Tag Archives: Rob Pattinson

Within and Beside You

28 Jul
A/N: The images & lyrics featured here are not mine. Many resources are cited in embeds if you click the pictures. Song lyrics cited in the tail-end A/N along with today’s playlist. This essay is embarrassingly unbeta’ed. Be kind.

Open and just hold the lantern in the doorway

For the freedom of it

And you take the night air through your nostrils

And you breathe in out, in out

And you breathe just like that, just like that

Ohai there my loveliest of lovelies! Well, my Beauties, I am not even going to attempt to cover all facets of  the supreme epicness that erupted from this year’s San Diego Comic Con. Most of you witnessed it first hand either in San Diego after waiting in line for days (Props to my warrior girls @RobKris13and @Edmett) or by hovering around your computers watching a live-blogging and Twitter feed from morning til night. And the numerous blogs and sites were superb in gathering and posting images, sound bytes, and video clips for the fandom faster than a Cullen driving a Volvo, so we were never left wanting for long. You can read the accounts and the interviews to your heart’s content all over the place for hours and still have footage you didn’t get to yet. There’s a lot, is what I’m saying. I don’t need to add my tangential ramblings to the cacophony, so today’s Musings will be my attempt at being succinct *snickers* and hopefully not repetitive. Let’s see how that goes, mmkay? But I wanted to highlight what I thought lent to the reasons for our Rebel Queen’s rousingly successful Comic Con weekend and why her pristine beauty somehow grew demonstrably more profound . Kristen Brought. It. This was the best she has ever been. EVER.  What is our Unconventional Beauty’s secret? While  all the cooking channel viewing and fight training have certainly contributed, I’m willing to wager  that her impossible loveliness is in response to something more subtle, and personal. So let’s explore this further, yes? Ok, Cats, put your mittens around your kittens, and A-WAY we GO!’ (name that quote and I’ll love you for always).

Beauty In Loving The Craft

And we saw her standing there

Our first glimpse at our reigning Other Queen before the Breaking Dawn Press Panel arrived in the form of the above picture, and the accompaniment of gasps and endless—> !!!!!!!! 8302%)#!@$%@&-<–the joys of communicating emotions in cyberspace. However, the incoherency was understandable, in my opinion. Her hair in tousled waves framing her immaculate skin above a sheer top revealing the black bra beneath, Ms Stewart appeared effortlessly sexy and gorgeous.

And then she sat down at the microphone for the panel, flanked by her amorous colleagues (including the calm and gifted director Bill Condon), and spoke candidly, excitedly and engagingly with the press amid flashing lightbulbs and murmurs.Within moments, it was evident that  the girl deemed by previous critics and naysayers as “awkward, uncomfortable and hostile” was no more. Ladies and Gentlemen, your Reigning Other Queen has arrived.

Is this Heaven or…

We always knew she was a lovely gal, but she has far transcended that descriptor it’s almost insulting. I could wax poetic about her flawless complexion and luminous eyes for years, but I want to acknowledge the unapparent internal structures lending to her almost otherworldly loveliness. It has been said that true beauty emanates from the goodness and light within. Kristen’s light derives from a newfound self-assuredness Over the past year she has gained confidence by way of  interpersonal work in staying centered and trusting her inner compass. She tuned out the constant barrage of criticisms and heckling from haters and from those who simply do not get it. She became involved in highly respected film ventures a la’ On The Road and she maintained close contact with her longtime supportive network (her family, her partner, her work team including the lovely Ruth and the constant John). She also continued to research challenging and compelling work projects.

Film industry  greats and Stew-colleagues such as Sean Penn and Jodie Foster have raved about Kristen’s accurate instincts and sagacious decisions around projects she pursues and people with whom she endeavors to work. It is the home stretch of what will be a five-year project of Twilight. Kristen’s instincts as a seventeen-year-old Indie film actress did not lead her astray. When she first spoke with Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke in 2007 regarding potentially taking on the role of Bella Swan in the film adaptation, Kristen reports she accepted the job  because she felt an affinity with the awkward, shy protagonist and her path towards self-awareness. Because Kristen felt that there was an honest, universal, relatable story about Bella and her great love Edward.

And what a story it is. And how correct Ms Stewart is. She committed in every way (as Kristen Stewart does) to the role in what she thought was a “small independent film” with a large readership. Four years and three Comic Cons later, her colleagues of past, present and future, as well as the very late-to-the-party media community are bestowing accolades for the fierce and refreshing force that is Kristen Jaymes Stewart. Her confidence is derived from knowing that she was correct in following her instincts and in her investment in the work. She loves what she does for a living and it shows. There’s congruency–what you see is truly what you get–that indicates less tension and more certainty. There isn’t a need to downplay or mask  joy or displeasure (if that be the case) felt. And we can see her. All of her. The positive, confirming feedback is pouring in. SHE. WAS. RIGHT.

And she is DEFINITELY en pointe again. And if we thought her comfortable lightheartedness at Breaking Dawn’s Panel was illuminating, then hold onto your hats and glasses, folks, because her appearance at the panel for Snow White and The Huntsman two days later was stunning 

I did not find Kristen’s decision to take on the role of Snow White particularly alarming. I’ve read an earlier incarnation of the script and found myself nodding in enthusiasm as we learned that Ms White wasn’t going to be just your average singing Disney cartoon. It made sense to me and I felt connected to the message of this incarnation of The Fairest of Them All. This Snow White, Kristen Stewart’s Snow White would be a strong, courageous warrior and ambassador to The People. When Kristen walked out on stage Saturday afternoon for the Q & A session for SWATH, I felt the distinct chills in knowing that we are witnessing the evolution of royalty. 

A Beautiful Ferocity

You’ve probably seen the Comic Con panel videos by now. If you haven’t, and I understand if that’s the case–there are SO many goodies it overwhelms– check @Robstenation‘s site for the videos: here for Breaking Dawn  and for the Youtube version, click–> here for Snow White and The Huntsman via @epnebelle. Also I encourage you to visit a SWATH Fansite created and ran by a couple friends of mine, @Dancer1 and @Cheermom called The Enchanting Beauty. You’ll find the latest news for SWATH production and  Kristen  without the gossip.

There are noticeable differences in Kristen between Thursday’s Breaking Dawn interviews and SWATH’s panel. For one thing, Kristen and her SWATH co-stars have barely spent any time together as they’ve all been working on other films. And for another, discussing, defending and explaining Isabella Swan Cullen’s actions and motivations are so deeply ingrained for Kristen after these several years, there were some slip-ups, and blurred lines between Kristen’s and Bella’s identities. Mostly though, I would attribute Kristen’s comfort in discussing Bella because she has had the luxury of marinating in and portraying a character over a longer, wider arc of time than most film roles allow. And Kristen is a passionate defender of her Bella.

*raises eyebrow* mmmhmm

But for the Snow White panel, we caught glimpses of Kristen in the company of extremely attractive new co-stars, exhibiting an eagerness, curiosity and pride on a level unfamiliar to us. Between her playful and almost sisterly-like banter with Charlize Theron, and her witty and self-deprecating responses to questions, Kristen, passionate and proud SWATH cast member, answered the call to portray the Beautiful Royal Hellion Snow White. 

It probably doesn’t hurt that the cast and crew boasts Oscar nominees and winners, as well as some of Britain’s acting elite (HELLO Ian McShane and Bob Hoskins). And these promo shots of the leads in costume…? *sputtering*

Truly a Rebel Royal, yes? 

Though the project is still in pre-production, the SWATH Panel at Comic Con sufficiently raised the bar and generated overwhelmingly positive buzz from..like, everyone, including the press and respectable journalists. Forbes journalist E.D. Kain writes:

 “But if that still shot of Kristen Stewart [up above] is any indication, I will be lining up for tickets when Snow White and the Huntsman hits theatres.”

There is something extremely awe-inspiring about people who face situations that are unchartered. Quitting a job one has had for years to participate in the construction of a starter company; speaking truth when everyone around you has been dishonest. Kristen is leaving behind the usual art house indie films she calls home, as well as the enveloping, familiar arms of her Twilight family to take on a film touted as on par with Lord of The Rings (oh HELL yes). There is a ferocity about this decision that is so very Kristen and so very Other. 

 Beauty Surrounds Her  

You say which way, which way

That’s all right, we’ve gotten hip to it

Behind you, beside you, beside you

Since the beginning days of Twilight Tuesdays and pre-Twitterazzi, Kristen and Robert have sought each other’s company and support as they catapulted from quiet obscurity into the view finder for millions of  rapt “fans”. A large factor in Kristen’s almost ethereal Comic Con appearance is the presence of love, support and encouragement in her immediate circle. Both Rob and Kristen have referred to one another as “my best friend”, and Kristen includes Taylor among a small group of people she “would do anything for” in the name of protection.

In my psychotherapy practice, I often recommend and encourage my clients to attend group counseling sessions in addition to individual sessions. I do this because there is a basic propensity for people to gravitate towards one another, especially when bound by similar experiences. And healing expedites when we have partners and supportive players on our side. Rob has mentioned in interviews in the past that because he and Kristen moved through the utter chaos of becoming famous together at the exact same time, they shared a deep and loyal bond, running even deeper than their immediate, easy friendship.  No one can quite understand the challenges and successes that come from being thrown into public consumption the way that Kristen, Rob and to a similar degree, Taylor can. They have become their own little huddle. #BesideYou

At the last Comic Con the Twi-Trio attended, (2009), Kristen literally took time out of  her shooting schedule for The Runaways to attend the convention to talk about the heartbreak and depression she had to communicate on-screen as Bella Swan. While some people heard Kristen’s words, she was more-often-than not defined by and questioned about her hair style (called a shag, not a mullet), and the Bullshit People and Haterade-drinkers skulked off and created wholly new websites and chat forums to bash Kristen. When asked about Kristen’s hair by an entertainment reporter, Kristen’s friend and confidante Taylor declared, “I think she looks sexy”.

Meanwhile, Rob, Kristen’s accomplice in Otherness, stared lovingly at her the. whole. time…This year, in the debut of Confi-ConStew, Kristen returned the supportive, encouraging, uh, appreciation for Rob and his Cosmopolis half-hawk.

saucy

Isn’t it fun having supportive ridonk sexy partners in crime? Of course, Rob’s hair didn’t spark anything remotely close to the riot that Kristen’s shag did. Don’t think that Rob didn’t notice the hypocrisy, by the way. Robert Pattinson is a clever, observant bloke. He attended Comic Con with his unusual hairstyle full-well knowing that people would most likely comment, judge, and question him. I actually fist-pumped when I caught a glimpse of his interesting coif. I noticed he had cut it even shorter than how he wore it for the Cosmopolis shoot. Whether it was his intent or not, Rob drew attention to his hair and his just-completed, non-Twilight film while simultaneously illuminating the double standards that “supporters” in this fandom practiced all the time. Why is it that Rob is revered and celebrated as “quirky” and “charming” for rocking a half-hawk at Comic Con while Kristen, having her hair styled as Joan Jett for her [awesome] work in The Runaways was ripped to shreds and called (and still called) every derogatory name in the Smack Book??

C’mon, Ladies. We can do better than this.

Something to think about, no? Bottom line: One more reason Kristen shined at San Diego Comic Con this year was due to the reassuring and encompassing presence of her dearest Accomplices in Otherness. Of course Rob and Taylor have faith in Kristen, they always have. But it was evident as the Breaking Dawn and SWATH panels progressed through the convention, that dozens if not hundreds of folks were finally jumping on board the KSTEW Support Train. One fellow leading the Kristen Stewart Fan Club charge was the kind and visionary director of Breaking Dawn, Bill Condon. Mr Condon may have praised Kristen’s dedication and love for the story in six different occasions. He is Team Kristen all the way. Another new mentor and commanding Rebel Beauty in Kristen’s supportive group appears to be another Rebel Queen~

A Beautiful Congruency

‘Cause I need Freedom now

And I need to know how

To live my life as it’s meant to be

Can you spot our Rebel Other Queen?

While all her Twilight co-stars wore dresses and stilettos…what did our girl wear? *HUGE GRIN* The final point I wanted to highlight this week was congruency. In geometry, congruency is when lines are the same size and shape. In philosophy and sociology, congruency refers to harmony between actions and ideas. In psychotherapy, someone is acting congruent when they are speaking of feeling a certain emotion, and their face and body language reflects said emotions. Happiness and excitement may look something like this:

When I say I’m a defender of Others and Misfits, I will act accordingly. You will not witness me throwing insults or jokes around at the expense of someone who has a different appearance or set of beliefs from my own. Neither will you witness Kristen acting incongruently. If she is nervous, you’ll know it. She’ll bounce that knee all over the place, and bite her nails to the quick in between interview questions. What you see is what you get. The reason Kristen Stewart is our Ambassador of Other is because she never  falsifies who she is, even when she is pressured by outside sources (um, MEDIA TRAINING? Are you kidding me??) to conform to the out-dated cookie-cutter ideal.

Congruency is Kristen exhibiting pride in and excitement about the choices she’s made in her profession. It is in knowing that she will be in a very physically demanding role with SWATH (“I’ll have swords and cool weapons”) and preparing herself by training in horseback riding, yoga and weapon-wielding.

It is in the way she is not hiding the affection and respect she holds for her partner Robert. It’s lovely to see their open, mutual affection for one another…Not that he  could ever effectively downplay his admiration for her, but still…The one and only joint interview for the press produced their most warm, inviting and organic interaction of the whole Comic Con weekend. It was mesmerizing to behold, even though it was only 3 minutes long. A content, confident, open, uninhibited, supported and cherished young woman again redefined an antiquated idea of “Beauty”.

Well, my lovelies. There you have it. Those are my thoughts on the jaw-dropping awesomeness of Comic Con 2011 and the Other Legacy that is our Reigning Other Queen. I attributed her heightened (how is that possible??) beauty to her confidence and the confirmation of her solid intuition; also her congruency and her amazingly constant and unconditional support team. There’s excitement  and eagerness for her upcoming projects and the love she feels for her craft.  Ahhh, love. Let’s not forget: She is loved and she loves in return. And it shows. That may be the best reason of all for Kristen’s transcendence this week.

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others realize that beauty cultivates from within and beside us.

Embrace Your Other.

*    *    *

QUESTIONS: What were your reactions to Comic Con? What elements contribute to your confidence and beauty? Do you love your work? Do you surround yourself with supportive family and friends? Are you congruently (authentically) living your life?

A/N: Next time I’m resuming the usual MOO outline featuring “What The Fangirl Learned” and  a new Rebel Royal. You were lovely with suggestions last week, btw, thank you! You can expect a couple little stories about gals named Christina and Ellen in the near future.

Squeezey Hugs and Sloppy Kisses To:

@Nhess_V for always, always spreading the Other Support and Musings postings all over the place each and every week.

@Mel452, my Aussie Darl for having a BIRTHDAY this week!

@DeeDreamer16 for always checking in on me …and even though she didn’t mention it, for celebrating a BIRTHDAY as well recently.

Bouffant. For listening to me talk shit out. Per usual.

Katie. For sharing the best conversations EVER and pulling me out of the funk when I go there.

Lyric excerpts featured: 

Beside you ~ Van Morrison

The Cave~ Mumford and Sons

Essay Playlist: 

What I Am ~ Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians

Santa Maria~ Gotan Project

The Cave ~ Mumford and Sons

All That She Is

19 May
A/N: Images seen here are not owned nor created by (c)MusingsOnOther. Today’s essay is unbeta’d per usual. Forgive me any mistakes or imperfections you may find. But that is how I roll. This post is a long one. Make yourselves comfortable.

“You’ll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you”

~Stevie Nicks, Silver Springs

I hope this new MOO finds everyone well. Did all you incredible Mothers, Parents, Aunties, Mentors, Providers, Caretakers and Grandmamas have a lovely Mother’s Day? My hope is that you did. I was able to pull off an impromptu visit down south with my own Mother, spending treasured time with my immediate family in the same city, which is a first for us, in a very long time.

In Royal Rebel news, it has been a pretty quiet, sighting-less week of our Stealthy pair, our NinjaQueen and her Royal consort. And it makes me happy. Between his punishing world promo-tour for Water For Elephants, the six months of international gallivanting for Breaking Dawn filming, plus recent birthdays for both of them, any quiet, unduh-covah time they can grab right now is probably sweet, sweet salvation. And it probably isn’t long enough, this break. Rob returns to work, starting the gritty, raw film Cosmopolis at the helm of esteemed (and frankly, in my opinion, really cool) director David Cronenberg (History of Violence, Eastern Promises) on May 23rd in Toronto, Canada (where he and Kristen have been spotted walking the infamous puppy dog Bear on more than one occasion).

I’m ridiculously eager to watch this project unfold, if anything for its stark difference in roles for Rob. Hello, apathetic billionaire-business man seeking connection through increasingly self-destructive ways….How fun does that sound??

Ok, how ’bout now?

My name is Eric Packer. I need a haircut. And financial advice.

We’ll talk more about this film as it progresses, okay?. . .The little “break” time that Kristen may be enjoying now isn’t all that much longer for her either. She is scheduled to begin her work on the small film K-11 soon, as well as preparation work for Snow White and The Huntsman. We received the great news that the titular role of The Huntsman was finally cast (well hello there, Thor) last week, but also the nice surprise that the film will be released six months sooner than originally projected. Filming begins in August, and the premiere is scheduled for June 1, 2012. A summertime kickoff by our Reigning Other Queen! So while our Royal Rebels are under the radar, hopefully grounding and recuperating in privacy, we are not lacking reasons to celebrate their growth and successes and remember why we began admiring and supporting them as artists in the first place.

Oh, for Pete's sake, that's just ridonk pretteh.

 What the Fangirl Learned

“Did she make you cry, make you break down, shatter your illusions of love?” ~Stevie Nicks, Gold Dust Woman

For today’s topic, as the first discussion in this new feature, I had planned on discussing a woman’s incredible capacity to love wholly but also to acknowledge her capacity for destruction (sometimes intentionally, sometimes not) in her passionate wrath. I was going to explore some of the themes I saw in our own community, in our fandom, because I’ve met the most incredible women, brilliant women, as a result of being a Kristen and Robert supporter. Conversely, I’ve observed in public venues no less, the most shocking behaviors emerge from my fellow sisters.  *This was the last section (the Fangirl Learned) I needed to complete today (I write MOO in all kinds randomness…the Muse visits when she is damn well ready, y’know?). But since receiving a phone call that I’m detailing down below, I may re-work how to address this topic…

The (M)Other Within

*ANNOUNCEMENT*  

Remember when I told you lovelies that while I have no money, I do have time and skills to contribute in these dire hours? I literally received the phone call right now as I’m finishing up today’s post. I have been cleared for and accepted onto the Red Cross Disaster Response Team as a therapist. I’m deploying out to the Tornado/Flood Zones back east (Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina-esque areas) next week to administer frontline counseling and emotional support to the tornado and flood victims. Its looking like  it will be Tues or Wednesday when I fly out. I will be gone for at least 10 to 12 days and could potentially remain out in the field for up to three weeks per cycle. *side note*  Even if I leave on Tuesday morning, I’ll still have been able to see SAM BRADLEY perform the night before. PHEW! A girl still has a couple of #priorities.

The American Red Cross

So while I’m away for potentially the next 2 to 3 weeks, I’ve asked my fellow Team Other Captains (CC, Buff and a behind-the-scenes technician Bouffant) if they wouldn’t mind keeping an eye on MOO and perhaps contribute some of their brilliance to continue the support of Otherness in my stead. The wonderful gals that they are, of course, all stepped up immediately and exuberantly. So I’m going to thank you amazing Readers in advance for welcoming them warmly and wonderfully as you have in the past when they’ve contributed. And besides, CC and Buff already have their own mass followings (because they’re geniuses and I kinda hope to be a little smarter just by associating with them). My friend Starlust may contribute a written piece as well. She has been my  good friend since the very beginning and I trust her with heart and soul. You will too when you meet her.

This leads me to discuss what I had hoped to, even before learning that I was going to deploy. Look back to one of the earliest Musings ever. I wrote an essay called Aphrodite and Kristen Go Against Code  <—–click it to check it, yo. I responded to the Entertainment Weekly preview of the roundtable interview that Kristen, Rob and Taylor did in promotion for Eclipse.  Remember this hotness??

The Musings  written in response was almost one year ago, on June 24, 2010. What did I see at the bottom of the brief EW preview back in June 2010? Within moments of going viral, the preview had already garnered nearly one hundred commenters’ reactions to the excerpt and these comments were quite criticalNo, worse. The majority of comments were cruel and hatefulI won’t go into specifics because I don’t have the energy nor do I want to taint this supportive Kristen and Rob site with anything remotely negative. But I will share my observations. The majority of commenters both critical and supportive, presented themselves with female monikers. And the harshest, most cruel of the comments were from women. Women who reported they were mothers, professionals.  Also, I noticed that most comments were disproportionately supportive and defensive of Rob, but were incensed and enraged towards Kristen. She was torn down for anything from her physical appearance to the way she phrased her responses. In those commenter’s eyes, those predominantly female commenter’s views, she could do nothing right. The need to tear others down to feel imposing and powerful and bigger has perhaps been an evolutionary trait, leftover from our earliest days on earth–survival of the fittest…but the way that women attack is especially fascinating and …disturbing. 

Today, in 2011, when I watch my Twittah timeline and scan the PMs filled with updates from around the fandom, I notice that the anger and resentment towards our Reigning Queen has become more specific and therefore illuminating about the folks who spew the Haterade. After witnessing success after success for Kristen as a professional and as a woman, her Critics–the Bullshit People as she dubbed them last year in an interview–grapple with any new angle from which they can attack.

Their options are becoming pretty limited.

Criticizing her relationship with Robert as publicity-driven holds little weight since Kristen’s professional and critical success has only increased in the past year, what with the ovations from film critics and audiences flooding in for her work in stellar performances in The Runaways and Welcome to the Rileys (Example: MIFF Award–to be addressed in a bit).  Plus there’s Robert’s direct statements in interviews that his relationship with Kristen is in no way calculated or “nefarious”. So the anti-Kristeners focus on…her abilities to walk young Bear…??

This gangly, awkward, beautiful creature caused major damage to the Bullshit People's campaign. Powerful little guy.

 And instead of calling Ms Stewart some of the degrading and hateful names they’ve given her over time, many Nonsensicals simply refer to her as “That Girl”, which in the scheme of things isn’t the most horrendous, not compared to what they’ve called her before. Also we have identified some of the boldest of the BullShit People in the past year. Kristen and Robert have names and information about the particularly heinous of the Unhappy Ones. When attackers are no longer faceless, offensive plans can be created. Kristen and Rob’s incredibly good-looking effective security teams have been quite active and occupied this year.

Another shift I’ve noticed over the year, is a growing, greater compassion emerging in this fandom. Perhaps it’s because we have been in the trenches together now for several years. We have created friendships and support networks and camaraderie. We have faces and voices to names…This again, is in that universal movement to remove the masks we wear, and efforts made to consciously embrace our Otherness. We’re finding we have so many more commonalities than differences.

Last year, my Welsh Muse Kathryn wrote me a poignant letter detailing her journey embracing her Otherness and it was in embracing her abilities to be a new M0ther. It was in her exploration of what motherhood meant for her that she realized she was truly embracing her authentic self, quirks and oddities and all, that she already had the propensity to accept herself in all that she is. She was similar to me, in that she hadn’t planned necessarily on having children, opting instead to focus on pursuit of bliss and career and expression. And yet now she’s all of those things: beautiful, kind, compassionate, artistic, and a Mother. (I miss you, K).

When we sit down and examine all the ways someone can be “motherly”, we conjure up feelings and associations with universal, human qualities such as:

LOVINGNESS…DEVOTION….PROTECTIVENESS…CREATIVITY….COMPASSION…SELFLESSNESS…KINDNESS

When I survey the descriptors above,  I don’t feel as defensive of  my near-certain decision to not have children. Believe me, society and peers are pretty critical (i.e. harsh and judgmental) about people who decide to not have children too. One of the most incredible things a couple of my Cyber Sisters Nail and Mari have said to me in the past few months involved the employment of my favorite strategy: REFRAMING. They said,

“You are mothering and providing, even if you’re not technically a child-bearer. You give nurturing and compassion and protectiveness to your clients, to your friends…and to MOO Readers.”

See? We all gotta do a little reframing sometime. And I can see this next step on my path in my work for Red Cross is an extension of that concept. I do carry a wish that as we each evolve and thrive and stumble and then pick ourselves back up again that we are finding, that there is less of a need to deconstruct or tear Others down coasting on fear or ignorance. Because we’ve gotten to know each other a little more. Our (M)Otherness has kicked in, perhaps?

Anyway, in light of the somewhat unexpected events occurring in this moment, I won’t delve further today into the reasons why, psychologically or emotionally, women behaved in appallingly harsh ways over the past year. But I certainly can appreciate some of the improvements and changes that have occurred …and I can pin some hope that the changes have made due to steps closer to embracing Others’ Otherness.

And lets take some time to get to know and then celebrate these incredibly brave Unconventional Beauties, shall we?

 Featured Royal Rebel: Stevie Nicks

Stephanie “Stevie” Lynn Nicks, called everything from eccentric, legendary, a gypsy, a witch, a sorceress, and a poet, since her debut in the music industry forty years ago, is the epitome of Other to me. I have my own fascination and adoration of her, have since the early 1990’s when I accidentally stumbled upon a music video on VH1 called “Gypsy” and then later heard songs from the Fleetwood Mac live reunion tour “The Dance”. I didn’t know it then, but with a few bars of the haunting song “Silver Springs” soaring from my car radio’s speakers, I had encountered music’s Other Royalty.

A little background: Stevie’s grandfather Aaron was an aspiring country singer, and from the moment Stevie could speak, she was singing country ditties and picking out melodies on a guitar which was handcrafted for her by said proud granddad. Stevie credits her grandfather for teaching her to love music and for inciting her passion for songwriting and musical crafting. It was at a northern California high school that she met a singing-songwriting-guitar-playing boy named Lindsey Buckingham. Stevie and Lindsey immediately forged a strong bond which would ultimately prove to be an outrageously productive musical and intimate partnership. Stevie tells The Guardian (UK) that she believed joining the band Fleetwood Mac in 1975 was predestined, but that upon reflection, she ventures that Lindsey Buckingham feels the opposite.

You have NO idea how loud I screamed when I snagged this vinyl off Ebay years ago. Yeah, and they're nekkid.

At the start of the year 1975, Stevie and Lindsey (apart of the rock band Fritz) had already been cultivating a small, devoted following in San Francisco, CA. Their time with Fritz granted them once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to observe and learn from rock legends Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, both for whom Fritz performed opening sets. When Fritz disbanded, Stevie and Lindsey became the duo “Buckingham Nicks” and recorded their one and only debut album by day, and worked as servers, house cleaners and carpenters by night. The album did not meet commercial success, and the duo was dropped from their record label. Meanwhile, British blues band Fleetwood Mac had just parted ways with yet another guitar player and as the now-legendary story entails, Mick Fleetwood, the group’s co-founder and drummer approached Lindsey and invited him into the band. However, in a serendipitous exchange, Lindsey refused to join without Stevie, saying, “We’re a packaged deal”. So the California hippie kids joined the British Blues Crew.

And so it began. Fleetwood Mac 1975

Ok, novels and ever-expanding Wikipedia entries can barely cover the expanse of this Majestic Gypsy’s forty years in the music industry, and I will not attempt to reiterate the glorious peaks and valleys of Ms Nicks’s life here today (but sit down with me in person and I’ll happily chatter on with you about my adoration for her). But I can try to highlight a few reasons why she, for me, is a true Rebel Queen.

Of course we cannot overlook Stevie’s distinctive, raspy-growly voice, her whimsical, journal-entry intimate lyrics, and her propensity for flowing, ethereal dresses. And it’s quite a testament to her artistic influence when she can count among her legions of fans some musical greats such as Billy Corgan, Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow, Courtney Love, Adam Levine, and Taylor Swift to name a few.

In days long preceding concepts like Stalkerazzi, Twitter and Celebrity Rehab, Stevie Nicks navigated the pitfalls and customary practices of a Rock-and-Roll lifestyle in an extremely human, relatable manner. There were the drugs–she had a ten-year cocaine dependency stemming from early days with Fleetwood Mac, and then in the late eighties through early nineties developed a harrowing addiction to prescription medications, namely Klonipin which she weaned from after a painful near-fifty day course of rehab. There were personal tragedies, including the death of childhood best friend Robin Snyder who succumbed to leukemia two days after giving birth to Stevie’s Godson Matthew; and there were the emotional and physical illnesses such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, depression, anxiety and weight fluctuation (which was relentlessly criticized by critics and “fans”). And then there was the love. Always the love.

“In ’75, ’76, we were beautiful, fast,  sexy, love was everywhere and we were moving from person to person. That’s it. Love was around every corner”

Of course there was/is her musical and personal soul mate Lindsey Buckingham, with whom she shares an “Edward and Bella-like” love, but there were many other lovers and inspirations famous and not-so-much (including her Fleetwood Mac band mate Mick Fleetwood, Eagles rockers Joe Walsh and Don Henley; music industry legend and current American Idol mentor Jimmy Iovine). Her relationships with these men informed and influenced her songwriting and musical creations engendering some of rock and pop music’s most famous songs…ever. We’re talking songs that have permeated our collective consciousness. For instance: Landslide has been remade or covered by everyone from The Smashing Pumpkins, Tori Amos, and The Dixie Chicks, to, recently, Gwyneth Paltrow on an episode of Glee). Last week alone was a Nicksapalooza with Glee dedicating an entire episode to Fleetwood Mac’s seminal and legendary album Rumours (which detailed the band’s scandalous divorces, break-ups and affairs with each other and as a group).  Also, my new favorite TV show The Voice featured competitors singing Stevie’s song Leather and Lace and in conclusion Maroon 5’s frontman and Voice Coach Adam Levine reverently declared, “Stevie Nicks is The Greatest.”

At 62 years old, the woman is showing no signs of stopping. In fact, she just released her newest solo album, her first in a decade to the highest reviews of her career. She admits to an obsession with The Twilight series and even wrote a couple of songs on this new album inspired by Our Reigning Queen Kristen’s portrayal of a broken Bella Swan in New Moon. Ok, seriously. How do you not LOVE that???

Stevie Nicks has your back, Bella!

Ms Nicks is about to embark on a tour to support the new album titled In Your Dreams, but also a world tour with Fleetwood Mac in 2012. Perhaps my admiration for Stevie Nicks stems from her grace in managing conflict and life while in the public eye. Perhaps it’s because Stevie struggles with body image, insecurities, relationship concerns, and anxiety, channeling angst into catharsis byway of songwriting and musical performance. Maybe it’s because the tambourine-shaking, leg-warmer-wearing, spinning, whirling songstress never compromises her beliefs or ambitions when all of society pressured her to.

Stevie’s new album sounds more like vintage Stevie than ever, recalling early Fleetwood Mac rocker sentiments while also preserving her poetic whimsy. Admirably, she rebuffed traditional gender-specific expectations when she was younger (she was a lady of rock in an arena of men) and later regarding marriage and motherhood in order to pursue “freedom in following [her] art.” I can relate on such a basic, visceral level to this decision, as I’ve shared with you all earlier today. Because Stevie twirls through very personal and genuine tribulations gracefully while wearing 4-inch platform-boots and diaphanous dresses that Couture designers have tried to emulate since 1975, she forever is a stunning Queen of Other.

Offenses of Otherness:

*Emphatically celebrates her feminine divinities: love and beauty

*Invites an intimate and realistic connection to her personal heartbreak and struggle

*Opted out of the gender role expectations of marriage and motherhood

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

While we may not have seen Ms Rebel Queen herself in a while, we have been gifted with a few wonderful events that are pretty spectacular all the same. From the interview that keeps on giving, i.e. Uk Elle, we have some more “outtakes“…And good gracious, I do not envy the photo director who had to make the final cuts on these beauties…

The prestigious Cannes Film Festival is wrapping up this week and while this landmark annual event is designed as a showcase for new and developing films, it is a coveted  forum for filmmakers to exhibit and sell projects based on their artistic quality to distributors from all over the world. This year, a six minute trailer from one small but mighty film was shown to a Cannes audience of potential buyers.

According to attendees, after watching the diminutive six-minute trailer, buyers rose to their feet, passionately clapping. With the warm reception of the highly anticipated Francis Ford Coppola-produced project, On The Road has emerged as prevalent and desired today. Now. This adaptation from the book about restless souls seeking the elusive “It” to soothe post-war disillusionment has been anticipated for something like 30 years. Director Walter Salles and his outrageously gifted cast wrapped filming in the fall last year, and the news of positive reactions to the short film teaser gives us one more reason to hope that we will be seeing Sal, Dean, and Marylou on screen very soon. I cannot tell you how excited I am for this movie. If I did, it would sound something like this: $#!(*$*@#@&!@#!)&%//!!

nope. Not even close to getting old.

Hmmm, what else? Our Reigning Other Queen has had quite the week, as we’ve said. Even though we haven’t laid eyes on her since we saw her in New York, we have had plenty o’ reasons to rejoice. At another International Film Festival, Milan this time, another one of Kristen’s films, or more specifically, Kristen herself was the toast of the town. On May 11, we learned the news that Ms. Kristen Jaymes Stewart received the coveted honor of being named Best Actress at the Milan International Film Festival (MIFF) for her portrayal of the electric, vibrant, almost “feral” but vulnerable teenage stripper, Mallory in the effecting Welcome to the Rileys.

Congratulations, Kristen!! 

ICU dedicated actress with the bruised up legs and arms

One might observe that being called “THAT GIRL” as almost complimentary…? That Girl has been named Elle’s Woman of the Year…That Girl has a Young Hollywood Award, several MTV Movie Awards and a BAFTA. This same lady has the respect and love of legendary colleagues and filmakers. Ms. Stewart may very well be one girl who doesn’t really need introduction. She doesn’t need a label to garner praise and respect and prestigious awards. She does after all, make a living dressing up and portraying everybody else other than Kristen Stewart. But it’s still wonderful to watch as the authentic, grounded, intelligent, witty, kind, dedicated, compassionate, articulate and talented woman named  Kristen Jaymes Stewart continues to follow her genuine path, and embrace her royalty and Otherness.

Offenses of Otherness:

* Celebrates her feminine divinities: compassion and protectiveness.

*Unapologetic about displaying confidence, assertiveness and independence.

*Spurns the idea of downplaying her intelligence or genuine emotional response.

*  *  *

Stevie accepts all that she is. And is Other.

Kristen accepts all that she is. And is Other.

Others accept themselves and all that they are.

Embrace your Other. 

*  *  *

Notes: 

Wellllll. This one was long and it was all over the place, I realize. There were a lot of Royal Rebel events that occurred, on the sly, as well as over the course of the WFE promo tour….And in tying it up here, I struggled to organize and address all the goodies as well as the Otherness stuff.

Thanks for hanging with me, everyone. It’s been a crazy few weeks and now it’s gone outer limits with this new Adventure I’m heading on in a matter of days.

I don’t know exactly where I am going to be stationed on this assignment. I don’t know exactly how long I’ll be there. I don’t know where I’m sleeping. I don’t know if there’s a consistent stream of electricity and I doubt there will be steady internet connection. I don’t have a good set of work boots since I gave my Doc Martens away last year. But I will communicate as often as I can with my girls on Team Other, and maybe through Twitter if I can get a signal. I’m  @MusingsOnOther . . .

I DO know that this has always been my life’s hope–to combine humanitarian work in the fields. Its why I became a therapist in the first place. I am ecstatic and nervous and proud and scared all at once. I totally told @DeeDreamer16, @Kate_Suena, @KStewsbtrthanU and my CyberSisters today that I “want to vom right. NAO.”

Oh. And I also know that I kinda love you all. Madly.

The pristinely talented and lovely author @PrimaryColors1 (Firefly in Summer) is already out there on site in Alabama donating, transporting supplies, giving water to workers and folks in shelters on a daily basis. Consider donating time or money to assist the victims of the Tornados and Floods. Every little bit helps, especially to folks who have lost everything.

Talk to you laters, Lovelies. Until then, be well and be kind to one another. We’re really all Other together.  Yours, xo, KJ 

More:

This Essay’s Playlist

Trampled Rose ~Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

I Shall Believe ~Sheryl Crow

Starlight ~Muse

Gold Dust Woman ~Stevie Nicks

Winter Winds ~ Mumford & Sons

We’re Not The Only Ones

24 Mar

“And it makes me float free, when I see how small my life can be” ~~ Lamb, Small

My darlings. *opens arms wide and ushers you all into a ginormous group hug*. So much has happened since we’ve last visited. Not only did our Royal Rebels Kristen and Robert emerge for a low-key date night, and National Rob Day commenced in which we were blessed with two live interviews from him; but in a surreal and horrific blip of time, Mother Nature and All That Is Larger Than Us rose up and schooled us about our place in this world. I had intended to post a MOO Memo to discuss our Fair Philanthropy last Thursday, but it turns out I was to wait a bit longer while we merged with the global pulse. Literally.

See, two weeks ago, late Thursday night, March 10, 2011, I pressed the “PUBLISH” button on a MOO essay featuring The Risks and Benefits of introspection and following bliss–and Helena Bonham Carter. The post went live nearly simultaneously with the news that the devastating tsunami hit the Sendai Miyagi Prefecture of Japan. The giant wave was triggered by an incomprehensibly large 9.0 earthquake just off the Japanese coast. You all know this. You may have been awake with me and joined in the impromptu vigil with our friends, loved ones and fellow fandom members on Twitter.

It was one of those moments when I was truly awed by and strangely grateful for the effectiveness of social networking sites, but moreso, I was humbled by the grace and graciousness with which members in this newfound community  operate. Suddenly, it wasn’t about interviews or celeb-sightings nor petty in-fighting nor paparazzi wars..For once, it wasn’t even about Charlie Sheen’s alarming (and I say this from a mental health professional’s perspective) decompensation and subsequent One-Man Comedy Tour. It was 11PM here in Cali when the first images of the earthquake and the tsunami began filtering in. And I was on Twitter trying to contact friends, MOO readers and my own family in Asia…N had just come home from work, and was on the phone trying to locate his family in Indonesia to advise them of the Tsunami Warnings of waves barreling towards 12 other countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, and Taiwan. My eyes darted between the horrendous images flooding in on CNN, and my laptop’s computer screen where I sought updates from friends across the world. Though stunned and heartbroken for witnessing the devastating destruction in Japan, I still felt great camaraderie and comfort, because you all were here, witnessing it as well.

Harmony

A Shift In Focus

Nothing like the shifting of the Earth’s axis ten fucking inches to remind us how tiny we are, hmmmm? Can you believe that madness? According to the United States Geological Service (USGS), the Japanese Earthquake permanently shifted Japan’s coastline 2.4 meters!! While we endured a physical prompting, I’m going to venture out and say that we also felt the impact on our emotional and psychological well-being too. Here’s the dealio:  It’s expected and normal for us to feel jarred and ungrounded after witnessing the mass destruction of the quake and tsunami. I felt faint echoes of September 11, 20o1: Eyes glued to the television while feeling helpless and shattered and incoherent with a grief I couldn’t identify. Experiencing and/or witnessing a traumatic event, of chronic poverty, of war, of Mother Nature (i.e., Katrina, Haiti) can elicit strong feelings of anxiety, anger, sadness, depression and grief. Post-Trauma Stress and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is no joke, just ask anybody in the armed services, or  any survivor of emotional and/or physical violence. But rather than write a litany of sobering, staggering statistics and clinical jargon, I wanted to remind us all of the absolute power we posses. I want to pay homage to the inner strength and phenomenal courage that composes us, exudes from us, and surrounds us. . .because serio, there are small miracles and blessings in every single moment, counterbalancing any darkness. For instance:

That picture above? My 3 year old niece, Monkey, had her first extended day of preschool (a 4 1/2 hr session instead of just 2!) this week. She informed me that she is “learning about BUGS, Auntie!” And while she admits she “hates bugs”, she was able to paint vibrant colors on coffee filter-wings to show her acceptance that even bugs are beautiful during craft time. And she gave this exquisite butterfly to moi. Now COME ON, people. This is what it’s about. We are not long for this world, we are small, small glimmers among a night sky filled with stars.  But fuck it if I am not brought to my knees with the reminder that we are evolving, thriving creatures spreading our wings, venturing out, redefining. Monkey is for certain a sage Queen from whom I can learn grace.

Monkey also sat me down and indoctrinated me again in one of the O.G. Royal Rebels of the Disney Tradition . I very happily would have endorsed our Majestic Misfit Kristen taking on the role of THIS Disney spitfire, if she hadn’t chosen the fairest Snow White. See, 3-year-olds are sage, sage creatures. Shout-outs to @ellelala for hooking me up with this jewel, and for @Buff_82 for singing the lyrics to me…

BELLE IS OTHER

“I like Belle a lot. She was kind of a loner, but she wasn’t sad over it or desperate to fit in. She didn’t give a shit that the hottest piece of man-ass in town wanted her, because he was a total semi-retarded douchebag and she knew she could do better. She wasn’t motivated by love or the need to have a significant other to do anything. In fact, even when she began to fall in love with the beast and she got news that her father was sick, she was like “iight I’m feelin you Beast but my dad is like dying in the woods so I should prooobbably go”. And then when Gaston was like being a complete asshole by getting everyone to raid the castle and kill the Beast, she broke the FUCK out of that cellar and rode a horse to rescue her man, after she nursed her father back to health. And we don’t even need to mention the fact that her man was an 8 foot Chewbacca/buffalo hybrid, she saw that he was a kind person who loved her and she fell in love with him. Like, seriously, Belle is basically the coolest woman ever.”~courtesy of Beautilation’s Tumblr

Royal Rebels Remind Us

We always can look to our fellow Others and Royals-in-Training when we’re lacking in confidence , or if we need a nudge towards expanding perspectives. Our Reinging Royal Beauty Kristen and her “deliciously handsome” partner Robert  are always quietly urging us to focus not on their personal lives or their unconventional, mouth-watering attractiveness, but instead on their work. As we discussed last Musings, both actors have exciting, film projects debuting this year, which I personally think have the power to propel them each beyond the stratosphere.

She’s embodied the free-spirited and fierce Beatnik Beauty  named Marylou in the Francis Ford Coppola-production On The Road…

And he’s killing us softly with his portrayal of vet student-turned-circus-roadie Jacob Jankowski in Water for Elephants…

Another subtle reminder for us to chillax with the microscopic focus on our Rebels is thiiiissss: The Re-Emergence of  NinjaStew. KnowingKristen. Gleeful-SideEyesKristen. Remember, our Reinging Other Queen rules at communicating…. without saying a word. OICU, Peek-a-boo-Stew.

OICU Peekabo

Kristen’s message as I hear it?

Yeah, I’m here. With him. I will not give you details about my personal life, except that I do try to have one, and I’m intensely protective of it. Interpret that as you will. But I do partake in the same activities that you do; like bowling and attending movies or concerts. If you approach respectfully, I’ll happily take a picture with you. But I’m not really comfortable with the ardent, singular focus on me, though I appreciate your admiration for my work. But really? There are other things and events in this world where your time and attention could go.

So Kristen and Robert were able to sneak in a movie date last week. I’m happy for them. I’m happy that they supposedly were able to slip into a dark theater and support their friends Billy Burke and #ChattyCathy by seeing the film Red Riding Hood …It’s nice to hear that they easily posed with fans for pictures and autographs. I’m happy that people were fairly respectful of the duo, not tweeting or Facebooking the private pair’s location, or at least, waiting until Kristen and Rob left before sharing their whereabouts. NICE WORK, friends. Maybe if we continue to be mellow and respectful, the lovely couple will feel safe enough to venture out more often. #AnAstonishingConcept

Look! The thought of some breathing room makes Martine dance!!

And it gives our Majestic Misfit a moment to gather her wits and thank The Gods that people are willing and able to shift their focus…

Be The Change

“We must be the change we wish to see in the world”~Gandhi

When Ms Stewart first alluded to her ambitious philanthropic leanings in her Vogue interview, it’s clear that she possesses that broad perspective we discuss here in Otherland, the awareness of the Global Soul. Kristen’s interest in charitable causes only further confirms her right to wear the Other Queen Crown. After I awoke from the haze I’ve been in these past two weeks–partially due to the Japan Disaster, partially due to the depression and writer’s block– I experienced the overwhelming desire to help…do something… just as I had with Hurricane Katrina and with the Haiti earthquake. And this is where our personal power surfaces. While we can’t all be Sandra Bullock , Jack Johnson or Gwen Stefani (bowing down to their awesomeness), my dears, it doesn’t take too much of us to contribute to the global goodwill and make a big statment.

One way we can help is to text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation…and spread the word on Twitter and Facebook, or whatever your social network of choice….

OR, contact your country’s RED CROSS to donate any time or supplies or money.

The American Red Cross

So I find myself lacking severely in the financial arena. However, I do have eyes, energy and a skill-set that is warranted these days. I hopped online and began researching Disaster Relief options and found myself face-to-face with an opportunity to partake in what has always been a goal of mine: Mental Health Disaster Response work. I have signed up for the Disaster Response Team with Red Cross, offering my psychotherapeutic skills to families who are effected by the Japanese quake/tsunami, as well as to any folks experiencing local disasters…and also importantly, I’ll be available for relief and debriefing for the caretakers and counselors who are already there in the trenches. I also have been led to–and have decided to pursue certification with– GREEN CROSS, an organization comprised of mental health professionals who are on standby for deployment to Japan for direct work in the hardest-hit regions–a very hands-on crisis counseling team. So this is how I can help, and exercise my power with resources available to me. This feels right for me.


So how else can we “Be the Change” ? We can be kind and patient and supportive of one another. We can exercise compassion towards our fellow beings, whether in 3D/”Real Life” or amongst our Cyber Friends. We can emulate our Reigning Other Queen Kristen and seek ways to build and support a cause close to our hearts. There are a couple of incredible fundraisers occurring these days that are integral to the Twilight Community…One charity I recently gave a small donation to is Fandom For Sexual Assault Awareness, spearheaded by a friend of mine @Aylah50 and author ColdplayWhore.  April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month; plus, the cause is especially significant for me personally.

Another one you’ve probably heard of, is the fundraising efforts in honor of our Reigning Queen Kristen’s birthday (April 9), for the Non-Profit organization Covenant House whose mission is to get runaway kids off the streets.

Helping Kids Today for Kristen Stewart's Birthday Widget

“You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.” ~John Lennon, Imagine

So yeah…There are lots of ways we can embrace the dreamy “Dreamers” in John Lennon’s Peace Anthem Imagine… And, there are many small, but powerful practices to “be the change” we wish to see in the world around us, as advised by Mahatma Gandhi. Support does not always manifest monetarily. Sometimes the most profound gift we can give to someone else is a kind word or a listening ear. Several beloveds in my world are experiencing shattering, soul-depleting divorces. My dear Sister-in-Law suffers from a chronic, painful, autoimmune disorder  requiring chemo treatments monthly for symptom management.

Knowing that we are not alone…well, that may be the most invaluable knowledge of all, hmm? Because I know my friends enduring the painful dissolution of their relationships, as well as my Sister grappling with the anxieties and physical complexities of chemo appreciate the hand to hold and the validating nod or two…And I know that in those moments two weeks ago, after posting MOO…and after the news of the Quake and Tsunami, I felt a rich, encompassing solace in knowing we were in this together.  As sentient beings. As Others.

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others know they’re dreamers, but that they’re not the only ones.

Embrace Your Other.

* * *

A/N: There are many words to say, but I’ve already taken up so much of your time. I thank you for stopping by and checking out this week’s atypical MOO.

It is imperative that I send a very special SHOUT OUT to the brave, beautiful souls who filled out the sentence completion questions on the About KJ page.  And there were many of you who have sent in private emails with your stories and your answers. I read every single of them and laugh, cringe and cheer along with you. Your courage and honesty bring me to tears. You inspire me . Thank you for sharing a piece of your soul with us: MYCLEVERALIASMARI/PAILADYBUGEDMETTELLELALAPHARMGIRL15

To author 107YrOldVirgin, Amber, how graceful you are. You will be missed, but you are supported in every step of your journey. Your incredible writing thrived and blossomed and became extraordinary from “Mystic” all the way to “Authentication”. A force to be reckoned with. Go do your thing, honey.

Beloveds who have been on my mind and in my heart: OJ, Ellelala, JRollin5, Ree, Puss, Katie, CC, Iris Adrienne, Buff, RobKris13, Possum Jai, My SK, RandomMama, Ms. Maroon… Julie and your family on the Central Coast.

BIG THANKS to CC, Buff, LCMom, IndiaPale, Beanai and Tebby for sending me encouragement (and links!!) for the job search. I’m chasing after it, guys, I am.

See you all next time…Wholly yours, KJ

The Risks and Benefits of Expression & Introspection

10 Mar

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” ~Joseph Chilton Pearce

Greetings, my fellow Majestic Misfits! Before I dive into this week’s essay, I wanted to mention a couple things. Firstly, please accept my apologies since I did not post this weekend as I had hoped to and even purported that I would. Some of you know that I’m recovering from a 3-week long flu-bronchial something-or-other and I’m still dodging bouts of tiredness, especially since I’m back in full-force trying to build a clientele for my tiny psychotherapy practice. I’ve decided that I’m not going to give such explicit statements such as: “Musings will post this weekend”. Instead, I’ll rely on the posting schedule I have always had…Thursdays are meant for updates, whether weekly or bi-weekly. However,  if something comes up, I’ll let you know, as I have lately, when I’m running behind or if I need more time (like today). Cool beans?

Secondly,  a sweet friend *waves at @JRollin5* advised me last week that because she catches MOO updates on her phone, she doesn’t benefit from the music playlist each week. In fact, she didn’t know that there was a playlist! I may have to release Volume 2 of the MOO Mixed-Tape Love Letter soon here, because oh mah gah, if anything has been present these past weeks, its been THE MUSIC! A few of you have asked me what influences the playlists for each week, and my answer is: these songs are either connected to the Featured Royal Rebel or the theme for the week–often times, both. I listen to the same playlist while I’m writing the essay and I find the songs often inform the tone of the whole post. Plus, our Reigning Other Queen Kristen reports music as essential, and her musical sensibility is genius. And we celebrate Kristen’s sensibilities here in Otherland, so….

Then there’s this: *cue soaring heart*

The Fairest of The Fair

Perfect segue into the check-in with our Royal Beauties. Last week was a glorious week for those of us keeping an eye on the happenings of a certain pretty, Rebellious Partnership, yes? In last week’s Muselet, we were still acclimatizing to the newly released Vanity Fair in which Rob posed for legendary photographer Annie Liebovitz. While the pictures were beautiful (awaiting more OUTTAKES , pleeeeease!) the interview portion, though not including any unknown information, left me feeling unsettled and wistful. I also felt the “journalist” who conducted the interview (allowing for faulty “facts”) operated with an agenda. She even asked the tired and unoriginal question pertaining to his relationship with our Other Queen, Kristen, after she wrote a sneering paragraph scoffing at other interviewers who have tried to obtain the same information (“Oprah couldn’t even get it out of them”). Well, her exclusivity-seeking fell short, and when she showed up on something like seven Entertainment News shows hooking interest about Rob’s non-denial denial she revealed to me just one more person clamoring for a piece of the magic. The very folks that Rob and Kristen need protection from.

Well, opportunistic writers aside, luckily there were other bright spots in our Rebel Royals’ week. Rob still shared a glimpse into his insatiable thirst for knowledge as well as his personal experience of living under a microscope.  And we were reminded that his new movie is going to be …well, gorgeous. Gorgeous in all ways: cinematography, set design, costumes and story. I am still trying to pick myself up from the floor where I had fallen due to the new Water For Elephants screen caps and the official trailer for the movie: Water For Elephants International Trailer Holy Jeebus. Distract me, distract me!!!

Its not even funny anymore. I flatlined weeks ago.

Now let us please, please, pretty please talk about our Majestic Kristen’s spectacular news of the week shall we??  After months of speculation and weeks of the curiosity operating at a fever pitch, it was announced by the film’s producer that our own Majestic Misfit Kristen Stewart is going to play a Rebel Royal Original, Snow White, in the movie Snow White and the Huntsman opposite the insanely beautiful Other Rebels Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron. People may have been skeptical. I am not one of those people. I screamed in delight when I heard Kristen was considering the role of Snow. Ok if it is too hard for you to envision, let’s break it down:

One extraordinarily beautiful girl:

Who is known across the land as being kind and compassionate. Also known to be an animal lover and a bit of a goddess in the kitchen. Loquat Pie anyone?

She’s next in line for the throne (there’s your Royalty), but she has many, many detractors and critics fueled by jealousy and insecurity. Members of her own family send henchmen after her for Goddess’s sake! Forced to hit the road and kick some ass (not to mention defy the age-old gender stereotypes of the hapless, helpless woman awaiting rescue), all while sporting fierce fashion wear? She ain’t your grandmammy’s Damsel-In-Distress, yo. Who ELSE could portray such a Rebellious Beauty? No One. This Is KRISTEN’S ROLE.  In this medium, our Queen of Unconventional Beauty will model for a new generation what it means to defy decrepit gender roles and also respond to the women-against-women destruction in our society and in this fandom. On your knees, kids. Bow down to what could potentially be a great thing.

Risks & Benefits

“If you want to work on your art, work on your life” ~Chekhov

Kristen is reportedly fielding numerous incredible projects, unsurprisingly. Her reputation for professionalism and the brilliant embodiment of the characters she plays (Read: The Runaways,The Cake Eaters) is paving the way for what could be an astoundingly deft and unique career, not to mention one of longevity. Her confidence and focus on piecing together her career plan is not lost on her partner Robert. He admires her propensity towards clever role choices, and also exudes the sense that he is testing the waters for his own path. Which is normal and expected. He’s only 24 for goodness sake. Typical twenty-four year olds are just outside of completing college or are experiencing the glories of jobs and internships. Rob and Kristen have been handed cash and fame and are being hailed as having “hit it big”, but they’re not even a quarter of a century old. It’s a lot of pressure. Knowing and pursuing what “we want to do” is stressful (even when it’s a good stress, stress is still stress), daunting and potentially disheartening. I sense a little overwhelmed-ness from Rob when I read that VF article. These very valid feelings could be there for him, but I still am wary of the VF interviewer’s not-exactly-supportive influence on the story. Regardless, I understand those feelings well.  And in questioning my career path and goal for this world, I recognize there is the risk of discovering I am not exactly happy or actually doing what I had initially set out to accomplish.

I just need a moment of quiet...

Luckily, Rob is blessed with several gifts and he has the capacity to explore many avenues in which he can utilize them. He is granted versatility and really, opportunity to soar. He could be a musician, songwriter, movie producer, screenplay writer, and he has dabbled in all of these fields already. But for him to declare aloud that he feels limited to representing a sparkling vampire for the next ten years indicates he’s aware of the long-term effects prompted by his particular profession, and he’s questioning these effects. Is it enough to discourage him from exploring his other talents? I hope not. I hope he pushes forward and pursues all of his interests, refusing to be pigeonholed.

Yesterday I met with a new client for an assessment appointment at the Magical  (though flailing, is still magical in its intent) Little Practice. One of the forms, among the confidentiality agreement and consent for treatment forms discussed in an intake appointment, is a form outlining the Benefits and Risks of Therapy. This concept, of the risks involved with introspection and discovery serves as a cautionary moment. Because, as the Chekhov quote above notes: we must do the work that comes with living authentically, creatively, expressively. Work on art, work on life. And it might not always be pretty.

Have you found this to be true? When you decide to participate in inquiry and introspection (whether it be to look for a new job, pick up a new hobby, start a new relationship, or start receiving therapeutic support), and specifically self-improvement and career aspirations, do you feel that rush of reactions? Excitement for the adventure; or, anxiety and grief in stepping away from the familiar; joy at exploring a new project?  Are loved ones in your life discouraging your leap of faith or change in direction? Or are they cheering you on with well-wishes of, “do whatcha gotta do, brother” ? The point is, not all feelings and emotions in reactions to a confrontation of uncertainties of goals are pleasant. I tell clients that as they embark on their journey of self-reflection and mental health improvement that it often gets darker before the sunrise. It can be intimidating to look in the mirror. Introspective folks might experience feelings of resistance (which is synonymous with fear) and may employ all sorts of creative strategies to sabotage our own plans.

I find myself in an interesting position these days. I am re-evaluating and gathering courage to jump back into the job market after a near-two-year hiatus. “WHAT??” You may screech.Wellllll…I have’t been able to sit down with my musical engineer to record the demo I had planned for last fall. But I have become a small business owner and tried my hand at becoming an independent practitioner as a therapist despite the abysmal state of this economy and the stigma attached to mental health improvement. But  for one, it’s a tedious, time-consuming process to build regular clientele who are willing to talk about their emotions (quirks eyebrow. I get that), and for another,  people don’t have any money to pay for services. Suffice to say, my little practice is on the verge of extinction, six months after opening day, and I still need to pay rent, and buy all the Top Ramen N and I consume for sustenance. While N is flourishing at work and fast-becoming the It Boy in his restaurant chain, I am a handful of weeks away from discontinued unemployment checks. Bottom line: This Other-Queen-In-Training has gots to get herself a J-O-B.  At least until the practice picks up steam, or until HRH Kristen contacts me and takes me up on my offer to help build the Halfway House Network…

Oh there is resistance, my friends. There is a cannonball sitting in my tummy. I am unsure. I have faith I can move forward but I also feel the fear. I have identified myself for the last decade as a psychotherapist who whole-heartedly pursued the requirements to become so. But after the disillusionment of BastardNation, I lack the confidence and desire to return to the corporate world. Fortunately, I, like Rob and Kristen, have been blessed with aptitude in a few areas: I can teach, I can create and perform music, I can babble and type these ramblings out to share with you kind folks…but can I do something with these skills? Am I brave enough to do something about it? After numerous pep talks via friends from around the world (Countless gratitude to @Kate_Suena in Canada, and my Aussie Besties @Ophelia2010 & @Justice_Aussie, along with my Cyber Sisters) I feel that I can. But…not gonna lie, you guys, there could be a resurgence of EMO-KJ with all these warring reactions of joy, exhilaration, frustration and insecurity. But perhaps I can look forward to donning a new work uniform soon?

Let the healing...begin.

Featured Royal Rebel: Helena Bonham Carter

While I’m not exactly speaking about reinvention, I have no problem encouraging it. At the very least embrace the idea that your uniqueness and colorful choices on career, clothes and the people you choose to surround yourself with can be your defining characteristic…Like this gorgeous Rebel. British actress Helena Bonham Carter, or HBC as I’ll refer to her occasionally, is the pinnacle of interesting and unconventional. And she does not care how she is perceived. She does not care how odd or unusual she presents, and perhaps that’s why we remember her…revere her…adore her.  We know her as a Queen already, on so many levels, and in many of her film roles (Lady Jane Grey, Queen Elizabeth, Queen of Hearts). It’s only natural that she’s featured on Musings’ Other Homecoming Court.

Helen’s first brush with acting occurred when she was sixteen years old, performing in a television commercial. She reports no formal acting training. She began her career when she entered herself in the British Acting Directory Spotlight with her winnings received from a writing contest. As she has stunning charisma, it is not surprising that Helena comes from a family of a prominent political background. HBC’s paternal great-grandfather H.H. Asquith was Prime Minister of the U.K. (1908-1916)  and her paternal grandmother Violet Bonham Carter was a famed political orator. Helena’s mother’s lineage is also impressive: her maternal grandfather was a Spanish Diplomat who was recognized as Righteous Among Nations for rescuing thousands of Jews from the Holocaust during the Second World War, her maternal grandmother was a Baroness and her great-aunt was a famous French Philanthropist. Her great-uncle, Anthony Asquith is Hollywood Royalty: he was the director of the films Pygmalion and The Importance of Being Ernest. Truly she’s a Royal who defies convention, the epitome of Royal Rebelliousness.

Her royal blood lines might not be as well-known to this generation, because we’re already preoccupied with her rule on film screens. An actress since the mid-1980’s HBC has appeared in over 60 films and made almost 30 film, television and radio appearances. The ingenuity by which she’s crafted her long and respected career cannot be denied. She has portrayed several twentieth-century “corset queens” beginning with her roles in Lady Jane GreyWings of The Dove (For which she earned an Oscar nomination along with SAG, Golden Globe and BAFTA nods)  and Howard’s End. But her remarkable versatility is what resonates strongest with her admirers. She has played Don Johnson’s girlfriend on the 80’s iconic TV classic Miami Vice, as well as Queen Elizabeth in the her most recent success, in the sublime and inspirational The Kings Speech (for which she was nominated for her second Academy Award, and for which she won a BAFTA). Somewhere in between those roles she has participated in such memorable films like A Room With A View, Twelfth Night, Fight Club, Frankenstein, Mighty Aphrodite, Harry Potter Movies 4 through 7, and four of her partner Tim Burton (And fellow Majestic Misfit)’s films including: the surreal (and my fave) Big Fish and the awesome Sweeney Todd.  HBC’s mother Elena is a psychotherapist (*fist pump in solidarity!*) and Helena has paid (and may still) pay her mother to review scripts with Helena to uncover the “psychological motivation behind a character” before she decides to take a role.

In 2009, HBC was named in the  Times’ as one of the Top 10 British Actresses of All Time . Not too shabby, eh? Perhaps the fact that she can wear mis-matched shoes and constantly top fashion magazines ‘WORST Dressed’ List is meant to truly illustrate how this talented, cool, unaffected beauty embodies Rebel Royalty at its finest. She has reported often that she is tired of the labels as “Prim Edwardian” and instead wants to “shock people out of it”. I simply adore her insistence on living her life her way, despite cautionary advise or the blue blood lineage. She doesn’t match shoes when on the red carpet. She hasn’t married her long-time partner Tim Burton, and she does not live in the same home with him, even though they have been a couple for ten years and have two children together. Instead she and Burton live in adjacent residences, connected by a hallway. Awesomesauce.

Offenses of Otherness:

Successfully balances independent projects with blockbusters.

Does not adhere to industry standards of “fashion”. She creates her own.

“I’m the kind of actor who has ventured into escaping from me.”

Ahhh well, we’re wrapping up today’s Musings on the risks and benefits of taking the leap towards introspection and reinvention. Rob became a little introspective in his Vanity Fair interview and it could possibly be the key to his liberation. Kristen, our Reigning Other Queen knows she wants to be an actress and the film projects funneling her way imply, at least to me, the potential for Greatness, despite the fact that she’s taking on yet another iconic role of which she will single-handedly redefine the antiquated standards attached to it. Pfft. She can do it for a Disney character. She schools us on how to question and pursue change daily.

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

She’s back in Vancouver with her friends and colleagues from the Twilight Saga, and even though she has HottieBodyGuard and Agent Security Blanket John, she is proving day in and out how stealthy she can be. Her focus, as Robert says, is on her career trajectory as an actress, as it should be, because girlfriend is goood at her job. She reports knowing she wanted to be in the business ever since she was a little girl, growing up on sets where her parents (TV producer father, screenwriter-director mother) worked. Our Reigning Queen has the ability, like our Featured Rebel HBC, to lose herself in a character, becoming almost unrecognizable. We did not see a trace of our Valley-girl KStew beneath the heavy eye liner or shoulder pads in The Runaways. Nor did we see her in the battered but resilient Mallory of Welcome to The Rileys. However, if our girl wants to write or produce or compose screenplays, as she has said in the past she’d like to try, I can’t see anything holding her back from exploring those avenues as well. Her ability to be versatile, open and courageous reminds me that there is possibility for longevity and fulfillment in anything.

Offenses of Otherness:

Does not desire celebrity nor fame.

She does not adhere to industry standards for “fashion”. She creates her own.

“When I go onstage to accept an award, they think I’m nervous, uncomfortable, and awkward—and I am—but those are bad words for them.”

All right my lovelies….We talked about the beautiful stills and trailer from Water For Elephants and about the fantastic news that our Queen Kristen will actually be Queen-in-training Snow White on the big screen. We talked a little about the beauty of versatility and the courage to question ourselves and our paths. We talked about job hunting (which I don’t think Kristen nor Rob nor HBC will struggle with) and the resulting emotions that come from doing the introspective, clarifying work…emotions of elation, as well as melancholy and irritability. But that’s ok, whatever it is, however it presents itself. We all still hold our spots on the Homecoming Court for Otherness.

Helena is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others realize that to work on their art, they work on their lives.

Embrace your Other.

*   *   *

QUESTION: How has it been for you to embark on new journeys? Have you met resistance? If so, from whom?

A/N: Thanks to JRollin5, MyCleverAlias, Possum Besties Jai and Aai, and my CyberSisters Bellsy and Cheermom and to the always present and brilliant Bouffant. Thanks to Katie for hooking me up with texting abilities. Thanks to my family Puss and Monkey for taking me to the museum  to see the butterflies and the piranhas (in the A-Ma-ZON).

Sending love and light to friends struggling this week: EACNM, BELLSY-BAI, LISA, CHEERMOM…and my dear IRIS ADRIENNE.

I donated to two fandom charities this week for causes near and dear to my heart. Wont you join me?

FandomsFightTheFloods and the charity Take Back The Night through the Fandom For Awareness Against Sexual Assault.

Next week I hope to contribute to the Fandom Against Domestic Violence and Fandom Fights Mental Illness.

See you next time, loves. xo, KJ

You Already Know

2 Dec

What happened to fury?

What happened to accuracy

or accountability?

What happened to kindness?

What happened to teenagers kissing, instead of blogging and dissing?

What happened to teenagers marching and refusing

Instead of exploiting and using?

I say let’s speak it

Let’s fight it.

Let’s right it.

It sucks but it’s true.

It’s you and me, baby.

~You Tell Me How To Be a Girl In 2010 by Eve Ensler

Well, my dears, we’ve somehow moved to December…How did this happen? I hope this week finds you lovely folks sated and in the throes of preparing for family gatherings, consumption of obnoxiously large meals; scoping out too-sweet-to-ignore-sales and observing spiritual and religious traditions of great importance to you and your tribe. Last week, you all sent such wonderful declarations of gratitude in response to my own list of thankfulness, regardless of whether or not you were apart of a culture that celebrated Thanksgiving as we Yanks do. Musings enjoys readership from all over the world (it rocks my socks off when I get notifications or a tweet/email from readers from faraway, exotic locales such as Bulgaria or South Korea for example) and last week we all joined in for a moment of gratitude for our Reigning Queen of Other Kristen Stewart and her beloved. It was truly an awesome, extraordinary experience. As usual, I bow down to you all for hanging with me in this colorful quest towards embracing Otherness and celebrating it as it resides in Kristen Stewart, in our peers and family…in ourselves.

Kristen’s excited for all the Otherness-Embracing too.

Ms Stewart has embodied vintage NinjaStew for the past couple weeks, in the aftermath of Braziliapalooza. She and her rakishly handsome partner were able to fly under the radar and spend Thanksgiving undisturbed, or at least, out of the public eye. There were moments of contention amongst the stalkers exuberant fans as different sources placed Kristen and/or Rob in four or five different locations ranging from Los Angeles to Colorado, Baton Rouge or New York over the holiday weekend, though one picture, clarified Rob’s location: In L.A., at a vintage guitar shop he has frequented previously. And we all know if Rob’s in L.A. on holiday, and Kristen’s on holiday, with an opportunity to be near her family, then they’re most likely together. They’ve  managed to master  The Stealth with their arrivals and departures to and from The City of Angels.

So much WIN in this picture. Beautiful new guitar. Beautiful old LB Hat. Rob.

A GIGGLY NARRATIVE

However, as it’s happened in the past, when there is a lull in NEWS from the K & R Camp, the natives get restless. Those of us left clamoring for glimpses of The Pretty revisit former interviews, images from now-legendary photoshoots (*cough* Harpers Bazaar, Interview, Nylon *cough*) and re-watch movies to take the edge off. Which movies do I watch when I need a shot of Lovely Kristen? Adventureland and Twilight with commentary (duh). So this week, partially due to my need to recover from the holiday weekend, what with illnesses and judgmental relatives, and also partially due to needing to fill my quota of Rom-Com/Holiday Movie viewings, I found myself hermitting. I pulled a NinjaStew if you will: watched movies, baked cookies, grabbed some ZZZZz’s; read copious amounts of fan fic and viewed Twilight with commentary (duh). Perfect timing, of course, as December 4, this Saturday, the Eclipse DVD drops in stores and arguably the most anticipated extra among the coveted special features is the audio commentary of the film delivered by the film’s leads: Kristen and Robert. OH. YESSSS. We didn’t have this luxury of the comedy duo known as Kris-and-Robert-Variety-Hour for New Moon. And even with Twilight, we were graced with the lovely, locquacious Ms. Cathy Hardwicke in the room with our Royal Rebels. Nuh uh. Not this time. Eclipse boasts a narrative featuring long-distance chatting and giddiness as Kristen was in Montreal filming On the Road, and Rob was in Los Angeles having wrapped up Water for Elephants filming. It was about the time, if you’ll recall, that Rob and his bestie Tom Sturridge (whom I ADORE and watched Pirate Radio during MovieFest last weekend for my #TeamTommy fix) were spotted on at least two separate occasions at In-N-Out. Perhaps this jogs your memory:

Try to catch me Ridin Drrrty

*Small Spoiler*–as I know several folks holding out (admirably, I might add) to listening to the commentary before the DVD release–Robert commences the narrative while munching on an In-N-Out burger. This act taunts Kristen who is far away from her hometown, her significant other and the obscenely delectable aforementioned burger joint at this point in time. While Rob munches on his burger, and notes aloud he has a second one awaiting consumption, Kristen reports that she is “harboring hostility” that Rob is enjoying such yummy goodness without her, but also publicly and audibly. So this is all within the first 5 minutes of the commentary. *End of Small Spoiler*

I personally think Kris and Rob should take their chemistry and comedy act on the road. They are magical and create a joyful synergy together. I would love listening to their running editorials on daily life: Taking out the trash, breakfast foods, wigs, and relationship advice. If you haven’t listened to a commentary by Kristen and Rob, I suggest you drop what you’re doing and pop in your copy of Twilight and get on that goodness, because come Saturday, Version 2.0 Bigger, Better, Gigglier is ON. You won’t be sorry. It’s especially nice to “witness”–or hear–a relaxed, comfortable and unguarded Kristen Stewart. All the qualities we admire in our Reigning Queen are expressed: intelligence, awareness, humility, compassion, humor, articulation, giddiness, respect and generosity for colleagues, knowledge, kindness…and affection for Rob.

You can actually HEAR this in the commentary

YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO

Commentary greatness and my personal Recuperation MovieFest aside, I also revisited previous interviews that Kristen gave in the past year as I formulated this week’s Musings. I stumbled upon a January 2010 interview that Kristen gave to British Fantasy Society’s publication Dark Horizons and per usual, I was stuck by the poetry and synchronicity of the moment. Kristen spoke about the theme for this essay, before I had written my thoughts down. I just kinda knew. Every week, my process for writing Musings varies. Often, I take cues from what is happening in Kristen’s life for an opportunity to reflect and weave the event into a theme that is evident in the fandom, or in society as a whole…in our lives. This week, in a reversal of fortune, the theme for Musings presented itself through a personal experience in my own life. Afterwards, I found an interview in which Kristen alludes to a parallel experience. Yet another reminder that we really are all not so different, hmmm? Others together.

I encountered a rather jarring situation which had me pondering (“long-thinking” as my friend @ellelala refers to it) subjects such as intuition, resilience and self-preservation. And Kristen, speaking to Dark Horizons interviewer/author Paul Fischer, spoke of adversities she faces as a professional,  self-preservation and awareness.

“For me, the biggest adversity I face is The Bloggers….Suddenly, I can get anyone’s opinion at the click of a mouse. [Hearsay via media] is sometimes really very destructive…”

This statement of Kristen’s has me recalling the pervasive and destructive feedback she received (without having asked for it) when the pictures of her wearing her bikini while filming the honeymoon scenes in Breaking Dawn hit the world-wide-web. As I reviewed last week, pictures like this—

…unwittingly and unfairly triggered bloggers, and sadly this includes a handful of Fanfiction authors, plus anyone with access to the internet and a public “entertainment  news” site to give their opinions on Kristen’s physical form. Whole posts were dedicated to zooming in and analyzing Kristen’s anatomy.  More alarmingly, a rather unethical, smarmy “reporter” from a Brazilian reality TV show posed as a crew member and  breached set security to videotape/screen capture images of Kristen and Rob on the set of Breaking Dawn, during private moments when the film cameras were not rolling. The undercover TV reporter was in an uncomfortably close physical proximity to Kristen. While I only glanced at perhaps two images from this event (I declined to look at the video or the screen caps before they were seized by Twilight’s production company, removed from the internet), I felt a heavy ball of dread in my stomach and a concern for Kristen and Rob’s physical safety. Sheds a whole new light on Kristen’s now famous statement comparing paparazzi intrusions to feelings of “watching someone get violated (raped?)” doesn’t it?  So there it is, my Musings topic: Intuition and self preservation, or rather, the moment our intuition (aka our inner voice, our body’s protective system) kicks in and sends us warning messages for self-preservation and survival. Fight or Flight.

whispered the still, small voice

A personal story:::  Just a couple nights ago, I was home alone as N was away working. It had already grown dark (as it does in these days of Late Fall/Winter) and I was tucked away in bed reading and making notes for advertising the Magical Little Practice. Suddenly a series of loud, consistent knocking reverberated through our tiny studio of hardwood floors and little insulation against the unusual cold for this time of year. I was completely jarred upright. I did not like the sounds of the knocks on my door. I immediately tensed up, pulled the covers tighter around myself.  Every fiber of my being was yelling at me to NOT ANSWER THE DOOR. We don’t have an adequate peep-hole in our front door because the door is covered in sound & weather-proofing material at this time (N has since remedied this, as a result of this event), so I couldn’t stealthily make my way over to peek on my unexpected “visitor”. I immediately texted my husband and asked if he was expecting a delivery, or any visitors. He quickly texted back, “NO”. The knocking ceased for about a minute, but then started again. Loud, rapid, jarring raps (almost could be called pounding) against my front door, but no verbalizations, no one calling my name out, no texts announcing an impromptu visit from friends or family. I quickly deduced that this person was not familiar. Our little studio is one level apart of a larger house, and our front door is not visible from the sidewalk. The only way someone would know where our front door is, is if they’ve stood in front of it before, or they are actively seeking it out. Minutes, maybe five after the second and third rounds of sharp knocking finally silenced, I, against my intuition and bodily warning signs, cracked open my front door.

And saw…nothing. But my inner ninjaturtle  was screeching in my ear, demanding I slam the door shut, bolt it, chain it, and go back to bed, because something had been there just minutes earlier. So I slammed the door shut, and bolted it. After exchanging a few texts with N about what happened, I catalogued the event as a slightly unsettling, but otherwise not-unusual category.  I didn’t recall the warning signs until later. The signs, as I mentioned before, are produced when our body and our deepest soul recognizes what is happening long before our brain does. In his incredibly resourceful book called The Gift of Fear, Gavin de Becker urges us to listen to our intuition, and our body’s physiological need to continue existing. Why am I discussing this book right now in the middle of my weekly tribute to the Royal Rebel Ms Kristen Stewart?

Well, for one thing, I received a pretty sobering email from my mother, a day or so ago after the FORCEFUL KNOCKING INCIDENT. The letter outlined information regarding Mom’s friend’s brother, who needs a professional counselor to talk to, possibly through The Magical Little Practice. This brother, for safety purposes we’ll call him D, was the only witness in the case of murder. D had seen a man RAPIDLY, LOUDLY POUNDING ON DOORS of several different apartments in his building. The Knocking Man(iac) came to D‘s door too. D did not answer his door. Something inside of D warned him against doing so. Unfortunately, tragically, D’s neighbor did open her door. D’s neighbor was murdered last week. Thanksgiving holiday.  The murderer has been identified and is in prison.

DEEP BREATH. Are you hanging with me? I needed to tell this story for a few reasons, one, to process the sanctity and briefness of our time here in this world; and another, to pay homage and condolences for a woman to lose her life in such a horrifically violent way. Finally, I wanted to say this: We are entrusted with personal security systems within our minds and bodies and hearts, to protect us against people or things willing harm against us. The term harm encompasses destruction on many levels including emotional, psychological, spiritual as well as physical. I truly believe there is goodness out there, but I have witnessed darkness as well, in my profession working with the mentally ill, and simply as a human being, seeking knowledge for living in this world. De Becker’s book The Gift of Fear outlines and urges us to be aware of physical warning signs of danger–increased heart rate, an attacker’s body language, an attacker’s verbal language–as well as internal signals–our intuition, our instincts, our awareness.  I believe that De Becker’s guide also could and should be applied to awareness for emotional and psychological attacks as well. Kristen Stewart, our Reigning Queen, is subjected to and vulnerable to all of the above: Emotional/verbal, psychological, and physical attacks.

You’ve witnessed it, my friends. We all have: The Cyberbullying of fellow “fans”, heated arguments between Nonsensicals and Shippers (a name, which, for the record, I’ve never enjoyed or used when describing my support of Kristen and Rob), anonymous commenters degrading, insulting, mocking, writing letters about, publicly discussing and bashing everything regarding Kristen Stewart. Interspersed in these public ‘discussions’ are threats of physical harm, but more shockingly obvious are the verbal, emotional and character abuse unleashed on Ms Stewart. Guess which type of abuse is harder to recover from? OH YES. Countless psychological case studies have proven that people (women AND men) seek counseling support for the destruction of emotional/psychological/character abuse they experienced. Bruises and broken bones, while painful and horrific, will heal up again. Low self esteem, low self-worth, anxiety, depression and addictions can last lifetimes.

So what does a Rebel Queen do to preserve herself?

REBEL TIPS FROM REBEL QUEENS

I draw from my studies as a psychotherapist, practicing self-soothing techniques (meditation, playing music), self reflection and also, knowledge I’ve gained in my own experiences of being in danger. Aside from the clenching stomach, the increased heart rate, and the inner guide screaming in my ear to back away, back away!, I also hold first-hand knowledge of experiencing a fight-or-flight choice. I vaguely addressed once in the Musings essay titled  Finding Your Voice and The Courage to Sing Loudly, my own experience of having a man break into my apartment with an intent to assault me. I know my own instinctual drives were roaring loudly, and in my quest to fight and self-preserve, an eerie calm flooded my bloodstream and I could hear myself strategize survival.

Kristen’s survival plan has formulated based on her extensive experience in show business, as well as her observations of her peers and role models. “…a really, really, really thick-developed armor” is in place for Kristen’s friend Joan Jett, as Kristen tells Dark Horizon. “It’s a self preservation thing..she’s a survivor”. Kristen is referring to Jett’s ability to cope with emotional attacks at a time (during the 70’s and early 80’s) when the public would say and do anything in person (versus via cyberspace, which hadn’t been invented yet) to give their opinion of performers and public figures.

Kristen’s adversaries are the bloggers, The Bullshit People, the judgmental, the faceless, Screen-Named though anonymous attackers with an exorbitant amount of time on their hands. Also on the rise are a group of “fans” (who, are really another brand of not-really fans) who view themselves as supporters and defenders of Robert, and trash Kristen at every opportunity because they believe she is “unappreciative ” of Mr Pattinson. Though, I’m pretty sure there is more evidence of a mutual adoration between Robert and Kristen than the contrary…Liiiiiiike…..

Annnnnddd….

So there have been many ways that Kristen (and through her, for her, Rob) has offensively protected herself.

KRISTEN:

  • OWNS what is HERS. No apologies.
  • Keeps her private life PRIVATE
  • Declines joining any social networking sites
  • Keeps a close-knit circle of family and friends as her support system
  • Does things because she chooses to not because she is told to.
  • Employs her internal BULLSHIT DETECTOR
  • Looks the woman in the mirror straight in the eye~she knows and trusts herself and her instincts

And what can WE do as fellow OTHERS and Majestic Misfits to Preserve and SAVE our Fellow OTHERS from destruction?

WE OTHERS CAN:

  • Respect Privacy  and personal lives, especially if it is at the request of an Other
  • Refrain from getting pulled into petty fights on any social networking sites, with other supporters
  • Remember to USE WORDS WISELY–any bashing we do publicly, paints us in certain light as well
  • Remember we are ROLE MODELS in the community to people of different ages, cultures & backgrounds
  • Know and check in with our close-knit circle of family and friends frequently-they are who support us
  • Remind ourselves that if we “support” a Rebel Royal, we support their choices for happiness
  • Continue to EMBRACE OUR OWN OTHERNESS
  • Remember that WE ARE ALL OTHER

FEATURED REBEL ROYAL: CLAIRE DANES

I know I’ve had a lot to say today…But I did want to make some time for a modest introduction to an Other who has managed to walk outside the periphery of convention while in the public eye. Inspired by a musical selection on last week’s playlist, Late At Night, by Buffalo Tom, and the squeals of recognition from fellow AngelaChaseIsOther Supporters (looking at YOU, @DrownInIt), I decided to feature a Rebel Royal that I’ve grown up with: Actress and dancer Ms Claire Danes. Ms Danes was born in Manhattan, New York City, New York to a artist mother and computer consultant father. She attended Yale University for two years studying Psychology before stopping to return to film making. Attending a performing arts school while growing up, Claire whet her appetite for performance through modern dance and theater first. She was thirteen when she was a guest star on an episode of Law and Order. She was only thirteen when she auditioned for and landed the role of Angela Chase in the seminal and profound television series My So-Called Life. When the show was picked up for more episodes, Claire was fifteen years old, playing 15-year-old Angela. Angela Chase completely embodied the heartbreak and steadfast optimism of an OTHER as the short-lived TV series chronicled awkwardness, tension and disagreement with the parental units, crushing on the beautiful mysterious musician at school, side-stepping the lovelorn advances of the boy next door. But alas, a story this heartrending was perhaps only fated to last but a brief time, and after 19 episodes, My So-Called Life was cancelled. It did, however, maintain a cult following.

Particularly gifted at playing awkward, gawky, angst-ridden teenagers, Claire received her first Golden Globe and Emmy Nominations of her career when she was just 15 years old for her work in My So-Called life. She won the Golden Globe. After My So-Called life’s cancellation, she transitioned into film work and her star rose to quick heights with her role alongside high-profile actors such as Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon and Gabriel Byrne in the film Little Women. In 1996, Claire’s celebrity and critical acclaim rocketed to the stratosphere when she appeared as Juliet opposite Leonardo DiCaprio’s Romeo in Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. Claire continued to work steadily through 1999 with her roles in The Mod Squad and Brokedown Palace but she left acting to pursue her degree at Yale. When she returned to filmmaking in 2002, Ms Danes chose quirky, thoughtful independent film projects such as Igby Goes Down and paired her work with larger-budgeted films such as the Oscar-nominated film The Hours, in which Claire portrayed Meryl Streep’s daughter.

Baz Luhrmann called Ms Danes, “This generation’s Meryl Streep”, and her poise and confidence has earned her admirers in her many impressive colleagues and co-stars such as Oliver Stone, Francis Ford Coppola and actor/musician Jason Schwartzman..and she is the muse for or the subject of at least four songs released by several indie or alternative rock bands. She has experienced the backlash of publicity when she became romantically involved with her costar Billy Crudup at a disadvantageous time, and in 1998 she was publicly condemned by then-Filipino president Joseph Estrada when Ms Dane’s comments about the poor conditions of the Manila, Philippines film set for Brokedown Palace were taken out of the context to which she meant. She later advised that she had only been shown the “darker, underbelly of the City of Manila”, and did not mean any disrespect to the country as a whole nor to its people. The Filipino president deemed Ms Danes’s comments as “irresponsible, bigoted and sweeping statements”, to which she issued a public apology to the city of Manila, Philippines in addition to an official letter of apology. How has she coped with the adversity? Like Our Reigning Queen Kristen, she has learned from past experiences, and has opted to keep her private life private, declining to speak publicly about personal relationships; and she freely gives clarification behind any misconstrued statements in interviews.

WHO do you notice first in this picture? Our Rebel Royals FTW

While teaming with Offenses of Otherness, I’ll highlight an abbreviated list: She knew from  a young age that she wanted to be an actor. She kept a focus on her goals for performance and dance, and surrounded herself with supportive friends and family. Now 31 years old, with more than 25 films under her belt, Claire is married to actor and costar  Hugh Dancy, whom she met on the film Evening. She is just coming off the success of her Emmy-Award Winning performance in the HBO Movie Temple Grandin, in which Ms Danes portrays the ultimate Other: Temple Grandin. Temple Grandin is an American Doctor of Animal Sciences and a University professor with high-functioning Autism. Dr Grandin is the inventor of The Hug Machine, a calming deep pressure device designed to soothe hypersensitive people who experience Autism Spectrum Disorders. Pretty awe-inspiring, right?  Claire states that the point of acting is to share and connect with others, and she is aware and grateful for the ability to have a career doing what she loves most.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Willingly walked away from the business of acting to empower and remind herself who she is as person.

*Believes that fame is not a reward for working hard. Doing what she loves (acting) is complete fulfillment, the reward.

*Is extremely forthright and confident when she speaks her opinion.

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

I think we’ve established in this epically long Musings that our Reigning Queen of Other is a role model and pioneer. She has managed to cope graciously (even when her detractors are attacking her) by forging onward and continuing to partake in the craft that she loves. Kristen has an internal compass that guides her steps along her path of authenticity. She already knows what she’s doing. And it’s been absolutely miraculous to witness her journey thus far.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Unapologetically independent

*Strives for improvement of her craft and self, not for notoriety.

*Continuously cultivates self-awareness and strives for self-preservation.

~

CLAIRE IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS REALIZE THEY ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

* * *

Question:   I can think of several times when I overrode my instincts and suffered the results. I also can think of the times when I trusted my inner voice and was elated with the results. Can You?

A/N:

PHEW. This was about 4,000 words long. I have been struggling to process so many things these days, and I guess it has manifested in the longest Musings… ever. Thank you for hanging with me through this. Truly.

I wanted to thank my good friend @MissBettySmith, the brilliant author of The Gentleman From Washington State and Full Disclosure (my fave), with whom I shared a too-brief lunch today. In her latest update of TGFWS, Betty very clearly defended Kristen against people who are hell-bent on tearing down our Reigning Queen Of Other. Betty has a devoted following, with thousands of readers of her stories, and she is aware that she is accountable in how she expresses her values and uses her words . She is mindful of her many readers’ different age brackets, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. THANK YOU, BETTY!

Love, light and strength to my friend TEBBY and to my sister PUSS.

“Happiness is inward, and not outward; and so, it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are”~Henry Van Dyke

We are role models. We have voices. We have instincts to trust. We are Other. See you next time, my Majestic Misfits.

Gratitude for Stew and You

24 Nov

The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself. ~~Anais Nin

Hello, Beauties! Happy Thanksgiving Eve to those who celebrate this holiday. *Pauses. Clears throat. Adopts PSA Voice.* I really don’t think it’s fair to anyone (most of all, you) to kick this long-overdue essay off with apologies. So, I won’t take any more time away from Musings to explain the numerous and varying events influencing whether or not I could write in the past week, lending to a delay in posting. Just know that I have missed interacting with you and those of you who have been my cheerleaders (Hi, @deedreamer16, Periwinkle, @robkris13, OJ, @MoosikFreak , My Manager Kathryn *tearful goodbye*, @TheUrbanWhisk) I have a ginormous, overflowing wheelbarrow of gratitude for you . Aha! How apt! It’s the day before our Tryptophan Tradition (or perhaps mash potatoes and green bean casseroles for the non-meat-eaters) here in The States in which we celebrate collaboration, friends, family and gratitude. What are your plans, my Majestic Misfits?

err. This image is entitled: “The Absolute Antithesis of KJ”.                            Although I do dig the red dress. 

When we last were together, we enjoyed the fruits of the interview our Reigning Queen Kristen gave to Sarah Kuhn of Backstage. You also accompanied me through the retelling of my drunken birthday adventures in which I stopped for a moment and wondered how the hell I was so blessed, as 90-year old (give or take 15 years) saxophone player serenaded me with his rendition of Van Morrison’s Brown-Eyed-Girl and I swayed happily alongside him with a tiara on my head and Titanic’s Heart of the Ocean Necklacedraped around my neck. I recognize that  lot of the fortune in my life is on account of my own doing and a personal quest to break through the fear that bound me to Plan B (Convention. BastardNation. Living to work, not working to live). However, I recognize that much of the prosperity I have the privilege of enjoying attests to many factors…to which I dedicate today’s Musings. In honor of shopping lists and To-Do boxes to check off in preparation for Thanksgiving, I am preparing my own LIST (oh the office supply-lover in me is doing cartwheels of joy) to share with you today…

KJ’S LIST OF GRATITUDES

SEAN PENN

Oh I realize it might be a bit odd for me to pay respect to Jeff Spicoli here. But the controversial, Oscar-award-winning, paparazzi-punching (fuck yeah!), political-advocate (or detriment, depending on whom you speak with) is an integral, essential reason for introducing us to a talented, versatile and one-of-a-kind actress by the name of Kristen Stewart. It was Sean Penn’s keen eye that recognized Queen Kristen’s raw and startling talent. He cast her in the small 2007  film he directed called Into the Wild as Tracy, a young girl in a trailer park, enamored with Emilie Hirsch’s vagabond Chris. Penn praised Kristen in saying:

“[Stewart] is magically easy to direct…She’s a real force with terrific instincts..”

Sean Penn then went on to recommend Kristen as a viable actress to legendary, brilliant talents such as Robert DeNiro, James Woods, and Jake Scott. And Kristen, whose screen time in Into the Wild was perhaps only 15 minutes long, managed to ensnare and enchant other filmmakers including Catherine Hardwicke, Greg Mattola and a one Mr Robert Pattinson because of Penn’s introduction of Ms. Stewart. Since he was the mastermind behind the hauntingly beautiful movie Into the Wild , which in turn became the catalyst in Kristen’s career, I am grateful for SEAN PENN.

CEDRIC DIGGORY

Ahhhhh. Poor, sweet, tragic Cedric Diggory. I firstly should bow down to the brilliant J.K. Rowling, for many reasons, but for certain, one of them being she is who conjured up a Hufflepuff Prefect with a kind heart from her own imagination. Cedric Diggory’s decided fate triggered a domino effect of change and tragedy in the remaining stories in the series about a boy wizard. (I’ll take some time soon to gush and rave about the film adaptation Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows another time, but OHMAHGAWD, I thought it was incredible and unexpectedly moving).  The name Diggory first appeared in text in the third Harry Potter book, The Prisoner of Azkaban. However, we didn’t fullly realize and appreciate the gorgeous and tender-hearted Quidditch Seeker named Cedric until the fourth novel, The Goblet of Fire was adapted to film, and a British teenager named Robert Pattinson landed his first film role in his portrayal of Cedric. Because it was this character’s role that became the catalyst for Rob’s career, and therefore an integral reason behind why I’m writing Musings at all, CEDRIC DIGGORY is much, much appreciated.

CATHERINE HARDWICKE

For many of you, I won’t really need to explain my gratefulness for the Texan-born director of such films as Lords of Dogtown and Thirteen. Catherine Hardwicke was placed at the helm of directing and casting a small independent movie called Twilight in 2007. As her background was in architecture and design, I’d say our Cathy had a predisposition for crafting a compelling story. Catherine knew that Twilight had a devout following in readers of the books, but she carried the responsibility of translating it onto screen in a believable, respectful manner. She was cognizant that she was drafting a film based on material that could potentially be construed as gratuitous and hokey (those who read the Twilight books who did not love them often criticized the story as such), so she focused on the fundamental concepts of the series: The love story between the main protagonists, Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. In interviews, Catherine, in her sweet, sometimes tangential anecdotes, spoke of her awareness that without a believable Edward and Bella, there would be no Twilight. Ms. Hardwicke found her Bella first, when she glimpsed a young actress by the name of KRISTEN STEWART in Sean Penn’s Into the Wild (Remember we spoke of Synchronicity? Uh huh. Into the Wild was a pivotal event for Kristen, presenting her with her “Gift of Yes”). Hardwicke flew to Pittsburgh where Kristen was filming Adventureland to pitch the beginning ideas of Bella Swan.

“She [Kristen] had this longing and vulnerability that I felt was important for Bella to have…and she expressed it in a deep and important way…I loved her. I loved the idea of Kristen as Bella.”

I get it, Cathy. I do.

When it was time to cast Edward for the film, many months had passed into the casting process, and thousands of young men were considered. The casting director narrowed down the enormous list to approximately 50 hopefuls, and Catherine read with and auditioned  four of those fifty. . . it’s now steeped in Twilight legend in that Kristen read live with the four “Semi-Finalists” as Catherine refers to them, but could not find the electricity, the spicy friction that exists between Edward and Bella. Ms. Hardwicke reports calling all her staff, assistants and casting directors and begged them to search one more time for a young man between the ages of 17 and 25 to play Edward. Her assistants approached Hardwicke with a headshot and IMDb bio of a British musician called Robert who was in a Harry Potter film a couple years earlier. When Robert was brought in for a reading, Catherine reports feeling the “electricity, the buzz between them [Kristen and Robert]. Their chemistry was palpable…. It had to be Rob”. And Kristen, our resident Bullshit Detector and Truth Magnet concurred. The rest, as they say, is history. Because she directed and guided a film with her Indie sensibility, and that film later would launch an enterprise; plus she united twin souls and rebellious beauties in the process, I GIVE THANKS for CATHERINE HARDWICKE.

BRAZILIAN WATERFALLS  & BATHING SUIT THERAPY

*THUD*

Um. I don’t even know where to begin with this particular gratitude, since it spawned such a catalytic reaction with, like, everyone, and it broached absolutely essential topics of  having the rights to privacy, body image, self-esteem, and beauty. Perhaps that’s why I’m citing this event on my Thanksgiving List, because the pictures that triggered the discussion on these important subject matters provoked fandom interaction, international negotiations, new appreciation and a new level of awareness. On a small island near Paraty, Brazil, our Rebellious Royals were filming honeymoon scenes for the film Breaking Dawn. Beach frolicking and waterfall sight-seeing requires the actors to strip down, and so, well… they did.

this eventually is the EW cover via twilighteranonymous

Not gonna lie, when I first caught glimpses of these photos, my jaw dropped to the ground and I stared for maybe ten minutes before I slapped myself back to the present. First off,  I must say, our Warrior Poet Rob looks fantastic, obviously benefitting from his bike rides around the University lakes in Louisiana. And our Reigning Queen? Yeah. I think we have our definitive answer as to why she is ROYALTY. In my opinion, Kristen is glorious. She is fit, healthy and most importantly, confident.

So of course I found myself seething when commenters hiding behind anonymous screen names or Twi-inspired monikers began ridiculing, snickering and tearing apart Kristen (and Rob’s) physical physiques on public discussion boards. “Fans” (or, not-really-fans) began scrutinizing and holding discussions about her physical anatomy including her lady parts, chalking up reasons why she was in fact not beautiful. When a rogue and completely unethical Brazilian photographer captured pictures of Rob and Kristen in their private, off-set time, in which Rob was in his boxer briefs, and Kristen was wearing a different bathing suit top than the one for filming (which was absolutely sheer when wet), particularly offensive websites began writing whole posts dedicated to Kristen’s nether regions and her–in their eyes– less-than-satisfactory body shape (I can’t even begin to fathom their justifications. Nucking Futs–yes that is the clinical term).

She doesn’t even need a Wind Machine! Uh, Rob? Eyes up HERE. *points to K’s face*, though I can appreciate your appreciation of Our Queen’s Beauty.

There was no acknowledgement that these two people were victims of serious privacy invasion. There was no mention of the fact that it’s actually quite a courageous thing that Kristen did–walk around nearly naked in public for the sake of work, beneath a huge magnifying glass. Question: COULD YOU DO THAT?? More alarmingly, at least to me, was that all of this enabling of public exposure contributed to an event in which an undercover Brazilian reporter breached the Breaking Dawn set, and videotaped Kristen and Rob in their private moments, not filming, and off-camera. Nothing was too revealing, although the pictures indicated that this intruder and his video camera, came disconcertingly close to Kristen–physicallywithin touching range. Too Close. Ok, that is SCARY, guys. It is already disheartening to see these actors’ personal lives exploited, but it’s a whole new level when considering their physical safety from harmful or overzealous “fans” or paparazzi Vultures. This breach in security (um, perhaps bribery?) supposedly (and finally!!) prompted the film’s studio, Summit (intake of breath, hisssss) to call for a meeting to re-evaluate the privacy and safety of the film’s actors.

These pictures were released around the same time I was down on my third pass to my hometown for my psych seminar. I admitted to you all that I encountered some challenges to my Otherness while down there, touching on issues of career choice, relationships, body image and gender role expectations. I’ll delve into the subject another Musings, but the harsh public reaction to these pictures in combination with the hometown emotional confrontations took their toll on me, which contributed to my delay in even writing about these monumental times. But these pictures, of our very fit and confident (i.e. beautiful) Rebels, have indeed sparked an appreciation in me. I am GRATEFUL for BRAZILIAN WATERFALLS.

COLLABORATION AKA, SHARING IS CARING

Our rebels, of course, went forth as professionals and in a way that enhanced and openly featured their real-life affection for one another, both during filming and not. There were piggy back rides,

lip service of mutual admiration,

Chess strategizing…

the sharing of smokes…. (@greenangelice, did you not die when you saw this?)

And so while I struggled this week with breaking through gender roles placed upon me, writer’s block, insecurity surrounding my body and my hair (those of you with or without hair know what Imma sayin); moments of sheer panic about my pursuit of Bliss, exhaustion from 6 flights, a two-weekend psychology training, which required me to write  a philosophy paper, and a roundtrip road exscusion along the coast, I am exceedingly grateful for Robert and Kristen’s visual reminder to me that SHARING IS CARING, and that everything, everything is better, smoother, prettier, more effective and powerful when we COLLABORATE.

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN JAYMES STEWART

The theme, appropriately so, for this week’s Thanksgiving Musings is Gratitude. I am grateful for the Rebel Royal, the Majestic Misfit, the Beautiful, Unconventional Ambassador of Other, our Reigning Queen, Kristen Stewart. Without her role modeling of what a strong, unique, intelligent, fiercely dressed, authentic, courageous, grounded and lovely woman could be, there would be no Musings. I would not have met some of the most incredible artists, writers, musicians, students, intellects, teachers, friends, Other-Supporters if it hadn’t been for the resurgence of Kristen, this generation’s Smart Girl.

Courtesy of KBitch’s Tumblr

Courtesy of the sublimely named: ItsOkToNOTbeOK

REBEL ROYAL SUPPORTERS

And finally, but in my mind, most importantly, I am grateful for …YOU.  I wouldn’t even be here today, rambling on about Thanksgiving gratitudes and the joys of Collaboration, without the unwavering support of Musings Readers and friends, a large majority of whom I met through this fandom. In Spring of 2008, I was simply an admirer of an actress named Kristen and an actor named Robert, and flying high from a little romantic story involving vampires, humans and Teeth Babiesthat I avoided reading for months because of my own predisposed judgments. I knew of my 3D friends who were  teachers, therapists, writers, musicians, artists and UnderCover Others, aimless bliss-seekers and Majestic Misfits, but we hadn’t convened in this powerful way  just yet. Nearly two years ago, I thought I was alone in my appreciation of Kristen Stewart and Other Rebels, but between my experiences online through E!, Twitter, meeting my CYBER SISTERS & READERS and my KSIBTU Crew, melding these folks from 1& 2D into 3D, blending them with my 3D crew… you lovelies have me seeing STARS.  You have established a connection with me through numerous and varying channels (Twitter, Email, Tumblr, Comments)to remind me of the undeniable power of collaboration and the pride in being OTHER. You remind me WE ARE NOT ALONE.  I humbly bow down to you, and with awe and utmost respect, I THANK YOU.  I am yours completely, KJ

See how well we fit together? 

WE ARE OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS MAKE LISTS OF GRATITUDE, AND TICK OFF THE BOXES.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

QUESTION: There are several questions I’ve thrown out there to you in the Thanksgiving Edition of Sentence Completion Fun on the About KJ page…Check it.

Example: What is your favorite Thanksgiving Food? . . . What body part of your own would YOU save for posterity?

A/N: Have a wonderful THANKSGIVING. Again, thank you for flowing with me as I belligerently barrel through limitations and writer’s block; moments of insecurity, and bouts of exhaustion. You are never, never, far from my thoughts and heart.

Special acknowledgement to my Sister PUSS, my niece MONKEY, my big brother CHEW. You are my #1 support team.

Tearful goodbyes and sniffle-sobs to Kathryn, Keiron and L. I will see you soon on Skype. We have some serious business to pursue. I’ll keep the candle burning in the window so you can find your way back safely. #BoHoBayCircle

Buff, CC, Bouffant… you complete me.

My CYBER SISTERS/READERS: Happy Anniversary, Ladies.

I’ll see you all next week. We’ll talk Otherness, In N Out, Eclipse Commentaries, and the movement to stop the destruction of Others.

Carry On.

xx, K

The Places That Scare You, Part 2

16 Nov

So let go, let go. . .There’s beauty in the breakdown~~Let Go by Frou Frou

Ohai, Monday!! *peeks around with large eyes on an unfamiliar day*. I’m picking up right where I left off from Thursday, my Lovelies. Did you enjoy meeting our Featured Rebel Royal Zooey Deschanel? Well, It’s been yet another incredibly knowing weekend for me, and unbelievably illuminating weekend for our stunning Other Queen Kristen. I’m going to stick to my original plan from last Thursday by finishing up with the theme of pushing through fear and feature our Reigning Other Queen per usual, as well as tell you the stories of the two weeks prior to this essay. The two weeks included numerous Welcome to the Rileys viewings in which I spent a little time with lovely new friends, good friends, and a birthday party weekend that involved sparklers, bonfires, prosecco and a very comfortable and confident Kristen Stewart in her return to the iconic role of Bella Swan. Marking a return to regular publishing, this Thursday’s Musings, will address some of the more recent events (as in, last night) of security breaches, body image and the heartbreak and triumph of truly being OTHER in society. So where were we? Ah yes. HERE.

Annnd they're NOT filming in this moment...

Images and video from the first days of the Breaking Dawn filming began to surface over the weekend of November 6th, the same weekend I was down in my hometown for the soiree weekend commemorating my birth or some silliness like that. It was our first glimpse of Kristen in the vintage nude dress and Michael Kors pumps…and of the comfortable and open nature in which Kristen and Rob expressed their affection for one an other. Those dedicated fans in Brazil caught nearly every possible living, breathing second of time that transpired in those days of filming the honeymoon in Rio de Janeiro.

The anatomy of a high-five as demonstrated by Stewie and Flippy

And of course…some wandering hands…Which REMINDS me:  WHOA, Like, WHOA  you guys sure LOVED the gif at the end of Part 1’s Musings last week! Nearly all the comments and tweets I received in response came from those of you entranced with watching Edward Cullen familiarize himself with his new wife’s …ass..ets.

Well, it's KJ's birthday. Let's give her a gift, mmmkay?

I of course, was on my phone tweeting and texting with CC who was in the same room witnessing this onslaught of awesomeness in the company of Jamie and Kim, and I also was on Twitter with my girl @robkris13 while capturing the images alongside my Cyber Sisters & Readers. Each new picture brought the anticipation of Breaking Dawn (which surprises me since I’m not the biggest fan of that book) and elation in that Kristen and her partner Robert were showing public affection in between takes and throughout the whole night. These DAY ONE pictures only capped off what had already been an incredible week days. I wondered, did the Birthday Goddesses grant me my wish that Kristen and Rob would feel safe and comfortable enough to just be even while in public? Was my sceptre and tiara THAT POWERFUL? Or did my power derive from the pink diamond replica from The Titanic that hung around my neck?

Well I dunno, quite honestly, if the sceptre and tiara were the catalysts behind the epicness that is Day One of Breaking Dawn filming, but I do know that they were the reason why I kept having drinks and desserts comped by pretty-faced, bouffant-sportin waiters (I texted my girl Bouffant and told her the news excitedly about Pretty Waiter’s Bouffant), and why fruity shots and bottles of tasty prosecco were sent our way, generously. Tweet  from CC at 7:20PM:

KSTEWSBTRTHANU

Hottie waiter (with a killer bouffant and pretty face) just picked up @MusingOnOther‘s tab. #thankyouRitz now out for dinner! 7:20 PM

This is what we had been drinking before dinner, when CC sent that text.  Pretty, right? Note the beautiful sunset backdrop. The weather, not surprisingly, was stunning the entire week’s visit in my hometown. Hot, dry and smoggy which made for a breathtaking sunset every night. My girls among the KSIBTU Crew–@kstewsbtrthanu (CC), @just2cusmile (Iris), @jhiggs86 (Jamie) and @kimmcarr (Kim)–picked me  up  while dressed to the nines in sexy dresses and killah heels. We stopped (of course) at In-N-Out, because we are not on a healthy eating plan as the entire Breaking Dawn cast is, at least not this night. We made our way down to the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Orange County, which, for those of you who follow the timeline, know that Kristen and her “deliciously handsome” costar Robert have visited in the past for a low-profile getaway weekend. The view is …is…well…spectacular.

CC and Jamie held it together pretty admirably when a couple of the Real Housewives from Orange County sat down with a group for drinks at the table next to us. All this was going down while an acoustic guitar player, of course, strummed and sang Van Morrison songs (again, in honor of Kristen, Rob and Otherness? perhaps…). With a bit of reluctance, though not enough to keep us from missing out on grubbing on tasty food, we left The Ritz and headed to a small Italian restaurant for dinner nearby.

It was there that  I just became plain ole sloppy. There I was, in my tiara, with my sceptre, my necklaces of bling and Titanic proportions, all Ritz’d out and in the company of fine, fine ladies, when it became of utmost importance for me to…Charge. My.  Phone. It became  such dire necessity because my phone battery had died and I wanted to tweet, text, call The Goddess only knows who, and I knew I could charge my phone in Iris’s car. I thought it made perfect sense to excuse my self from the table to do this. In the car. Which was in the parking lot. I was drizzunk. The girls found my reasoning for trying to tip toe out of the restaurant hysterical.

Tweet from CC @ 9:38PM (post-prosecco, countless shots, comped martinis and a couple saxophone serenades).

OMG @MusingOnOther just tried to get up from te table to chart her phoeb  9:38 PM

My urgent need to charge my phone was Tweet-worthy apparently.  In case you were holding your breath in suspense, I did NOT get up from the table to “chart my phoeb”.  I sat there instead and fondled the baby salt shaker, caressed my beautiful necklaces, and wondered how the hell I became so lucky to be surrounded by such incredible people. What had I done to be rewarded  so blissfully this year? My answer is, essentially, the moral of this two-part essay:

I WENT TO THE PLACE THAT SCARED ME

With the same determination that Kristen Stewart, our Reigning Majestic Mistress of Other, immerses herself in roles to play off-beat, quirky, unusual rebels with resilient spirits who appeal to her soul, I determinedly began pursuing a life that resonated with my soul. To pursue the Creative Life which is filled with music, art, a BoHo Bay Circle, some Musings, Royal Rebels and Kristen Stewart…and was rewarded in ways that were wholly unexpected and light-years beyond any expectations I ever, ever had. I was laid off from my soul-sucking job over one year ago from Bastard Nation, and I walked away from doing psychotherapy and healing so that I could put myself and Hubby N back together again. We did not have any money (uh, thats still the case), we did not have a plan, we did not have a home, we had no idea what our next source of income would be. Despite the fact that I had spent almost ten years developing myself as a licensed mental health practitioner, and despite the fact that I was beginning to earn some decent money and status in my field, I chose to walk away. Scary. As.Fuck. My mother, my colleagues, my husband (maybe just a little) and some of my family members thought I was insane–ok, they still do–and they told me as much. They told me constantly how afraid they were for me. How they feared for my well being. And yeah, not gonna lie, there were moments where I was absolutely devastated and exhausted, and I recognized the bumpy path ahead of me. It was a World of “No”.  But I reconnected with that dormant part of me that wanted to express emotions properly, sing, play piano, write, and because I pushed “PUBLISH” on June 3, 2010, at the encouragement of CC and Bouffant, I opened the door to a positive world, a “Gift of ‘Yes'”, as Kristen says in the wonderful article by Sarah Kuhn for the publication Backstage.

Kristen's *Headdesk* is infinitely better than mine. Better than everyone's. Just sayin.

And The Gift of ‘Yes’ keeps giving…Kristen’s Gift of Yes manifested in the form of a successful franchise such as Twilight allowing her to “keep doing what I’m doing”. She is able to develop and work in projects that may not have had an opportunity before Twilight, such as Welcome to the Rileys, The Runaways, and On the Road. My Gift of ‘Yes’ keeps giving in that I have made the most wonderful friends who are stationed around the world through a fandom that I was merely an observer in, drawn to the charisma of an Indie film actress and a rakish, charming British musician who played the doomed Cedric Diggory in a Harry Potter film. Because I decided to go the scary route, I was able to walk away from psychology for a whole year and return just now, refreshed, thirsty, inspired, and extremely convicted that I can merge Plan A with Plan B, and be delightfully happy about it. Part of why these past 3 weeks have been so powerful for me, is because I was able to integrate my skills as a therapist trained in Satir’s Communication theory, and Carl Jung’s discussion of archetypes with this psych training seminar, into my world that has become important and prominent to me as a result of appreciating Kristen Jaymes Stewart. I realize quite contentedly,  I get to attend clinical psych trainings AND Bonfires with my KSIBTU Girls:

I have the privilege to build a “Magical Little Practice” for psychotherapy on my own terms, but with the knowledge that I am also an Other Queen in training. I have a plethora of positive reinforcers and physical anchors to remind me of this:

Gifts from my KSIBTU Crew girls. More on the KSIBTU Scrabble Tile necklace in the A/N.

I am writing this on Monday, in the aftermath of the HOLY HOTNESS,-KRIS-AND-ROB-ARE-IN-THEIR-BATHING-SUITS!! pics, and the disturbingly invasive video footage obtained through a serious breach in security (or massive bribery of a crew member) which showed our favorite Rebel Royals on set and in their down-time. So on Thursday, I’ll address those matters, but in the highlighting of our Reigning Other Queen today, I wanted to draw attention to an article that I alluded to earlier in this post, in which Her Royal Otherness Kristen spoke of The Gift of ‘Yes’. The  interviewer/writer Sarah Kuhn surveys Ms. Stewart’s career from her discovery in a Christmas play in elementary school up to what the writer refers to as “the recent indie sensation Welcome to the Rileys”. In the midst of a time when the scrutiny is intense on Kristen (you’ve seen the breakdown of a High-Five at the top of this post), this article champions Kristen’s dedication to an authentic portrayal of characters she embodies.

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

Aside for her penchant of posing in ridonk sexxah photo shoots (err, see above: shoes…hose…is that General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard in the background?), Kristen carries herself with a confidence and certainty that only a child raised in a show-business family can possess. Kristen was discovered by an agent when she was performing in a Christmas play while she was in elementary school. Her script-supervisor/director mother Jules and her TV producer/set-managing father John were always on a set of some sort, and Kristen, finding herself on sets with regularity was curious about “getting a job” in the family business. She always believed she’d be crew, a writer or producer, but when the agent discovered Kristen in that school play, she found herself auditioning for and landing parts in films at age nine. Her breakthrough role as the diabetic daughter of Jodie Foster’s character in Panic Room was granted to her after having to “work [her] ass off for it. It was not a quick thing”. In this writer’s eyes, Kristen appears firmly ahold of strong intuition, and her ability to pick new projects to participate in are solely rooted in her reaction to the story and a compulsion to do “the proper work” to authentically represent her character’s story.

Taking the role of Mallory, the near-broken, simmering and battered stripper/prostitute in Welcome to the Rileys was a decision made by Ms Stewart nearly two years after first reading the Rileys script. She did not believe she held the confidence nor maturity to play the part. She did not film the role until she was eighteen and had completed her work in Twilight. Of course, Twilight, and Kristen’s own path towards Bella Swan is steeped in it’s own now-legendary lore. Director Catherine Hardwicke, like Jake Scott of Rileys discovered Kristen’s unique charisma based on her small but pivotal role in Sean Penn’s haunting film Into the Wild. Hardwicke flew to Pittsburgh to meet Kristen while Kristen was filming the lovely Adventureland and introduce the idea of accepting the role of Bella in the Stephenie Meyer-penned saga. Kristen admits to Backstage, that she could not truly consider the project “of that magnitude”, but after her meeting with Hardwicke (oh Chatty Cathy I adore thee) and actor Jackson Rathbone (yum, btw. For those of you who aren’t Twilight followers, Rathbone is the actor who portrays Jasper Cullen in the films), Kristen found herself invested and hopeful about collaborating with Hardwicke in what was intended to be an “Indie film with a built-in, supportive following”. She had no way of knowing her participation in the Twilight Saga would alter her life so dramatically. However, Ms. Ambassador of Other  is thoughtful and grateful for the success of the franchise. If Kristen doesn’t realize it yet, this writer along with Sarah Kuhn of Backstage certainly are willing to imply: Kristen’s success today is a direct result of her steadfast reliance on instinct, and her courage to push beyond the fear. Her insistence on going to places that scare her has bestowed upon her “The Gift of Yes”.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Prefers the more challenging roles of atypical, non “pretty girls”

*Is filled with a sense of wonder and humility about high-quality projects she’s asked to consider

“I cannot make something work that doesn’t completely speak to me”

Welllllll….It’s super late now on a Monday, but I feel I’ve had the chance to talk a little about the gravity and importance of the past couple weeks for me, manifesting in a two-part Musings about trusting instinct and pushing through the fear. Rewards and opportunities for betterment are abound when we make the efforts to remain authentic despite the varying and numerous surrounding sources cautioning us away from going to the dark place. In psychotherapy and in supervision of psychotherapy (which was the topic of my psych conference these past two weeks), we engage in challenging what frightens us because it uncovers our truest motivations and values, our most authentic selves. In our chosen fields of work, taking the risk and pushing through the dark  may open up more opportunities to participate in projects close to our hearts. In confronting what scares me (and my mother),  walking a path different than what others and society would advise of me, I was lead to Musings, creativity, Kristen Stewart and incredibly enriching friendships with folks who watch Welcome to the Rileys with me, you , anyone  at the drop of a hat, several times (looking at YOU @ellelala, @robkris13, @kstewsbtrthanu @Just2CUSmile and @kimmcarr); wave illegal sparklers in the air (um, burning holes in fingers, much??), consume large quantities of pasta and wine, encourage a broke, unemployed mess of a girl to “PUBLISH”,  “SING” and “SHARE”…the benefits and rewards are extraordinary.

ZOOEY IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS GO TO THE PLACES THAT SCARE THEM, TO UNCOVER THEIR AUTHENTIC SELVES

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

Question: Is there something (someone?) that you have avoided challenging in your life for fear of the changes it brings? Have you considered some of the benefits of confronting your fear?

I’ll see you again Thursday to talk a little about the hotness that is Bathing Suit Therapy with Kristen and Rob, Breaking Dawn filming for Days 2-5…Falling In Love, The Ability to be Naked, Breaking Outta The Cage, gross privacy invasions, and The Pretty.  Thanks for hanging with me through this wonky posting schedule, Loves. I adore you madly. xo, KJ

Per usual. Me...awaiting an airplane.

A/N: The beautiful and ultra hip KSIBTU Scrabble Tile Necklace I’m wearing in the picture of my “anchors” is another @JHiggs86 Original. She is hoping to create more necklaces to place on her site at Etsy. Go there. She is insanely talented along with stunningly beautiful and kind. I couldn’t stop staring at her when I met her. CLICK THIS—> JHIGGS ORIGINALS

The Kristen Stewart interview and article I am quoting is Runaway Talent by Sarah Kuhn of Backstage <—CLICK FOR ARTICLE. Published 11/3/10.

Kathryn, thank you for grounding me as I floated away a few times this month. Get your SKYPE ready, we’re scheduling our Business Meetings for the next year now.

Possums Jai and Aai, Mari, Twi2, Macaroni, all my Cyber Sisters and Readers, we have an anniversary approaching, and you have been a huge blessing as a result of our shared love of The Pretty. You ARE my Life Now.

CC, Buff, Bouffant, my Team Other Captains, you push me further. You inspire. Gropages and slobbery confessions of love your way.

To the lovely ladies I met and spent time with in 2D and now in 3D in all my travels to and fro: @ellelala, @edmett @iampancakes, @Drowninit @KPattzNews @Robkris13 you are absolutely the best part of being in this fandom. Incredible and beautiful women you are. All of you.

Lastly, but not leastly, of course: MY KSIBTU Beloveds@KStewsbtrthanu, @Just2CUSmile, @KimmCarr @JHiggs86, I’ll NEVER LET GO. #iloveplayingwithfire #DoYOUknowtheGermanNationalAnthem? #Bonfires #INnOUT #WTTR #Sunsets #TeamRosendo #Froyo . Thank you for the most incredible birthday party. EVAH.

Watch your fingers, CC, my love. Serio. Not all CVSs are open 24 hrs.

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