Tag Archives: Musicians

A Revelatory Year (And a New Home!)

30 Sep

*Any images on this site of Kristen, Rob, the Featured Royal Rebel, and movie production are not mine. My images come from Kstewartfan.org, Google Images and Photobucket. The Indo pics and the MOOQ domain, however, are mine*

WELCOME TO THE NEW HOME OF MUSINGS ON OTHER QUEENS! Dear friends, new readers, O.G. readers, KStew and Rob supporters, Team Other mates, and pursuers of Bliss and Creativity: I am grateful that you’ve stuck with me while I’ve ventured out into this somewhat unstable territory of public rambling, and I am so pleased to share the new digs with you. Buff has been working extra hard to bring the pretty, and CC is my Archive-Transferring Goddess. She’s a Pioneer as she just brought her brilliant site KStew Is Better Than You (KSIBTU) over to this blog host a couple days ago to a vey warm reception. So change your bookmarks, kids, MusingsOnOtherQueens has it’s own domain!

I. OWN. IT.

Today’s essay will be a vintage Musings essay complete with a Featured Rebel Royal annnnnd the official commencement of the Musings On Other Soundtrack Giveway, a.k.a., KJ’s-Old-School-Love-Letter/Mixed-Tape-To-The-Extraordinary-Readers-and-Followers-of-Musings! So kick back, relax, grab a cold one (you know somewhere it’s 5 o’clock!), because I’m a wordy bitch, and today is like Opening Day, so watch out! Stick around after the essay for a few more…um..words, if you would be so kind.

The moments that seem to be great failures, followed by wreckage, were the incidents that shaped your life now~~ Joseph Campbell

A year ago, September-October-ish 2009. Where were you? In Cali, where we really don’t have seasons to note the months passing, only the fact our street lights flicker on earlier in the evening than they did previous evenings, the weather was unseasonably warm, much like it is this year. A year ago, Musings did not exist, I was in my first month of unemployment after leaving BastardNation, and I was still flitting around entertainment sites seeking snippets of news about Kristen, having not yet officially convened with the ladies I now refer to as my Sisters & Readers. Our Other Queen Kristen had finished her summer portraying another Rebel Queen in The Runaways and was in Vancouver filming Eclipse.

Our first glimpse of The Wig. The WIN in this pic? BILLY. BURKE. #TeamCharlie

Where were you when the first pics of Eclipse surfaced? Did you cringe or defend The Wig when you first laid eyes on it? Were you like me, and just so happy to see Kristen and Rob and Billy mother-freakin Burke after a torturous summer severely lacking the Stewie, that you didn’t really care about The Wig? Were you still kinda riding high, because after all the vicious rumors and stories attacking Kristen and Rob, images like this burned in your mind still?

Closer much?

A year ago,  I was a somewhat lost lurker on the blogs and gossip sites, slowly making connections to fellow Kris and Rob fans simply by joining in discussions on comment boards and not willingly admitting I had a problem. A Robsten problem. By the way, only this and one other time will I refer to Rob and Kristen as one entity, because I detest the idea of labeling (see last week’s Musings) and its support of losing identity and individuality to a brand. But let me tell you why I finally admitted defeat and recognized that I was deeply fascinated by Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson. This time last year, I was in Bali, Indonesia. I was going to N’s homeland for the first time since we’d been married, a year and a half earlier. I was going to hang with the in-laws. Sample amazing food. See beauty through the lens of a culture on the other side of the planet. I had two and a half weeks in island paradise, and got to visit one of the Seventh Wonders:

Borobudur

Balinese market = Coexistence

One guess as to what I did when and if  (because in 3rd-world countries, Wifi isn’t always readily accessible) I had internet connection at the hotel at night. YUP. I would google the latest news on Eclipse filming and Kristen and Rob sightings.  From Bali, you guys. Though I was in a beautiful, impacting land of color, coexistence and spirituality, I still wondered when we’d see pics like THIS:

Whoops! This wouldn't come for another 6 wks, but it's so so good to see!

I snapped out of my K&R Reverie when West Sumatra, Indonesia, maybe 700 miles north of our location, experienced an Earthquake of 7.0 magnitude, sparking tsunami warnings. My poor friends and family tried frantically to contact us via any channels they could: emails, Facebook, phone (despite the 14 hour time difference and the astronomical calling rates). We were unscathed, unaware, but for several dreadful hours no one back at home in The States knew this. Nothing like a Tsunani scare to shake one out of a YouTube-induced ORD (Obsessive Robsten Disorder), hmmm? *And that was the second and last time I’ll refer to that “nickname”, but BIG W00T to The ORD Society*

Googlesearch Family: Tsunami Indonesia. Googlesearch KJ: Kris & Rob. Eclipse.

What a difference a year makes! What were you all up to last year? Who were your friends? Where were you working? What level of awareness did you have regarding your own level of ORD? Kristen and Rob were ensconced firmly in Vancouver, staying in the same hotel together in adjoining rooms (we later learned this from their interview with Harpers Bazaar). They had survived a brutal summer apart on different coasts: she was in L.A. portraying the bad ass and brilliant Joan Jett to Dakota Fanning’s Neon Angel Cherie Currie; he was filming Remember Me in New York.

I was floating around homeless in every sense of the word, since I was moving back to my childhood home while I regrouped from the tragedy (read: MIRACLE BUBBLES) that was the lay-off from BastardNation, and about two months away from finding a place with Sisters & Readers in the K & R world. My time in Indonesia was meant as a cleansing experience before I returned to the reality of my fucked-up situation: I needed a job, I needed to move back to my soul’s home, I needed to break away from inethical managers, and I needed to return to living soulfully and creatively.

Dancing in the bubbles was the Best. Decision. Ever.

It was a difficult year for Kristen, navigating the pitfalls of fame, a long-distance relationship, publicly, with a partner who is equally well-known and sought after. The success of Twilight brought her opportunities to participate in movies about which she cares deeply (The Runaways, On the Road), but work and Vultures, trash-talking media hounds and spiteful bloggers constantly plagued her, still plague her. But that time, a year ago, much like my despair in the aftermath of BastardNation and The Layoff-turned-move, helped inform and shape current fortunes and successes for Kristen. She has wrapped her work in the already-legendary On the Road, and is enjoying a little break in filming with Rob before embarking on the 6-month journey of filming Breaking Dawn. And I, have launched a magical little practice and have created Musings which has brought me countless blessings in the form of close friendships and daily inspirations.

Featured Rebel Royal: James Franco

He’s been a Freak and Geek, James Dean, Spiderman’s Bestie, a loveable Stoner, a politician’s gay lover on screen and in films. And he is a recurring character on soap opera General Hospital as well, though I have no idea where he finds the time between his 12 other occupations. Additionally in 3D life, James Franco is a director, a writer,  painter and grad student, poised to begin  his Ph.D. in English at Yale this this semester. A California native, James dropped out of UCLA in his first semester to pursue an acting career. He moved through acting school for a year and a half onto his first known role on the cult classic Freaks and Geeks, connecting him with future collaborators and stars Seth Rogan (Knocked Up), director/writer Judd Apatow (Funny People), Martin Starr (Adventureland). Though the show only lasted one year, despite critical praise and it’s small but devoted following, James went on to land the role of James Dean in the TV biopic about the late actor.

The comparisons began immediately

His most successful films to date have been through the Spiderman movies, where James portrays Harry Osborn, Peter Parker’s best friend, and tortured son of one of Spidey’s nemeses. Just as James reported feeling a restlessness within the film world, he decided to return to school, attending UCLA ten years after he dropped out the first time. Of course, as the Universe is funny this way, the moment he wanted to withdraw from the film world, his career began to blow up. The roles for Pineapple Express and Milk arose simultaneously, and James found himself in the thick of finishing his bachelors and masters degrees in literature and creative writing while witnessing his film career flourish. His professors, classmates and girlfriend all report James’ almost ‘reckless’ energy poured into all his creative projects and he would not sleep nor eat if people did not bring his food to him, and if he didn’t take cat naps throughout the day. His work ethic is admirable and puzzling to the Hollywood folks, which is fine by James, as he doesn’t listen to criticisms or concern doled out by peers. He lives in New York where he participates in painting, directing and writing short stories when he’s not filming movies or in California for General Hospital.

Amidst speculation on his activity level (Showbiz Folk usually have multiple avenues for expression, but James Franco’s dedication to so many different facets is impressive and mystifying, reports the New York Magazine interviewer Sam Anderson); his sexuality (about which he refuses to clarify), his love life (he’s involved with an actress he met while in acting school) and  his artwork (he recently showed his paintings at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; he’s had short stories published to some acclaim), James Franco embodies the very spirit of Other Royalty. He simply cannot be categorized, and he is unapologetic about it.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

* Declines from clarifying speculation on his sexuality and love life

*Believes he can successfully finish all of his creative pursuits

*Does not crave celebrity or fame

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

Well our reigning Other Queen has been vintage NinjaStew for the past couple weeks and her presence is missed, but understood. She wrapped work on the already-highly anticipated film adaption of Kerouac’s On the Road just this past weekend, and even though there were no pictures, we suspect she’s home in Los Angeles for a brief interlude before beginning pre-prod on Breaking Dawn. Our Stewie has perfected the art of Stealth which I am very pleased about. The girl needs her privacy, and she deserves a break from the glare and judgement of the gossip mongers who seek her failure of career and heart. In her absence, tabloids and bored “entertainment journalists” like to concoct ridiculous rumors such as jealousy and fighting between herself and other actresses (this week the featured catfight is with the lovely Emma Watson of  the Harry Potter films) . But I prefer to keep my eyes and ears open to the positive answers to the rumor-mongering. Last week, @pinklove24 compiled several (not all mind you, because Girlfriend has an impressive amount of Covers under her belt) of Kristen’s magazine covers into a lovely collage of ROYAL GORGEOUSNESS:

A Pretty Good Year Indeed, Ms Stewart

Also, the buzz around Kristen’s new movie Welcome to the Rileys is growing louder as the film prepares to be showcased at several film festivals in the approaching month. As more film critics view the movie, more accolades and awards-whispers trickle in for our girl. A UK entertainment journalist claims, “Not only is there life after Twilight [For Stewart] but it appears that the best is yet to come from the actress”. And Giovanni Argonaut, producer of Welcome to the Rileys says simply, “Kristen is heartbreaking in this film…worthy of awards”.

A year ago, our Other Queen covered her dyed-black shag with a Bella Swan Wig (that didn’t look as bad on film, honestly), and navigated the flood of attention, doubt and criticism because she chose to accept a role in an what became an extraordinarily popular film franchise…and she chose to keep the company of a certain London Boy. We watched her evolve from a nervous, endearingly awkward and shy girl promoting Twilight to a nervous, endearingly awkward and shy woman navigating the promotion of New Moon and Eclipse. However, she exuded assuredness and an awareness of boundaries more than she had previously. And she had several new film projects to which her name is attached. Next year at this time, when we check back, we may find she has several awards to further endorse her growing confidence and talent.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Does not clarify or pander to questions regarding her personal life

*Believes in pursuing many avenues of creativity: music, writing, acting

*Does not crave celebrity nor fame, though fame craves her

Because he is considered mystifying and brilliant, though sweetly eccentric and odd by his peers and journalists, James Franco is a beautiful example of a Majestic Misfit.

Because she makes great effort to withdraw from publicity, celebrity and fame, even while her star is set to explode even further than it already is now, Kristen is our long-time and probably-always-will-be Reigning Queen of Other.

KJ’s OLD-SCHOOL LOVE-LETTER-MIXED TAPE-TURNED-CD

music=Love

So here are the tracks on the Musing On Others Soundtrack aka KJ’s Old-School Love Sonnet To Otherness. The song order is not quite set in stone, but the tracks chosen, barring any complications, are accurate. I realized I play at least 3 songs every essay and I couldn’t fit all the ones I wanted here, but perhaps, if you all wish so, I’ll make a volume 2 of Love Sonnets for Others. If the track information changes, I’ll let ya know next week, most likely Tuesday, when the 5 Reader-WINNERS are announced. To enter in the giveaway, just leave a comment on this page (not on the About KJ or Twitter pages) with an email or twitter name by which I can reach you.

1. Dig–Incubus

2. Addicted to Love–Florence + The Machine

3. Hallelujah–Jeff Buckley

4. Crucify–Tori Amos

5. Soul to Squeeze–Red Hot Chili Peppers

6. The Devil’s Tears–Angus & Julia Stone

7. Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)–Pixies

8. It’s a Fire–Portishead

9. Not Afraid–Eminem

10. The Shining–Badly Drawn Boy

11. Wake Up–Arcade Fire

12. Over The Rainbow/Wonderful Word–Iz

13. Never Tear Us Apart–INXS

14. Joyful Girl–Ani DiFranco

15. Acid Tongue–Jenny Lewis

16. Trouble–Ray La Montagne

17. **6th X–RW featuring KJ

** bonus track if I can get my paws on the recording, which I believe I can

If I can put more on there, I will. I’m not quite sure how many songs CDs hold these days, I’m spoiled by the expansive space of iTunes playlists unfortunately. But if I can add up to 5 more songs as I suspect I may be able to, I’ll  try to add in The Swell Season, Garbage, Paramore, B.O.B., Massive Attack, Lamb, Eastern Conference Champions among others.

Chucks and Tiaras Forever

Well, this was our first essay as an independent entity. You all deserve fist pumps and W00ts for hanging with me through this doozy of a ramble. Please take your time to explore the site and check out the links of OTHER SUPPORTERS, and BLISS-PURSUERS. There are 3 other pages aside from the Home Page displaying current Musings. ABOUT KJ, EMAIL & TWITTER, and ORIGINS OF MUSINGS. I’ve included little anecdotes and new information in all three pages. Leave comments and feedback on the essay but also on the other pages if you feel moved so. I am still in the process of transferring over old comments from previous posts, so don’t panic if you don’t see any old comments you’ve left. I also am building up a list of affiliates and sister sites to add to the link space on the side bar. Keep checking back as we continue to work on the site. As always, I love hearing from you, so please stop by and say hello.

James is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others emerge creatively triumphant

when faced with challenges.

Embrace your Other.

QUESTION: Where were you a year ago while Kristen was embarking on filming for Eclipse? How have you resolved challenges in this year to pursue the projects you desire?

A/N: Mad props to Buff for this feast for the eyes, and for powering through and finding away for me to bring you the music . BUFF, YOU ARE AMAZING…Big squeezes and squeals for my girl CC who is my Transferring Goddess and late-night cohort. Thanks to Bouffant for providing me with the James Franco source and for feedback on the site upon first glimpse. As always, thanks to my cyber Sisters & Readers for supporting me no matter the tangent I flit…I LOVE YOU MADLY.

The weary traveler goes home

19 Aug
If you go, if you go…
leave me down here on my own…
I’ll wait for you
–In My Place, Coldplay
We went about one month without seeing hide nor hair of Kristen. While it was vexatious in moments, I was content in knowing she was completely occupied embodying her role as Marylou for the already-legendary film On the Road. The knowledge that she was invested in her work and not hiding from the Vulture-Papz eased the ache just a teensy bit. Well, then suddenly, um. BAM. I think it was even just after I had posted Musings, late last Thursday night. Near Midnight here in Cali. We got a look at Kristen in her costume for Marylou. And then, holy mother, we got pics of Rob from the same day. Outside Kristen’s trailer on the set for On the Road.
I was a bit conflicted as to whether I would post any of those pics, as I completely disagree with the invasive nature in which the Vultures typically obtain pics of Robert and Kristen (i.e. stalking, lurking, heckling, invading, ridiculing, then selling those images for an obscene amount of money to grocery store tabloids). But I figured I could post a few of the pictures…because I’m all for supporting Rob and Kristen in their quest to Communicate, Mofos! And I admittedly enjoy watching as Rob and Kristen concisely express their thoughts about papz and perhaps to some of their more extreme-clingy Not-A-Fan Stalkers, without saying a word. And we here at Team Other love Non-Verbal Communication! And besides: Rob sees you, you Stalker Lice.

You know that I can see you there, right?

And MarylouStew says:
I have cold cream, I will use it, Lurkers.
Just not in a way you hoped.
You will not enjoy it.

BeastieBoyRob Says to the Vultures:
“I can’t stand it, I know you planned it…!
This is all your…Sabotage”

So the pictures of MarylouStew in her lovely strawberry-blonde locks caused some rejoicing in the Kristen fandom. And when the pics of Rob in his classic Beastie Boy t-shirt surfaced, I’m pretty sure I heard bodies hitting the floor in a faint. Rob was there. To see his Queen, our Queen, Kristen. As soon as he wrapped up filming for his own film Water for Elephants in Los Angeles, after his obligatory work accepting surfboards at the Teen Choice Awards, the dude was on a plane to Montreal to be with his lady love. In the two or three days after those first pictures emerged into the limelight, Kristen and Rob fans began receiving the most incredible gifts of nonverbal communication that it actually overwhelmed. There were The Nuzzle pics. There were the Kristen-is-practicing-her-Lindy Hop-moves pics, and there were about two hundred fan encounters and pictures that materialized. This one was my favorite:

I cant..I just…yesss…for so many reasons..gah!

I prefer this  for many reasons, one of them being that Rob and Kristen are in it…together. Also, this nice lady and her kids made this a family affair and she and her family (husband/dad snapped the picture, after asking Rob and Kristen’s permission first) interacted respectfully with the couple, thus being rewarded with the singular shot of the night with both Rob and Kristen in it, intentionally. Well then, of course, THIS happened. And it became one of my favorites evah.

quite honestly, I think this is more revealing
than all of the others.

This picture led to the pics seen ’round the world, with a confirmation that for some reason people still needed: Kristen and Robert are together…as a couple. A K-I-S-S-I-N-G couple. If you haven’t seen the grainy pictures yet a.) you’re in the minority and b.) you will need to check out the gossip sites elsewhere to see ’em. That’s the compromise I made with myself when alluding to The Kissing Pictures. Ok. So what will I post? How bout some more Communicating, my Other Rabble Rousers?!!

 

Nobody looks this good when walking.
Nobody but them.

Going Home

So today’s Musings is dedicated to the glorious moment of realizing we belong somewhere. That we have a place reserved only for ourselves where we can kick off our shoes, breathe deeply and share that space with what or whomever we choose.

This is something I know a whole lot about. Friends and family know me as “gypsy” or “bohemian nomad”. I have the wanderlust pretty fiercely. It’s a thirst in me that overtakes and overruns. Fortunately, I was raised by a woman who prescribed to the most incredible philosophy:

Travel is Education.

Travel is Important.

Travel is Life.

Also, with my Island Blood coursing through my veins, and my constant seeking for “belonging” as an Other..and a child of adoption, I was destined to explore and find my niche. Throw in the fact that smack dab in the middle of the years I simply refer to as: 2005 Thru 2007, I lost some major footing and was seeking grounding and direction. In the dark, dark time right after my “BreakThrough” as I lovingly refer to it (reference the Musings titled “Finding your voice…”), I needed to …go away. To heal. To remind myself what I was doing here, what my direction was. What was worth preserving. I was scattered, lacking balance, and I was RUN RUN RUN RUNNNNING from everything. And “dating” enough people for my friends and family to jokingly refer to my dates as “the UN Panel”. What? So I’m worldly. I’ve told you guys that before. Don’t judge. In this particular time, I was granted an opportunity to travel to Asia for the first time. Oh I TRAVELED. I spent time in China, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and finally, my own islands: The Philippines.

Nara, Japan.
World’s Tallest Buddha.
un.be.lieve.able.
I had no choice.
It’s The Great Wall of China!
I raced to the highest peak and screamed “HELLLLLO”

What is the saying? You don’t know what you have until it’s gone…? Or…You must travel so far away to realize you were home all along…. There’s no place like Home….All of this was true for me. This could be the same for Rob and Kristen. Home. Home. Home. I discovered in my lengthy travels, even having a week on my own in The Philippines to discover my culture, that HOME is where my heart soared. Home did not have a mailbox with my name attached to it. Home was in my suitcase, with my flip flops, in my iPod. Home was where I made it. Home was shared with whatever or whomever I wanted to share it with. Home became to which I referred as my inner contentedness. A certainty that I was ok being a female, adopted and bi-racial and pierced and tattooed and voluptuous and a fan of both Rage Against the Machine AND Fergie…a confidence that wherever I was…I was OK. I didn’t need to go in search of my biological parents when I went to the Philippines…But I did go and find my culture.. I ate the cuisine, I listened to the music, I spoke with families and had meals with folks who wanted nothing more than to share their family recipe and fresh mangoes from the tree. It makes perfect sense that I managed to meet my future husband N while I was traveling all over the world and realizing that not only did I fit a standard of “beauty” in some parts of the world, but that I was just fine doing so on my own. He did not complete some unfinished project that I represented. He stands beside me. Home.


So this week, I’d say Rob went where he was content. To be with the person who seems to be ok with everything that he is. And he seems to be ok with everything that Kristen is. All in her Other Queen gloriousness. Home.

Featured Rebel Royal: Jenny Lewis

Well, kids, you know how I love me my gingers. Here’s another lovely red-headed rebel I wanted to introduce you to. Her name is Jenny, and she is a singer, songwriter and former child actor. You may recognize her from her work in one of my very favorite childhood movies: Troop Beverly Hills but, perhaps you adore her for being the near-primary front-woman for the indie-rock band Rilo Kiley.


While she made her show business debut in a JELL-O commercial, and appeared in over a dozen teen-themed TV movies and films, including The Wizard, it was in 1998 that Jenny stopped acting in favor of forming a band with friends. She is a singer/songwriter, guitarist and keyboard player for the band that has released five albums. She also has released two solo albums, appearing with The Watson Twins in her debut album Rabbit Fur Coat and then later, sans the twins in the country-tinged, indie-rock flavored Acid Tongue.

Offenses of Otherness:

*has “girlishly seductive & versatile vocals”

*formed a band for the love of music,

having no financial backing

*in-demand vocal collaborator with musicians:

Postal Service, Death Cab for Cutie, and

Elvis Costello

Miss Lewis has an admirer in our Reigning Other Queen Kristen! Kristen reported once having admired Jenny’s stage presence and performance abilities. When asked by MTV during the promo tour for The Runaways, Kristen reported that one of her favorite musicians was “Jenny Lewis”. Pretty fantastic endorsement coming from Rebel Royalty, and one who has famously pristine taste in music.

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

In this epic week of Kristen sightings, MarylouStew sightings, and Kristen and Rob “home-comings”, her film On the Road is gaining much attention, not only for the incredible cast attached to it, and not  just because it’s an iconic book in American literature, but because of Kristen’s participation in it. Naysayers claim that Kristen’s well-known partnership with Rob, or her involvement with Twilight is responsible for her “fame”, but Kristen’s impressive colleagues from previous movies tout and praise Kristen’s acting ferocity, disputing the naysayers. “She is utterly fierce” says Melissa Leo, Kristen’s Welcome to the Rileys co-star.   Maria Bello, of The Yellow Handkerchief describes Kristen as “wonderful to work with, and a wonderful actress”. And early movie critics have hailed Kristen’s casting as Marylou as “wise”.

Offenses of Otherness:

*willingly displays her vulnerability

*seeks honest and authentic colleagues as her support network

*unabashedly direct in giving her opinion

Because I ran ran ran ran far from home to realize I could never shake what was always mine, I am making the steps towards Other Queendom.

Because she picked up a guitar and sang for an unsigned, unknown musical union of friends, having walked away from a potentially successful acting career, Jenny is a fierce Rebel Queen.

Because Kristen has made her opinion on parasitic creatures preying on her personal life–including her relationship with Rob–abundantly clear, without having to say a word, Kristen is Reigning Other Queen.

Jenny is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others recognize Home not as a location,

but a state of being.

Embrace your Other.


Question: Who, what, where is Home for You?

A/N: Thank you to Bouffant, as always for pre-reading and perusing the Thesaurus with me–it’s like fucking Christmas when I’m using a thesaurus, and B played. Thank you to @Buff82 for making this whole thing pretty. I still tear up when I pull up the page and see her art. As always, thank you to CC, as her joy in writing KSIBTU inspires me daily. To Iris @Just2CUSmile, who holds my hands while I cry through the night..while reading stories. Thank you to my beloved Sisters &Readers including Sail, Julie, Lowkey, Brothaa (Missy) and as always, the Clog Wielding Queen. I want to thank two writers who have broken my heart and surpassed all that is beautiful this week with words they’ve written: H32M who writes Disappear Here and Danieller123, author of the staggering Under the Apple Tree. You teach me more. You teach me about Exquisite Poetry. I bow down to you.  Thank you to Kathryn, my Welsh Muse, Manager and friend. And to her outrageously gifted husband, my friend Keiron. You INSPIRE. See you all next Thursday.

Balance, Brothers and Stewie

12 Aug

A/N: Today’s essay went completely

unbeta’d

. I am late on posting this due to complications involving my own methods of grounding and calm, mainly, sleep. I also am trying to strike the balance in starting the new “Magical Little Practice” and living the Creative Life. Takes some practice. Bear with me as I find my footing, my lovelies. Thank you in advance for your kind leniencies.

“Our brothers and sisters are there with us from the dawn of our personal stories to the inevitable dusk.”  ~Susan Scarf Merrell

 

After a month of successful ninja-ing, our reigning Queen Stewie emerged in a fan pic with her

On the Road costar Garrett and one of her good friends Tom Sturridge in Montreal a couple days ago. KStew appeared happy, relaxed and knowing, her smile full of secrets and promise. Perhaps it’s because she had long already known what the public officially learned just yesterday: TomStu, in addition to his usual duties as friend and protector, has landed a role in the already epic Kerouac-based film alongside Kristen and Garret! Perhaps her smile also indicated that her partner in crime, featured Rebel Robert was in the vicinity as well. Perhaps. Whatever the reason, I loved what I saw in Kristen’s smile. And I rejoiced at the news of Tom’s casting in On the Road. This film, already epic with its brilliant actors and director, storied inceptions and Francis Ford Coppola’s backing, has the makings of legend

in my opinion. Just to revisit the beauty and billiance of this cast, lets look at a few pictures, shall we? The following beautiful pic compilations were found online. I did not make them, but I would love to credit their creator. If this is your work, let me know, please, so I can credit properly. Beautiful.



Sam as Sal/Jack

 

Kristen as Marylou/Luanne
 

Garrett as Dean/Neal

Welcome to such a glorious, prestigious cast, TomStu! We learned last week at this time that the acting greats Viggo Mortensen and Amy Adams were slated to play supporting characters in the film, catapulting the role sheet to mythical status, again, just in my opinion. I think Tom will fit in with this cast juuuust fine.

Hello, Tom. Congratulations.
You have somehow only added to the epicness of OTR.

 

Ok, so outside his pleasing aesthetics, his status as Rob Pattinson’s Bestie, and a protective, brother-type to KStew, Tom is a gifted actor in his own right. Did you SEE The Boat That Rocked (Pirate Radio in The States)?? If you haven’t, you must go watch it RIGHT NOW. Seriously, it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time, complete with beautiful Brits (TomStu & Co), a pristine classic rock soundtrack and poetic Others in all their gorgeous rebelliousness. That movie’s cast, much like the cast for On the Road boasts a smorgasbord of Rebel Royals and Others.

 

ICU, Stewie, all smirky goodness, behind Tom’s shoulder!

 

Back to NinjaStew. Let’s give props to the fans who made viewing KStew, Tom and Garrett possible: Gustavo and Miguel. These guys, for me, embodied the nature of supportive, sensitve fans, respectfully approaching Kristen first before snapping a picture with her, and only posting the encounter and pics

afterwards to grant the actors some privacy and anonymity. They didn’t even realize who Tom and Garrett were, until afterward. Their eyes were only for Kristen, spouting descriptors in Spanish:

“Perfection. Beautiful.”
 

We concur, mi amigos.
Today’s Musings will continue last week’s theme, delving further into how we’ve coped with the absence of our Queen, Stealth Stewie and her gorgeous partner in crime: Rebel Ninja Rob. How have we balanced the onslaught of 3D life (work, family, summer vacation planning) with our participation in the Kristen/Rob/Twilight Fandom and our ongoing mission of embracing Otherness and Authenticity as Rebel Royals? Although, it has been lovely to dig up some old outtakes (you all know how i feel about outtakes–why? Too much Pretty? Too many Offenses of Otherness?), like THESE:

 

EW’s 2007 Twilight photoshoot
InStyle Magazine’s 2008 Twilight photoshoot

We already loved her then too, Rob

 

Balancing Cause and Effect

Its a precarious thing, balance. Elusive, even. There are so many things thrown at us within each moment, within each day, it’s a wonder we don’t crawl into the fetal position and beg for it all to wash away. But we do not (not all the time, anyway). There are a few physical places I’ve actually witnessed that embodied the idea of balance and proves the concept of coexistence. One of them I’ll tell you about today. This place is a site on the stunning island of Bali, Indonesia. The entire island represents balance and karma, really, but this site in particular represents coexistence. Floating atop this peaceful lake is the Hindu Temple Uluan Danu:

And a mere few yards offshore sit a Budhhist Temple, a Catholic cathedral and a Muslim mosque, all within walking distance, all amongst fragrant and beatific gardens.

Why do I find this especially significant? Without going into the tenants of any specific organized religion, because that’s not how Musings rolls, I will say that I am touched that vastly different ideologies can exist harmoniously. In Indonesia, with a population surpassing 237 million people, a staggering 86% of those people practice Islam, which includes my husband and his family. The remaining fourteen percent of the country’s citizens may practice anything from Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity to agnosticism. But no one is shut out. There is place for anyone who wants to worship. There is an opportunity for equality, balance. Within walking distance.

So the thing about Balinese philosophy is this: It is based on the what is called tri hita karana, which means that there is harmony, balance, and equilibrium between God–however you know God to be–the environment and the community/people. In other words: Interconnectedness. Happiness and peace can only be obtained, according to the Balinese, when balance is obtained. So how do you obtain balance? Well, the first thing one does is realize that anything put into the world, be it joy, anger, jealousy, unrest, negativity, love, light or forgiveness, has an answering effect: consequence.


Let’s bring this to a place more immediate to our KStew world, our daily lives as Others. We can adore, admire and support Kristen, Rob, The Gos, and today’s Featured Royal Johnny Depp without declaring a rift amongst fellow supporters. We can admire and support these actors and artists without hunting them down and depersonalizing them. Masjids (mosques) can be across the street from cathedrals. Fans and admirers of Kristen and Rob can coexist peacefully too. A hippieCali Therapist toeing the line of whimsy-punk (um, me) following no organized religion can marry and lovingly support her restless, intellectual, kind, Muslim husband (N), especially at the start of Ramadan (now).
ME
+
N
=
Coexistence. Balance.

C’mon, lovelies. If religions as old as time can seek coexistence, so can we. We can seek balance. We can give the space and privacy to our Other Queen Kristen and for Rob while they work. We can admire them and all the Other Rebels in an existence that doesn’t trigger war. We can disagree and banter with fellow fans, but we can do so with respect…for ourselves and in representation of our Rebel Royals and Other Queens. We can give Kristen and Rob the privacy and space they’ve asked for, that they have all rights to. Let’s give our girl and her guy some breathing room. And let’s remind ourselves that whatever we put out there, can and will revisit us. The Balinese and Hindus call it Karma. It’s also known as The Golden Rule: Do unto others…

taking a moment to breathe and ground

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart (with a little help from brother Cam)

Other photos have surfaced since last Musings. These pictures are of the Vogue Italy 2007 photo shoot. We were given a peek of a 16 year-old-Kstew with one of her three championed brothers. Cameron is another perfect example of an Other, vigilantly protective of his younger sister, accompanying Kristen to photo shoots, film shoots and promotions. Tall and thoughtful, exuding a creative spirit and tattoos, Cam has often been referred to along with her other brothers (Dana and Taylor) as Kristen’s best friend and provider of precious grounding and calm. Balance, one might say.

Offenses of Otherness:

**Cites her brothers as her best friends

**Is more comfortable in jeans & Chucks

vs Red Carpet Regalia.

**Visited a Holocaust Memorial

vs amusement parks on a promo tour

**Methods for balancing: Baking pies, cooking meals for family

Featured Rebel Royal: Johnny Depp

Our beautiful featured Rebel this week is someone I alluded to a couple weeks ago. I promised you some Depp, and I follow through on promises (though I ask for some room when I am replying to your beautiful, brilliant emails, ok?). I can bring The Pretty to tie you over. So, Mr Depp is an American actor and musician known most prominently for portraying numerous crew members from the Mothership of Oddballs (YES! #GoTeamOdd) in his chosen movie roles. You may know him as Captain Jack Sparrow, Willy Wonka, Edward Scissorhands or, in my favorite example, as Roux from Chocolate. *Pausing to breathe deeply*. But before any of these seminal roles that made Johnny famous, those of us children of the 80’s may remember watching him on our TV sets on 21 Jump Street.

yesssss.

As a child, Johnny and his family, which included 3 siblings, moved around frequently. He reports moving to 20 different locations before settling in Florida in his youth. According to Wikipedia, Johnny engaged in self-mutilating behaviors to cope with his insecurities. He referred to his numerous tattoos as “a journal” with “every mark having some special meaning” of an event in his life. He dropped out of high school to be a touring musician with his local band “The Kids”, and never returned.

Unhappy with the “teen heartthrob” image that emerged as a result of his role on 21 Jump Street, Johnny began seeking film roles that would broaden his exposure to the work he truly sought. His first film role was in A Nightmare On Elm Street (scared the shit outta me, lemme tell ya), and he moved onto work in Oliver Stone’s Platoon as a Vietnamese-speaking soldier, and ultimately to his first Tim Burton collaboration (i.e. GENIUS) of Edward Scissorhands. Of course, his role as Edward would mark his forays into playing the “Iconic Loners”and there really, was no looking back. He lives in France with his partner, actress and singer Vanessa Paradis, and their two children.

Offenses of Otherness:

**Admitted severe discomfort with the “teen idol” label

**Proclaimed that big studios ‘never understood’ those misfit roles

he would take on.

**Prefers an anonymous life, choosing to live abroad

**Methods for balancing: being with his children, playing guitar

Oh Brother, where art thou?

Like Kristen’s view on her brothers, my brother Chew (you all learned of his brilliant existence from the very first Musings) is one of my favorite people in my world. I just this week shared with him my secret world of Musings and writing about The Stew while we were driving along the coast. I’ve had several of you readers write in saying that your family has no clue of your devotion to all things Kristen and Rob. Part of my mission to de-fragment and balance out my life, as initiated a few weeks ago, included outting myself as a Other Queen supporter to my family and 3D friends. I told my own tattooed, punky, surfing-and-hockey-playing big brother that he inspired a movement of Otherness and instead of chuckles and head shakes that I thought I would receive from him, he smiled and congratulated me.

Chew: “When your work is turned into a film screenplay, who plays me?
Me: (after no hesitation), “Matthew Fox”
Chew: “Ok, well, he can act, but can he be a bastard?”

Perhaps my brother (who looks A LOT like Matthew Fox. I know, right? zzzing!) carries a little remorse for some of his torture inflicted upon me in our childhood. This includes stationing me in front of tall rose bushes in our backyard as “goalie”, and proceeding to kick wet soccerballs in quick succession at my head. “BLOCK THIS!” he would scream at me, and being the little sister eager for inclusion, I would dive to block. DIVE…oh, motherfucker, I would DIVE, resulting in so many painful scratches over my face and arms for weeks. But we got through that. I now view my brother’s opinion and his ideas as integral to balance, comfort and security.

No, we haven’t seen a lot of Kristen and Rob lately, but we received a smiling confirmation that Kristen is well, and in the company of a friend who connects her with her partner Rob. And at the time of posting this essay, there have been sightings of Rob since his arrival in Montreal over the past two days, which makes me warm and content. I am pleased that Kristen has her grounding agents of Rob and Tom while she delves into a very complex role surrounding a very complex woman.

I encourage us all to continue exploring our methods for grounding and balance in the lulls of any Kristen or Rob news. Bake some pies. Go for soothing swims, exhilaration runs. Make music. Dance. Find your local masjid and commune with your Higher Power, just as N is this month for Ramadan. Remind yourself that every effort we make to release an emotion or intention into the world returns to us…in some way shape or form. Go be with your loved ones, your brothers, your sisters. Above all, be well.

Because I seek grounding from within, but also from connecting with my brother, even though he kicked soccer balls at my head in punishment, I am on the Other Homecoming Float.

Because he let his surefire ticket to stardom and fame in the form of a 21 Jumpstreet contract expire with no option for renewal, Johnny Depp is a Rebel Royal.

Because she knows exactly who to turn to for support, grounding and balance, even as her supportive network is photographed almost as much as she is, Kristen is our reigning Other Queen.

Johnny is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others realize that anything put into the world,

answers back with the intent to balance.

Embrace your Other.

Question: What are your methods of balancing and grounding?

A/N: Thank you to the usual suspects: Team Other captains: Bouffant, Buff_82, and Cynically Convivial. To my Cyber Sisters/Readers including Julie, Nail, the Clog-Wielding Queen and my OTR Bestie Marble Pole. Thank you to you beauties on Twitter who make me laugh and supply me with the JawP0rn and my Stewie fixes (eyeing YOU @Greenangelice!). Thank you to the fanfiction writers (you know who you are, you hear from me and respond so kindly!) who have ruled my world and contributed to my complete refusal to live in reality. Dedicating this to my brother Chew and my husband N, the boys who bring me grounding and reminder of GOODNESS. I adore the letters and texts and emails you’ve all sent. I am stunned and awed by your beautiful words and courage. And again, thank you for your patience in my slow responses. See you all next Thursday.

Me…but more

15 Jul
Why So Broken?

It seems that (not surprisingly), I encountered many signs encouraging me to re-intergrate aspects of myself this week. Ahhh… Lady Synchronicity appears again. Firstly, you all know that I stumbled quite serendipitously upon the new space for what I refer to as the “magical little practice”. It was a case of Psychotherapist Kj introducing herself to the bliss-pursuing, Other Queen-in-training Kj. Then, on Friday night I went for tapas and cocktails at a Spanish lounge with my beautiful Welsh Muse, Kathryn, to whom I refer to as My Manager. She literally is to me what I believe Ruth is to Stewie. She keeps me tuned in to my path of Creative Living, and talks me up and tries to book me for public gigs (hey a girl’s gotta make the rent payment somehow!). That night (further details in a moment), the Other Queen-apprentice part of me shook hands with the Musician part of me. And both aspects waved a warm greeting to Psychotherapist Kj. The night ended with me handing over my psychotherapy business card to our lovely waitress Kelly who in turn handed it to the restaurant’s manager. My Manager and I set up an audition to sing and play piano as a musical guest at this lovely Spanish restaurant and lounge (cue freaking-the-fuck-out riiiight now). Well, I didn’t stay out too late that night, because I was set to be On The Road with Marble Pole the next morning, early, so that I could meet up with my Cyber Sisters/ Readers of my Twilight group in the center of this state.

So I pondered (it’s what I do, and then I ramble about it to you generous, patient people every Thursday, thank the Goddess): Why do we fragment ourselves? Why do we keep parts of our personalities, talents and interests concealed? My Sisters and Readers had a vague idea of my field of work, but that I did some sort of counseling and I am looking for my niche (i.e. a job). They didn’t know I was a musician or a writer until I began this lovely project–Musings. No one in my family (with the exception of my sis Puss) or on Facebook know that I write Musings; or that I have a healthy admiration for Kristen and Rob (TRANSLATION: I totes crush on them both and have them on my Freebie Five List).

Do you have a separate group of friends who know the serious, work-focused you, and then another group of friends who you speak to about falling in love and raising a family? Perhaps you have another cohort of colleagues that you speak with about shared interests like: sports you play, hobbies you have? Or say…hmmm… Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart? Do your partners and family members know that you’ve seen Eclipse four times already? Do your parents, siblings and co-workers know why they hear a THUD and not surprisingly find you on the floor, unconscious below your desk? Could it be because of these, um, OUTTAKES??

*thud*
Did I lose a few of you just now? Yeah. I thought so. 

Or these??
Her gaze and his smirk burst with secrets, no?

Come Together

With my Twilight Roadtrip weekend and my attempts at pimping out my musical services, I realized that I had initiated The Merge. Cyber Sisters are now my 3D friends. I have faces, voices, facial expressions, perfume and an assortment of sensory associations linked to previously 2D acquaintances. A month or so ago, I met a few gorgeous ladies of The KSIBTU Crew in person even though we’d been “friends” online for some time. After our meeting? These ladies and I have strong personal relationships outside the World Wide Web. I call and write my Sisters and the KSIBTU girls for advice and guidance, just as I ask my Sister Puss and my husband. Though I base my Musings on events inspired by Kristen and her Homecoming Court of Misfits each week, the emails and correspondence exchanged with you all are about the issues we ponder and navigate in OUR lives. So again, I ask myself: Why do we fragment?

Remembering concepts found in all previous book recs I’ve featured here, like Eve Ensler’s I am an Emotional Creature and Marianne Williamson’s A Woman’s Worth, we realize that whether we asked for it or not, we are categorized in society by labels and gender roles. We are expected to take certain actions in fulfilling roles while we’re criticized for being frivolous if we try to embrace unexpected roles or paths. Take a look at all the roles we fill. Um. It’s a shit-ton.

WIVES. MOTHERS. LOVERS. SISTERS. CARETAKERS. COMFORTERS. CHEFS. DRIVERS ATHLETES. PROVIDERS. ARTISTS. DAUGHTERS. CREATORS. STUDENTS. TEACHERS. FRIENDS. SCIENTISTS. ACADEMICS. INTELLECTUALS. PARTNERS. WARRIORS. MISFITS. REBELS. POETS. DEBATERS. DETECTIVES. BLISS-PURSUERS. DANCERS.

QUEENS.

Williamson suggests, as do social psychologists, spiritual healers and medical practitioners, that the key is balance. Only when we embrace all aspects of ourselves are we truly whole. So much energy goes into denying pleasures or attributes that we have. We can be (M)others as well as Career Women. We can be compassionate, nurturing and nonviolent all while being strong, firm, athletic and intellectual. We absolutely can be “pretty” while driving a tractor or truck, debating the virtues of molecular biology, planning the recovery methods of hydrocarbons in petroleum engineering. Likewise, ballerinas may be beautiful swans on the performance stage as well as auto mechanics during the work week. The point is, we don’t have to deny ourselves our talents or interests in favor of social acceptance, although most of the time we do. It’s exhausting to fragment and deny. Its detracting from focusing on the work, the journey in front of us. It prevents us from meeting amazing people with similar interests. It causes us to lose confidence, increase anxiety. Why cause more heartache for ourselves? Here’s what I think: We can have it ALL. Fly the “freak flag”, yo. Take it all in. Merge your many facets. We can, in fact be Chucks- and tiara-wearing Royal Rebels.

 

courtesy of the extraordinary @buff_82

Marianne Williamson and one of my favorite writers, Sonia Choquette, Ph.D, advise that while society programs us to question whether or not we are “beautiful”, we are more vulnerable to the LIE the further we detach from our selves. Our self-awareness, our beliefs, our hopes, our connection with our Higher Power, whatever that may be. And how do we connect with our self-awareness? YUP. By acknowledging EVERYTHING we are. By not fragmenting ourselves. By embracing all of our strengths and challenges. By recognizing, not segregating, owning what is OURS. This is the pathway to bliss, the pathway to authenticity.

“Authenticity: ‘the courage to be imperfect, set boundaries, and be vulnerable’ “

The above quote was from Dr Brene Brown, a researcher, professor and writer on the very important and essential topics of shame, resiliency and authenticity. Thanks to the sublimely lovely @TheUrbanWhisk, I stumbled upon Dr Brown’s amazing work. Check her enchanting messages of hope, courage and authenticity here: Ordinary Courage

This is what we may look like once we begin The Merge and Balance of our fragmented souls:

Yippee! I love salt, Rumi, fanfiction, dance movies and office supplies! 

So how does becoming more You, More Other, More Authentic look in the 3D world? Well, for me, it started with the meeting of my Cyber Sisters and fellow KSIBTU Crew gals…it’s progressed into following the Miracle Bubbles to the Healing Center for my new counseling practice…then introducing myself to the Spanish Lounge’s staff to set up a singing audition…and will probably culminate in me linking Musings to my Facebook pals. Its the small steps towards embracing my Other…I probably won’t wear my I UNF FOR KSTEW tee-shirt to the family wedding I’m attending this weekend. But you can bet your sweet asses I’ll be wearing it for my first singing gig at the Lounge.

courtesy of CafePress and @buff_82. again.
See why she’s a Goddess?

Let’s talk about this week’s Rebellious Royals, shall we? I’m featuring another ginger, kids, I know, big shocker. Why not? The redheads seem to be the penultimate rebels don’t they? Shirley Manson, singer, songwriter, activist, actress certainly embodies all the great qualities of Otherness.

Featured Rebel Royal: Shirley Manson

Not only was a fan of hers and her band GARBAGE for the ten years and beyond, but I simply fell in love her all over again and wanted to give her massive props for her very public defense of our Other Queen Kristen in a Facebook Memo. Quite honestly, if you haven’t been a fan of Shirley’s already, I think now, my fellow Musers and Team Other mates, you NEED to be, simply on principle. Like. NOW. Here’s the link to her full passionate note: SHIRLEY MANSON’S NOTE
And here is an an Excerpt: 

Why are people so turned off by Kristen Stewart?!?!?!
I don’t get it.
I think she’s the best thing about the entire Twilight franchise.
Absolutely.
She’s delicious to look at.
She’s a talented actress.
(I don’t care what anyone else has to say about her acting because I think she behaves EXACTLY the way me and all my pals did around that age of the character she is playing so THERE!)
AND she’s articulate.
And she’s a little shy.
And clearly very thoughtful.
What’s not to love?
I hate it when she gets trashed.
It hurts my teenage self
SAVE OUR SMART GIRLS
SAVE THEM NOW

Ms Shirley Manson lives and works in Los Angeles now, but hails originally from Edinburgh, Scotland. Known for her distinctive voice, her personal lyrics and rebellious attitude, Shirley gained international success and acclaim with her band Garbage in the mid to late 1990’s. She began her musical career as a backup singer and keyboardist for the Scottish band Goodbye, Mr Mckenzie. She caught the eye of record producers who approached her to release an album as a solo singer. In 1993, she released her solo album performing under the name of Angelfish. It was her solo efforts that grabbed the attention of her future bandmates of Garbage. The band invited Shirley to record an album with them. The result was the mega-successful, grammy-winning Garbage. She remains with the band after another three albums. The songs Stupid Girl, Only Happy When It Rains, and #1Crush are among the most recognized songs of the Alternative Rock movement of the Nineties and early 2000s.

Shirley cites a difficult social upbringing for her forays into “rebel life”. According to biography, Shirley was bullied in her first years of secondary school, leading her to suffer depression and utilize self-injurious behaviors such as cutting and substance use. With forays into shoplifting, truancy and delinquency, Ms Manson was largely absent from any form of structured education system.

Beauty Marks: 1. Distinctive voice 2. Female front for an all-male band 3. Honestly discloses personal experiences with low self-esteem, stress and anxiety. 4. Overcame her self-defeating behaviors to become a voice for social issues and awareness of animal mistreatment

Offenses of Otherness: (per Other Hunters, Schoolyard Bullies and Ass Clowns) 1. Wears short skirts with Tall Boots 2. Wears clothing that accentuates her feminine attributes 3. Outspoken in her activism 4. Brutally honest in lyric-writing, citing controversial issues such as self-mutilation and substance abuse.

In addition to her songwriting and fronting for Garbage and her various solo musical projects, Shirley is an acitivist and participant in raising awareness for cancer research for children, several AIDS research groups and PETA. She experienced the heartbreak of being a bully victim, and turned her previously self-harming coping skills into activism. Because she speaks up for the oppressed, overlooked, and misunderstood, Shirley Manson is Rebel Royalty.

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

Our lovely Ms. Stewart has begun Beatnik Bootcamp in Montreal, Canada this week. Gone are the mis-shapen, frizzy Bella Swan wigs, and in their place are Kristen’s natural, strawberry-blonde locks for the embodiment of the iconic figure of Mary Lou in the film adaptation of On The Road. Kristen told reporters on the Eclipse press junket that she has been attached to On The Road for a few years now, but is so pleased and relieved to finally reveal her participation in the story she refers to as her “first favorite book ever”. Already, movie critics are praising the casting of our Other Queen in the role as MaryLou, not only for her impressive status as a result of The Twilight Saga, but due to an observable maturity and depth in her extraordinary acting talents.

Beauty Marks: 1. Reveling in her domestic goddess ways, baking pies for cast mates and press junket interviewers 2. Supports her friends’ projects publicly, despite knowing paparazzi will be there 3. Completely dedicated to embodying all faults and assets she posses 4. Gifted in physical movement: Juggles, golfs, throws spiraling footballs with precision (in 4-inch heels while sick no less! See the now-legendary Jimmy Fallon appearance)

Offenses of otherness (per Other-Hunters, Bullshit People, AssClowns): 1. Keeps composure despite intrusive photographers’ insults as she attends public events 2. Does not confirm or deny her personal relationship with Rob Pattinson 3. Is awkward and uncomfortable 4. Is honest in her reactions, but shy and cerebral in interviews. (This confuses people who want to categorize her by a singular emotion.)

This week, as Kristen prepared to be out of the country and away from her home, friends and family, she made headlines simply for stepping out with Rob to attend a show in support of musician friend Bobby Long. The reigning Other Queen wants to enjoy her limited time with her beloveds. In the aftermath of the chaotic world-gallivanting promo tour, Kristen is preparing to immerse herself in work again, which is something that she not only loves doing, but marks her impressive dedication to her craft. Once she returns from her On The Road filming, Kristen will delve into preparation for filming Breaking Dawn parts 1 and 2. With her departure to Montreal, as usual, the BullShit People, fame whores and Ass Clowns crawl out of the woodwork to concoct wild rumors and speculation.

LIGHTBULB MOMENT: These shit-stirrers who call themselves “fans” may be why some of us try avoid claiming any association with the “Twilight fandom”. And instead attempt to redefine the true meaning of support and appreciation for Kristen, Rob and Twilight. Some of the more extreme (i.e. stalkers, fame whores and embarrassingly delusional) followers in this fandom sure know how to degrade and misrepresent, don’t they??

Talk all you want. We’re still going home together.

While the “fans” work themselves into a foamy lather, our girl Kristen and her Rebellious Partner in Crime Rob don’t appear to bat an eyelash. Perhaps this is the greatest indicator that Kristen and Rob are balanced, un-fragmented, whole spirits: they know each other and themselves well enough; have confidence in their chosen friends and beloveds (did you see how TomStu and Sam shielded Kristen from the Other-Hunters at Bobby’s concert?) to cast away the doubt, nonsense and hate from their awareness in pursuit of their bliss confidently, calmly, wholly.

Smoothing The Splinters

Because I am letting the inner therapist and the neglected musician follow the path of the Bliss-Pursuing Other Queen, I am moving towards embracing my Otherness as a Chucks-and-tiara-wearing Rebel Royal. 

Because she turned her experience of victimization into a distinctive voice in defense of neglected, forgotten and persecuted Others, Shirley Manson is an Other Queen.

Because she adamantly refuses to give into the jeers, insults and rumors meant to tear her apart, and instead keeps her focus on her craft and the path ahead of her; within company of encouraging beloveds who know all of her, Kristen Stewart is the reigning Other Queen.

I am Other.

Shirley is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others know that embracing the whole is the greatest rebellion.

Embrace Your Other.

Question: What can you do to bring your splintered roles, interests and loves closer together?

A/N: Did you enjoy the Special Edition Musings this week, with guest writer Bouffant? Did you let her know here or on Twitter? She’s @Bouffant00. I am off to be in my 3D world, and may even be on a plane as you read this. I am spending time with my family and attending a cousin’s wedding. Then, N and I are flying off to Hawaii for a week with my mother, to introduce her to the islands that are so very special to me. She hasn’t been before. I don’t know for absolute certainty that I’ll post next Thursday per usual. But The Muses are so very unexpected, so I may very well hole up on the patio with a cocktail and babble away at you again. I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, please check out my girls’ projects: Visit @Bouffant00 of course, and also @Buff_82. Buff is a goddess, we’ve established this. A photographer and graphic design genius, even though she denies it. Go visit her on Twitter and on FanFic.net as she is the author of Eclipsed Heart (completed) and Redeem Me. Obviously check out CC’s brilliant @KStewsbtrthanu because she’s outrageously gifted and clever, and she’s my sister. Join @TheUrbanWhisk‘s culinary adventure on her gorgeous blog celebrating all things food. See my profile here and peek at the blogs I follow, give love to my girls @Takemetobliss, @Frayo and @Jwink…the possibilities are endless. Many thanks to Marble Pole, Puss, Kathryn My Manager, Julie, and Clog-Wielding Queen. To the lovelies who helped me brainstorm the name of “the magical little practice”: You stun me. Lastly, as usual, my Cyber Sisters/Readers/3D friends, I’ll see you in the morning, like everyday. LOVE YOU.

Special Edition Rebel Royal of Yore: Judy Garland

13 Jul

Hello, Lovelies! It’s Kj. Every week I write Musings on my own, then hand it off to my awesome pre-readers/Betas for review. Today’s Special Edition of Musings is featuring a contributing writer, Bouffant. Remember, when I told you I would have different folks stop by and drop knowledge on all things Rebel Royalty? Yeah, well today is our First Ever Rebel Royal of Yore essay. Bouffant is my dear friend, and one of my pre-readers every week. Additionally, she is a talented thinker and writer in her own right. She keeps me in line when I go rogue (which, um, is frequent). Her hope is to introduce us to some of the Forgotten Queens. The Royal Misfits who blazed trails for our Other Royals today. I’ll post my regular Musings on Thursday. We just get a little extra treat this week. I’m going to settle into my bean bag chair and enjoy story time. But since I can’t keep my pie-hole shut, I’ll probably pop in from time to time. Look for me here **…and near gratuitous pictures of our Reigning Queen The Stew and her Rebel Partner In Crime: JawPorn** Ok. Take it away, B.


BAM.You.Will.NOT.Forget.

As with many of you, my friend KJ’s weekly thoughts on Other Queens have captivated me.  KJ elevates us all- because who among us not an Other Queen, on the inside if not the outside? – by placing us in the court of Rebel Royalty.  Princess KJ honored me by asking me to contribute to her musings, and I leapt at the opportunity. But what to talk about?  KJ’s writing is like poetry to me, and I don’t mind telling you it’s slightly intimidating, adding my voice to hers.

*Oh, B. I’m blushing.I am honored that you’re contributing your voice. Here, this is for you and all our Rebel Sisters who have something to say:*

Our reigning Other Queen (and if you need me to tell you that’s Kristen Stewart, you need to turn around and read this blog from the beginning) has talked in recent months about her decision to play Joan Jett in The Runaways.  She said she wanted to make people her age aware of The Runaways.

*(throat clearing) Just in case, you know, you lost focus.*
um. Ohai DakotaStew. unf.
Here, I’ll confess to two things.  First, I’m old (relatively speaking).  Second, I am usually not aware that I’m old.  Both of those things will happen to you too someday, if you’re lucky. Anyway, I’m about three years younger than Joan Jett.  I remember the original Runaways lineup.  And I forget that people Kristen’s age wouldn’t know a lot of the music and bands from that era.  Kids today!  OK, I’ll stop.  BTW you have my permission to shoot me if I ever say that and mean it.  So, like KJ, I am using Kristen as my writing inspiration today.  I want to tell you about Other Queens from past courts.  Not Joan, not today, although she definitely owns a crown (which looks awesome with her leather pants, incidentally).  Today I’m going to talk about Judy Garland.

You may only know Judy’s name because she starred in The Wizard of Oz.  I hope you’ve seen it!  It’s a classic film and a cultural touchstone.
*absolutely agree with you on this, B. But those freaky-ass flying monkeys are a hard limit for me, just sayin’*
Judy delivered a lovely performance in it, and gave the all-time definitive rendition of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’.  If you’ve never really watched/listened to her sing that song in the film, do yourself a favor and pay attention to it.  Judy’s innocence and yearning in that performance is heartbreaking.  Judy often performed it live in later years, and said about it:
“…but maybe I get more emotional about ‘Rainbow.’ I never shed any phony tears about it. Everybody has songs that make them cry. That’s my sad song.”

Everyone loves Judy Garland.
What makes her Other?
Sometimes you can have the admiration of everyone you know, yet still feel Other on the inside.
“If I am a legend, then why am I so lonely?”

“Hollywood is a strange place if you’re in trouble. Everybody thinks it’s contagious.”

‘In the silence of night I have often wished for just a few words of love from one man, rather than the applause of thousands of people.”

“As for my feelings toward “Over the Rainbow”, it’s become part of my life. It is so symbolic of all my dreams and wishes that I’m sure that’s why people sometimes get tears in their eyes when they hear it.”
— Judy Garland

Judy was 16 years old when she made The Wizard of Oz.  She had been performing on stage since she was two and a half (her parents were vaudevillians), and signed with MGM at 13 years old; around the time her father died of meningitis.  Louis B. Mayer recognized her extraordinary talent, although he had no idea what to do with her at first.  He referred to her as his “little hunchback”, had her fitted with caps for her teeth and prosthetics to alter her nose, enforced a restricted diet for her, and had the studio doctor prescribe Benzedrine to shrink her waistline — all with the complicity and approval of her stage mother, who Judy once called “the real Wicked Witch of the West”.
*that is all kinds of ridonk messed up. So she really was only seen as ‘pretty’ when she was bound and prostehtically-enhanced? um. NO.*
She attended studio school with teen queens Ava Gardner, Deanna Durbin and Lana Turner, which did nothing to alleviate her physical insecurities.

Co-stars at study… or a photo op?

Mickey Rooney was another classmate, and Judy’s co-star in the Andy Hardy films.  Andy and Betsey (their characters) were about as wholesome a pair of kids as you could find on the silver screen.  Mayer hit on a winning girl-next-door type for Judy to play, and the  series was very successful.  The following year, Shirley Temple being unavailable, Mayer cast Judy in The Wizard of Oz, ordering her to bind her breasts to appear younger onscreen.  Her drug cocktail was increased – she was given uppers to get her on set and downers to get to sleep.  She talked in later years about being allowed to sleep for four hours, then being given more uppers to continue filming.

At sixteen years old.  Not just sanctioned, but ordered by the authority figures in her life.
*The LiLo of the 30’s? Thank goodness there weren’t rabid papz then like there are now.*

As we know, Judy knocked Dorothy Gale out of the park.  At the 1940 Academy Awards, Judy received a “Juvenile Award” Oscar celebrating her performances in 1939.  Her star rose.  Judy transcended adolescent parts and made a slew of successful films, some classics. If you haven’t seen Meet Me in St. Louis, Judgment at Nuremburg or A Star Is Born… just do.


As film roles dried up (due in part to her mental instability), Judy segued into live concerts and television appearances, solidifying her legend with the stunning combination of her astounding vocal quality and her personal charisma.  Like Fred Astaire did with dance, Judy disguised her considerable artistry.  Her vocal appeal was open, vibrant and warm, much like her personality.  Her technical skill was unmatched, except perhaps by Frank Sinatra.

You won’t be surprised to learn that through all this, Judy struggled with drug addiction, while denying it publicly. There weren’t any rehabs back then for Judy.
*No Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew? No Intervention on A&E? Whaaa?*
She did visit psychiatric hospitals now and then, for breakdowns and suicide attempts.  Her addiction and health problems meant that that she was not dependable professionally, particularly in later years.
*The chick’s hardcore*

She also struggled to find lasting and true love, marrying five separate times, beginning with an engagement to David Rose at the tender age of 18.  MGM pressured them to delay the announcement for a year as being married did not jibe with her girlish image.  (Not to mention that Rose was still married to Martha Raye when he proposed to Judy.)  Her next four marriages each had their own unique set of problems, but the result was the same – disappointment.

How do I get to Carnegie Hall?
Practice, practice, practice

As turbulent as Judy’s personal life was, her talent was such that she worked consistently, was excellent frequently, and now and then made truly great art.  In April of 1961, Judy gave two concerts at Carnegie Hall.  The audience was packed with superstars of the day (and lucky regular folks).  Judy was at the peak of her powers, and faced with an audience who really knew her (professionally, and for many, personally), she created magic.  Judy’s vibrance, vulnerability, voice, and her incomparable ability to connect with her audience were fortunately captured for posterity by Capital Records:


The April 23rd performance has become commonly known as “the greatest night in show business history”.  Almost 50 years old, it’s hardly wrinkled and dusty.  It commands one’s attention.  It strikes straight through to one’s soul.  It’s a magnificent triumph.  It’s still a touchstone for performers today — in fact Rufus Wainwright actually recreated it four years ago in a live Carnegie Hall show.  I was fortunate enough to be in the balcony that evening.  Everyone present, from Rufus up to the last row in the house, was there to honor Judy’s spirit.  It was a daring effort, and I doubt many performers alive today could have pulled it off, but Rufus approached it with the correct measures of dedication, devotion, talent, historical perspective, humor, and balls.  As an homage to a legend, it fit the bill.

Judy died eight years after her landmark performance.  She spent that time working, mostly on stage, and battling her demons.  She divorced her fourth husband in 1963, and married again in March of 1969.  Two months later, she was dead of a barbiturate overdose, at age 47.

That’s the age I am right now.
That’s a short fucking life.


Beauty Marks: 1. One of the most technically accomplished voices of the 20th century. 2. Oscar winner. 3. The one and only Dorothy Gale. 4. Credited with creating the greatest night in show business history.

Offenses of Otherness: (Per Other-Hunters, Mother-Exploiters, Studio Heads, and AssClowns) 1. Looked like a normal, pretty young girl. 2. Had breasts. 3. Defied manipulation attempts by parental authority figures as soon as she was old enough. 4. Battled drug addiction (with little to no professional help).

“After 9/11, when we first were going to war and the state of things looked pretty dismal, I bought the rerelease.  Somehow that album, no matter how dark things seemed, made everything brighten.  She had this capacity to lighten the world through the innocence of her sound.  Her anchor to the material was obviously through her devotion to music.  You never feel that she didn’t believe every word of every song that she ever sang.”
–Rufus Wainwright

Judy had no family stability, no parents to turn to for support.  She was expected to be an adult while still a child.  She was professionally exploited before she was old enough to drive.  She was in the grip of addiction from adolescence on.

*I am being schooled in the legend of Judy. I’m in speechless awe.*

Yet she gave so much of herself.  She laid herself bare in performance.  She received love from the world, but what she gave of herself must have cost her much.  Because she can still touch us 40 years after her death, because she’s the girl who taught us how to get back home even though she couldn’t, because she laughed and sang through her pain, Judy Garland is an Other Queen.

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”
–Judy Garland


Judy is Other.
Kristen is Other.
Others push onward despite lack of parental support
Embrace your Other.

Strawberry Confidence & A Little Help From My Friends

1 Jul
Quick A/N: Please forgive the lateness of this Musings. I was out late late last night seeing Eclipse and downing Vodka. And because there is SO much Other goodness to choose from, I needed to narrow down my topics of conversation because you all are already infinitely too patient with my long ramblings already. I know you were up at the Midnight Showings for Eclipse too, so y’all are sleep deprived. Also, a quick moment of stunned gratitude to the now-retired @KStew411 who recommended this blog on their “MUST” list in their departing posts last night. I am shocked and humbled. You ladies will be missed. Good luck on your future endeavors. Lastly, I did not have this post beta’d by my amazing pre-readers Bouffant00, Buff_82 and CC. This one is ridonk late and it’s ALL me. Ok. Onward with the Musings…. 

I’m lonely.

I’m scared.
…Or Desperate for a way
to be awake without faking
to be alive without freaking
to be serious
to be true
to even think of loving someone
when you’re already doomed
You tell me how to be a girl in 2010
…They left it to us.
It sucks but it’s true.
It’s you and me baby.
-excerpt from I am an Emotional Creature by Eve Ensler

Last week, we surveyed and gawked at how cruel and destructive our fellow women are towards each other. We discussed how women were relegated to The Feminine Code and when breaking through that code, you do so at the risk of alienation, isolation and criticism, a very familiar position for our Other Queen Kristen Stewart. But here on Team Other, we realize that “Breaking The Code” earns you a spot on the Homecoming Court alongside legendary Rebel Royalty. This week, I am going to showcase and celebrate the teams of people who serve as support and encouragement for Others as we foray into Code-Breaking territory. Instead of giving anymore clout to the women and critics who tear down Others, let’s focus on the power of alliances and friendships. Because let’s face it: We can’t do this alone.
In addition to my weepy love letter to friendship and support, I must speak of this extraordinary week for Kristen. I want to gush but I’m nearly overwhelmed. How do I summarize the epicness that was The Eclipse Premiere? Can we talk about Kristen’s STUNNING makeover in preparation for next month’s On the Road filming? How ’bout the way her growing confidence and poise translated so beautifully, she was able to withstand and transcend the assault of David Letterman unscathed???
Black (Carpet) Magic Woman
So we know Kristen and Taylor had just returned from their punishing world tour in efforts to promote Eclipse (um, I dont think they have to worry, at time of writing this, Eclipse has already broken the $30Million mark for just the midnight showings only already). So shall we start our review of Kristen’s most Epic week, EVAH? Yessss. The arrival carpet is not RED, per usual, no, our Rebel Royals walk the Black Carpet. 

That’s probably all I’ll post of the Trifecta, if anything to highlight the way Rob, Kristen and Taylor exude genuine affection and love for one another (note: Kristen’s death grip on Rob’s jacket. He anchors her to this Earth at times…See? Support, people)…. and their ability to color coordinate beautifully. Kristen wore a pearl Eli Saab embellished one-shouldered mini dress which received mixed reviews. I can tell you in my most un-educated way that I adored just about everything in her look, but had to warm up to the asymmetrical sleeves (or lack there of). But the lack of symmetry was made up a billion-fold by Kristen’s amazing legs, bare back, her “robust butt” and flawless makeup (Sharpie Incident sidestepped). Ok, really? Why did this night kick start the night of all epicness? Oh yeah. THIS.

uh huh. And THIS.

and really? Weren’t we just waiting for THIS ONE?

Well, we got a million shots of Rob’s openly adoring, loving gaze upon his girl. But THIS one, nearly made me weep. Not gonna lie. I think I teared up just re posting it here.

Rob: I’m here with you. I ADORE you. Kristen: Thank GOD for YOU. I can DO this.

This is a complete 180 from last year’s premiere for New Moon. I don’t think Rob and Kristen were on the carpet (a RED one, mind you) at the same time, let alone anywhere near the same camera lens. This year indicates a major shift. Suddenly we see emotions! Affection! Physical touching! How do I know that this year was different? Well, for one, Kristen, her Royal Highness, displayed and exuded a confidence that we’ve never seen before. And it was GLORIOUS. More on that in a minute. Secondly, I knew the premiere was spectacular because I literally heard the SQUEALING from all sides. I was on the phone with my friend @BellasMommy86 for 5 and a half hours watching the live stream online, she in Florida, I was in Cali. Was exchanging tweets with, and texting, emailing my Cyber Sisters and Readers, and I capped the night off with a conference call with my Team Other/KSIBTU Crew. And that’s really what I want to talk about. The common love that brought us together in this fandom births a stronger, luminous connection…friendship.

Where My Girls At?

I’m going to take a moment to quite candidly tell you that I’ve had a truly difficult couple of weeks. My own personal band of Bullshit People surfaced and were harping away at me for every single thing I did. My physical body nor my state of unemployment were off limits either. Everything was vulnerable to the vultures. In the eyes of my inner critic, I could do nothing right. As these essays are of utmost joy to write for me, they are catharsis, but in my case almost an exorcism. After writing, I feel like I’ve crawled through the entire myriad of emotions: excitement, anxiety, irritation, contemplation, melancholy, release, elation. Last week, as you all know, I was on my cold-tablet high, and feverish. Perhaps the fever burned away the last of my resolve, because suddenly I heard every single critical snarky remark my inner critic and outside forces said to me. For months I’d kept my head held high and refused to give into the dire stress of my current living situation. Nope. Not last week. Much sobbing. MUCH.
Let’s talk about how my female support system saved my ass. The psychological and spiritual benefits of having women friendships and support are vast and numerous. By nature, women simply bond with other women over the exchange of ideas and confirmation of worth. Knowledge and information is exchanged which leads to increased self esteem and perceived control over situations seemingly out of control. Often when women have close female companions, self-esteem and overall positive outlook increases and remain high. Statistically, when women have strong feminine support systems in place, incidences of depression, anxiety and anger are decreased. Cool Fact: There is a society in Indonesia, on the island of Sumatra, in which the women are the tribe leaders. It is a matriarchal system in a predominantly male-led, Islamic-based land. Anthropologist Peggy Reeves Sanday documents the arrival and maintenance of peace and accommodation in this successful and thriving Matriarchal tribe in her work Women at the Center.  

So The Minangkabau (Indonesian Matriarchy featured) very clearly tout the successful existence of women leading and collaborating. This awe-inspiring society of people is known in Indonesia for their literary prowess, business dexterity, and egalitarian, peaceful coexistence between men and women alike.

We are joined in a common struggle between remaining firm, and assured and authentic versus conforming to society’s expectations of us. We share the daily joys and heartbreak of loving our partners, oh, then hating our partners; loving and then loathing our bodies, relishing in and rejecting our roles in society: caretaker, pleaser, eye candy, mother, child, daughter, sister. We are in this together. And this is my request to rejoice in not only our shared love of Kristen, Rob and Twilight, but also in our strength in union. I ask the feminine critics we visited in last week’s Musings to remember that we really ARE the same. We share the same struggles and insecurites that even Kristen Stewart, Christina Hendricks and Tori Amos experience.

Another amazing book I’m reading that I want to share with you right now: I am an Emotional Creature. It is written by Eve Ensler, writer of The Vagina Monologues. In this amazing little volume of GIRL POWER, Ensler presents essays and poetry using voices of the EveryGirl…American suburbanites, Bulgarian sex slaves, pregnant women… We are ALL Other.

I have a thirst for knowledge and research, so I am always seeking answers, questions and information. Thanks for bearing with me as I share my book recs to you. The knowledge of others is ours for seeking, but one thing I do undoubtedly know: I would not have emerged from the dark nights without the calming, grounding support I received from my ladies. Not only during premieres and Red/Black carpets, but for my wonderful addictions and eccentricities. Not only do I receive phenomenal fan fiction/smut recommendations from my Reader Sisters and KStew411, I’m guided in my search for my YouTube clips and interview publications. The ladies @KstewAngel and my girl Jamie steered me in the right direction so I could get my paws on the Kristen-covered Entertainment Weekly that we discussed last week.
That IS a build-your-own Parfait Station
Because the ladies steered me towards grocery stores and away from bookstores, I grabbed the last 2 copies of EW from a swanky specialty grocery store where people go to olive bars and buy kitchen tongs worth more than my car. The shoppers there don’t have as much interest in entertainment magazines nor in dazzling, sparkly vampires. At least not outwardly. Ok, I lie, the cashier guy actually fangirled a little with me over the Eclipse premiere.
And because my Cyber Sisters/Readers were holding my hand and drying my tears while I sobbed at my failures in life, I was available on chat and email when the new pictures of Kristen and her Slammin Confidence surfaced. HELLO, STRAWBERRYSTEW!

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

Her EYES. Mah. Gah.

Of course, we saw the debut of her lighter locks (preparation for On the Road filming) as she stepped out of her car in New York before becoming David Letterman’s target;  but, we got to see some luminous Stew at the New York Eclipse Premiere later that same night. I do not know how it’s possible, but I think Kristen has grown even more beautiful in these past 3 weeks alone. YES. It’s her assuredness in herself. She seems comfortable (finally) in the knowledge that she is OK. She’s articulate, intelligent, quick-thinking, and charismatic. Only now, I think she may actually believe it herself, just a teensy bit. 

The catwalk called. It wants its runway model back pronto.
Not really going to talk about David Letterman. Other than to say that I usually don’t mind Dave’s crochety, dry humor, but the night Kristen came on to his show, he was a TOOL. Another mark of Kristen’s new solid self-possession, was that she emerged from Dave’s condescension and awkwardness as the adult in the interview. She was poised, mature and she steered Dave away from any politicized land mines, all with grace, and snark. She even gave a little back. “Um, I dunno, Dave. What’s a WUFF?”

Oh, Letterman, you petty, simpering man. I’m Team Coco.

This post is all kinds of Other today, friends. I’m going to switch up the Featured Rebel section a bit, but no worries. A little variety has never hurt anyone right? I’ll finish gushing over Kristen and her epic week, and then introduce this week’s Royal Mention. Oh yes. I’m talking bad ass Mofo Feminine Queen Extraordinaire: Ani DiFranco. I said it, bitches, I did. But let’s review some more KStew Beauty shall we? I must mention only in passing (though it breaks my heart to do so) that the night after The Black Carpet Premiere, Kristen was at the LA Film Festival promoting Welcome to the Rileys’. She looked beautiful, confident and proud. And the movie itself? Mah. Gah. The reviews pouring out for the little indie are brilliant. But the reviews specifically for Kristen?? Staggering. I’ll talk more about WTTR in future essays, because I truly believe that the subject matter and Kristen’s recognized genius in her role combine to make a movie that will be…extraordinary.  

Beauty Marks: 1. Fascinated and committed to the joy of doing her job. 2. She is humble and almost extremely uncomfortable with compliments. 3. She gets by with a little help of her friends (hi, Ruth, publicist extraordinaire; Taylor and Rob on press junkets; PoutyScouty for musical roadtrips) 4. Not afraid of embodying her new role: cut, dye, shag or pole dance, she is GAME.

Welcome to the Rileys. Welcome to my adoration of you, Stewie
Offenses of Other-ness: (Per Ass Clowns, Witch Other Hunters and Bullshit People):
1. Refuses to be bought off (She turned down “ridiculous” amounts of money offered by Summit and cut her hair for The Runaways anyway) 2. Refuses to give nosy journos any details about her personal relationships (“I’ll never tell. Because once I do, it still won’t stop. People will still want specifics.”) 3. Uses metaphors and the English language in a correct and articulate way (Breaks Feminine Code by publicly seeming too smart) 4. Declines all offers to be on the world wide web. She calls Twitter Twatter, Mofos!!
Featured Rebel Royal: Ani DiFranco

Born Angela DiFranco, Ani is a musician, writer, defender of social issues and politics and all-around Bad-Ass. She plays “staccato” guitar in the realm of folk contemporaries, blurring the line between folk, rock and alternative. She openly claims to be bi-sexual and writes about her relationships with both genders. She is tattooed, aggressive, sexy and charismatic all in one small package. Her voice is melodious and heartbreaking even while screaming over complicated and mesmerizing guitar playing. Many of her songs are concerned with contemporary social issues such as racism,sexism, sexual abuse, homophobia, reproductive rights, poverty, and war. She cruised onto the music scene in the early 1990’s with her albums Ani DiFranco and Not So Soft (Such a perfect title for another Musings. dude). She cemented her goddess and Other status (in my opinion) with her trailblazing creation of her own record label Righteous Babe Records when she turned down lucrative recording contracts to write and produce music on her own terms.

 

Beauty Marks: 1. Received the Woman of Courage Award for her contributions to the awareness of feminism 2. Writes autobiographical songs about controversial subjects: sexuality, war, inequality and racism 3. Played local bars and pubs with her guitar teacher since she was aged 9 4. Created her own recording label to make music on her terms.



Offenses of Other-ness: (Per Other Hunters, Critics and BullShit People): 1. Openly expresses her sexuality 2. Blurs the lines in music styles and Gender Roles (is she a folk singer? An alternative Angry Woman? Is she gay? Why did she marry men and have a baby? ) 3. She turns down lucrative, expensive recording projects if it compromises her vision.

ICU, Joyful Girl

Ani was a prodigious musician at a young age, and she speaks her truth. Per Wikipedia, “the combination of personal and political song-writing is somewhat the upsurge of Ani’s early popularity among college students, particularly those of the left wing, some of whom set up fan pages on the web to document DiFranco’s career as early as 1994. DiFranco’s rapid rise in popularity in the mid-1990s was fueled mostly by personal contact and word of mouth rather than mainstream media.” She has openly discussed her expansion and broadening feelings on topics such as religion and sexuality, and as the years progress, her open-ness has only grown more inspiring. She became a mother in 2007 and has told live audiences that motherhood has effected her views on religion and feminism. Because she is so open minded and willing to challenge her own convictions publicly and gracefully, Ani diFranco is an Other Queen.

Get By With A Little Help From Friends

I let my inner critic, my personal unemployment agent and carb-mongering snark-conscious rip me a new one this past week. I began to doubt my convictions in moving forward when I heard from my beloved husband that my creative pursuits caused dissension and concern. But, by turning to my ladies, my sisters, my fellow Others for guidance, a shoulder to cry on, a drink to share with, a quickie IM, directions to the nearest Kristen-covering EW, I recognized my strength in numbers. We Others need to remind ourselves and each other that we are ALL Others, and we are strongest when united. Separate we fall, united we stand. Because I rely on you brilliant Rebels, Misfits and Unique kindreds to calm my inner uprising, I am an Other Queen.

Ani plays hard, abrupt, staccato passages on an acoustic guitar. She promotes independence, honesty and courage in herself and other women with her music and lyrics. She willingly admits her own convictions are challenged, and remains open to expansion of ideas. Her record label’s name Righteous Babe alone puts her on the Homecoming Court.

Kristen showed us on Lopez Tonight that she juggles, golfs and cooks Mexican Food for large family gatherings. She rocks one-shouldered dresses and two very different colored coifs. She wears Chucks and black cocktail dresses to movie premieres and press junkets. She holds on for dear life to her friends and supportive system, and claims they are who keep her grounded and earth-bound. All these reasons just further concretize Kristen as our reigning Queen.

I am Other.
Ani is Other.
Kristen is Other.
Others create harmonious tribes.
Embrace your Other.


See you all next Thursday. Maybe sooner, because we need to DISCUSS ECLIPSE. WE MUST.

A/N: ONE BIG ASS THANK YOU TO THE OTHERS WHO PULLED ME THROUGH THIS WEEK: My sister Puss who may need to barricade me in my bed again, to prevent me from running away. Julie (Constant) for checking in with me each day and encouraging me to cry. My dearest Kathryn L for teaching me about (M)othering and for helping me sing. In public. To @Jittpattzing for sending me the article about Kristen and Rob that decidedly was ANTI-OTHER and then raging with me over it. To @Kate_Suena and @Evalola80 for writing me the most exquisite emails in my darkest hours and showing me the silver lining. @Buff_82 for the pretty. To the KSTEWSBTRTHANU Crew for texting, calling and tweeting the epicness of KStew’s Royal Tour this week, and also sending me pictures of demolished desserts. To @Just2CUSmile for texting me her love even though she was in NYC with the rest of the KSIBTU Crew. To @BellasMommy86 for giving good phone and plotting our careers as the next great Entertainment Correspondents. To ProRobsten, my sister, for trying last minute to get me to L.A. and to @KimmCarr for trying desperately to step in and take it for the team in the final minutes. To @Bouffant00 for everything. Special shout outs to Teb (for helping me find my inner-Kj) and OJ for showing us how to transcend difficulties with grace.  Possum Besties A and E–love you. @MissBettySmith thanks for being on standby for magazine patrol. See you tomorrow. xo To my Cyber Sisters/Readers: YOU YOU YOU are my muses.

Finding your Voice, and the courage to Sing Loudly

10 Jun
The Sound of Your Voice

When I refer to the “Voice” I’m referring to the essence of how we communicate–the words, intonation–what we think, believe, hope for, aspire to. Our Truth. The Voice can be the culmination of one’s heart, one’s passion, soul, dislikes, likes and weaknesses. Scholars of religion may call this your soul, or your connection with your Higher Power. Psychologists may call it your personality. Purveyors of metaphysics and nature may call it your ki, essence, or being.

*BOOK REC ALERT* “A Woman’s Worth” author and spiritual lecturer Marianne Williamson speaks of finding your voice as ‘owning your passionate nature, allowing for love and inspiration to thrive’, and I’ll add, allowing it to permeate one’s outer shell, shine through.

Don’t you look like this when you stand on windy cliff-sides?

I had not planned on writing about the “controversy” that KStew found herself ensnared in last week. But when I witnessed how Kristen struggled and triumphed to not only find her voice, but sing loudly with it, I knew I must address what has now been known as Kristen’s “Rape Controversy”. Prior to this hot topic, I was so distracted by the epicness that was the UK Elle interview and glorious pictures that accompanied the piece; Kristen’s whirlwind Eclipse promo tour, and pending MTV Movie Awards. I was totally blindsided by the drama. Actually, I don’t know that I’ll wholly delve into the matter within this post, although I wanted to address it–if nothing else, then to acknowledge the tentative, magnificence of finding one’s voice, then to experience the agony and rejection of having it SHUT. DOWN.

Today’s musings has already referenced Voice as one’s true self/soul/personality, but the majority of this essay will reference one’s verbal and physical expression of the Self, the Voice. This post is in honor, of course, of our Reigning Other Queen Kristen, showcasing Others who do not possess the eloquence to express our inner musings. This is for those of us Others who are awkward, fumbling, bumbling, tongue-tied, over-thinking babblers. We’re the ones who receive countless confused stares and sidelong glances because yeah, we SAID. IT. We’re also recipients of the Puss Face when no one else understands WTF just happened.

I’ll take my cup with cream and Splenda if you have any?

Let’s do this, mmmkay? The two Rebellious Royals we’ll visit in this post are both outrageously beautiful Other Queens, and representatives of two types Communicators (of the verbal and physical expression of thoughts and ideas). The first type is the Genius Bizzarro Blurter and the second: Sublimely Cerebral, Awkward Orator.

Featured Rebel Royal: Tori Amos

Genius Bizzarro Blurter. The GBB finds herself extremely expressive, using facial expressions and hand gestures to further elaborate on a point. The words that exude from the GBB’s mouth can be whimsical, brilliant, nonsensical (to some), sensual and provocative, and yet still be direct and astute.

Tori Amos emerged in the 1990s as a singer-songwriter of incredible means. She is known as the quintessential Eccentric Girl, with her flame red hair, her masterful musicianship, her role in her family as The Minister’s Daughter. She has been called The Provocative Poet, the Charismatic Faerie, The Goddess.

Those fingers can stir even the deepest emotions. She may be tiny, but she is powerful.

Things you may hear tumbling out of this particular GBB’s mouth:

‘God, sometimes you just don’t come through. Do you need a woman to look after you?’


‘I think that people who can’t believe in fairies aren’t worth knowing.’


“I don’t see myself as weird, I just see myself as honest.”


“Most people would rather be sheep than stand on their own with antlers on.”


and my personal favorite:

“So, you can make me come, that doesn’t make you Jesus.”

Beauty Marks:
1.) Clear, heartbreaking soprano voice 2.) Prodigious piano skills 3.) Advocate for Rape Victims’ rights 4.) Speaks openly about sexuality, religion, love and despair 5.) Will turn the piano into an instrument of ROCK 6.) Fearless conviction and celebration of her Other-ness.

watching her is like watching an exorcism
Offenses of Other: Per Ass Clowns, music and societal commentators, Tori:

1.) Humps her piano bench 2.) Speaks gibberish 3.) Engages in blasphemy by singing about sexuality AND religion! 4.) Is too sexual and brazen in her female confidence. 5) Is too provocative 6.) Appears to twitch, convulse and become possessed while performing. Awwwwkward.

There were times where I wished I was her piano bench

Her wide-release debut album “Little Earthquakes” highlighted the song Me and A Gun, an acapella retelling of her shattering rape experience, a song that became the foundation for Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN). We will revisit RAINN a bit later, interestingly enough. While “Little Earthquakes” introduced the world to this intriguing Rebel Queen, her second release, “Under the Pink” created the pop icon that earned millions of ardent fans– ToriPhiles. She earned critical raves blowing past the boundaries of conformity, by challenging everything from religion, sexuality, parenthood, love and fierce, unbridled ANGER. Because she speaks of faeries, antlers, masturbation and food (she likes Chocolate and molasses A LOT) in the same sentences as religion, God and parenthood, she is a GBB, but also Rebel Royalty.

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

Sublimely Cerebral Awkward Orator. The AO is very aware that her words contain power. This knowledge can be paralyzing and overwhelming to the the intellectual, sensitive AO. The AOs in our circles are the folks who appear to be contemplating, or not listening at all. He or she may make pauses in speech, drop off before completing sentences or thoughts, may use their physical being do the real communicating, with the bouncing knee, down-turned gaze, pursed lips, and don’t forget the gesticulating fingers and hands.

Things that you may hear tumbling out of this AO’s Mouth:

‘Um. I don’t know. What the fuck is inner beauty?’
‘It’s funny how in America, fame is placed so fucking high–above wealth, happiness, everything. It’s so not true.’

“I choose my work instinctively. I couldn’t have a plan. I would always fall short.”
“I can’t pretend.”
and my personal favorite:

“Silver spikes? What? They’re bullets, Mofo!!”

With one of her most revealing interviews in recent memory, Kristen speaks of her discomfort with the Fame Game to Flaunt Magazine, Elle, and Elle UK. The article that sparked the outcry of anger was the Elle (UK Version) article. Here is what Kristen says to Hanna Hanra in the UK Elle interview for July 2010.

Whaaa? Did you say something? Can’t hear ya. I’m still staring at this cover.
‘Your little persona is made up of all the places that people have seen you, what has been said about you…so overwhelming in the moment and fleeting for me… What you don’t see are the cameras shoved in my face, and the bizarre, intrusive questions being asked…the screaming and taunting to get a reaction. It’s so…’ (searching for words) ‘The photos are so…I feel like I’m looking at someone being raped. A lot of time I can’t handle it. It’s fucked.’

Did you read anywhere in that paragraph–which I just copied word for word from my copy of UK Elle lying on the table next to me–in which Kristen said that she hated acting, hated her fans, hated being famous? No? Did you translate how Kristen compared fame to BEING RAPED? Did you read or hear Kristen say, “my discomfort is more legit than the pain victims of sexual assault feel”? NO? Ya sure? Maybe you should go back and read it, because for some reason, a shitton of people DID hear Kristen stirring a controversy. Below are samples of Smack Down that anti-rape organizations issued publicly.

Katherine Hull on behalf of Rape and Incest National Network (R.A.I.N.N.): “Kristen Stewart’s comments are regrettable. should have used a more appropriate metaphor to describe the intrusive nature of the paparazzi. Rape is more than an intrusion, it’s a violent crime, that causes serious long term mental health effects for victims.”

The executive director of
RapeIs.org, Margaret Lazarus, weighed in, pointing out that: “Rape is a violation in which one has no choice. A star seeking publicity has choices. Although rape involves loss of privacy, loss of privacy does not constitute rape. Let’s use a little logical thinking here.”

Neil Irwin, Executive Director of the
Men Can Stop Rape Organization, believes that there is some degree of comparison, but concludes: ‘Out of respect for these survivors, we would suggest using a more appropriate word, like ‘violation.'”

Nonverbal communication, Mofos! Smiling=happy

Beauty Marks:

1.) Articulate 2.) Wicked sense of fashion 3.) Speaks her mind 4.) Admits to and displays her vulnerability. 5.) Follows her heart, her instincts, her soul’s trajectory. 6.) Seeks to perfect her skills within her craft.

 

Offenses of Other: Per Ass Clowns, and a few condescending rape organizations, Kristen:

1.) Over-analyzes her words to the point of obliteration 2. ) Is a publicity seeker  3.) Is illogical 4.) Does not use a dictionary or metaphors correctly 5.) Does NOT understand what HURT is. 6.) Admits to being unsure and vulnerable. 7.) Is a miserable, melodramatic complainer

Silent All These Years 

Are you still hanging with me, friends? I hadn’t expected to go here, not in the second Other Musings post ever, if at all. However, I’m going to tell you a brief, intense story as to why I reacted so strongly to these events. Four years ago, I was a woman in her mid-20’s  living on my own, still an intern counselor, nursing the wounds of a recent, brutal breakup. One day, during the lunchtime hour,  a man broke into my small studio apartment through my bathroom window, wrapped himself in scarves and shawls of mine that he found in my wardrobe, and attempted to assault me in my home. I managed to save myself from injuries, assault, and perhaps an even worse fate, by speaking to my attacker, asking him to reconsider harming me. He screamed at me, attempted to bind and gag me, but in the final moment, dropped the scarves, dropped my shawls, and ran out of my apartment, away from me.

Suffice to say, I bristled when these “victim-protecting” organizations and critics emerged from the woodwork to jump on board the KStew-Hunting Train. I, for one KNEW what it felt like to be violated and would have found it insulting and insensitive if someone came along and told me  how to correctly detail and express my experience. A couple days ago, I wrote RAINN,  the abuse prevention organization that Tori Amos founded, and whose current organization heads requested an apology from Kristen for likening her experience to that of rape victims. I wrote them to remind them that Kristen is a twenty-year-old women who is subjected to physical danger and sexual harassment every moment she steps outside her front door. When she walks through an airport, it could potentially look like this:
I’m pretty sure you can see the lip quiver and absolute terror on her face

And sometimes, 15-20 men with cameras and microphones can be heard shouting questions about her sexuality and her sex life as well as the physical attributes of her body. They call her names like, “BITCH and WHORE” and make it nearly impossible for her and her family to finish simple tasks like visit the doctor, attend a concert, eat dinner.

So in these incredibly violating moments, ok, no, Kristen was not physically forced to have sex against her will as per the legal definition of rape according to California law. However, according to Dictionary.com, synonyms for the verb Rape include:

Violate. Assault. Maltreat. Abuse.

Neil Irwin, Executive Director of the Men Can Stop Rape Organization, was one of the more fair-minded, just commenters on Kristen’s usage of the word “rape” conceding that she probably does feel violated, forced and coerced. Mr Irwin believes that Kristen should use a “different, more appropriate” word like violated. Although, he is a man, and he can’t possibly feel the depth of a Woman’s violation, he at least wasn’t quite as condescending as the other folks mentioned above, both women by the way. Wow, women can be unrelenting, huh? Damn. *mutters, “another time, another time*.

*clears throat, raises hand* I just want to say that I have an opinion, and it is mine and mine alone. I don’t expect you to share my opinion or like it, even, but this is my essay, so I thought I’d give my thoughts on the situation, briefly…and then I’m done talking. Swearsies. Kristen is a girl who struggles already with the words and communicating. She is an Awkward Orator–helllloooo! Why hasn’t anyone read my definition yet?? She finally garners the courage to let the public and the paparazzi know:

I am frightened and vulnerable. You are not respecting my need for space. You are taking pictures without my permission, against my will, you are posturing and physically intimidating me, yelling foul, offensive things about my body, my sexuality, my love life. I’m just trying to get to the car. I am feeling unprotected and violated.

So she reveals her vulnerability. She speaks up. HOORAY for KRISTEN,  and all AOs fist pump and W00t with her! Ahem. Negative. Not only does she get ridiculed and taunted by press and papz for using her words to speak what she truthfully feels, but she is coerced, bullied and shamed into publicly stating she was wrong for feeling this way. Despite whether she needed to do so, Kristen issued an apology while on press tour for Eclipse just a few days ago. It was a very concise and respectful concession. However, because one of the organizations demanding it from her, over-rode their own mission statement of protecting and supporting victims of abuse to make an example of Kristen, I became….twitchy. Oops! Hot Therapist Avatar has something to say too… hang tight, and hold onto your hats and glasses, and not because it’s gonna be a mind-blowing wild ride (although it is). But Hot Therapist Avi borrows things and doesn’t return them. Those glasses she’s wearing? Mine. Truefax.

Reading Comprehension is invaluable. Get it.
Dictionaries are indispensable. Buy one.

*Hot Therapist Avatar climbs atop her soapbox and says:*

People have NO IDEA the effects of verbal and emotional abuse. Constant name calling, put downs, posturing (getting too close to a person, though not touching the person), remarks about body and sexuality— those can cause LONGER-TERM residual psychological damage. The negative effects on self-esteem, self-confidence, decision making, social interaction, relationships- –are staggering. Papz ARE engaging in abusive behavior towards Kristen and Rob…AND it becomes SEXUAL in nature the second, the second the pappz make a comment about Kristen’s body, her gender, or her sexuality…

It gets me soooo mad when people dismiss the harmful effects that emotional and verbal abuse causes. Doesn’t cause damage? Is it NOT violating? Is it NOT abusive? Tell that to the children and teenagers who were subjected to and/or witnessed verbal and emotional abuse (say, in bad divorces, school bullying, etc) in my counseling office over the last 9 years.

*Hot Therapist Avatar climbs off her soap box and paces the room, fuming*

Ok, then. So here’s the deal. I’m gonna steer us to towards the bright spot at the end of the tunnel now.   Because Kstew, our featured Sublimely Cerebral Awkward Orator and reigning Other Queen, came out on the other side of the “controversy”, looking like this:

. . .And like this:

. . .And gets to do this every night:

. . .With this gloriously Rebellious Royal:
I also am a misfit, dontcha know? But my girl and I are a perfect fit.

I will not only lovingly shove Hot Therapist Avi off her soapbox, and lock her away with my unemployment paperwork, but I will concede that Kristen Jaymes Stewart deserves to remain our Reigning Rebel Royal for a long while.

Sing it. Own it.

Whatever it is that you call your Voice, your Truth, Owing the Passion, harnessing your Energy, I encourage you to define it, listen to it, speak it, dance it and Sing. It. LOUDLY. And even if you’re a Genius Bizzarro Blurter (GBB) or a Sublimely Cerebral Awkward Orator (AO), you can still communicate your authentic nature in the face of some severe critics, and gain respect and strength on the other side of the fire.

I found that in the darkest hour, in a moment of absolute stillness, I asked a would-be violator to please remove my scarves and shawls so I could see his face. I used my voice to ask him to please please see my truth…and perhaps so he could glimpse his own. I never felt such clarity before this moment. And I think that is when I learned the absolute power I held when I used my voice. And I haven’t stopped talking or singing since.

Tori was a piano prodigy at four years old, granted entrance to the private, prestigious music school Peabody Academy when she was just a little girl. She was kicked out by the time she was 12, because she wanted to rock the Beatles instead of Beethoven. She became a cultural icon and a trailblazer for singer-songwriters for the end of one century, and the beginning of the next. Plus, she also has a castle in England. Fit for a Queen, yes?

Kristen is a fumbling, intelligent young woman who is finding her own voice in front of an audience of millions. She spoke her truth, got slammed for it, and still rose above, earning her begrudging but awe-inspired respect from harsh critics. She is generating golden buzz about her upcoming movie roles Welcome to the Rileys and the soon to be filming On the Road . She blurts golden nuggest like, “What the fuck is inner beauty?” unknowingly personifying and modeling the very concept about which she is uncertain.

Tori is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others emerge through fire, singing loudly.

Embrace Your Other.


QUESTION:  When did you hear your voice for the first time?

A/N:
Please take a look at who contributes to this blog, and therefore to my life. Go tell these ladies how beautiful they are. @Bouffant00 is my friend, genius researcher, confidante and pre-reader/Beta. Love her. @buff_82 pre-reads my work, and makes everything you see on this page as beautiful as it is. The Banner? Please. Buff did that one morning in between creating/beautifying the pristine KStew Is Better Than You Blog, raising her children and writing her heartbreakingly lovely fan fiction. The glorious CC of @Kstewsbtrthanu somehow pre-reads my work, shouts at me to PUBLISH THAT SHIZNET. NOW.

. . and makes me laugh all while working, graduating from grad school, managing and writing her own brilliant blog.  As usual, my usual posse, my sleuthing, brilliant cyber SISTERS and READERS rock my socks off every single day. Thank you, ladies. You inspire and astound me. Special mentions and hugs to Dancer1 who fights the good fight against KStew critics all damn day, and my friend Constant (Julie) who is a warrior queen, every day.

The responses and reactions I received from the first ever Musings On Other Queens post just blew me away. You shared anecdotes, funnies, awkwardness so willingly and astonishingly. THANK YOU. My hope, as I’ve said, is to respond to you directly. If you leave a contact Twitter name or at least a moniker that I recognize, I will do my best to reply directly to you. Mostly I just want to tell you how grateful I am that you peeked in and shared a thought or two in reaction. Yours, KJ

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