Tag Archives: Gratitude

Hestia and Hearth; Stew and You

1 Dec
A/N: The images displayed in this essay are not mine–Thank Goddess for Tumblr, Pinterest and KStewartFan.org. Click the image for a link to pictures’ origins. So very unbeta’d–all mistakes and typos are mine, all mine. Musical playlist and GIVEAWAY NOTES at the bottom. Click the “Sign Me Up!” button in the side panel to receive MOO notifications in your Email…riiiiiight over heeeeeerrrre——->

“Architecture is always the spatial expression of a spiritual decision”

~Ludwig Miche van der Roche 

*waves shyly* Hello, you extraordinary, and profoundly regal rebels! I do hope this new, long-overdue Musings finds you and yours healthy and well. Happy December! I’m sorry I’ve been away for as long as I have, it was never my intention. I was floating amongst tents and wristbands and numerous Breaking Dawn viewings. Then Thanksgiving rolled into town along with my mother, and between my jobs, the holiday season kick-off and family illnesses, I haven’t been able to muse along with you, my favorite people, about one of my favorite people: Kristen Stewart in tooooo long. So, first and foremost, I must tell you:

I MISS YOU! 

When I last posted a full-fledged Musings, it was a day or two before my birthday and I had just started my new job. Suddenly any time I had to myself and to connect with you all became severely limited. I hadn’t even gotten the chance to properly thank you for the unbelievable birthday wishes, messages, blogs (lovingly side-eyes @Mel452 and @Nhess_V), cards, gifts and tweets you sent my way. You all are miraculous.

THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. 

Nothing could be more truthful for me these days than the realization that the further and longer I’m away from something (someone, someplace, some ritual, some Musings) the more valuable it infinitely becomes. You may be wondering why the opening picture for this MOO  is of a fireplace. More specifically, a hearth. Well, with all the traveling, bustling about you and I have been doing this month, and all the promoting and touring that our Reigning Other Queen Kristen and her royal consort Robert have been involved in, I wanted to reconnect with a concept that I have severely neglected and severely missed: Home. 

Goddess of Hearth and Home

My husband N and I live in a small studio apartment in a beautiful, textured, culturally rich city with which I am absolutely in love. I have an inordinate amount of adoration for our home. However, since I was laid off and left BastardNation two years ago, we forewent the luxuries that came with having a well-paying (though soul-draining, heartbreaking) job. Luxuries like: several bedrooms, a dishwasher, or enough square footage for a couch. When we come home from work, the room we step into through our front door is the kitchen/office/coat area. It is  there that we remove our jackets and hats and shoes. If we set our items down outside the designated kitchen/office/coat area, we have now moved into cluttering up the living room/library/dining area. You get what I’m saying. Our space is tiny. It is vulnerable to piles and stacks and clutter. But it is home. And when I’m away from it, I miss it. Writing Musings and connecting with you all? That also is “home” for me. I miss it. Miss you.

appealing clutter. our house will become this in 0.3 seconds.

Since N and I both are gone for almost twelve hours each day, we are outside our little sanctuary far more than we are in. And when I was gone for seven days in November to attend the glorious Breaking Dawn premiere, sleeping in a different bed and location nearly every night, I found myself summoning strength from Hestia, the Greek Goddess of hearth, architecture, community and domesticity.

Ahhh Hestia [she is called Vesta in Roman Mythology]. She, who presides over home, Thanksgiving, fire and cooking. Does Lady Hestia remind you of anyone else, perhaps? A Goddess in her own right, and certainly someone of queenly status?

more at “home” than we’ve witnessed before

Our Rebel Queen has been absolutely remarkable this month. As she approaches the wrap up on a grueling, physical film shoot [Snow White and the Huntsman], she still found it within her capacity to leave her apartment [and current work] in London to tirelessly promote Breaking Dawn in Los Angeles for a week. A couple of observations from this time:

1.)  Kristen loves her home. Meaning, literally, where she physically resideswhich has been London for the past four months. Whenever she was interviewed on this promo blitz, not that I’ve seen even a tenth of the four billion interviews she’s given, Kristen  happily referenced and paid homage to the culture, the people, and the food of her current UK residence.

Footnote: Know who else is English? Just sayin.

She also will gleefully and pridefully speak about her current project–Snow White and the Huntsman. #SWATH

Question: What would be another dream role for you?

Kristen: [pauses. smiling shyly] “Snow White.”

2.) Kristen’s embodiment of home [and Hestia] is not solely on a tangible level. She is utterly grounded and centered around wherever [or whomever] she has created as her hearth. It is her construct–her architecture. She has chosen to surround herself by people, places and energy that provides comfort. Look at the word “hearth”. It is not a coincidence that within that word is an entirely new word,”heart”. The hearth, like the heart, is the essential, integral center of a home, a functioning cell. All basic necessities derive from this “place of warmth, fire and heat”. To sustain life, one must be protected and warm, and have food for sustenance, both gifts bestowed from the hearth. And my Goddess, does she ever exude life and warmth and a settled-ness. 

“Right now on Snow White, I’m having the most fulfilling experience as an actor.”

~Kristen to Entertainment Weekly

I don’t know that our head Majestic Misfit has ever appeared as joyful, animated or exuberant as she has these past few weeks. Her innate confidence and buoyancy seems determined to burst through the reserves placed there previously (perhaps out of protection and shyness).  It’s glorious to behold.

Captivating CoCo

We alluded to Ms. Stewart’s visit to Conan O’Brien’s show earlier, and it served as a reminder to share with you all how it was to see Kristen on the show, first-hand, live. I would be remiss if I didn’t stop and thank you all for your sweet tolerance of me, my blurry iPhone pics and stuttering, sporadic tweets on the days preceding and on November 14, 2011. As you know from reading my MOODrabble a few weeks ago,  I was down in my old hood for a week with the goal of getting to the Breaking Dawn premiere and perhaps maybe, maybe saying hello to our Royal Rebels in person.

I flew into LAX Wednesday evening, and my beloved girl Iris (@Just2CUSmile) was so kind to pick me up and whisk me through L.A. traffic and take me to my hotel, which was across the street from L.A.Live and the Nokia Theater [and #TentCity].

Also, due to careful planning and just-plain-smarts, my dear sister @robkris13, photographer extraordinaire and full-fledged Black Carpet press-pass holder, was waiting at the hotel for me as well. After a much-needed catch-up dinner with Iris, and a game planning session with @robkris13, I fell into bed, trembling with excitement. After only about 4 hours of sleep, I trudged downstairs at 4AM to scope out the spot in line for my wristband…alongside hundreds of other enthusiasts.

my feet as I sat on the curb waiting for the wristband line to start. 4:40AM

There were a few rough moments, not gonna lie, in what would become my ten-hour camping-adventure. The last remaining glimmer of faith I had in Scummit Entertainment dwindled to nil and then was lit on fire; and there were a couple instances where fellow “fans” threw me under the bus without a backwards glance (don’t worry New Zealand girls, I won’t generalize your beautiful country based on your petty actions). But overall, I had the most incredible experience. The only way it could have been better is if Kristen and Rob had fist bumped me and said, “Hey, KJ, glad you could make it here after all. Other on, gurl!”

Armed with good joo-joo cast upon me by @robkris13 who somehow always snags the best breaks at Twilight events (she’s the girl who gets moved to the front row of Hall H when her neighbors cause a scuffle with security at Comic-Con); plus my anchors reminding me to Go Forth:

And my @jhiggs86 Originals:

I procured a few bracelets and a movie pass to see the world premiere of Breaking Dawn with the cast, crew and thousands of others.

So I got the bleacher seats that I wanted, across from the arrivals section of the carpet. Perfect vantage point with room to sit and see above the crowd–I’m only 5’2 and a quarter, it doesn’t make sense for me to be 3-people deep behind a barrier on the Black Carpet. I wouldn’t see jack. It’s why I was always intent on grabbing the bracelet for the Bleacher Seats, not TentCity. And in the end, I got the seat I wanted, but I gave up its front-row status because @Just2CUSmile, Iris–whom I call “IA“– had basically extended an offer to me that I couldn’t refuse.

It was a super-sekrit taping, see. No one knew Kristen was at Conan’s studio in Burbank, just hours before she was to arrive on the Black Carpet for the world premiere of the film. So my friend Iris is a resourceful girl, and when she learned she had access to two VIP tickets for Conan’s taping, she hesitated before asking me if I’d like to accompany her. She knew I’d be cutting it reeeeaaaalllly close by leaving the Breaking Dawn premiere site at Nokia Live to go with her to Burbank to see Kristen. But I couldn’t not go. You know?  I am so, so glad I did. Because I got to see Kristen and her Hottie Guard JB up close, in-person, all calm, lovely and flirty with Conan and his facial hair. I saw with my own eyes Kristen’s unbelievable legs in the StewyStandard 18-inch heels, pre-tennis shoe change-out. For about ten minutes, I was in the same vicinity as Other Royalty.

Our gamble for Team CoCo seats didn’t move without moments of uncertainty, though. IA and I weren’t panicked when Coco’s crew did not announce Ms Stewart’s name as apart of the line up. We understood that Kristen wasn’t actually scheduled to be on the show til Thursday, November 17. But we also knew that Kristen and the Breaking Dawn cast was just on the other side of the filming lot, taping their appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show just an hour or so earlier. The premiere was set to “begin” around 5PM, and Coco was taping at 3PM. That was enough time for Kristen to make it, right?

Poor IA didn’t show it, but later she told me she was inwardly freaking out when we sat through an entire hour of taping, which included the very, uh, cool LL CoolJ’s interview and we had not heard even a whisper of confirmation that our Reigning Other Queen was in the building.

. . .Until IA whisper-shouted: “There’s HBG! HBG!”

I whipped around in my seat, nearly falling out of it, to see a tall, tall, handsome man lurking over by the band ‘s stage. Well, if Kristen’s dashing bodyguard JB is here, then Kristen’s here. Basta. I bounced in my seat, clasped IA’s hands in my own sweaty ones and tried to calm my shite down. We were front and center, maybe three rows back, directly behind the center-stage cameras and cue-card holders. I was going to have a prime view of our Reigning Rebel Queen, y’all. Twice. Here with the fantastic Conan O’Brien, and again from my bleacher seat at the Breaking Dawn premiere. It was a gonna be a good night.

Ahhhh, the magic of television. Conan and Andy changed their ties and Coco himself laughingly told the audience, “PRETEND that it’s THURSDAY, ok? Because our next guest is a surprise, and we’re taping her segment for Thursday’s show. So don’t you all go screaming out loud, ‘It’s MONDAY!’  because it’s not. It’s Thursday.”

When Conan announced who the guest was, our surrounding fellow studio audience memberswho were there to see LL Cool Jgasped aloud and started murmuring. Not exactly Twilight fans, this audience. Not that IA nor I cared, because we were too busy jumping out of our chairs to our feet in a screaming, rousing standing ovation, because we were there to see Kristen Stewart, MoFos!! A handful of others stood up to welcome the Reigning Queen Oher, but I’d like to think in my own little fantasy bubble-world that Iris and I were the loudest and most enthusiastic Stew Supporters in the hizzouse.

So you’ve seen the show, yes? If not, the full video–including what Conan loves about Kristen–can be found on @TeamCoco’s site via THIS LINK—->kristen-stewart-privacy

I know many of you have seen Kristen up close, spoken with her, taken a picture with her, received her autograph. I had not up until this point. I can now confirm that it is no exaggeration when people have said she is simply stunning in person. She is absolutely gorgeous, you guise, seriously. Her skin is pristine, her legs are insane, her smile has the wattage of stadium floodlights. And she is so very humble. And good. It radiates from her in shimmering waves. She is kind and shy but also very calm and thoughtful. Oh and she’s funnnnny! 

See how flustered she makes CoCo? yeah. we get that.

She has a succinct charisma about her; she is compelling. I actually didn’t hear too much of what she said, I was too captivated. It wasn’t until I watched the interview days later that I realized I had only heard maybe 60% of it while in the same room with her. It was a short interview, but a lively, bubbling one, with Conan turning almost feral when Kristen complimented him on his beard. I don’t think Kristen truly understands the love and passion she inspires in her admirers. Maybe a flustered, hissing Conan O’Brien could enhance her awareness of her power?

But again, what I witnessed in this brief glimpse was two-fold. Ms Kristen Stewart is especially fond of and acclimated to British living. And she exudes a deeper, more assured knowing of self as well. She is grounded and contemplative, but also light and witty. She seems to have connected quite profoundly with The Goddess Hestia in the knowledge that she has constructed a home; and is at home–within.

What The Dawn Brings

Still riding high from my Close Encounters with the Beautiful Kind, I was shooting off messages and tweets to my Cyber Sisters, @RobKris13, and  you Twittah-peeps as IA raced from the Burbank studio back to Nokia Theater in LA. I didn’t know what the flip I was going to say to security in order to get to the bleacher seat that I most likely sacrificed in order to see Kristen on CoCo. All I know is that I was grasping JHiggs’ beautiful paintings in my hands and IA all but launched me out of the passenger seat of her car byway of an eject button. I was gasping out frenzied screams thanking IA for her amazing James Bond-esque driving, but she probably didn’t hear me because I was booking it down the street towards …the roar. 

the TentCity peeps are looking good, even after 4 nights of camping

You may have already lost your eyesight over  seen my blurry iPhone pics. Don’t ask me why I didn’t bring my actual digital camera for the occasion. I do not know what to tell you except I was contemplating the virtues of emergency camping gear and rain gear first in case I had to literally camp out…Anyhoo. Because I knew that Kristen had just left Conan’s studio in Burbank, I didn’t feel panicked that I’d miss her or Taylor’s or Rob’s arrival.  Thanks to IA’s mad skillz, I arrived at the perfect time.

i believe this is Melissa Rosenberg’s limo

None of the main cast had arrived yet, and the bleachers were not filled, not really. I did lose my front row spot, but I was at an elevated angle directly across from drop-off area. I can’t remember what exactly I told the three security guards that tried to stop me from climbing into the bleachers past the barricades, but I know I smiled, and showed them my hard-fought-for wristband and explained that I was separated from my party, yadda yadda. They let me through and suddenly I was within dizzying proximity of The Pretty. I knew that my girl @robkris13 was literally on the Black Carpet, in the press pit, snapping away like the talented professional photog that she is, probably having a spiritual experience. She had the best seat in the house, but mine, in my opinion, was a very close second.

hi, Peter!

I had room to sit. I was elevated and could survey the whole plaza and street. My fellow bleacher-cohorts (with the exception of one obnoxiously dramatic woman) were respectful and giddy and energized and we all shared the space contentedly. We exchanged fist bumps, high-fives, giggles and eye-rolling sighs of exasperation when the situation called for such (i.e. aforementioned obnoxious, dramatic woman). And we enjoyed the first moments of interaction and attention when the arriving actors, writers, musicians and models would step out of their vehicles.

The roar only swelled from this point on…I had to conserve my phone battery, since my dumb arse didn’t bring a car charger with me. I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked…But thank your lucky stars I practiced restraint, because you would have been subjected to enough blurry pictures to launch a migraine. I’ll show you a couple more, then switch over to the professional pics, ok? Would you like to take a gander at @robkris13‘s amazing shots? Here ya gooooo—-> robkris13Photography

Ashley

Robert

Her Royal Otherness Kristen

Other Queens wear Nikes and Couture gowns

And when Rob, Kristen, and Taylor arrived…they didn’t head to the Black Carpet. They immediately ran behind their SUVs and went straight to the bleachers. Bodyguards in tow, Nikes in place. Both Kristen and Rob got close enough to me, that if I really, really wanted to–though at the risk of causing a brawl–I could send my signs over head for autographs. But I opted against it (this time) and chose to hover back and hold my signs up for them to read if they looked up from their tasks at hand. I was pretty content when both Kristen and Robert lifted their gazes and saw me waving my signs. Pretty content, because I had yet another moment of sharing the physical space with such generous, inspiring, and regal spirits.

And to later see pictures that further confirmed the special bond and fierce protectiveness they have with one another and their relationship…

It’s been over two weeks now since this wonderful event occurred. I’ve seen the film three times (I know, I know, that’s a low number comparatively, right?) I am drastically behind in watching interviews and gawking over such profound moments of beauty, but I don’t mind. Thank you all for bearing with me as I am super late to the party in discussing the sheer magnitude of epicness the Breaking Dawn premiere [and release] bestowed.

I absolutely adored the dress Kristen wore to the World Premiere in Los Angeles. I am gaga over the fact that she wore her Nikes first so that she could move comfortably and swiftly alongside the barriers and bleachers to accommodate as many fans as possible. Her makeup was immaculate and her hair, in the messy, braided bun…well that’s what dreams are made of.

And should we talk about that waist-high skirt-slit????

The color coordination among the Twi Trio just kills me. That is simply too much Pretty for the system. And their friendship and playfulness and support of each other is only made of WIN.

But at the end of the day, after hours of waiting in line, sitting on a sidewalk, lolling around sleep deprived and achey, it’s the wild, assured certainty that Kristen emanates…and the way she and her Rebellious Partner in Crime Robert look at each other that marks this as Game Over for me. Because this is how Hestia and Home and hearth manifests with our Reinging Royal Rebels. In being sure-[Nike] footed, and proud of the work they are producing. In being fulfilled by self acceptance and protection…and acceptance and protection of each other.

Home manifests when operating as a fluid system, in feeling pride in decisions made for oneself and one’s family. Home and hearth is expressed in the knowledge that no matter where we physically are or how long we are away, we have a steadfast, earnest, inner compass as a guide for our return.

you are my home.

Gratitude for Stew and You 

…which leads me to the concluding thoughts for tonight’s essay. I have felt disconnected and a little sad  because I haven’t been as in touch with you, and with writing MOO [i.e. following Bliss]. Last year for Thanksgiving, I listed all things I was grateful for since joining this community and Musing aloud with you all. I want to pay homage to that event by reiterating my gratitude this year as well, albeit a few days late. I have been apart of the K/R/Twi Community since pre-Twilight, Summer 2008. I only started writing MOO in June of last year. Never in my wildest, most medicated dreams did I foresee meeting such extraordinary people; being privy to a passionate group of #OtherRebels boasting brilliant, crazy ideas and philosophies, and even bigger, exuberant, inspiring hearts.

In honor of Thanksgiving and the Goddess Hestia, who presides over Hearth, Home, Family and Community, I declare utmost gratitude for the lovely, the fierce and rebellious Ms Kristen Jaymes Stewart and her Warrior Poet Robert Thomas Pattinson. For without his and her independent, majestic, unconventional beauty, I may not have found the gumption to begin Musing aloud with you. And if I hadn’t opened my big, rambling, chattering mouth, I probably never would have met you all. I probably wouldn’t have decided to fly down to LA to try to camp out for movie tickets and a chance to see famous, pretty rebels in person. I probably would not have met you– you who are inspiring warriors and the dearest of dear friends. I am unspeakably humbled by your presence in my life. You are home for me.

Next time we’re going to make a dent in all the rebel greatness by discussing the glorious Breaking Dawn UK Premiere, which was the producer of a few Kristen and Robert pictures that may be the best. Ever. 

We’ll talk Entertainment Weekly, aka, The Interview In Which I Need To Make T-Shirts Out Of Every Verbal Statement Made, #FuckYouBothInTheFaceForLaughing….. and I’ve got an extra copy or two of EW to give away to you lovelies…

And we’ll actually talk about the movie itself. Hopefully you all will have seen it by then, so there won’t be any spoilers. Until we meet again, I wanted to let you know that I have not one but two magazine giveaways happening this week. Check the A/N for details and how to enter. Serious love and gratitude goes out to every single one of you who for some reason check in with me and read my loquacious monologues. I will see you sooner than later, Lovelies. Always, KJ

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others recognize Home as not a solely tangible idea.

Embrace your Other.

*    *    *

A/N:

Special gropes and love to:

My CyberSisters/SmutSisters/GoodReads Girls

my bouffant

Heather Ree~ my dearest: Welcome to Twilight, baby.

@Mel452 and @Nhess_V

@allthingsHHH and @SoCalMom2Four ~ it was a pleasure meeting you, lovely ladies

@RobKris13 … @Just2CUSmile and Mari-Pai who made my time in L.A. simply sublime

It’s GIVEAWAY TIME!!!!  

I have one copy of GQUK for you….

and two copies of Glamour to give away… 

TO ENTER the GIVEAWAY: Just answer a question from the magazine you’re interested in when you leave your comment…..

For GQUK:  Kristen cites ‘On The Road’ as her ‘first-ever favourite book’. What is your first-ever favourite book, and would you accept the role [and responsibility] of bringing it to film?

For Glamour: Kristen advises honesty and knowing yourself as the key to relationships. What would you advise fellow #Others on relating…?

 ESSAY’s MUSIC PLAYLIST

What You Wanted ~Angus & Julia Stone

Let Me Sign ~ Robert Pattinson

Islands in the Stream ~ Constantines and Feist

Let’s Get Lost ~ Bat For Lashes feat Beck

Falling ~ Florence and the Machine


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

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