[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I wrote this tonight, and was going to post it tomorrow morning when I woke up, then I decided screw it and I'm posting it now. If an Idol Week can be 12 days long and counting, why can't two Idol days overlap a real one!!! :)

***

I knew I should have just made in Week 14... if you've tried logging on, I'm sure you have seen the new terms of service agreement notice.

I've had a couple people email me about it.

I'm not going to get into what differences there are between this one, and the one that people previously signed when they got on the site. Mostly because I don't know what the differences are, and am probably the last person you should ask about these sorts of things.

I do know there is some concern that the Russians might be able to access your privacy locked entries and reproduce it. Because nothing excites Putin more than finding out about your sex life and reading your poetry. If it's poetry about your sex life - that's when it ends up on Russian state owned broadcast media.

This isn't the first time people have been concerned about what the Russians are going to do now that they own Livejournal. Nowadays there are people who are concerned about what the Russians are going to do now that they own the United States. ;)

People are afraid that they can't say the Vladimir Putin enjoys sucking dog's testicles. I am not sure why they would want to say that. Because obviously he's a great man and should be respected, and I would be saying that even if he wasn't standing right behind me right now with what I *hope* is a gun pressed into the back of my head.

Being in the US, I have a greater freedom knowing that it is unlikely that I will be rounded up and taken away for saying Putin really does love those dog testicles. Not that I *would* say that, because that would be a completely ridiculous thing for someone to say! Could I, or someone else, lose access if they were to say something like that. I'm sure it's possible. But I'm just as sure that they might as well shut down the Livejournal site if that happens, because really who is going to show up to use it (other than people really into Japanese boy bands)?

If I lived in Russia, I would probably feel differently. I'd probably have my own opinions on Putin and on the Russian government - and on what the rest of the world thinks about them. I wouldn't know what those opinions would be though, given that, as previously stated, I am not Russian. Or have I downloaded pictures of Putin committing those acts alluded to before, because seriously - who would want to see that???

Seriously though, I'm not sure what this is going to mean in the big picture. Or even if there is a big picture. I just know that people are talking about it, and if you, like me, hit the "agree" button, and are

I really wish this hadn't happened in the middle of such an important vote. But that's part of the deal, you play on the field you are given. So this week will play through as planned, and we will see what is coming next when it comes! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1000163.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Good morning!

Today is the final day of contestant only voting for Week 3! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/960470.html Pretty sure I know how this is going to go. BUT, as usual, "pretty sure" only goes so far... and is often wrong! So keep those votes coming!

***

Yesterday, there was a conversation that might have gotten lost given how busy the Green Room ended up getting. ;)

It was about the efforts of 2017 Revival/Livejournal Lives to "Make LJ Great Again".

I've noticed though, how quickly that tends to dissolve into a bunch of white people (mostly women, from the comments I've seen. That's probably just because LJ has always been "mostly women") sitting around talking about how awesome it was back when they used to be gather together to be nasty to other people.

Which I think is something not part of the discussion yesterday: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/961239.html?thread=82713303#t82713303 that there was a shift away from cyberbullying and the anon-communities ended up going deeper underground. (I've seen some folks express regret, or at least acknowledge that things got out of hand)

LJ definitely did a lot of the damage themselves through some "bad PR moves" to try to clean up the place, to make it safer for advertisers - instead driving away some of the folks they were trying to keep!

I DO hope that their efforts to bring more people back to the fold are successful. After all, a more active Livejournal has been something Idol has been doing it's best to achieve for years!

There are, of course, going to be naysayers. But I think it's a worthwhile tilt at the windmills.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Tonight is looming, like a big looming thing threatening to eat some of us.

Because that's what is happening.

The polls close tonight: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/953518.html

and at the end of it, two of your fellow contestants will be eliminated. Maybe someone you enjoy. Maybe you.

So if you have any last minute recommendations, or want to give some love to anyone who doesn't seem to be getting a lot of it, this is the time to speak up!

For those who survive, the new topic goes up tonight as well. (Technically, if you don't - there's always the Home Game, but that doesn't sound as final as the idea that you will be dropped into a pit of acid!!)

In the past, I've seen some surprising results in the first couple of weeks, people that I've thought had "no business" being eliminated. But that's what can happen - there is so much noise, that it's easy for something, or someone, to get lost in it. It's part of that struggle, to find a way to break out of it and get noticed!

So make sure to do your part to get the word out on YOUR favorites! (or even, if you think you are in actual danger this week, to make the case for yourself!)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3KK6CJfZ8c is Part 1 of the last Warren Zevon interview with David Letterman.

You can find the rest of the parts from there.

If you've never seen them, you should.

The one thing Warren learned about life that he wanted everyone else to know as well was "Enjoy Every Sandwich".

He talks about that philosophy during the interview.

Warren actually recorded an album just before he died, called "The Wind", again, if you haven't listened to it, correct that. There are bits in there, knowing that he was near death that are extremely poignant.

I'm sure that there are those who aren't on my FB, so you don't know this - my friend Bruce died yesterday.

He was older, and suffered from Crohn's disease. Which, as they say, isn't a death sentence but some of the side effects can be. In his case, you know how you hear those commercials that say one of the side effects of a medication could be *death* and you think "Who would take that????" That's one of the medications they were trying on him to make his life manageable - and the side effects put him in the hospital and eventually killed him.

I was emailing back and forth with Bruce a few days before he went into the hospital. He didn't let me know anything was wrong. I only found out when his wife responded to something instead of him and let me know where he was... and a few days later let everyone know he was being taken into hospice care. Yesterday his son let everyone know of his passing.

Bruce was Christian. The kind that you think "why aren't there more of people like this?"

He believed that his faith was a calling to help people, and love his neighbor as himself. His facebook was full of calling out of those who claimed that their religion was compatible with supporting intolerance, racism and xenophobia.

He loved music - which was one of the early things we bounded over. I met him as the father-in-law of a friend of mine and became friends ourselves. That love is probably what is making me connect him with Warren. Because I'm thinking about Bruce right now, and I'm always thinking about Warren... Well, that and he owned a shop where he made sandwiches. (he used to have a catering business - then went into the corporate world only to one day decide to quit and open up his own shop)

There's voting going on: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/876790.html and of course this is still a competition, so I don't want you to lose sight of that.

But, right now, and in the new year - remember to take the time to enjoy every sandwich.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Your break is coming to an end soon! (for that matter, so is your year!)

Be ready, because we are going to hit the ground running and not really let up until this thing is over!

Until then, have some FREE TOPICS: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/818372.html to keep you in practice!

In "Gary does a commercial" news: TODAY IS THE LAST DAY for the original run of the LJ Idol shirts: http://teespring.com/LJIdol So if you want one of those, once today is over, that window is closed.

There *is* an alternate version of the shirt that will be available for 7 more days - but it's not looking like that will actually reach it's goal. http://teespring.com/LJIdol3 (and yes, there is a Purple Hoodie)

One other piece of news - as I said I would be doing, I am in the process of updating the Patreon page to reflect us moving forward passed Season 8. I've added a "Mini-Season" option where anyone coming in at the $5 level will get an automatic spot +1 (that they can give to a friend). So if becoming a Patron was on your New Year's Resolutions, it's definitely a good time to do it! http://www.patreon.com/user?u=70027

***

What was the most unexpected GOOD thing to happen to you in 2014? (other than me. That's the obvious one!)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Last night, I received one of those emails you always like to picture getting - but never think you will.

It was from Livejournal, telling me how great they think LJ Idol is, and what they are willing to do to help it to grow, and how much they want us to stick around.

I would have felt better if I didn't then ask around to other community moderators that I know and find out that they sent out the same email to a lot of other people. (Not sure if it was everyone, the Top 50/100/500 of communities)

It was like coming into your office to find it decorated and there's a cake - only to realize halfway through thanking people that it's for the *group birthday* of everyone born that month, it's still a really nice thing, and you appreciate it - but for that split second, you thought it was just for you. ;)

It's nice to know thought that Livejournal is planning on getting more proactive and working with their communities. Personally, I wouldn't be disappointed if they wanted to spend a little less time on their ONTD brand and threw some love at people actually *creating original content* on their site. But I'm a little biased. :)

***

If YOU want to throw a little love at people creating original content on Livejournal - now is the perfect time to do so, in the poll! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/809247.html There is also a Contestant Only vote this week, and a few people who still need to get me their votes. So make sure that your voice is heard!
It's interesting to see the differences between the public voting and the contestant only. There is the potential for some heart-breakers... then again, at this point, isn't *every* option going to break some people's hearts?

There is also the Home Game/Killing Floor: Which, if you have participated in that, with either TWO pieces of constructive criticism, OR submitting one piece to the KF and giving someone else constructive criticism - you are eligible to vote for who will receive immunity this week! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/808357.html And yes, this is open to everyone and even more importantly - Immunity is always important, with a week like this though, with how close some of the votes are, it could be the difference between who stays in, and who will be leaving us this week.

***
KF eligibility and the getting me your votes cuts off at 7pm EST tonight.
The Contestant Only vote cuts off at 8pm EST tonight.
The public poll is closing at 9pm EST tonight.

Yes, tonight is going to be interesting!

December is starting off with a BANG!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Maybe the last time you voted things didn't turn out exactly how you wanted - but now is the chance to get it right!

http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/803824.html

Consider it an extension of the "Love Threads", but instead of comments - if you love what they are writing, and want to see more of it, give them votes! :)

***

I've been seeing more and more online clashes along gender and racial lines. Is it actually getting "more heated" or am I just hanging out in the wrong places? Should I be playing more Farmville? (or whatever game is popular now)

***

BTW - Happy Veterans Day to those who have served!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Trying to catch up with the news over the last couple of weeks.

I saw bits and pieces from facebook. But if that is to be believed, the only things that happened were the NFL suspending Ray Rice for only two days, Tony Dungy saying he wouldn't draft Michael Sam and the situation in Gaza. Well, and people talking about Darlena. :)

Other than that, I really didn't see much.

So fill me in - what interesting stories have I missed over the last week?

***

The BIGGEST STORY of the week, of course, is the one unfolding right now: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/763043.html

Idol contestants locked in a battle to the death!!!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Wizard of Oz opens in Kansas. Bleak and boring Kansas. A place that Dorothy Gale wants to escape from.

We see her. We see her life. We have a sense of who she is, and what "normal" is like for her.

In the film version, they go from black and white of Kansas to the multi-color of Oz, giving us a visual sense of just what that experience was like for her.

I mention this, because I started reading a book. Not any of the Oz books, but another "person gets whisked away into a fantastic world" and although the writing was good, I just wasn't getting into it. I couldn't figure out why.

What I realized was that it jumped right into the story. Someone was bored. Boom they were taken somewhere else.

We had absolutely no sense of who this person was or what their life was like. Might the book explore that further? They probably do. (or at least I hope they do) But that grounding of reality is important, otherwise when you rip it away, why should anyone care?

It's not just fiction either. Prose of any kind needs some kind of entry point. Maybe it's the character who is being introduced to a fantastical place, alongside the reader. Maybe it's setting up the "normal life" circumstances of a non-fiction piece, just before (insert life events here) happened.

What are some of the things that can make it more difficult for YOU to slip into a story?


***

Btw - Contestant Only Voting is still going on! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/756961.html So make sure to get your votes in!

I'm going to go ahead and mention this, in case it hasn't crossed your minds: The longer you take to vote, the longer it is going to take me to count! I say this because every year there is a HUGE influx of votes in the last 6 hours or so. And then people sit around wondering why I don't have results up yet! ;)

Obviously, take the time you need to read and decide. But, if you have the opportunity to vote before "last minute", do so. If not, then please be patient! :)

***

There is also a Killing Floor happening, that seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle - with people putting themselves out there, asking for concrit. I hope you can give them some love!

***

I asked this in a thread yesterday - but it kind of got lost as well:

Since you can't see the votes. WHO do you think might be in trouble, but *shouldn't be*?

Basically - who deserves to get more attention from your fellow contestants than you perceive them as receiving?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I’m looking forward to reading an article like this http://news.yahoo.com/miss-church-apologizes-barring-black-couples-wedding-unbeknownst-233716061.html , 40 years from now, about a church that bars a same sex couple! Because that will mean that the brand of small mindedness has become newsworthy and unusual.

It used to be that people lined up to *stop* other people from going somewhere to eat. Now that trend has reversed to standing in line to eat to stop people from doing other things! :D

***

I’m *still* seeing more about the Colorado shooting than the one in Wisconsin. Apparently, the Sikh temple should have been showing a blockbuster movie. Then they could have had a tie-in for the story other than “racist psychopathic terrorist guns down innocent victims”.

Which, apparently you need to get the coverage… that, and it can’t happen on the weekend. Murderous rampages on the weekend don’t carry the same internet outrage.

(edited to add: Places to give, if you are so inclined: https://www.wepay.com/donations/wearesikhs

http://www.indiegogo.com/milwaukee-sikh)
***
Speaking of “internet outrage” – two of the seven Idol contestants are across the finish line, cementing their place in Idol History!!
The rest of them are coming along quite nicely (I suspect the last two just haven’t linked yet): http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/594381.html

So make sure you congratulate them, and cheer on the rest as the deadline approaches!

***

Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO [livejournal.com profile] zia_narratora! Our first Work Room mentor of the Season!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Why hello there! Have we met somewhere before?

You all look somewhat familiar, I just can't quite place you.

Whatever. I'm sure it will come to me, and if not, well I won't be hanging around here very much longer anyway!

For now though, have you seen this neat thing that I found over in the corner? It's a poll! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/477868.html with what looks to be some pretty high stakes!

Maybe you should check it out before it ends tonight!

***

How was your extended weekend? Or for those not blessed with FREEDOM, how was your weekend + Monday?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
On the last day of Break, the evil one gave to us. . .

a link to the powers that have been selected so far, and who has them http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/407352.html

Tomorrow we get back into the swing of things.

How was your break? Are you ready to jump back into things?

Are you sure? *cue ominous music*

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