Tag Archives: Royal Rebels

The Gathering

14 Jun
A/N:  Images displayed on this anniversary post are not mine–Thank The Goddess for Tumblr, Imagebam & Pinterest. No copyright infringement intended. Click the image to link directly to its origins. Musical inspirations listed at the bottom of post.  Words usually pre-read by a luminous team of Rebel Beauties, but not today. These garbled ramblings in all their flaws and glories are mine, all mine.

Four Years . . .

My loveliest, most Majestic of Misfits, it is nice to see you. More than nice, really, though I’m actually indescribably happy to be here, writing, connecting with you.  In efforts to gently reacquaint, I’ll just ease in for a moment or two, in small increments. It has been, after all, a year since we last chatted. And much, of course, splendidly, has surmised. The inception of this little gathering space we call MOO occurred  four. years. ago. 

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I’ve been working on novellas, “shorts”, or “Muselets” as I’ve called them, for a week now. And today’s little post is simply a hello note, one bursting with gratitude, but a greeting nonetheless. It has been a long time since I’ve written in this forum, on WordPress, and I’m eager and timid and elated all at once. Thank you for bearing with me as I re-acclimate. I hadn’t known I was going to publish today, but here I am, and would you mind terribly if I shared a little story? 

Kristen Stewart, Self Assignment, May 2014

MOOing Pages

Writers I’ve admired, from Carolyn See of the Literary Life, Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) and now the great Diana Gabaldon, poet and sire of my all consuming love (Outlander) remind me: return to your roots, do not let the muscle atrophy, do not let yourself become stagnant. Write. Write. Write every single day. I have not been writing every single day, and I am suffering because of it. Carolyn See says 1500-2000 words a day. Julia Cameron encourages the writing of Morning Pages. Morning pages unlock, they clear the space.  The MP invite and do not judge and instead allow a forum to just be, bestowing freedom and space. That freedom is endless and boundless and I’m struggling with wanting to go back and correct typos and add grammar and punctuation and that is exactly the point of MPs–let go of the “shoulds” and tear down the barriers to creativity.  A recent addition in my life, a work consultant called Mr O’Donnell recommended I return to what nourishes me. Do I know what that is? he asked. Yes. I know what that is. *looks lovingly towards you* 

The words below are this morning’s Morning Pages, or MOOing Pages, I’ve referred to them, because they’re my lighthouse, beckoning me home. They led me to piecing this Muselet together today, when I had least expected. The sentences are unedited, missing serious punctuation, and obscenely affronting to all grammar manuals, but meh. MOOing pages do not judge.

writing again 2014

* * *

morning pages PDX version, saturday 10.30AM

song: Roses and Wine by Diego Garcia

Seated in a Portland coffee shop, trying to take stock of my previous 36 hrs, catching up finally on #TheRover goodies, seeing that #AmericanUltra wrapped… Since chatting with you all, I met one of my favorite authors (the spectacularly talented and inspiring Diana Gabaldon of #Outlander). Ms Gabaldon spoke of the writing process, kilts (paying winking respects to Sam Heughan’s authentic Scottish identity, bless), and character development and I swear I could float away on a cloud forever now that it seems I’ve found another muse for Otherness in the diminutive force of nature named Diana, Creator of Badass, Brilliant English Women (Claire Randall Fraser) and her gallant warrior King of Men (James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser).

So, in driving home from the Diana Gabaldon event, starved, dehydrated and with a dead cell phone (none of this foreign to me, I am an original Twilight fangirl for God’s sake) I was pulled over by a cop hell-bent on lecturing me on the virtues of safe driving (what in GOD’S name had me driving so fast? Did I not see the STOP SIGN? Only one earbud allowed while driving, did you know this?) but in the end, Mr Policeman didn’t fine me; instead he generously granted me personalized directions to my ultimate destination of In-N-Out Burger at 130AM. Girl’s got priorities, you know.

Operating on 2.5 hours of sleep, I trudged to work (my new job as of two months ago is working with county mental health programs to ensure counseling is made available to low and no-income consumers), and took refuge in a hazel-nut flavored coffee brewed by the office’s Keurig coffeemaker.

I took a working lunch in which I pulled on my journalist’s hat (more closely resembling a knit beanie with unraveling edges), and ducked away into a small conference room in which I could gather my thoughts and prepare for an interview with a very eloquent, talented musician namedGarrett Williams, founder and lead singer/guitarist of #EvolutionBeat, a contemporary ska band. This would mark my second interview with a rock star in my side gig as contributor and music reviewer for LASF Magazine, an arts, culture and entertainment publication based in Los Angeles and San Francisco, my two home turfs, incidentally. For nearly one hour (save the ten minutes I fumbled with my session microphone, causing, to my utmost embarrassment, the call to drop), Mr Williams and I chatted the transmutation of ska music, Dolly Parton, Scottish bagpipes and broken bones while deciding that we are helpless to the lure of music and its healing properties.

I grabbed a northbound plane after work last night, and sat in aisle seat in the emergency exit row.  I had the fleeting thought that I would be a worthless hero to anyone, should we need to exit the giant vessel via side panels. I had no jacket, thin, ballet flats for shoes, and my dinner had consisted of corn chips, whose salt crumbs still clung to my lips. I’m pretty sure I saw the flight attendant’s eyes flit over them while she explained the emergency evacuation protocol to my aisle mates. She may have then switched her attention to the strapping men who stationed themselves in front of the actual 30-pound removable doors and could actually be of assistance in the event of a water landing. However, I am a pretty braw swimmer, so I may be redeemable after all. 

* * *

So…. That is how I found myself in Portland, Oregon, hanging out in a stuffed arm chair by a fireplace, even though it’s the summertime. One wouldn’t know  it was mid-June if basing this observation on the constantly overcast, cool and damp Portland weather, but let me tell you, fireplaces are kinda wonderful.  Especially as I settle in to connect with you all and tell you what I hope to do, to tell you about MOO in its latest, most honest incarnation. 

Four of Words

I’ve been blessed with having this space, and you wonderful readers to share with for four years. In the next few days (weeks?), I’ll post a series of new short essays paying homage to elements that have emerged as a result of Musings On Other Queens’ creation. For instance: The celebration of WORDS…. Four years of rejoicing in interview quotes from Kristen Stewart and fellow Other Ambassadors.

“Someone saw an old movie I was in, The Safety of Objects, and realized that the little boy in it had grown up into this girl — me.”  ~ Kristen Stewart 

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Four years of sharing, exchanging,  and falling in love with new stories that bind us in a shared admiration for coherency and eloquence and the written word, and the emotions and images associated with those words.

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Four of Redefining

We’ll also explore a new entry for the Other Anthology: Transparency.  I’ll tell you about my LA-SF road trip in which I gallivanted around my home cities with dear friends @robkris13 @mel452 and then viewed the Sundance presentation of  Kristen’s film CAMP X-RAY. Some of my lovely girls of the Bay Area joined me for Q & A session with Camp X-Ray’s director Peter Sattler post showing  in which praise and accolades for Kristen were reverent and abundant. Transparency indeed.

PvtColeXRay

Four of Red

A third Muselet queued up to post this week will speak to the color RED, as we’ve seen over four years, indicators of our Rebel Roots and bold declarations of UN-convention. Starting with the very FIRST Kristen Stewart picture posted on Musings On Other Queens June 3, 2010. 

Kristen Elle 2010

FIRST RED 2010

and..

CannesBeautyRed  2014

CANNES BEAUTY RED 2014

Do you see where I’m going with this, my Other Warriors?  Still with me? Ok. So I’ll be seeing you around the hood.

Always, KJ ❤

P.S. Thanks for hanging with me these four glorious years

P.P.S. And thanks for having me back. Rambling and law-breaking and all. #OtherOn

Embrace Your Other.

 * * *

Fourth Anniversary Playlist
Wildest Moments ~ Jessie Ware
I Wanna Get Better ~ Bleachers
Only Love ~ Ben Howard
 This Much I Know ~ Speak
Gotta Have You ~ The Weepies
Meant ~ Elizaverta
My Song 5 ~ HAIM

Molly, Stewie, Me: Times Three

6 Jun
A/N:  Images displayed on this birthday post are not mine–Thank Goddess for Tumblr, Imagebam & Pinterest. No copyright infringement intended. Click the image to link directly to its origins. Musical inspirations listed at the bottom of post. To open the playlist in a new window, click here—> http://pl.st/p/20984139787  Posts are usually pre-read by a luminous team of Rebel Beauties, but tonight: It’s just me. These garbled ramblings in all their flaws and glories are mine, all mine.

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Definition: Beautiful

~Merriam-Webster Dictionary, June 2010

Beautiful, adjective. Exciting sensuous or aesthetic pleasure. Applies to whatever excites the keenest of pleasure to the senses and stirs emotion.

This was the exact definition which launched the very first Musings three years ago, on Thursday, June 3, 2010. As I’m typing these words out tonight, on a Thursday evening in June of 2013, tears are paving tracks down my cheeks. Moving through the actual movements of piecing together the musical playlist, and selecting images to use for this essay provokes profound physical reactions from me, clearly. I should have seen it coming. It is without exaggeration and with complete awe that I realize everything I do these days is in response to, influenced by, or connected with the decision I made to muse aloud about Unconventional Beauty. It manifests in the music in my library, the people I speak with, and in the conscientious practice of self and Other compassion. To say that these days, I’m experiencing the ‘keenest of pleasure to the senses’: Accurate.

Molly and Me

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Did it start with Molly Ringwald?  When I found myself at Borders Books (Rest in Peace), I hadn’t expected the Original Poster Girl for Awkward, Outsider Beauty to be there too. I was brand new to Twitter, and operating under my now-unused personal account KJN52. One of my very first tweets looked something like:

@kjn52 Molly Ringwald is here and I want to scream about Jake Ryan and that people’s “little brothers paid a buck to see your underwear!”

Obscure Sixteen Candles reference, my friends. If you haven’t seen John Hughes’ masterpiece about misfits and adolescent longing, then I have the opinion that you are suffering from staggering incompleteness. Please. Go. I sat at a cafe table  in the corner of the book store and watched as Ms Ringwald read excerpts from her new book Getting The Pretty Back to a captive audience. While I wasn’t originally there for the book promotion, I could hang onto every word falling from Molly’s mouth from my perch at the edge of my chair. So Molly Ringwald was speaking about great things, important things. About how we can lose our sense of self, especially when surrounded by people and forces willing to take it for themselves, turn it into something else entirely.  Says Molly: It’s up to us to define our paths. Foreshadowing the Other Anthology, Ms Ringwald? Prettiness, she reminds us, is a state of mind. 

“…It’s the part of you that knows what you really want, that takes risks.” 

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Molly Ringwald did not know this at the time, but she in that moment, became my very first Featured Rebel Royal for what would become a ‘blog’, then an entity, and then a practice that would alter my life. 

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Of course, it was another Molly, my dear friend Molly, who could also be credited for sparking the Other Revolution. It was she,  after all, who pulled me out of my house to the book store with her to pick up the sequel in a series she was not exactly forthcoming about. Molly: hipster, cool, brilliant… huddled next to the store’s display table, raptly staring at….

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I watched, baffled, as Usually Poised Molly, slunk around the table, and snatched up a copy of a sleek, black book with the word moon across it’s spine.

“What are you doing, Molls?” I asked.

“I haven’t slept for over a day. I couldn’t put this damn book down. I must read more. MORE!” Molly gushed, her eyes darting around her.

Ok, my usually collected reserved girlfriend was literally trembling [withdrawals?], and so I grabbed the first book of the series, and promptly marched up to the counter to plunk down my money. I was scheduled for knee surgery a few days later. I was gonna need lots of entertainment for the weeks I was to be bed-ridden in recovery. Vampires? No problem. I have a long love affair with stories of the supernatural variety [I am an OG Vampire Diaries reader, plus a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan] and I simply had to experience the stories that transformed my friend into a shaking, stumbling Twilight fiend. 

bookstwi

Suffice it to say: I didn’t sleep that night either. I really didn’t sleep the next four days. I sent my husband prowling the city at after hours book stores to pick up New Moon and Eclipse [Breaking Dawn hadn’t been published yet]  for me, since I was supposed to stay in bed. You know.. knee surgery blah blah blaaaah. So I stayed in bed… and read… and researched, and googled…and stumbled upon comment sections, YouTube euphorias, discussion groups and MTV: Twilight Tuesdays. 

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Seven months later, in November 2008, my friend Molly was my date on opening day to the movie: Twilight

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Goddess Bless the Mollies in my life.

An Awe-Inspiring Awful

I mentioned my weeks of post-surgery recovery in Spring of 2008. During that eight weeks in which I was off work and rehabilitating my knee, I discovered the Twilight books, I discovered the internet. Therefore, I discovered The Fandom. MTV’s Twilight Tuesdays sparked an intense fascination with the chemically combusting interactions between the absurdly aesthetic Kristen and Robert. I found fellow book readers who were excited about the release of the movie, who also noticed an unmistakable affection between the two lead actors cast to play Bella and Edward in the film. A hub  [at the time] of seemingly positive discussion about all things Twilight revealed itself as a forum through E!Online: The Awful Truth. Take heed, friends. I don’t mention that place or it’s creator/ Captain Shit-Stirrer Casablanca… ever. But in celebration of Musings On Others’ third anniversary, I would be remiss to neglect acknowledging its origins.

Swings

See, The Awful Truth brought me to my CyberSisters & Readers five years ago. Among them my beloved Bouffant, Robkris13, gretel, and RainierSixPac. There are so many phenomenal women in my group–like the featured #Eeeby. Yes, the now defunct Awful introduced me to people whom are now some of my best friends. I speak with them every single day. They have held my hand in my most devastating moments, moments from which I am still recovering, that have occurred very recently. Friends I’ve made through this exasperating fandom represent intelligent, empowered, Creative Thinkers in the most awesome of ways.  Most importantly, I discovered Muses and Royal Rebels who encourage and inspire. Over three years ago, I met the incomparable CynicallyConvy, brilliant author of KSIBTU, and her unbelievable band of warrior beauties including the insanely talented Buff, JHiggs and my lion-hearted sister Just2CUSmile

KSIBTU Painting

By the beginning of 2009, I was pretty comfortable hanging with my CyberSisters (led by the trailblazing MarblePole) in our own discussion space, separate from Awful Truth, but still interacting online with delightful, articulate “regulars” who shared the same appreciation for Kristen Stewart, her ‘deliciously handsome’ partner in crime Robert Pattinson, and yes…Twilight. I flew under the radar for the most part. My decision to become involved, was as I noticed the alarmingly abominable attacks on Kristen Stewart in so many of those online forums. Especially baffling: those doling out the most vicious criticisms were people who did not even know Kristen. Bloggers, commenters, teenage girls home from school, their mothers with a bit of idle time–they, by far, unleashed the cruelest, most uninformed and illogical bouts of malevolence onto Ms Stewart, and I was struck speechless. I am usually anything but without words, guys, you know this about me .

An anger was unleashed upon Kristen, in an unfounded, unparalleled manner that in turn, compelled me. I had to do something. 

I Can Do~Helen Keller

How can I be an activist? Well… I learned that when I wrote things out, or spoke my rambling thoughts aloud, people listened and responded. One admirable trait about Captain Ignorant Casablanca at The Awful Truth: he will interact with those who send him questions, make provocative comments. I could give him a bit of credit in helping me find my voice. After wading through hundreds (hundreds!!) of anonymous or monikered commenters insulting Kristen’s hair follicles, smile [or lack of], shoes, fingernails and family members, I lamented with my girl Bouffant, and asked her how we can bring attention to and then curb (if not stop) the daily bashing on Awful.

My complaining resulted in a letter (pre-read by Bouffant in our first writing partnership) that I wrote to Mr Casablanca, asking him to reconsider the moderation of  his comment section, so as not to enable the hatred and bullying. . . and he wrote back. He asked me to help him brainstorm how to do this. While Ted Casablanca really didn’t implement suggestions I gave, he at least encouraged proactivity on my part. He reminded me that I have my own little pocket of power. Words can be incredibly powerful…And Lawdy knows I have them in abundance. 

Journals- Keeping Your Memory

Definition: Beautiful

~Urban Dictionary’s third most popular definition, June 2013

Beautiful, adjective. The description of anyone who is true to themselves.

“Honesty is beautiful.”

SomethingAmazing

Middle School Mixups

I brought together a small task group. My Team Other Captains were elected. Bouffant, Buff, CC and the always impressive Goldeneye began receiving emails from me with fragments of ideas and anecdotes about misfitting and combatting hatred…and questions on downloading images and links. I looked to CC to be my expert guide as she had launched KSIBTU to such exuberant welcome, I knew she could at least nudge my stumbling feet in the right direction.  I collected memories of my first few brushes with intolerance, unkindness…and rebellion. All in the name of  creating a forum for patience, positivity and Rebellious Beauty, but in an authentic, personal way. A small army of Kristen Stewart defenders, yes, but really, it evolved into a gathering of rebellious misfits needing to speak up for all under-voiced, misrepresented people.

For us OTHERS.

I found myself remembering my first experience of “media” and the havoc it wreaks. I briefly mentioned a few incidents on my About KJ Page. Since the faceless, nameless one-sided attacks upon Kristen reminded me a little of middle school drama, let me tell you a little story. 

Books fly with imaginations and dreams of the Mad Ones

I was thirteen years old and, like, totally with the love of my life, Joey. I had a unique look about me, I gathered that much, what with several complete strangers approaching me and commenting on my “exoticness”. I understood that I was somewhat surprising in my appearance compared to my family and peers as I’m a bi-racial girl, adopted by a family who had physical traits the polar opposite of mine.  I tried to blend in quietly, and I thought I was doing it well. Anyway, I was in 8th grade of junior high. Dreamy Joey and I. Together. He was, no exaggeration, the best looking boy in the school. During our entire passionate-for-junior-high school relationship, other girls, including my peers and upper classwomen (!!!) tried to drive a wedge between us, to lure Joey away from my frizzy-haired, book-loving self.

 

It was the end of the year, and I found myself very flatteringly nominated for several end-of-year yearbook categories: Best Personality, Nicest smile, and one half of the school’s Cutest Couple. Ah yes. Our coupledom was nominated as The Best. K-JO was IN. THE.HOUUUUSE.   

LOVE photo Lights

So listen up: I won all the categories for which I was nominated. However, an odd quandary at the yearbook printers led to a picture of my face floating below the title of CUTEST (equivalent of today’s SCHOOL HOTTIE) instead of BEST PERSONALITY (the title I really wanted) in the final, massively-distributed yearbook. I suddenly acquired the drive for self-preservation, for self defense.

respect yourself first

People would whisper and verbalize their warring opinions about my status as CUTEST in the school as I would make my way to my locker, my frizzy hair shoved into a scrunchy. Yeah, I said it: In junior high, I wore scrunchies. Girls would gather in catty, feral groups in the hallways and literally point and loudly, not accidentally, exclaim: “SHEEEEEE is the PRETTIEST GIRL IN THE SCHOOL?” And then they would, of course, reference lovely, beautiful, desirable Joey. “…HOW is that ugly mess JOEY’S GIRLFRIEND? What is she, anyway?” 

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Yeah. Those fucking trolls were ripping me apart physically, based on a misprint in the biggest media sensation for the time [we’re talking pre-Facebook, folks], and because I had attention on myself already, with my beautiful boyfriend, I deserved the hate, as deemed by society [middle school student body]. It didn’t matter that I was an Honor Student, an accomplished musician and a noted Peer Counselor. These vultures insulted my hair. My clothes. The shape of my eyes.  

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Sadly, as you can witness at any given moment on Twitter, not much has changed. In fact, it seems worse, what with the world wide web and the increase in anonymous bullying. Middle school politics are being played out on Twitter timelines [or DMs nowadays] and in comment sections [my CyberSisters call them ‘Carol Anne’s Closet’ –ahhh Poltergeist] at this very moment. And while there may be some younger folks participating in the spewage…It has been proven that the loudest squawkers and vocally vile Kristen-Haters fall within the average age bracket of 39 years old.  Grown-ass ‘adults’, mainly women, attacking the character and physical attributes of a-then eighteen year old girl.  This couldn’t be a case of Middle School Mixups. 

Molly was my First Featured Royal Rebel in a moment. And Kristen became my unquestioned Reigning Queen of Other.

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The recall of my traumatic brush with public opinion and media misrepresentation combined with a fond retelling of my encounters with My MOLLIESMusings On Other Queens, Kstew and Unconventional Beauty was born. Goldeneye helped me outline and shape my goals. Bouffant and CC pre-read the first drafts. Buff created the most beautiful background and banner for the site and for my Twitter account (also created June 3, 2010). And, well… Heeeeeeeeere’s, MOO. 

Remember when CC told me to push 'Publish', Remember???

Remember when CC told me to push ‘Publish’, Remember???

Definition: Other

~Merriam-Webster Dictionary, June 2013

Other, adjective. a: being the one (as of two or more) remaining or not included.

b: being the one or ones distinct from that or those first mentioned or implied.

c: not the samedifferent

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Definition: Unconventional

~The Synonym Finder, 1986 First Edition

Unconventional, adjective. Uncommon, rare, unique, peculiar, uncustomary, unexampled, unparalleled, unexpected. Extra-ordinary.

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The Heart Of The Matter

I had hoped to post this Birthday Edition MOO on Monday, June 3, the exact anniversary of its first publishing. Sleep deprivation and intense client work at The Magical Little Practice prompted me to wait a little longer . As it is, I feel very much so at peace with posting today, on Thursday, Musings’ regular posting day, and because the first essay ever also emerged on a Thursday.

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Also, just this Tuesday, we learned that Kristen booked two new film projects, both independent dramas, both reflective of Kristen’s essentialness. Her Otherness. Her Royalty.  Because truly, the heart of the matter is this: Kristen Stewart defines Beauty in her unapologetic defiance of anyone’s/everyone’s expectations, with her relentless insistence on protecting all (including whom) she deems precious, and in the thoughtful, measured choices she makes regarding her work, her self proclaimed love.

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With the announcements of her new projects, the extreme wayward focus of the past few weeks, months, years, can finally center on Kristen’s craft.. . and for me, we can honor the beginning. And like Kristen, we can return to our roots.

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Molly Ringwald reminded me that even awkward misfits can bring The Pretty Back. My Molly introduced me to Vegetarian Vampires and is proof that even typically collected & calm Cool Girls are susceptible to addiction to a wildly romantic notion.  The Awful Truth blessed me with a plethora of obscenely articulate, intelligent wordsmiths, all who encouraged me to speak up, find the words, because there are so many Others who want the change.  We Misfits, Unusuals, Unconventionals, and Defiant Ones don’t need or deserve ostracism because of our unique perspectives or philosophies. We deserve celebrations. Coronations, even. 

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A crown for my birthday celebration with the KSIBTU Crew

Today I pay homage to the sole reason for Musings’ conception: Identifying and exalting all the qualities that set us apart from anyone else. And one way to combat the destruction and exploitation of these unique abilities and assets…is to EMBRACE them. 

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Today is not the day for judgments, biased relationship advice, amateur psychological diagnoses, bids to become the “The Most Insidery”, or spectacularly dramatic paparazzi fanfiction. It is not the time for mass hysteria triggered by wild speculations from unproven informants. Today is for honoring our roots, honoring our Beauty Rebellion, and the Something we can DOAnd this day is for saluting a courageous woman for moving onward, always, despite the vast challenges and countless detractors.

A woman who embodies all the qualities of Unconventional Beauty…

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

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Thank you, you beautiful Readers, Friends, Sisters, Brothers and OTHERS, for these extraordinary three years. It has been an absolute pleasure. You literally give me life. And Kristen? #OtherOn, your Highness. #OtherOn. 

Molly is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others return to their roots.

Others do their Something.

Embrace Your Other.

***

Playlist

Hero ~ Family of the Year

Stubborn Love ~ The Lumineers

Blue Skies ~ Noah and the Whale

***

Redefining Beautiful: Courage for Authenticity and [Com]passion

24 Jan
A/N:  Images displayed for this post are not mine–Thank Goddess for Tumblr, Imagebam & Pinterest. No copyright infringement intended. Click the image to link to its origins. Playlist is working again (it’s probably playing RIGHT now)! Musical inspirations listed at the bottom of post. To open the player in a new window, clickity-click here—> http://pl.st/p/20984139787 Pre-read by a luminous team of Rebel Beauties, led tonight by @kate_suena . If you catch any remaining bobbles, they belong to ME.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is that quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow.'”

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HAPPY NEW YEAR, my Rebellious Beauties! It is my pleasure to skip vivaciously into 2013 bearing a couple more definitions for our Anthology of Otherness. I must tell you…well, no, I can’t even begin to articulate how stunned and honored I was at your responses to the last [first?] new Musings. 

In the comment section, on Twitter, Facebook and through emails, you showered the kindest and the most exquisite definitions and responses upon me, all in the name of my Royal friend Eeeby, and New Beauty, of Reigning Other Queen Kristen Stewart, and of #Otherness. I humbly bow down to you. Your warm welcome compels me to keep going and continue this… even while things have been especially challenging. . . 

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So let me introduce you to the contributing definers featured in tonight’s MOO. My friend Dee (@DeeDreamer16) is an OG Muser. Legit. I mean, I think she commented on the very first Musings ever written, two and a half years ago. A sage, articulate and thoughtful kind of gal, Dee is, and we connected almost instantly, through the magic that is the world wide web. Over the years as we bonded over our love of Kristen’s unrelenting badassery, Robert’s increasingly open admiration of aforementioned badassery, and the sweet seduction of the written word (fanfic and otherwise); Dee became a consistent, loving force in my life. She is a supremely gifted writer and has been unfailingly kind and supportive of me personally (read: she has listened to me sob into her ear via phone…several times) and in our celebration of Kristen and Otherness. I am honored that she felt inspired to have a hand in The Otherness Anthology. Annnnd I may or may not have highlighted passages that resonated with me all of it. every dang word. But above all, I count my lucky stars that she is one Majestic Misfit whom I call friend. 

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Definition: Authenticity

~DeeDreamer

Authentic, adjective. True to one’s own personality, spirit or character. Not false or imitation. Worthy of acceptance. 

“This above all: to thine own self be true.”  ~ Hamlet

When KJ first presented the idea for her Anthology to me, I immediately gravitated toward wanting to expound on authenticity. What does it mean to be authentic in this modern age of digital anonymity and online personae which may or may not accurately reflect the true character of the person behind each screen name? This question, especially after jumping into the Twilight/Rob/Kristen fandom four years ago, confounds me. In preparing the definition for this term, its true meaning in terms of Other nearly screamed at me: worthy.

balloonsglow~tumblr_lyihg4ICcw1qgujfno1_400

Aren’t we all worthy of acceptance? Don’t each of us deserve to live our lives without judgment from others, especially from people whom we don’t know? I think that’s the essence of being a beautiful person — knowing how to reserve our own commentary, teaching ourselves to put the filmstrips of judgment residing in our minds away on some dusty, back shelf of our brains so we can transcend. If we subscribe to this mantra and follow our hearts, we win — even when we are too blinded to realize it.

DeeDef-Authenticity

I was too blind to realize it back in high school. Looking back even now, with so many years separating me from that girl I was, I still don’t really “feel” like I won at anything. In fact, back then I’d have argued that I was pretty much losing — as in being a total LOSER! — at least in terms of things like popularity and cool friends/boyfriends/parties/whatever. I made a lot of… unpopular choices. I removed myself from what my peers were doing socially because I never — not once — could make myself comfortable doing the things typical high school kids did. I didn’t want to be seen as a priss, and I certainly wasn’t doing anything to stop others from having their fun, but I just felt… Other. It made for some lonely days. Not gonna lie. 

No Other like U~tumblr_lygts1lxzy1qbpwzeo1_500

But then my senior year came to a close, and yearbooks were delivered. I flipped through mine and saw a gorgeous, half-page ad in the back that my parents, brother, and sister had taken out for me, proclaiming their pride, love and support. Along with their words, my mother had included my (still to this day) favorite Shakespeare quote. Reading it there in black and white, for everyone to see next to my senior picture, was somehow utterly affirming. 

DeeDefAuthenticity-ThineOwn

Scholars can argue Polonius’ meaning as he spoke these words, but to me, as an impressionable teenager, the words sang to me, echoing through my limbs. They were a calming salve on the raw wounds of teenage life, and I ensconced them in bubble wrap and kept them safely cradled to my heart. They gave me strength to stand by my beliefs. They gave me permission to be my authentic self. They gave me the confidence I sorely lacked and assured me that, indeed, I was worthy… just the way I was. Nowadays, so many years later… if I had an “Other” button, I’d wear it proudly. Even through the halls of my high school. (Hint, hint, KJ.) 😉 ~Dee

youareenough~tumblr_lo90coyDrU1qlaa6wo1_500

So I guess I should pull out my old button-maker and while I’m at it, fire up the T-Shirt making process too?  It has been awhile since my last T-Shirt giveaway…See what I mean about Dee? Brilliant and so kind and spot on. 

You all, I’m pretty sure, have encountered the genius and gentleness that is my Katie (@kate_suena), the second contributor to tonight’s collection of pristine terms and definitions. She of course, has authored several gorgeous essays for @KSIBTU, and she is the scribe behind the sublime Lost In A Book Somewhere  (have you visited yet? If not, GOOOO); but she also is the biggest Other Anthology Supporter.  She was apart of the commencement post with a stunning definition of her own; she was the first of my friends to donate her words. Well…she’s back, y’all. Again, I may have highlighted bits that knocked my socks off…Have a seat and prepare to be inspired. 

Definition: [Com]passion

~Kate

[Com]Passion, noun. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” 

I sometimes feel as if compassion is an endangered quality. Especially in “Girl World,” where for whatever reason, some find it easier to focus on the negative and relentlessly tear things apart and each other down.

~DefyConvention tumblr_lvxqgyUreg1qai6hpo1_500

But then there are those who are OTHER. They bring a refreshing change of pace to this antagonism. I see PASSION as a key part of compassion; if one feels ardently about something, or someone, this is reflected in the compassion they display.

By consistently recognising Other in the world, our view allows us to be aware of what is important and react accordingly, simultaneously disregarding frivolous non-concerns

heartfilm~tumblr_ljsep08JVa1qcxieko1_400

A tangible, important example that springs to mind is the response to the havoc that Hurricane Sandy wreaked. I find witnessing Mother Nature unleash her fury terrifying; there’s a sense of hopelessness as you watch natural events unfold (and I’ve never even experienced any such destruction firsthand!). But in the days following the storm, I saw an online show on compassion that restored the hope that Mother Nature had temporarily interrupted: one person donated to the Red Cross and ignited a spark.

sparkler

Soon my Twitter and Instagram feeds were FULL of people sharing how they were donating and therefore helping those thousands of miles away from them, subsequently encouraging [O]thers to do so as well. These compassionate people from all over the United States and around the WORLD were doing their part to assist people they had never even met.  

How beautiful is that? Queens of Other and Royal Rebels are unbeatable proof that caring and compassion are alive and well in this world. ~Kate 

Kristen1212http-::www.imagebam.com:image:e01833225449737

Definition: Courageous

~KJ

Courageous, adjective. Daring, steadfast, unswerving. I am frightened but I am unfaltering.

“Freedom lies in being bold.”
~ Robert Frost

Over the past six months, I have seen courage manifest in the most awe-inspiring of situations, and in gloriously royal people. After a hellacious summer, Our Reinging Other Queen Kristen proved her resilience and fortitude by stepping into the relentless spotlight and unblinking camera lenses to dialogue about a project of great personal significance to her. Despite the countless glaring gazes fixed upon her, and the judgments, diagnoses already conjured and proclaimed, Ms Stewart remained poised, and throughout even while vulnerable and exposed .

NYCpremCOURAGE~tumblr_mbpavm0UUM1rr5d45o1_500

So, she persisted. She moved onward (in perfect shoes).

Swagga~KSTEWARTFANS-OTRNYC-4 (4)

LondonStyle~tumblr_mgncyiNXz21rr5d45o1_500

LenoStewBD2~tumblr_mg4rg7WTh81rr5d45o1_500

These days, I have been struggling to find my own valor… I realize the work I’m doing at my counseling agency and with The Red Cross has depleted my abilities to regenerate and provide compassion for my own weariness. My personal relationships are suffering severely and my physical body is run down. I know that getting out the door each day in the morning is an act of courage in itself, when all I want to do is huddle in a dark corner and weep. But I do climb out of bed and push through the door, regardless.

Now, that is little ole ME lamenting on the copious reserves of bravery I’m trying to locate within myself.

BlueSkies~tumblr_lpcst3UMCA1qa4e98o1_500

I do not have swarms of vultures toting cameras circling outside my house, stalking. I do not have warring factions of “superfans” determining my worth based on a self-made (read: absurdly skewed) psychological theory touted all over Twitter.

But Kristen Stewart does. 

And excepting when she’s in SuperStealthNinja Mode, Kristen still. shows. UP. And she’s all beautiful and brainy and breathtakingly articulate when she arrives.

glasses~tumblr_mfi3xklYJH1r323x7o1_r1_500

Other Emerging

I believe it takes a tremendous amount of courage to be authentic and [com]passionate. As both Dee and Katie illustrated earlier, it is not the easiest of decisions to represent an idea or image that deviates from the conventional schemata. I have watched, awed, by Ms Stewart’s ability to remain congruent and grounded, even in the midst of extreme, incomparable challenges…It is why she is, after all these years, Queen Royal Rebel. She wears the shiniest crown.

Norman's Cloud Break

courtesy of (c)KinoPhotography

Soooo these are the newest definitions to catalogue in our expanding Anthology of Otherness. Thank you for rolling with me into this new year. Thank you for sending in your most incredible ideas and thoughts on what “Other” means for you. I will try and feature every contribution I receive, even–especially–those left in the comment section and emails. I maintain always that Musings’ readers are the most incandescent of souls. You continuously, wonderfully, confirm this.

katieDefCompassion1

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others are freed by their bold, [com]passionate authenticity.

Embrace Your Other.

*   *   *

QUESTION[s]: How has your relationship with authenticity, [com]passion and courage evolved over the year? How did you greet the new year?

A/N: Next time, which will hopefully be within just a few days, I will bring a few more essays to you. I’m pleased to tell you that the lovely Emma (@ItsAlwaysEmma) has contributed a definition to the Anthology that makes me weak in the knees…and the voraciously brilliant and funny CC of @KSIBTU and I are collaborating on a conversation about On The Road and #TheMadOnes that I am dying to delve into with you all.

* * *

Thank you, Katie. Thank you, Dee. Thank you Eeeby. Thank you @r_boncoeur.

CynicallyConvy and BeammeUp_00 check in on me regularly and I am beyond grateful for their thoughtfulness.

SOOO many pictures found on the tumblr so perfectly named: QueenKristen: http://queenkristen.tumblr.com/archive/2012/10

Playlist

Blue Skies ~ Noah and the Whale

Born Secular ~ Jenny Lewis (feat. The Watson Twins)

Til Kingdom Come ~ Coldplay

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

A Stew Review, and Stew Anew: Une Beauté de Compassion

4 Feb
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. Tragically unbeta’d. Any mistakes and typos in this post as well as 3 different thesauri 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——>

“There is one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life: reciprocity.”  ~Confucius

Hello my stunning, Royal Rebels. I hope this new post finds you and your families healthy and well. When I said last time that I’d “update on Thursday”, per the usual posting schedule, I bet ya’ll didn’t think I meant Thursday-in-a-week-then-add-a-day-or-two-so-that-it’s-really-Superbowl-weekend did ya?? Yeah. Because that’s what happened, though not premeditated. Just keepin you on your toes. Dance, honey, dance.

'cause The Rhythm is gonna get ya

I admit it: I had intended to post the highest-voted [and final] Moment of Otherness for The MOO STEW REVIEW by last Thursday, but I became detained. Detained by my self-imposed cocoon, in all honesty. Between the car accident and the insurance company battle and a new teaching schedule with Red Cross, I simply had no room to breathe, let alone post. I ended up taking a “personal” day last week and I stayed in my PJs the whole time, #NoRegrets. It was my only day off. And it was bliss.

Wanna know what else is blissful? Kristen Jaymes Stewart. This whole week was like a dream. We had the feeling she was about to burst onto the scene, but the combination of two of my very favorite nouns was too much for me to comprehend. Too much. Turns out, we didn’t know anything.

Oh mon, tu es belle

+

=

Yeah. So Kristen arrives in one of my very favorite places ever [seriously, my love for Paris knows no bounds] appearing casual, flawless and with a knowing smile on January 30th, without pomp or circumstance. JB, Kristen’s handsome bodyguard, and her buzz-cut sporting assistant John [do we need to talk about all the newly shorn heads belonging to the men in Kristen’s life? Is this a new club initiation?] protectively flanked Her Royal Highness as she glided through Charles de Gualle Airport. Towards well..bliss evidently.

It takes a special girl to command my attention over Haute Couture and Karl Lagerfeld

Speculation as to why Ms Stewart was in the City of Lights ranged from prep work for her new Balenciaga campaign to a photo shoot for one of the three movies she was releasing this year. But, no. Kristen was in Paris to shoot a photo spread for Vanity Fair. Her photographer? Legendary, gifted, beautiful Mario Testino. The fashion? Dior. Haute Couture. On-set visitors? Oh, hello, Karl Lagerfeld, head fashion designer and creative director of Chanel [cue screaming, flailing].

I’m pretty sure Karl is just as captivated by Kristen as we are. And Kristen? NO question about it, you have arrived. You are relevant. You are sensational. You are a B.F.D. 

Not just because you rocked a couture Dior ball gown [perhaps the most beautiful gown I have ever laid eyes upon] on the chilly streets of one of the most romantic, inspiring cities in existence and a fascinator [who, pray tell, could pull that headpiece off with any semblance of authenticity? Only Kristen Stewart], but because when you stepped out in between shoots and hanging with legendary designers and artists, you did so, looking like this:

Note the PF Flyers on her feet. #SandlotForEVerrr @j_carroll7 GETS. IT.

Kristen stopped, signed autographs and greeted the growing crowd of admirers gathering at her hotel, or on the streets and cafes where the photo shoot took place. All while exhibiting a graciousness and poise that only royalty can

So I could wax poetic for days about the brief glimpses of gorgeousness we received while Kristen was in Paris for a mere 48 hours. But there are so many other people who know what they’re talking about who could–and have–present incredibly informed commentrees on ParisianStew. I suggest you read those….

For Haute Couture goodness and witty brilliance, go read my girl CC’s post ‘J’Adore’ —–> KSIBTU  I will simply wait until that Vanity Fair issue releases, [probably in May, to mark the opening of the highly anticipated SWATH?] and try not to lose my shite every time a new picture surfaces. When that article and photo shoot is on newsstands, we’ll talk. Oui? So check out KSIBTU’s fantastic thoughts, and I will stick to what I do best: Muse on Otherness.

Premiers secours Psychologiques

One reason why Kristen Stewart is our Head Ambassador of Otherness is because despite her anxieties steeped in facing swarms of people, she still took time in her ridonk 48-hr whirlwind visit in Paris to acknowledge her admirers. But the detractors and haters–The Bullshit People as we know them here in Otherland–didn’t recognize her generosity and graciousness. Not when they could instead pick apart Ms Stewart’s actions and paint her as a crass, murderous-intending spawn after her interaction with actual crass, greedy spawn: the paparazzi.

You all know that I elect to not waste any particular energy addressing or acknowledging the existence of the drama llamas. I am only noting this instance because it aligns so perfectly with an epiphany in my own 3D work. I’m an instructor of disaster response and mental health with #TheRedCross, and you all listened to me screech and celebrate my certification last fall. Well, last week, I was honored and proud to instruct my first class of new Red Cross Disaster Responders. The class? Psychological First Aid.  But people didn’t come to my class to learn how to do CPR and keep a body alive at the time of cardiac arrest. No, the course I taught was first aid for the heart and soul. What I essentially learned, is that this course really could be renamed Human Decency 101, and that quite a few of us could use a refresher in it. What a revolutionary thought, hmmm? A course on the basic tenants of humanity: compassion and presence.

The first wave of folks I’d encourage enrollment into Psychological First Aid? The Bullshit People, the Stalkerazzi, the detractors and destroyers hell-bent on tearing Kristen Stewart and all Unconventional Beauties [Others] down. If you check the sequence of events that occurred in the above gifs, you see Kristen Stewart, internationally known personality and Rebel Queen, stopping to sign autographs and exchange a few words with her fans. What you also should notice, is the frenzied, intrusive presence of the camera clowns and stalkerazzi snapping away and encroaching on Kristen and her fans’ personal, physical space.

What you’re witnessing is the breakdown of empathy–the Empathy Erosion–or the objectification [dehumanizing, depersonalizing] of a person due to lack of human relating as Dr Simon Baron-Cohen cites in his fascinating research The Science of Evil  by Basic Books Publications. [This has been added to MOO’s Resources of Beauty page]. We’ll talk more about Dr Baron-Cohen’s work in the next MOO, because I find it startlingly relevant for our community, for Kristen and her Royal Consort Robert…and in our pursuit of Othering ONWARD. The photogs and even some hyperactive blog trollers have negated the fact that the target at the end of the camera lens is a human being. A woman. A person.

looking better than ANYONE ever does after a trans-atlantic flight. Girlfriend probs wants some recupe time, non?

I approach the concepts of Empathy Erosion and Psychological First Aid tonight because upon surveying this odd and fascinating fandom’s way of interacting, especially during a perceived “drought”,  I’m asking us all to be aware of any compassion refresher points we may need. Because in watching those CameraClowns/Vultures swarm and circle Kristen Stewart this week, and in reading snarky, entitled bloggers and commenters pot-stirring, I wonder to where the compassion disappeared.

When did it become the norm, to overlook the basic needs of a human being?

Administering Psychological First Aid

(aka, how to provide compassionate presence in response to a disaster and trauma)

(aka, Human Decency 101)

  • Make the connection. ~ Say hello, introduce yourself. Establish that you, a fellow being, are here. You’re not just a spectator. You’re in this too.
  • Help people be safe. ~Move the person to a warm, dry, stable place to sit, away from the stressors. It’s not the time to stare as if it’s a gladiator arena spectacle…or The Hunger Games. 
  • Be kind, calm, compassionate. ~This person is overwhelmed. Understand that.
  • Listen.  ~One of the most powerful abilities we have.
  • Meet people’s Basic Needs. ~We all thrive on the same things: water, air, shelter, support.
Simple, right? Common sense…or is it? Why is that kindness, subjectivity, empathy and compassionate presence are taken for granted? Is it the slow endangerment of genuine face-to-face interactions with the rise in internet-centric “social” networks? #WeSeeYouNerdyBloggers
O_o
Of the many human interactions I’ve been privy to these weeks, I’ve been shocked and disappointed with choices made. The person who slammed into me and my car a couple of weeks ago, blatantly lied to the insurance companies and said I hit him. I can’t even talk about this event yet–it makes my heart hurt and a coil spring in my head. That same night of the accident, I had to file a police report and toy around with the idea of calling Child Protective Services because a mother abandoned her child in my department (one of my three jobs is as a manager for the children’s department in a bookstore) so “mother” could go off drinking with friends at the mall.
O_o
That night, I questioned, over booze: Where has the love gone? Do people have no scruples any more?  I know you generous, uncommonly compassionate and brilliant Others are apart of the renaissance amour, because I’ve seen you, your presence is felt. It’s incredibly reassuring and staggering for me to know you’re out there. Hopefully, our Reigning Queen of Otherness feels you as well.

Nous sommes au Numéro Un

*waves hands to dispel the joo-joo and rein in focus* Now, rather than spend any more energy on empathizing with the un-empathetic vultures, I’ve a major Other Countdown to wrap up. Let’s get ‘er done, friends. As we established in the preceding three parts to The MOO Stew Review, our Reigning Other Queen dominated most of 2011.

But there was one moment that prevailed as the most notable Moment of Otherness in 2011, according to Musings readers. OtherBeautyCominAtcha.

OoO_OoO

Remember, you guise? Remember this??? Remember when Ms Stewart arrived in London wearing a stunning, beaded, halter Roberto Cavalli gown and towering Jimmy Choo heels? When she paired an Alexander McQueen belt to accentuate her tiny waist and assets in a way that should have been banned for the level of sexy glamorous-ness?  When her make up was flawless and her long Snow White tresses were pulled back halfway back to showcase her exquisite shoulders….and face?

You remember. Obviously you do, because this night, November 16, 2011, was voted as your number one Moment of Otherness in the MOO Stew Review. I remember feeling and truly hearing a collective sigh across the internets and in my own living room as Kristen emerged beneath the trellis at Westfield Stratford, London, in the wintry outside air to greet the crowds who’d been camping out for days to see her and her boys [Robert, Taylor, Wyck Godfrey and Bill Condon] at the UK World Premiere. It is as though that evening was the unveiling to the world: Kristen Stewart crossed over an old threshold of beautiful. And we all knew it. He certainly did.

Of course, Robert, our Poet Warrior, Kristen’s Other-Partner-in-Crime acknowledged the sanctity of such an uncommonly lovely creature for years by this point, but there was a heightened awareness and prideful declaration of affection and unity on this evening.

Byway of countless nonverbal expressions [lingering touches, adoring glances, physical proximity, tactile reassurances], Kristen and Robert honored their partnership, their devotion and their pride for one another. . .all while inhabitants of Rob’s home town looked on.

The Pretty is blinding

Soooo….There you have it. You Beauties have been extraordinarily kind and patient as I have grappled with ways to connect with Otherness, our Reigning Other Queen and you all while seeking the elusive balance and some first aid for my soul. Your suggestions and emails and kind words of encouragement have been my fuel. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for being so incredible. And thank you for sending in your thoughts which resulted in this four-part MOO Stew Review. 

This is what we know now. Kristen Jaymes Stewart has thrown down the gauntlet. She is here, she is present, and she is poised to explode across the sky in 2012. Our survey of 2011 alluded to greatness that will soon come into fruition. Case in point:

It’s safe to say we’re in for an extraordinary, rebellious, beautiful year. Happy New Stew Year, my Other Rebels.

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others resist empathy erosion.

Embrace your Other.

* * *

A/N: HAPPY SUPERBOWL WEEKEND, for those of you who watch, support, celebrate.

I’m eternally grateful to all of you who have checked in and let me know that you’re there while I’ve tumbled through some of the roughest weeks of my life. Special shout-outs to my CyberSisters and Readers who are army-crawling through the muck with me right now. (light and love to: Peri. Jai. Aai. Believe.)

To my Twitter Lovelies who always peek in and whisper-encourage that I keep going (side-eyes @deedreamer16 and @mycleveralias).

P.S. How great is this Tumblr? <33 Source: thebubbleofrobsten, via rk913

I do hope to be back next Thursday with our discussion on Empathy and Humanity. Thanks for giving me wide berth as I try to stay on schedule. Until then, be kind and well and I will see you soon. #OtherOn xo, KJ

ESSAY PLAYLIST: 

The Hideout ~ Sarah Harmer *spotty live version on player, may be removed*

Le Mar ~ The Beautiful Girls

It’s A Fire ~ Portishead

Shake It Out ~ Florence + The Machine

Karma Police ~ Radiohead

TRANSLATIONS: 

Une beauté de compassion = A Compassionate Beauty

Oh mon, tu es belle = Oh my, you’re beautiful

Premiers secours psychologiques = Psychological first aid

Nous sommes au numéro un = We are at Number One

A Stew Review, and Stew Anew Pt III

23 Jan
A/N: The images displayed in this essay are not mine–Thank Goddess for Tumblr, Pinterest and Google Images. Click the image for a link to pics’ origins. Very unbeta’d– any mistakes and typos in this post as well as my beautiful new beach cruiser [with gears!] belong to MEEEEEE. Musical playlist, per usual, at the bottom. While I work on regulating the posting schedule, click the “Sign Me Up!” button in the side panel to receive MOO notifications in your Email…thissss-a-wayyy——>

“Do not fear going forward slowly. Fear only to stand still.” ~Chinese proverb

*Determinedly keeps eyes downcast, scuffs the toe of my Chucks in the ground*  Hi there. I truly had planned to post the Top Two Moments of The Stew Review last week, just a day or so after Part 2. I would love nothing more than to tell you all about the hoopla that contributed to the delay of posting. Maybe, when we message each other, or perhaps when I can rediscover coherency again, we’ll hash it out. But I don’t want to take any more time away from honoring and celebrating the way Kristen Stewart, our Ambassador of Other, brought the year 2011 to a close. And  you lovely, generous, patient Musers came through and submitted your thoughts on the Best Moments of Otherness for the Stew Review, for which I am eternally grateful. So let’s bring this one home, kids, yes? 

hells yeah

Ok, I know we’re missing Kristen and her devoted, lovely Robert. But my Goddess they deserve a break from the chaos that has been their life the past few months. And in the “drought” [is it really a drought, or a concept created by bored, too-invested people with few outside interests or fulfilling personal connections?] of Royal sightings, there has been a startling emergence of obscenely nutty, decidedly distant “family” members’ blogs, and a bazillion world-wide “sightings” cropping up every single hour… yawn. In other words…the usual dysfunction, I guess?

I feel it’s especially important  now to rein it in, guise. BACK.TO.THE.BASICS. What’s the use in expending energy on absurd rumors and theories when we can celebrate Unconventional Beauty and actual accomplishments amongst fellow Others and of a particularly majestic Queen?

oh yes. That's right.

A final retrospective of 2011 is essential now because we’re about to kick  Twenty-Twelve up a notch. Only a few weeks into January and already the sense of reverence and accomplishment convinces me that this year is going to be our Other Queen’s fiercest showing yet. I mean….really?

Since our last Musing session, the Spanish fashion line Balenciaga introduced the world to their new spokesmodel for their women’s fragrance . I think it is so pristinely apt that our edgy, provocative Royal Rebel was chosen as the ambassador for a line that is known for it’s cutting edge and unconventional expressions.

“Her [Kristen’s] elegant modernity and innate rebel style perfectly match with the spirit of Balenciaga.” 

~ Catherine Walsh of American Fragrance

Well, Catherine Walsh, Senior Vice President of American Fragrance for Cody Prestige, you have exquisite taste, Madame. I think the pairing of our Rebel Queen and the intriguing Balenciaga is extremely complementary. Pitch perfect, actually. What do you think of Ms Stewart’s newest gig, Lovelies?

There is something almost poetic about Kristen representing a highly influential fashion line for 2012, as she concludes her role as Isabella Swan Cullen in Breaking Dawn Part 2 within the same year . She ventured forward with first steps onto the Twilight premiere’s Red Carpet of 2008 wearing Balenciaga, after all…

In the beginning

Immortalized Impressions

Ms Stewart’s debut at the Los Angeles premiere of Twilight four years ago certainly made an impression. However, a literal impression made on November 3, 2011 at the famed Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood was Musings Readers’ second most celebrated Moment of Otherness for the 2011 MOO Stew Review. 

Now…this event was actually among my personal Top 3 Moments of Otherness as well. So I wasn’t terribly surprised that it was so high on your lists. You’ll need to tell me why this was such a significant event for you and in Kristen’s Timeline of BadAssery. I can only speak of my own ruminations as to why this hand-and-footprint concretization (does anyone else sorta laugh when it’s referred to as an Imprinting Ceremony??) ranked as an exceptional occasion…

S’been a long time, Baby.

Ms Stewart had been months-deep into filming Snow White and the Huntsman in the UK by this point. We hadn’t seen much of her except for those glorious film caps in which she was an armored, strategizing, warrior princess. 

It had been quite some time since we’d really seen Kristen…

Leeeegggggs

But in her Marios Schwab halter dress and Brian Atwood pin heels…we were smacked with a reminder real quick why just a glimpse of Kristen Stewart could be powerful enough to resuscitate the dead.

Buoyant Contentedness

I was struck by several notions when viewing the hand-printing ceremony via live stream and  in screen caps. She was unadulterated, unhindered, free. She was joy personified.

In a brief moment addressing the amorous crowd before sinking into the cement, Kristen said:

“I’ve been so enamored by this business, Hollywood…I think this is the coolest thing I’ve ever done in my life!”

And later, after the ceremony in a whirlwind press junket, Kristen giddily recounted to several interviewers including the splendid @JoshuaHorowitz of MTV and Entertainment Weekly on how remarkably honored and awed she was by the experience. Her pride and grace and unhindered happiness seeped from her every pore. It was a sight to behold.

Satellites In Motion

So perhaps it was a combination of all the above: because it was such a momentous occasion, literally cementing her place in Hollywood Mythology; and because her proud friends and family were there; because she’d been away in London for months that a contented, beaming, buoyant Kristen Stewart greeted us this day. But also an unguarded, uncensored, more affectionately tactile Kristen Stewart was present. She and her buddy Taylor were as sibling-sweet as always, but it was the mutually admiring electricity between Ms Stewart and Mr Pattinson that once again, captivated.

. . .not even concrete could deny the draw between them.

must. always. be. close.

Authenticity and Congruency

So in her humble blissfulness and in light of the enormous honor bestowed upon her, our Reigning Queen did not lose her casual, grounded unique Kristen-ness on the sidewalk of that world-famous Hollywood landmark. No, instead, she quickly reeled herself in and allowed a sensibility to reside. And a new game of Spot The Rebel commenced. This may have been my favorite moment of all. Or. I dunno. I can’t pick. But the second Kristen looked to the ever-lovely Ruth for support while she removed her Brian Atwood Pin Heels to exchange them for her classic Vans…I swooned.

classic, checkered skateboarding Vans? Ruth's got yo back.

THIS event, my lovelies, was your second most celebrated Moment of Otherness for 2011’s Stew Review. The handprints, the foot prints, the giddy pride, the clasping of muddy hands…the moments of sheer adoration between Kristen and Robert…the moment when Ms Stewart tuned out the cameras and the crowds and the jetlag…and kicked off her couture heels in exchange for her flat Vans trainers.

Hey. I'm Kristen. I'm Other.

OH-kaaay…That was Moment Numero Dos. So I’ll wrap this baby up by Thursday, so we are free to rejoice the Royal Rebel awesomeness that we shall bear witness to starting this week…We’ve got a MovieFone interview with the SWATH Cast, an MTV/JoshHorowitz interview in the works…we’ve news that the blessed, the legendary, the poetic On The Road  featuring our MarylouStew is going to Cannes in May and Robert’s Bel Ami [featuring a bad, bad Duroy] is debuting at the Berlin Film Festival next month….*already beginning to hyperventilate*…
Last year was ah-may-zing, no doubt, for our Rebel Queen and her Royal Partner-In-Crime. But 2012 is going to dominate. Looking forward to riding alongside you, Lovelies. Until next time [very soon]…continue pushing onward and keeping your head above the fray. xo, KJ

Embrace your Other.

A/N:  I miss you all terribly but I assure you I am fighting tooth and nail for Musings to continue forward. I’m still here. Pesky car accidents, insurance company arguments, parental surgeries, neglectful, abusive clients and police reports be damned. I’ll see you soon to finish up The Stew Review and welcome 2012, The LalapaSTEWza, properly.

PlayList: which I’d be in jail for if SOPA/PIPA passed

Le Mar (The Ocean) ~ Beautiful Girls

Let Me Sign ~ Robert Pattinson

Such Great Heights ~ Iron and Wine

You Are What You Love ~ Jenny Lewis

Breakdown ~ Jack Johnson

The Fear You Won’t Fall ~ Joshua Radin

Hestia and Hearth; Stew and You

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

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

~Ludwig Miche van der Roche 

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

I MISS YOU! 

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

THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. 

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

Goddess of Hearth and Home

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

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

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

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

more at “home” than we’ve witnessed before

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

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

Footnote: Know who else is English? Just sayin.

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

Question: What would be another dream role for you?

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

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

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

~Kristen to Entertainment Weekly

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

Captivating CoCo

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

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

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

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

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

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

And my @jhiggs86 Originals:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What The Dawn Brings

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

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

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

i believe this is Melissa Rosenberg’s limo

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

hi, Peter!

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

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

Ashley

Robert

Her Royal Otherness Kristen

Other Queens wear Nikes and Couture gowns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

you are my home.

Gratitude for Stew and You 

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

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

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

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

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

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others recognize Home as not a solely tangible idea.

Embrace your Other.

*    *    *

A/N:

Special gropes and love to:

My CyberSisters/SmutSisters/GoodReads Girls

my bouffant

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

@Mel452 and @Nhess_V

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

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

It’s GIVEAWAY TIME!!!!  

I have one copy of GQUK for you….

and two copies of Glamour to give away… 

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

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

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

 ESSAY’s MUSIC PLAYLIST

What You Wanted ~Angus & Julia Stone

Let Me Sign ~ Robert Pattinson

Islands in the Stream ~ Constantines and Feist

Let’s Get Lost ~ Bat For Lashes feat Beck

Falling ~ Florence and the Machine


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