:

“But in terms of creative outlets and expressing yourself, acting is just the most extreme version of that that I’ve ever found. It’s like running, it’s exertion.”


*Prefers to not be center of attention

*Vacillates seamlessly & successfully between small indie projects and a block-buster franchise

*Views acting as just one creative outlet, not as a vehicle to further her lead-actress status

Because Kathryn and I have decided to take a chance on Plan A and walk the path of more resistance and more bliss, we are Other.

Because he turned down enrollment into New York University to take a small supporting role in an indie film project, Jesse is Other.

Because she views acting as a personal pathway to betterment of self and her craft, Kristen is our Reigning Other Queen.






A/N: You can enter in the giveaway drawing for one of Kathryn’s beautiful paintings above by leaving a comment answering this QUESTION:  What steps are you taking in your life to make it, like Kristen says, “personal” ? How are you ensuring that you have a creative outlet, or a means for expression?

Go forth..with blessings

3 Sep

Well, hello there! Happy Thursday, no, um, Friday , ok, Saturday, my Misfit Pioneers! It’s been quite a time these past days since I’ve Mused with you last. Thank you muchly for being kind with me as I adjust to all the changes this week. I hope you enjoyed Bouffant’s Other Queen Retrospective yesterday on the stunning rabble rouser EllenBurstyn. If you did, leave a comment here on Musings or find Bouffant @bouffant00 on Twatter to share your reactions, mmmkay?

So. Let’s review the past week since we last hung together. Our girl NinjaStew was low-pro for several days, though speculation and unsubstantiated sightings ran amok since she left Argentina. The mob at the South American airports was a little disconcerting and per usual, I avoid showing pics that are acquired through sketchy channels. However, I did want to note a couple pictures that made me smile, including one Vulture pic because homage must be paid to Sweet, Sweet Sam...

Have you seen the picture where Sam is essentially tucking Kristen into him as they rush through the airport? Though he is not as familiar with the hectic “fiending” that Kristen encounters every day (hey, good going to whomever tweets Kristen’s exact location *sarcasm*), he stayed close to her, offering protection and support. Sam, because you let our Reigning Other Queen take shelter under your umbrella, you are a HERO. Thank you for keeping an eye on our girl in an honorary roll of Protector a la ASB (John) and Protective Rob. Thank you for trying to preserve one of our Precious Resources…a rare Royal Rebel.
She may be flying under the radar as she does best, but Kristen sure is cropping up and soothing the ache a bit in her absence. I am just getting a glimpse at the Australian Marie Claire story in which Kristen speaks about the maturing Bella in Eclipse, and Kristen’s love for her work.

Work to Live

I wanted to talk a little about that today, about loving work, and following the path of Creative Living, surveying the blessings in our lives despite setbacks, obstacles and challenges. While our Queen Stew’s detractors criticize her for “not handling fame well” or forfeiting her happiness and privacy because she picked acting as her career, she reports in the lovely Marie Claire article:
“I love to work. I’m so passionate about the process. Because I get to play strong personalities [Joan Jett in The Runaways, Mallory in Welcome to the Rileys’], different characters from what I am most known for [Bella Swan], I get to choose now to do good projects in the future.”

You see what she did there? Kristen took an idea or a concept and reframed the negative connotation and injected optimism. In psychology, a technique based out of the post-modernist theories called Reframing is used for assessing strengths and motivation for change. It simply is a shift in perspective.
A well known reframe:

From “the glass is half empty” to “that glass is half full”

We here on Team Other live for reframes, hence Beauty Marks and Offenses of Otherness.

Offenses of Otherness // Reframes (BeautyMarks):
Kristen is brash and direct // She is honest and makes her wishes known
Kristen stutters and fidgets // She is careful with words and initially shy

See where I’m going with this? The interviewer in this magazine article asks Kristen:

“Do you feel exhausted by the attention you have to deal with?”

Kristen’s reframing answer:
“It’s hard for me to talk about that without giving the impression I am being negative. I love acting and I’m so grateful for Twilight and the opportunities it’s given me.”

Kristen’s reframes have always manifested in the form of gratitude and humility. She firstly thanks her fans and she reports how blessed she is in even having a job. She humbly accepts the chances to participate in projects with which she feels a personal connection. How much more gracious and Royal can this girl be??

Kristen works to live, she does not live to work. She recognizes that her chosen career is amongst the public arena, and that she’ll occasionally encounter some challenges (Vulture Papz, inquiry into her private life, overzealous, entitled “fans”), but she recognizes that the positive rewards far outweigh those bumps. She shyly reports to the Marie Claire interviewer:

“I’m just not very good at dealing with the idea of being followed everywhere.”

Fair enough, my friend, fair enough. Once you glimpse the chance to reframe a situation, it becomes evident that optimism, and opportunity is everrah where. Try it. Look around. There are signs in every interaction, every reaction, every moment for a shot of positivity, or a shift in perspective. I’ve discovered signs on a daily basis that urge me to keep moving forward, despite bumps in the road. The signs that I am doing the right thing, following my bliss, are everywhere. Everywhere. Like Kristen, I’ve found that doing what I love, sharing it all with everyone I’ve chosen in my life has rewarded me immensely. I am happier than I have been in years. Let me tell you a little about this past week to illustrate the goodness…

The signs are everywhere…

Last week, after hopping on a plane and writing Musings, I dove head-first into the busiest most wonderfully chaotic five days which included a childhood bestie’s wedding (and an open bar), a birthday gathering with KSIBTU Crew gals, a meeting with a business accountant, dates with soul sisters @Robkris13 and @ProRobsten and copious amounts of alcohol. Not only was I merging my splintered fragments together (whaa? I told my childhood besties that I write a blog about KStew and Unconventional Beauty?) but I kept seeing signs that I was was going to be OK…and opportunities for reframes were everywhere! You may have caught my tweets when I was bowling with @Just2CUSmile and the birfday grrl @kimmcarr…bahaha.

We should have just put a straw in the pitcher.

Not 0 for “no points”.
“O” for Double OTHERNESS

Or how bout, for no foreseeable reason, I received a gift, an original painting from the insanely talented @Jhiggs86 to remind me of The First Muse, and of blessings she’s bestowed upon me…

I may have moved into Gloating Territory here.

Oh and not to mention the fed-exed envelopes I received containing cards, letters, gifts, funds, whispers of luck and love, tokens of affection from my Sisters/Readers and Beloveds.

I can’t even…don’t have the words

I can happily report to you that I was able to move forward in launching The Magical Little Practice on September 1, despite having lost a huge chunk of start-up capital and the support of a most beloved source, if only for a brief moment. Another confirming sign that I was going to be ok? That despite some of the obstacles in front of me, I was doing the right thing? One of those Levi’s Jeans print ads that are circulating, quoting Walt Whitman. I was sitting on the train, en route to my new office on my first day, my nose pressed against the window, when we stopped at an intersection. This was the poster on the wall directly in front of me:

Go. Forth.

Everrah where, you guys. See what I mean? Take a moment, open your eyes. Channel your inner ReframeStew. Look at all the amazing possibilities for optimism and creativity surrounding us. Let’s meet the Featured Rebel today…a woman who is fierce but fragile, optimistic and brilliant. A girl who has gracefully and very publicly fought to overcome unspeakably agonizing drawbacks.

Featured Royal Rebel: Michelle Williams

Thanks again to one of my comrades in creativity and inspiration, @theurbanwhisk, I was able to explore my fascination with this notoriously shy but courageous lady. She clearly embodies and beautifully represents the qualities of a Rebel Queen: shy, cerebral, weary of intrusive press, dedicated student of her craft, insatiably pursuing knowledge, soulful and unique. While she may be publicly known as the former fiancee of fellow Royal Rebel Heath Ledger (featured in last week’s Musings), she has been on my radar ever since she played Jen on the WB/CW/What-ever-the hell-network-it-is network’s teen soap opera Dawson’s Creek.

Michelle was sixteen years old when she first took on the role of Jen, and she admittedly reported confusing the ideas and concepts of “beauty” at that impressionable age. She told Vogue in the fall of 2009 that Jen’s beauty was “sexy and pretty”, but that there was “something bad” about that too. “I got it in my head that my beauty was not worthwhile.” She shied away from playing anymore “pretty girl roles” after the completion of Creek, choosing instead to “play the opposite”.

She is anything but the opposite of beauty. She is an Oscar-nominated, respected and revered actor, and more importantly, she is the fiercely determined single mother to her three-year-old daughter, Mathilda, whose father is the late, great actor Heath Ledger. Michelle now says she navigates the tricky position of being a working single mother with the help and support of friends and family. Her focus remains first and foremost on her daughter. She tells Vogue, “I think she deserves the bulk of my attention. We’re lucky. I can work. She can go to a good school, there’s a lot available for her.” As Michelle moved through the stages of grief in the aftermath of Mr Ledger’s death, she found that caution around intrusive reporters and paparazzi has served well, as has immersing herself in work. She appeared in Scorsese’s Shutter Island this year and is preparing to be featured with Ryan Gosling (another Royal Rebel) in the indie film Blue Valentine, which has already received rave critical and audience reviews from the Sundance and Cannes film festivals.

Offenses of Otherness
* Extremely reticent to participate in press interviews
* Remarkably grounded in here-and-now awareness
* Refuses to minimize her intelligence

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

So while she was low-pro and underground for awhile there, we caught glimpses of our reigning Queen on the On the Road set in New Orleans. With her gloriously light hair and her casual attitude, Kristen looked gooood. I mean, who looks this good when they’re just, y’know, chillin?

Effortless, calm, engaged in conversation, I think she looks better than ever. It might have to do with the fact that she’s involved in a film project based on a book she refers to as one of her “very favorites”, in the company of elite acting royalty (you know about Viggo, Steve Buscemi and Amy Adams, right? Good Lawd!) It might be because she was stealth and unseen for several days and perhaps met up with her beautiful partner Rob at some point. She may look this rested and lovely because she recognizes that the blessings in her life clearly outnumber the challenges…Or her contentedness may be because she knows that even with challenges, she will always, push onward.

Offenses of Otherness:
*Cautious and protective of the details in her private life
*Extraordinarily down to earth and genuine
*Only accepts projects she feels a personal connection to

Go Forth…
Because she embodies resilience, grace and beauty in the face of adversity, Michelle wears a crown on the Royal Court.
Because she continuously represents graciousness, humility and awareness, despite detractors constantly watching for a stumble, Kristen is our Reigning Other Queen.

Michelle is Other.
Kristen is Other.
Others continuously
Work To Live.
Embrace Your Other.

Question: Are you living to work? Or Working to Live?

I will actually write sappy love letters directly to the peeps who have held my hand and given me such joy and love these days. Possum Besties, Tebby, ProRobsten…all of you know who you girls are to me. Just a couple thoughts: Thank you, my beloved CC of @KSIBTU for pre-reading tonight’s midnight drop. And @Buff_82 for so patiently coddling me in the foreign world of website design. To @Bouffant for taking it for the team and posting her lovely essay when I could not. To my sisters/Readers…You make me laugh. You make me strong. I’ll respond to comments and tweets and emails this week. Going forward…SEE YOU NEXT THURSDAY! xo, Kj

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