Tag Archives: On the Road

Muselet: Through What Is

24 Mar
A/N: The images displayed in this essay are not mine–Thank Goddess for Tumblr, Pinterest and Imagebam. Click the image for a link to its origins. Mostly unbeta’d, but preread by the luminous Bouffant. Any mistakes and stumbles belong to MEEEEEE. Musical playlist, per usual, at the bottom. While I try to normalize a posting schedule, click the “Sign Me Up!” button in the side panel to receive MOO updates in your Email…thissss-a-wayyy——>

“In order to get from what was to what will be,

you must go through what is.”

~Anonymous

Hello, you beautiful, beautiful souls you. I must be honest: I didn’t know how to return to you after being away for so long. It’s been nearly two months since I’ve written a new Musings, therefore two months since feeling that connection with you all, which is by far the most rewarding reason for doing this “blog” in the first place. I do not know how to be anything but honest with you, so here’s the truth: I’ve suffered a beat-down–physically, emotionally, personally and professionally–and I not only hit a brick wall in my capacity to create, but I wavered in faith that I’d be able to recover. I’m nursing a broken heart. But nothing…nothing heals me better than Musing aloud with the finest and kindest souls I’ve ever encountered *side-eyes YOU ALL*.

you let me stand under your umbrella. ella. ella.

In the past two months, the number of pristine Moments of Otherness have become uncountable. I won’t even attempt to highlight a singular event that impacted us RoyalRebelWatchers during these weeks. But I can pay homage to a few significant happenings that lovingly coaxed me out of my hiding place. I hope you’ll join me in my brief Musings on the splendor that has graced us since we last chatted. And then together we can look towards the greatness glimmering on the horizon, ok?  Ok, then, off we go. #OtherOn #ThroughWhatIs

Go forth and set the world on fire.

~ St Ignatius Loyola

Since we last spoke, we were in Paris, and better yet, we were whimsically compelled in Paris. Kristen was photographed in a fantastical couture ball gown, and hanging with visionaries Karl Lagerfeld and Mario Testino. So Paris -Part Deux was surreal. And essential on many levels.

Our Reigning Other Queen’s appearances at various Paris Fashion Week events were her first in a professional capacity since becoming the newly-named ambassador for Balenciaga. She attended the Balenciaga showcase in the company of Anna Wintour and Salma Hayek. She met up with her “On the Road Boys” [which we’ll reference another time] at French lounges, and dropped by show rooms of fashion icons. In short, Kristen brought. it. She represented while clutching an incredible Stella McCartney bag and wearing a couple of different leather jackets that reduce me to tears.

brb, weeping over that jacket

Our RebelQueen handled her ambassador’s duties with finesse and grace, and with few, if any, words. Oh and also? Kristen wasn’t alone. No, she was surrounded by love and support provided by her elite team. Her steady assistant John, her incredibly winsome publicist Ruth, her stalwart bodyguard JB and an encouraging and proud partner Robert.

The crowning jewel atop the sparkling Parisian tour was Kristen’s visit to the opening of the Marc Jacobs-Louis Vuitton Exhibition. Wearing a leopard-print Vuitton minidress and gun metal-tipped heels, Ms Stewart landed atop nearly every fashion critic’s Best Dressed list, including British Vogue. 

Now, I’m not someone  you’d call a fashionista, not by a long shot. But I do possess an appreciation for lovely material, unexpected lines, and rich patterns that prompt a physical response–an intake of breath. And I can ascertain an inner strength that exudes from a woman who is on a sky-bound journey called Greatness. Her emergence as a composed and congruent woman has been a steady, tantalizing unveiling, but make no mistake: She. Is. Here.

“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”

~Jack Kerouac, On The Road

So…as I worked through some painful decisions that impact the livelihood of my self and of my family, and more weeks melted away, I found myself cocooning for self preservation. As we’ve discussed before, there is an almost crucial compulsion to re-establish equilibrium for the recovery process to commence. And sometimes, we don’t know how to implement the healing. For me, I immediately withdraw and become quiet, so I can search for that still, small voice (some call this God, The Universe, Allah, Intuition, or…The Divine) to emerge. To access that inner compass, I write, listen to music, make some of my own music, and immerse in nature. I also look for guidelines as provided by strong models who surround me.

In a moment of startling clarity, and tremendous pride, I drank in the examples as exhibited by our Reigning Other Queen. You guise: the reason why I began writing Musings On Other Queens in the first place, almost two years ago, was to pay homage to an actress of uncommon poise and conviction.

I needn’t look any further for inspiration and gentle encouragement towards a courageous role model. These days, she is ev.er.y.where. 

Kristen has been signed on to play Marylou in Francis Ford Coppola’s adaption of Jack Kerouac’s seminal novel On The Road for years. She was approached by filmakers to consider the role before her Twilight days. The film project itself has been in development since the 1960’s and the role call of artists attached to it over the decades is nothing short of legendary. And yet, it is just now, over sixty years after the original scroll was typed, that the story is at last available to and for public consumption.

Now, I know that the book On The Road isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. But it is my cup of tea. I read the book at an extremely fragmented time in my life–my senior year in high school, while I was determining colleges, and grappling with my first bout of depression. This book–along with the book The Perks of Being A Wallflower and my discovery of Joni Mitchell and Tori Amos–served as balm for my wistful, wild yearnings for it. The ‘it’ that Sal Paradise, Dean Moriarty and the ‘beautiful sharp tack’ Marylou also sought.

Kristen Stewart knew, when accepting the role of Marylou for this film, that she was undertaking an enormously important project. This film was not only a life vest for an aimless teenager like myself, but is the visual manifestation of a story that is referred to by cultural commentators and historians as the ‘defining work of a generation’. Ummmm. Ok, so in other words, a Big Fucking Deal. 

So, while contemplating my next steps in reconnecting with Musings and you, I watched with saucer-sized eyes as our Ambassador of Otherness herself pushed through any reservations and fears she may have held. Per her usual method, Kristen immersed herself in Marylou’s story (‘Marylou’ is based on a lass called Luanne Henderson), attended Beatnik Bootcamp (dancing, listening to music, reading the literature of the time, watching films and discussions fostered by Kerouac, Ginsberg and Cassady). She divined her own inner mad Marylou to best connect with the motivations of a woman who was raw, wild, magnetic, simultaneously vulnerable and brimming with sexuality.

Ok, you see? She went there. She still waded through the stuff in order to genuinely experience this character. She is in the spotlight   and under extreme scrutiny every single day which I can only imagine generates an ungodly amount of stress and anxiety. She is the new face of an iconic fashion line, and she is spearheading at least two high-profile projects all while trying to maintain her connection to her family and beloveds. She moves through the here-and-now anyway. It is stunning to comprehend the level of strength it takes to do what she does. Every. Day. Are you bowing down to Royalty as I am?

“But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”

~Jack Kerouac, On The Road

Well, my Rebel Royals, this is where we’ll stop for today. I wanted to dip my toe in the water before jumping back in, cannon-ball style, and I thank you for holding the space for me to do so. We have so many more amazing adventures to review together the Hunger Games movie and seeing Marcus Foster live (tomorrow night) notwithstanding… I still want to discuss with you all the implications behind the case study we approached last time, about Empathy Erosion and the desensitization to humanity as discussed in the last Musings——>A Stew Review: Compassionate Beauty 

Also, I so very much want to return to our roots, which includes the celebratory highlight of a new Featured Royal Rebel.  I want to talk about and give the mad props deserved to a brilliant, important English bloke. You may know of him already. . .

And we will discuss and rejoice over our Rebel Queen’s continued, brilliant courageousness …Because she is The Fairest Of Them All. She consistently lights the path for Others to tread.

I look to her, and you to help me move towards what will be by honoring and foraging through what is. Because it’s how we roll. #OtherOn

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others choose to go through What Is.

Embrace your Other.

*      *      *

QUESTION: What were your thoughts on Paris Part Deux, and the On The Road trailer? Can you recall a time when you withdrew from a stressful situation only to realize that pushing through the discomfort and fear was the most direct and honest path to recovery?

A/N: Now is when I convey my gratitude to you for the time you’ve  spent in perusing my ramblings, if you indeed made it to the end of this somewhat erratic post. THANK YOU. Though I’ve been on the periphery and quieter than usual, I am here. See you very, very soon. Always, KJ

VIPs in my LIFE and for this post to be possible:

@Kate_Suena @DeeDreamer16 @maybeimrivers @robkris13

BOUFFANT

My Always-Constant CyberSisters and Readers

*Last notes*

1. Take time to check the About KJ page if you would be so inclined. I finally updated a new Sentence Completion Exercise. 

2. Visit one of my bestie’s beautiful, beautiful book blog. And come get lost in it with me. Love you, Katie. And Thank You. For everything.

I’M LOST IN A BOOK SOMEWHERE

Today’s Musical Playlist: 

Joyful Girl (live) ~ Ani DiFranco

First Breath After coma ~ Explosions in the Sky

Lullaby ~ Sia

Fires ~ Shady Bard

Redefining the Learnings of Love

10 Feb

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

***

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

~John Welwood, Love and Awakening

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

This is like porn. #OfficeSupplyJunkie

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

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

Ohai, Sal. I mean, Sam.

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

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

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

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

“… because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn…”  ~Sal from On the Road

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

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

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

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

Love as a Transformative Path

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

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

“I am on United Flight 53 to Maui”

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

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

Swear that youre in it to win it

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

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

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

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

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

All I’ve Ever Learned From Love

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

~ Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, fuck no.

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

Creating A New Definition

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

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

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

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

Featured Royal Rebel: Viggo Mortensen

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

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

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

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

Offenses of Otherness:

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

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

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

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

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

LOVE or CREATIVITY or GUIDANCE or ACTOR or ARTISTIC or HUMANITY  

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

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

Offenses of Otherness:

*Remains grounded about the enormous success of her career

*Strives to channel celebrity into philanthropy

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

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

Viggo is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others create a new definition for expression.

Embrace your Other.

***

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

***

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

See you soon. Yours, KJ


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.

A KStew absence makes the heart grow fonder

4 Aug

Yes I know. It stings a bit. There is an emptiness and an ache during these Kristen-less days. The last public sighting we have of Kristen is from the bowling alley and that quirky-cool man’s reference to Kristen as “that punky chick from Twilight“.Thank the Goddess for these newly released EW outtakes (outtake because there is just too much Pretty?)

and peeps say she doesn’t smile. pffft.

Also thank The Goddess again for the soothing (at least for me, anyway) knowledge that Kristen is not on the streets dodging Vulture-Papz because instead she’s safely ensconced and immersed in her current job: filming On the Road. I am so pleased to know that Kristen is submerged in a new role, and it’s just an added bonus that the role is of one of the fair and feisty Marylou in the Kerouac classic. Filming began on Monday in beautiful Montreal, and word on the street is that these first days dive into some of the grittiest moments between the threesome. While writing this essay, pretty UH-MAY-ZING casting news surfaced: Viggo Mortensen (um, YESSSS) and Amy Adams are joining the cast for On the Road! Talk about high calibre projects!! Kristen has been attached to filming OTR for a couple years now, and I can only imagine how excited and thrilled she is with the way this film is shaping up. I personally feel this film has the makings of legend, much like the book on which it is based. Ok..but anyhoo, we know what Kristen is doing, and it is so much greater than anything I can claim to have done. But with Kristen out of the spotlight, and Rob waving goodbye to the WFE set yesterday, what can we Muse about, lovelies? mmm. lemmmeee think…lemme think….

Helllooo, Garrett. Road tripping with you will NOT be a problem.

Return of the King indeed, Mr Mortensen

Idle hands make…

Well, some folks have certainly found new topics to muse about…In these brief moments where Kristen has been out of the limelight, bewildering events have occurred amongst the fandom. The Not-A-Fans and the Disturbingly Focused folks managed to assist in the creation then subsequent spreading of false stories about Kristen, and Kristen herself is not available to clarify. Plus, absence leaves lots of room for elaboration by the especially creative storytellers. Sadly, those are the tamer actions of the idle and the bored. The most distressing actions I’ve witnessed above all, happened within these past two days.

 

Some “fans” were quite busy offering distractions in the form of petty tweet-wars; libelous, vile photo manipulations; side-choosing in arguments that they created regarding whether they know more private information about Kristen and Rob than other people. This same information that Kristen and Rob themselves have worked so excruciatingly hard to keep private.  

 

 

 

 

 

I won’t spend more than a moment thinking too hard about it all, because I have more fulfilling Musings to entertain, but out of a mental health professional’s curiosity, I ask:

WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?

People who refer to themselves as “fans”, but whom are also engaged in this harmful, hurtful behavior towards both Kristen and Rob and their supporters:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you unhappy?

Is it anxiety, boredom, or a shattered spirit? Needing a power boost? Do you simply stir the pot while your favorite target is indisposed, because you need something to do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The arrows will only go away…
When I cause trouble with KStew and Rob fans.
The arrows will only go away….
If I draw their chaos elsewhere…

 

Dr Glenn R Shiraldi is an author, Pentagon faculty member and university professor, with an expertise in stress management and self esteem. It is from his work The Self Esteem Workbook from which I draw some of my thoughts about the harmful self-proclaimed “fans”. Per Dr Shiraldi and Coopersmith, People with efficient self-esteem tend to be healthier, friendlier, more expressive, more active, more self-trusting, trusting of others, and holding little to NO hostility. Makes sense. Essentially, the more assured and grounded one is in her own decisions and beliefs, the less likely she is to harbor distrust and hostility. So could this be a key contributing factor to the hate and need for destruction that some of these Vultures, Not-a-Fans and BullShit People feel towards a young woman and a young man who just happen to be public figures? A great absence of security and conviction in self? Perhaps. In my years of providing therapy as well as receiving it, I did learn one significant concept:


 

It is impossible to obtain true inner strength and confidence when one is searching outside the self for it. Moreover, it’s a disservice to everyone when malicious intentions are injected into the Great Wide Open. Why tempt the Omnipresent Consequence??

 

Uh, Me? Meet Confidence.

 

Basically it means all the energy poured into role-playing MEAN GIRLS by creating high school hierarchies within this supposedly “supportive” community, detracts from the energy in supporting betterment of humanity and oneself… It also detracts from enjoying the gifts of a precocious woman and a soulful man that are the most unique, intelligent and atypical talents we’ve had the pleasure of observing in many, many years. Which is truly too bad.

 

TIME’S. UP.

 

 

 

I’m done giving any more of today’s Musings to the contemplation of motivation behind unprovoked attacks on our Royal Rebels. I transition out of this convo by saying: Dear idle, bored, and anxious folks out there, let us please commence with remembering why Kristen is our Other Queen, and celebrate all her Offenses of Otherness that are blueprints for accessing our own Majestic Misfit-ness.

 

Kristen looks in a mirror every single day.
Do you?

The Beauty that Kristen brings

So I say, as I have from day one, instead of focusing on any absence or perceived shortcoming of our Reigning Other Queen, let’s focus on the beauty and goodness that has enhanced our lives as a result of being a Kristen Stewart supporter. My world Pre-KStew Discovery was lovely, entertaining and exciting, sure. But my world Post-KStew Discovery is just more. In the past two years that I’ve been on the Twilight and Team Kristen rollercoaster, I have been infinitely blessed. As I wrote last week, my appreciation of Rob and Kristen ultimately brought me to the creation of Musings, therefore, you Beatific Rabble Rousers.

Since discovering and becoming a supporter of Kristen Jaymes Stewart, I have met the nicest, kindest most passionate people from all corners of the world. I mean, I’m a traveler, and have been to a few pretty exotic places, but it wasn’t until joining Team Kristen and Team Other, that I’ve truly met the most gifted and beautiful people in the world. I speak on a daily basis with some of my Cyber Sisters and Readers, more than I speak to my own family, outside of my husband. I read FAN FICTION! The glorious, smutty, brilliant creations of daydream believers and warrior poets. I exchange late-night texts and tweets with my fellow fiction addicts while we sob into the last tissues in the house, and nibble on Toblerone chocolate while discussing the virtues and complications of Mob Life.

Dear: EP, I don’t know how, I don’t know when it became so.
But you OWN me. That is all.
Love, Me.

Since creating and Musings and spearheading the campaign to defend my fellow Others like you, Kristen, Rob, and this week’s featured Rebel, Ryan Gosling, I see brilliant moments of “Other” everywhere. Opportunities to take the atypical path, make an unconventional decision, take a chance on idea I wouldn’t always. When I was out to dinner one night with Kathryn, My Welsh beauty and “Manager”, our waitress put her two hands behind her back and said to us, “Pick one. Odd? Or Even?”
Can you guess which one I picked? The waitress handed me some lovely candy and my silver setting for the evening. And we ended up having an soulful conversation about pursuing the art of Creative Living. But you know what? When given the choice, I will always, always, choose “ODD”.

Odd has never looked sooo sooo right.

I have almost daily, conversations with soul mates and kindreds. This was a conversation that Cynically Convivial of KStew Is Better Than You I had a while back. It went something like this:


Me: I feel like I have so much to learn each day. Each day brings me something new. I love it.


CC: I love to learn. I love words. I love books. My dad always tells us that if you didn’t learn ONE thing by the end of the day then you’ve failed as a citizen of the world.


Me: Oh I love that. I move through each day with a similar guiding energy.


CC: One of my dad’s favorite quotes, by W. Markiewicz is: “Its better to be an authentic loser than a false success, and to die alive than to die dead.” It’s how I became obsessed with the phrase “Own It”. I know what my flaws are. I know everything that’s wrong with me, and I own it.


Me: Much like our girl Kristen. You, my lovely, are a Rebel Queen as well.


CC: Kristen appreciates authenticity and different-ness. I appreciate her unwillingness to concede.


Then I write stuff like this in the sand in Kauai.

Let’s continue to build our Rebel Army, as we began a couple months ago with the first-ever Musings, shall we?

Featured Royal Rebel: Ryan Gosling

This soulful, soft-spoken, unassuming man was born and raised in London, Ontario, Canada. Having no formal performance training, Ryan found himself snagging the spot in The New Mickey Mouse Club alongside fellow Mouseketeers Justin Timberlake, Keri Russell, and Christina Aguilera. Okay, maybe you don’t recognize him from his awe-inspiring singing and dancing with the MMC (or maybe you do?), but you probably do recognize him here:

He garnered critical acclaim for his work in films such as Murder By Numbers (a role in which he played a teen aged murderer) and The Believer in which he played a Jewish Neo-Nazi before he landed the role as Noah in his most mainstream movie to date, The Notebook. His propensity for choosing unusual, broken and imperfect (Other) characters in smaller independent films before choosing to work in a well-known film is a very similar trajectory as our Reigning Other Queen Kristen. According to Internet Movie Database, Ryan was a victim of teasing and bullying when in grammar school, and was relegated to home schooling until he was 16 years old and his family moved to Los Angeles, CA. In California, his high school nickname, appropriately so, was: “Trouble”. He dropped out of high school at age 17, and went to New Zealand to work on the TV show Young Hercules.


A gifted guitarist and singer in his band Dead Man’s Bones, Ryan has quietly but steadily gained admirers in colleagues and industry critics alike. Our own Poet Warrior Rob Pattinson includes himself among Ryan’s fans. He was nominated for an Academy Award and became the recipient of the Independent Spirit Award for his work in Half-Nelson, in which he played a heroin-addicted high school teacher. He received critical and public praise for his role as Lars in my personal favorite Gosling film: Lars and the Real Girl, in which he portrays a socially awkward and painfully shy man who claims a blow up doll as his girlfriend. He is compelling and gently surprising in his contrasting roles: a self-proclaimed traveler and lover of solitude. He is both the advocate for freedom of Darfur refugees under the reign of a murderous army; and, a partner in a Beverly Hills restaurant serving Moroccan food. He walks the line of appearing in small independent Indie films as well as big-budgeted Hollywood productions. In a move I find magical, he chose at one point to live alone in a south central Los Angeles apartment because he felt “closest to real people” there, and because the Vulture-Papz would not seek him out.

Offenses of Otherness:

*Introspective and methodological
*Quiet and Press Shy
*Articulate and flinchingly honest
“Do something that you’re afraid of, at least once”

Our NinjaStew frequently tackles something she’s admittedly afraid of: Red Carpet events flanked by aggressive, insulting paparazzi.

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

Our reigning Ambassador of Other has a drive and dedication that is both bewildering and impressive. Her colleagues and past cohorts have expressed concern for Kristen’s health, as she completely embodies the characters she portrays. Because she “cannot project feelings she herself does not possess”, New Moon director Chris Weitz says, “I have found myself concerned for her at moments”. She quite infamously carries a spot-on “bullshit detector” and can identify false friends and inauthentic souls immediately. This translates into her ability to run through scenes with several pages of dialogue, and finding the one moment in which it rings untrue. Catherine Hardwicke, Twilight director laughs, “There was quite a bit of rewriting on set. Kristen will not say any dialogue that she cannot respect”.

Offenses of Otherness:

*Self Assured and confident in self
*Refuses to downplay her intelligence
*Only accepts projects she wholly believes in
“Nobody cares more than I do”

Offensive Together

Instead of letting fissures and fractures deter or define our community, I say we choose “odd” and seek reminder of all the common characteristics we actually share with our Rebel Royals, our Hellcat Misfits. Because I observed and then wrote about, to finally internalize so many of Kristen’s “Beauty Marks” and “Offenses of Otherness”, there is no way in hell I’m going to discard the valuable lessons now. Kristen and Rob, and Ryan, all our Ambassadors are moving forward, living their own lives, embracing and representing Other. We should be doing the same. And with all the blessings that supporting Team Other has brought me, why would I ever dwell on any negativities? Its ALL good here.

Because I will always choose the unconventional path, and feel compelled towards “Odd”, I am a Royal Rebel.
Because he gracefully and consistently embodies several contradicting roles, Ryan is an Ambassador of Other.
Because she will never speak a word–whether in-role or in every day life–that does NOT resonate with her personal truth, Kristen is our Reigning Other Queen.


I am Other.

Ryan is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others will not search outside themselves,

for confidence that resides within.

Embrace your Other.


Question: How has being on Team Kristen blessed you?

A/N: How is GrooveShark working out for you, my lovelies? If the music is important to you, and you’re struggling with the mechanics of the widget, let me know, ok? Just like you let me know when the comment sections fucking up the flow.

Birthday wishes to my girls: @Randommama who was not feeling well AT. ALL for weeks, and she couldn’t really celebrate her own day. Happy Birthday, my Sister. To Iris: @Just2CUSmile and Amy @EvaLola80, I love you girls and even though we’ve distance between us, you are close always. Happy Birthday.

To my CyberSisters/Readers: You give me energy, inspiration, passion and guidance, and this is just when talking about FOOD! Your support of Musings and Team Other transcends and you school me every day in daily blessings.

Julie, my constant. You KNOW. My Possum Besties, you inspire. ClogWieldingQueen, you honor me.
Buff_82. You bring so much pretty. I need your address. Seriously. Bellasmummy86, kisses and gropes. Kindred. And to my soul sisters, and reasons for me to be BETTER: Bouffant and CynicallyConvy, NONE of this is possible without you. I wouldn’t even know how to begin if you weren’t holding my hands.

Slow Your Roll…Mini Musings, Island-Style

22 Jul

Aloha, Lovelies! Happy Thursday to you. It’s 745 AM in Kauai and I’m sitting at the bamboo coffee table on the lenai just as I had hoped to! (Qualifier: I began writing at 745AM at our suite, but finished writing while in the Botanical Gardens outside Tunnels Beach north of Hanalei Bay, four hours later). I’m drinking tea, eating fruit, and still sniffling from this sinus infection/cold I’ve battled since Sunday.  Here’s the plan: While Thursday is my usual day for Musings, I’m going to opt instead to write a Muselet, as My Manager Kathryn calls it. When I return from my trip, I’ll write a full fledged Musings: Hawaii Edition early next week. All good? Cool. So let’s plow.


I’m writing a Muselet today for a few reasons:
1. I’m in Kauai with N and my Mother, why would I be in front of a computer at all?
2. I’m sick again, and am in dangerous proximity to various uppers and downers in the form of cold tablets. Must feed the beast.
3. It is relatively quiet in our Other Queen Stewie’s world. Good. She likes it that way.
4. I forgot my camera’s USB cable and cannot import all the pictures I’m taking into iPhoto or today’s essay.  You’ll have to deal with my iPhone shots, kiddos.

5. I’ve wanted to write about self-care and replenishment for some time now, especially in the wake of a chaotic couple of weeks for Team Other, but also for Kstew and her Deliciously Handsome partner Rob.
Aloha peaceful soul! Hanalei Bay
So first thing’s first:
Where in the world is our girl Kristen?! Oh, yes, that’s right, she’s being professional and her usual NinjaStew self in Montreal. There have been only a whisper or two regarding KStew sightings, and without the picture of BowlingAlleyStew from the rather cool guy who referred to Kristen as “that punky chick from Twilight”, we’d never know she was truly in Montreal for Beatnik Bootcamp. I love this about Stewie. She is stealth and completely underground when she wants to be, which, um, is all the time. And what happens when Kristen goes MIA? Oh yes, the haters begin to spew their vile rumors, and fashion and cultural critics begin compiling their BEST AND WORST OF lists. A shift in the summer, perhaps? Guess who made it to the Best Hairstyle Lists, according to Yahoo this morning?  StrawberryStew. Not too shabby for a girl who was repeatedly slammed for wearing a shag deemed The Mullet during her Runaways filming days and beyond.
Um, so I’ve braided the shag and now I’m considered among The Best?
Whatever,  you pretentious Mofos
I’m enjoying the sea breeze in the moment, though my curly hair is NOT. While sitting on the beach with my afro, I thought of how there are few to no sightings of our Queen these days. There’s gonna be a drought, my friends, because Kristen is happiest when she is immersed in work, out of the public eye, participating in her craft. She had spent the past 9 months or so doing promotional work for her movies, now it’s time for her to do some filming, a self-reported favorite aspect of her job. Kristen is happiest when working. Whaaaa? How many of us can say this? 

I’m just coming off of a chaotic week in which I spent several days chasing after Monkey (my beloved niece and flower girl for Cousin’s Wedding) and dodging long-held family grudges and aggression over ham dinners. It’s no wonder I’m sick. Where do I go to become NinjaKJ, to replenish, to slow my roll? Where am I happiest? This is a good place to start.

Complete with Surfer EyeCandy for my girls
@Evalola80 and @Just2CUSmile

The islands. I need to be near the ocean, preferably island-side. It’s in my blood. Both my ethnic backgrounds are comprised of Islanders, and I feel closest to The Muses while surrounded by water. I travel a lot, and when I do, I write. I’m actually working on another project featuring my travel writing and featuring N’s stunning photography. Why? Because while I’m here, traveling or among islands, I can breathe. While I’m here, I can immerse in my happy place, and like Kristen, I feel whole again.

There is an essential health component involved with learning how to properly self care. We caretakers, healers, women, artists…we are constantly giving away pieces of our soul, our vital energies to providing for everyone and everything outside of ourselves. How can we preserve and replenish the energy we expend during our days? How do we fill up our soul’s bank accounts after relentless withdrawals? There are many ways we can do this, and each concept of self-care varies from person to person. It doesn’t have to cost any money. I planned this Kuaui vacay about 7 months ago because I know that in order for me to restore balance and peace in my world, I need to spend some time on an island somehow, at least once a year. It’s my one grand gesture a year. Otherwise it’s at-home pedicures and a soak in the tub. Last year my Island restoration occurred in Bali because N is from there, as is the Goddess of Destruction/Reinvention Kali…anyhoo…But its the simplest things that lend to creative boosts, a spirit spit-shine…

Stewie goes Strawberry-blonde and delves into her heart’s work with On The Road in beautiful Montreal:

I tend to look for the nearest beach and bury my toes in the sand:

Because doing the Electric Slide in stilettos just doesn’t whisper comfort to me:

That’s me on the left, Puss is on the right.
We’re behaving ourselves in the church pew.
For. Now.

Some folks opt for a trip to the ocean, or travel to the mountains and forests, looking for the elusive silence for contemplation. Conversations with God, Allah, the Higher Power can restore our sense of right in the world; as can a bubble bath or a massage. Sometimes hanging with the girlfriends sipping Martinis is the most healing practice of all. Reading books soothes me, as does running long distances. Listening to music live or in stereo headphones can work, cleaning out garages and kitchens too.

What tells me that Rob is invested in a little self care? It’s not because he’s in front of camera flashes and on red carpets. Nuh. Uh.

While this is pretty for us, it’s not his Happy Place

It’s because he’s been caught Ridin’ Drrty. And I fucking UNF for Rob’s brand of Self-Care. This is what he can do until he reunites with his lovely Queen Kristen, hopefully in Montreal.



Rob Pattinson, His Royal JawPorn Highness, cruising in a Chevy Nova with his Bestie TomStu…to, wait for it…. IN-N-OUT.  I do have a pic with the In-N-Out sign in the background, but I’m posting these because I can and it’s my Muselet.

Ok, I realize I’m biased, being a Cali girl through and through, but wouldn’t you say this is the epitome of California Beauty right here? Dashing men in a classic Chevy, laaaaaid-back, heading to the best Burger Place EVAH?

So my Lovely Musers…I sign off on this little Musing Moment now so I can go pop another Sudafed and find my mother and N who have wandered into the botanical gardens above this stunning deserted beach:


I’ll be back next week, early, to write a Hawaiian Edition of Musings: The Beginning of Beauty…Because I have encountered so many versions of Beautiful Rebels here, I may need to move Team Other’s Head Quarters to Kauai. Somehow I don’t think you all would mind. Listen to a little Jack Johnson, a little Marley, and some IZ, yeah? And dig your toes into the sand. Immerse yourself in what you love, to replenish, a la KStew or RPattz Style. But above all, be well, Lovelies.

I am Other.
Rob is Other.
Kristen is Other.
Others immerse themselves in The Happy,
and roll Novas to In-N-Out.
Embrace Your Other.


QUESTION: What do you do to replenish your fractured, tired soul? Where is YOUR Happy Place?


A/N: This Musing Moment was unBeta’d, and written while under the influence of cold medicine and Island Time. I imagine there are typos, jumbled words…eh. Don’t hate. See you next week, my Misfit Mates.

The journey is the risk..and the reward

8 Jul
“We were all delighted, we all realized we were leaving confusion and nonsense behind and performing our one noble function of the time, move.”
-Jack Kerouac, On the Road 

Onward We Move

And it’s time for us to move. It’s time to push forward to the next adventure. Alas, the whirlwind promo tour for Eclipse has finally spun to a close, save for a shriek-worthy drive-by from Kristen and Rob at the AMC theaters in Century City this week. StrawberryStew and WFEFuckhotRob in the same room together, though brief, caused explosions far worthier than a Fourth of July fireworks display.

The way he looks at her? Ka-BOOM. 

Before pulling away from the curb en route to the highway, let’s take a moment to pay homage to the movie Eclipse. I personally felt it was the best of the three. I went to see it on opening day, with my sister Puss and good friend who is as close as my sister, SK. We had reserved seats at a swanky theater which contained an open bar and tables at our seats to set up all our glasses of vodka. Some of us *ahem* had many glasses, so thank goodness for that table and drink holders. For me, everything about Eclipse (except for the wigs) improved a dozen-fold. The pacing, the special effects, the inclusion of important story lines, the acting all vastly exceeded. Balanced. Kristen killed it. She reminded everyone out there that they’re wasting their time on a team worshipping the boys. I am a Team Bella/Team Kristen gal, and I was elated beyond consonant sounds to see Girlfriend represent. I drank in the chemistry that is Kristen and Robert. Their energy is crazy electric and not only was I turned on by their interactions, I felt almost guilty and pervy for watching there intimate moments of love declarations, marriage proposals and attempts at removing clothing. If Breaking Dawn gets the fan fiction treatment of the love scenes as rumored, then I’m going to have to excuse myself to use the restroom and then smoke a cigarette.

Sweet and pretty, yes. Explosive? um. NO.
Thanks for the memories, Eclipse!
 

So, I am going to stop right here and urge you to read CC’s (of KSTEW IS BETTER THAN YOU) review of Eclipse. It’s the only review for me that wades through the bullshit, with a healthy dose of #TEAMCHARLIE as well. Do it. Read her review (but don’t forget to come back here), and comment. She basically crawled into my brain through my eyehole and expressed my exact thoughts but in her much more articulate, brilliant, snarky fashion. Read it here:– CC’s Eclipse Review

Having tipped my hat to Eclipse, let’s talk about Kristen’s next project and the essence of this week’s Musings. Kristen is about to embark on a new journey of sorts. A road trip, if you will. She is leaving shortly for Montreal (where she will attend Beatnik Bootcamp), New Orleans and Mexico to film the seminal and aching On the Road based on Jack Kerouac’s memoir/novel of the same name.

Now, I’ll probably dedicate an entire future essay to my thoughts about On the Road, the book, the movie and how I believe that this role combined with Welcome to the Rileys will catapult Kristen to the cusp of legend; so, I’ll keep my gushing to a minimum here. I just wanted to take a moment to touch on some important concepts borne of Kristen’s involvement with this amazing project.

Themes represented in On the Road include restlessness, the search for creative expression, friendship, loss and finding a niche (hmmm, could Jack Kerouac be of Rebel Royal lineage?). Also there’s the undercurrent of challenging authority as well as mores of genders. Mary Lou, the main female character in the story, and the role of which our Other Queen Kristen will portray, is promiscuous, stubborn, defiant, intelligent and grappling with the challenges of defining herself. She is damaged and broken but passionate. She does not participate in anything halfway. She is a Go Big Or Go Home Girl. Well, none of the characters in the story are half-assers. MaryLou, Dean and Sal all take the risk, and jump at the chance to take the journey into self-reflection…and perhaps self-redemption…? But in Kerouac’s closing thoughts in the book, he realizes that while he makes it to his destination, he is haunted by and forever affected by the events on his journey.

Oh, and BlondeStew will play Mary Lou. mmmmm gah.

Take a Chance on Me

And so that leads me to this week’s theme: taking the risk, and reverence for the journey. Last week I walked the line of self indulgence as I told you lovelies that I had a hard time which induced many tears. Your kind emails, tweets and DMs were received with bewilderment and gratitude. You all have gone above and beyond in offering support and cheerleading, and I want you to know that you have helped me. Immensely. Why do I say this? Because I’ve made some movement. Because I gathered some courage and decided to return to my bold roots, and my gypsy spirit rejoices. You all know that I’ve struggled with the likes of BastardNation, witnessed my soul sucked out through my toes leaving behind a person unsure if working in the healing profession is in fact, bad for my health. You all remember the Miracle Bubbles when I decided I’d follow my bliss: 

The bliss was because I had decided to forgo Plan B and finally finally pursue Plan A: Creative Living. Singing, playing piano and guitar, writing, photography, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches as offering to work for ODO and Cascadega in BadAssVille in the Department of Royal Rebel Defense. Last week as I tried to keep the panic at bay, I realized that my unemployment term is very quickly closing in on me and I hadn’t even begun to scratch the surface in my plans. And I am flat broke on top of it all. All the accolades and pretty words in the world will not pay my rent or my car loan. So I sat down a couple nights ago, and listened to a little Prodigy and The Swell Season and kicked my own arse. 

I reminded myself how I’ve never ever let the pressure defeat me nor my optimism in this whole year of hardship. I reminded myself of all the risks I’ve taken in my life that have paid off beautifully: moving 500 miles away from my childhood home to a city where my soul is soothed; Going to graduate school at a private academy to obtain a Masters and credential to practice psychology instead of the world-renowned University I had originally planned for; strapping on a backpack and purchasing a one-way ticket to Southeast Asia in search of “home”… The travel essays I’m writing regarding the risks I’ve taken are filled only with moments in time, snapshots in my mind’s eye of profound connection. It’s the road not the terminus.

My travels to SE Asia led me to N..who led me to this lovely Hall.
That is me, the day before I married N on that staircase.

So a couple days ago, I walked in my neighborhood en route to my favorite diner with N. We passed a block full of picturesque boutiques and cafes. I wasn’t feeling any heightened sense of emotion except hunger for my egg and bacon sandwich. But something pretty miraculous must have occurred in order for me to shake off my breakfast-vision. Well, it was an opportunity for movement.

What did I do? I smooshed my face against the clean, streak free windows and tried to see as much as possible into the building. I called the telephone number on the RENT sign. I explained to a voicemail box that I am a therapist and I’m interested in seeing the room available. I didn’t have any other words, so I left my name and a telephone contact number. My fingers were tingling and the hair stood up on my arms as I surveyed the front of the small building at which I was still gaping. This space actually has two rooms to choose from and it’s a part of a HEALING CENTER.

I KNOW. After doing the happy-happy-joy-joy Ren and Stimpy dance, I skipped the rest of the way to the diner to meet N for my breakfast sandwich. I received a call within 20 minutes from the owner of the Healing Center. With my mouthful of eggs, I set up an appointment with the owner. I physically saw the space yesterday.

Fast forward to this morning. The owner calls and tells me she just had conversed with her partner about bringing on a mental health therapist into the practice a day ago, and the benefits of having psychotherapy available to their clients. Cue ME calling them about the rental.  The owner told me she’d like for me to become apart of their practice. They want my name to be on the front window along with the massage therapists, acupuncturists, and chiropractors for a holistic practice. They want my mother-loving, Kristen-and-Rob-adoring mug on their Wall of Healers. At this point I’m glad I smooshed my face into the smudge-free glass, and that knowing I had nothing to lose, I called the phone number on that RENT sign. There is no signed deal yet. This all just happened, like today, but I feel a deep satisfaction in knowing that I opened up channels because I took a walk towards my breakfast sandwich, and was open to Synchronicity (The Universe’s nudges can be sublime). Like Kristen, it is time for me to transition into the next phase of creativity: the working stage. But the movement is what is most important. While the final destination is important, the initial intention and physical kinesis of deciding on taking the risk: that is the reward. The trigger towards progression is really IT. 

This was kinda what I looked like on my walk home from breakfast

Featured Rebel Royal: Frieda Pinto

Lets talk about a couple ladies who have taken risks in embracing their inner Mary Lou. The lovely Frieda makes her debut as a Rebel Royal today, though she has been on Team Other’s radar for at least the past two years. Born and raised in Mumbai India, Ms. Pinto is the first Other Queen of Asian descent to be featured (oh but believe me, she is not the last, not even close). A B.A. graduate of English Literature and Psychology first, a model and actress second, Frieda broke into the mainstream’s conscious with her role of Latika in the brilliant and effecting Slumdog Millionaire. In the movie, Latika endures poverty, homelessness, servitude as a gangster’s mistress all in attempts to keep her true love free. In real life, Frieda’s very swift introduction to Hollywood threw her into the trajectory of the BullShit People’s feedback. Frieda had been dating publicist Rohan Antao for nearly five years, and as her star rose in the world, their union did not withstand the pressure. The pair parted ways in the year that Millionaire traveled the world for promotional tours. She currently dates her Slumdog Millionaire costar Dev Patel.

Beauty Marks: 1. Classically trained in Indian dance 2. Anchored for international travel show (I am in love with her for this) 3. First language is Konkani (can you even pronounce this, let alone understand the complexities of speaking it?) 4. Spokesmodel for Loreal, the first representing Asian/Indians

Offenses of Otherness: (Per Other-Hunters, Critics and AssClowns) 1. Defied the prescribed physical characteristics of models: is petite, dark-skinned, of Asian descent 2. Auditioned for a large studio film in her first outing (Go Big or Go Home) 3. Showed discernment and sensitivity while dealing with matters of the heart and her personal relationships.

Forever a dreamer and believer in taking risks, Frieda began modeling and attending acting classes while juggling her college courses. Upon graduation, she worked as a travel correspondent for an international television show, and took the chance and auditioned for Slumdog Millionaire. It would be her first movie ever if she landed the role. After six months of screening and reading for the directors and producers, then waiting for news, Frieda learned she received the coveted role of Latika in Millionaire. Frieda’s very first acting job became a wold wide success and received every accolade and award handed out including the Oscar for Best Picture. Frieda herself received a BAFTA nomination for Actress in a Supporting Role. And in a familiar romantic twist, Frieda met and fell in love with her co-star Dev Patel. Because she took never took her eyes off her goal, and decided to journey in pursuit of it, Frieda Pinto is an Other Queen.

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

The lovely Kristen Jaymes Stewart has always, always credited her decisions of following her heart over her mind in auditioning for or pursuing film roles. Her astute discernment of roles have garnered her an extremely impressive resume. In a recent Eclipse press junket, Kristen claimed:

“I am motivated to keep working when I am happy, and not lying to anybody”

She reports choosing roles based on how she relates to the character, in finding the humanity beneath the grit. She embodies the job completely: studying and spending time with patients with Friedrich’s Ataxia so as to consume and be consumed by the role of Georgia, a terminally ill teenager with the neurological disease in a quiet and lovely film The Cake Eaters.

Beauty Marks: 1. Will choose a film role based on her emotional resonance with it instead of perceived box-office reception. 2. Looks for the humanity in every character she chooses to portray. 3. Will risk public backlash and slander so as to speak her truth. 4. Chooses to be in a relationship with Rob Pattinson though she has to endure the wrath and threats of critics and angry “fans”

Offense of Otherness: (Per BullShit People, Other-Hunters and AssClowns) 1. She appears miserable and somber all the time 2. Is ungrateful for her career and successes 3. Is unhappy with her personal relationships, she has no friends 4. Has little to no control over her fine motor skills (nervous tics much?)

To prepare for her role in Welcome to the Rileys as the stripper/prostitute Mallory, Kristen fully immersed herself in the journey of finding her inner broken girl. According to US Elle Magazine:

To prepare, she lived on junk food, learned to pole dance, chain-smoked, and stayed up all night. The rough living took its toll: Her legs bloom with bruises and her sallow skin with blemishes, all of them real. It’s difficult to imagine another young actress subordinating her looks so completely to her performance. This may well be the role that loosens the association between Kristen Stewart and Bella Swan, poster child for teenage angst. “

Other Queens Are Coming Home

Because I recognized that to break away from the ensuing panic that was threatening my happiness I needed to hit the road, and call Plan A out by name, I am holding a spot on the Homecoming Court.

Because she blew the antiquated physical requirements to bits with her small stature, dark skin and Eastern features all in her first audition for film work, Frieda is Rebel Royalty.

Because she refuses to take the easy route in preparing for a job that often takes her to the Dark Place, Kristen Stewart is our  Reigning Other Queen.

I am Other.
Frieda is Other.
Kristen is Other.
Others make the journey not with the destination in mind.
Embrace YOUR Other.


“The one thing that we yearn for in our living days, that makes us sigh and groan and undergo sweet nauseas of all kinds, is the remembrance of some lost bliss”

-Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Question: Are you taking the chances offered now to follow your bliss?


*All Kristen/Twilight pictures from KStewartfan.org and special thanks to TeamKristenSite*

A/N: This weekend I am embarking on a mini road-trip with one of my Sisters Marble Pole to meet up with fellow Sisters to watch Eclipse for the nth time. Big ups to Marble Pole for her willingness to be Thelma to my Louise this weekend. Love to Julie for her weekly pre-Musings check in. Hugs, kisses and tears to @Bouffant00, @Buff_82 and @Kstewsbtrthanu for pre-reading and giving me honest, constructive feedback that elevate words to prose, for leaving ME speechless. To Possum Besties @Ophelia2010 and @Justice_Aussie for Skyping me and reminding me why I fell in love with you in the first place (DELICIOUS ACCENTS). A Special W00t to the Clog-Wielding Queen who not only is brilliant but should really be writing her own memoirs. To @MissBettySmith for taking a chance and meeting me for some yummy soup. Your bright eyes miss NOTHING. As Always: My CyberSisters and Readers: You are an integral part of this journey and I would have it no other way. I am at your service, always.
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