[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I spent all day yesterday trying to flush something out of my eye. Which involved a lot of being in pain. (I thought you'd appreciate knowing that)

Then on the way home today there was a bus that never showed up - followed by another bus that took a *long* detour (really weird considering how easy their detour could have been... but I digress...) and a general grappy day at work.

I apparently decided to top it off with completely spacing that I said 8 instead of the usual 9. Why did I say "8" in the first place? Who knows. I don't! Had my eye still not been bothering me earlier, I probably would have took a closer look at it. Of course then I would have been flipping out trying to log on from my phone and figuring out how to close two polls in the span of a couple seconds...)

At any rate, thank you for the emails.

Because of them, I did get a screen shot of where things stood within 10 minutes after it ended. I know there were a couple last minute surges though that may have come after the poll would have been closed... it's one of those decisions that I'm probably going to get wrong regardless of what I do. That's why they pay me the big bucks though. ;)

I was going to add scores together or take the top few from each poll and give them something special - but I was looking at giving advantages to roughly half the field at that point. So since this week was unexpected with the dropouts, and unexpected with me missing a poll closing, I'm going to do something equally unexpected:

I'm giving the advantage to everyone!

That's right, it's an even playing field.

The 10 remaining contestants have each received ONE TOPIC BYE.

Not the usual bye, which covers a week. But one that covers an individual topic. (If there are two topics that you would need to write that week, you would only need to write one... if there are three, you only do two... and so on)

You can use them between now and before we hit the Top 4, and yes - you can give them away if you really want to do so.
Sorry to those on top of the polls. (Although you are getting what you would have received anyway!) But congratulations to those on the bottom.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The poll closes tonight http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/926149.html and we will see who is going to emerge with an advantage for this last stage of the competition!

Looking at the slate of talent, it's kind of difficult to tell who *doesn't* have an advantage! So it's going to be who has the "outside" advantage!

Will we see familiar faces in the finale? Will people who have never been there before show up? Will it be a mishmash and over the next couple of weeks we will have no idea what's going on until it actually happens? (Betting on the last option)

Whatever the finale looks like - it should be exciting, and the road to get there will doubtlessly have a few surprises in store for us all!

***

How was YOUR weekend?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
What has surprised me over the last couple of months is how popular dabbin' seems to be with suburban white middle school kids. Almost every photo we take these days has a dab and non-dab version to it. ;)

I mention this because I was aware of the dab and a little bit of where it came from, so I wasn't *that* surprised to see it start happening in my every day life. Well, I was... but it does make sense. If the elbow goes up to show your confidence, who needs to be making a show of confidence more than middle school students?

There was one cultural phenomenon though that completely blindsided me yesterday, to the point that I had to look it up to see if it was a really a thing or just one person. It's nothing that has appeared in my own life, other than in a discussion of "stuff that happens".

Funeral selfies.

I looked it up. It's a thing. It's actually (apparently) fairly common among a section of the population. I'd never heard of it. Which made me wonder if funeral dabbin was a thing. I didn't find any links any "think pieces" on it, but I'm sure it is... if it's not, it will be soon.

And since I mentioned it online - that also means there is now funeral dabbin' porn available, possibly Hitler-related funeral dabbin porn.

You're welcome internet.

You're welcome.

***

Also of note - this poll: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/926149.html Read, comment and vote for your favorites! It won't eliminate anyone, but it will give a couple people a leg up in these final weeks, that could help determine who is going to win this thing!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
A few words from [livejournal.com profile] clauderainsrm:

Good evening. Well, it’s not really a good evening because I have some bad news.

Well, it’s good news for some of you.

Because you are now the Top 10!

[livejournal.com profile] cheapxdate missed the deadline, and [livejournal.com profile] witchwife posted a sacrifice entry.

Personally, these are crushing blows, because I thought both of them added quite a bit to the mix, and was looking forward to seeing how they were going to take it to the next level in the coming weeks.

Their departure brings us the two contestants who were going to be eliminated this week, one from each poll.

So - what do we do now? I could eliminate more than originally planned… or do something else.

When push comes to shove - I’m going to “do something else”.

The contestant with the most votes in each poll will receive a special advantage that could help you win the competition! (or at least get you one step closer to doing so) I’m actually kind of excited to see how it will be used at this stage of game.

The poll closes Monday, May 2nd at 8pm EDT

Good luck to everyone!






[Poll #2043569]


[Poll #2043570]
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
If you're sitting around and get the inspiration to write, but you're out of the competition - that's why we have the Home Game!

The Topics this week are:

Yes, Anastasia
Game night gone wrong
Creeping Meatballism
Immanentize the eschaton!


Post the link to your entries in this thread!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
We're already at Deadline Day! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/924359.html

Time goes by so fast when you're having fun doesn't it?

It also goes by quickly when you have a pack of wolves at your heels. One of those is about to happen now!

Right now there is only 1 person across the finish line. Hopefully the rest of you will get there soon. If not, we have our winner. *cue dramatic music* as I continue to torment you!

***

So what do you have planned for this weekend, other than recovering from being tormented?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
All the talk about the "transgender restroom issue" has been reminded me of the talk about how "gays shouldn't be able to use the same restrooms/changing rooms" because they "might do something".

Which reminded me of the struggles of homosexuals throughout the years.

Which reminded me of my neighbor in the mid-90's, Larry.

Which reminded me that AIDS stole my VCR!

I had a VCR. Larry loved to tape movies and TV shows. He had an entire room that was filled floor to ceiling with tapes. (He would have *loved* On Demand viewing/Netflix/etc) He needed an extra VCR in order to record, and I wasn't using mine. So I let him borrow it.

Larry had AIDS and ended up dying with my VCR still in his possession - and the charity that he had left all his belongings to swept in pretty quickly and took everything, including said VCR.

I may have told that story before, but it's not something that I think of often... and it reminds me that AIDS needs to be stopped, before it steals anything else.

***

Btw - your deadline is tomorrow! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/924359.html Hope you've been working!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
"Where is the Green Room?"

I woke up this morning to go to my doctor's appointment. I was running late for the bus, so I figured that I would just post afterward when I got to work.

I went on the bus - over the bridge - to my doctor's appointment. I went in, it was a *really* sort talk (literally she hasn't seen me in over 6 months and just asked me if there was anything she should know about and sent me on my way). I got the paperwork for the routine bloodwork she wanted, and I was off.

I walked to the usual lab - which is near the bus stop and was thinking "I will be able to make this next bus across the bridge and back to work really quickly".

I sign in. Sit down. Wait to be called. I go up, hand them my paperwork and my insurance card - and they tell me that they don't take my insurance.

Apparently my insurance company has an exclusive deal with *another* lab company. So I leave and start trying to figure out where the closest one is... walk back another 15-20 minutes to the closest stop for a bus that will take me close to that location... and then wait...

and wait... eventually a bus shows up. I get where I need to go.

I go into the lab, they have me sign in and tell me "It will be 45 minutes to an hour wait".

I look at the clock. There is no commuter bus that will go over the bridge for at least an hour and half after I'm supposed to be getting into this appointment.

I text my boss to let know that I won't be coming in. (Fortunately I took the day off, but I told them I would *try* to come in.)

And I waited... and waited... finally I got in, and they had trouble inputting the doctor into their system. So I waited some more for them to figure that out.

Finally everyone was set - and the blood work itself went smoothly. Maybe the best it ever has.

So I caught the bus back to the station where I'd be catching the commuter bus... waited about another hour and half.

I thought "I'll put the Green Room from my phone while I wait!" But my phone was almost dead. So I figured I would do it when I got home...

Ended up missing the connecting bus after I got off the commuter. Sat in downtown Tampa until the next one showed up about a half hour later.

Eventually I got home, fixed myself a snack and felt something weird,.. one of my back crowns fell out!!! Note: My dentist was about a 15 minute *walk* from where I was at the lab. If this has happened earlier, I could have fixed it easily. As it is, it will be awhile before I can get back there and have it recemented.


So that's why there was no Green Room until right now - and that's the kind of day I've been having.

How has yours been going?

***

Your topics are at: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/924359.html, in case you've forgotten! :)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's the first morning of our Top 12! Congratulations for making it to this point. If there is "no rest for the wicked" though, that must mean that you don't even get to shut your eyes for a moment!

Because it's back to the salt mines!

Last night we had eliminations: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/923926.html

The new topics: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/924359.html

and the Grumbling Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/924662.html

Oh sorry, that last one is technically "The Work" room, but for the first night, that tends to be appropriate! It's part of a lot of people's writing process!

***

Idol's own [livejournal.com profile] puppetmaker40 wrote about a recent experience in a public restroom, that I think is important for people to read: http://puppetmaker40.livejournal.com/1093059.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's the Top 12 - time to shake things up a little bit!

You are used to seeing the list of topics and picking 1.

That's been nice.

But now you are looking at the list and selecting 2 of them! To make matters more interesting, we are also at the end of the first run topics! So starting this week, people who already had their topic selected will have the chance to have another of their ideas featured!

Those topic selections for this week are:

Yes, Anastasia
Game night gone wrong
Creeping Meatballism
Immanentize the eschaton!


The deadline to link both of your entries back to this thread is Friday, April 29th at 8pm EDT

Have fun!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
There's a different sense of balance that comes with doing two pieces in the space where you would normally take to due one.

People get into patterns and schedules - but deadlines (Idol or otherwise) don't also fit to those. Sometimes you need to shake things up a little bit.


You have four topic choices, and need to pick two of them to write. http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/924359.html

Which ones are speaking to you? Which square peg are you going to try to fit into the square hole and which into the oval?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I nearly decided that since Week 20 and 21 were nested, that I should post it all as one big post - the end of one poll and the start of the other. But, that wouldn't be fair.

People worked hard and put out incredible work in Week 20, I know it was difficult for people to reach any sort of decision at all - and the one that was reached is always going to end up hurting when that bandaid is peeled back.

Today we are losing two members of the Redemption Tribe, who definitely went down swinging:

[livejournal.com profile] aimercat and [livejournal.com profile] ravenshrinkery

We are also losing four from the main tribe.

[livejournal.com profile] tai823 sacrificed this week due to that damnable "Real Life" thing that I keep hearing about. So that means three are coming from the poll itself. They are:


[livejournal.com profile] az_starshine and [livejournal.com profile] grail76 with a 6-way tie for that final spot, meaning that they will be going to the Redemption Tribe to fight it out.

Thank you to all of you for coming out, and I hope that you will jump back on in the very near future for a shot at getting back into the game, coming very, very soon!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Maybe you saw it.

But then again, maybe you didn't.

In yesterday's Green Room, I offered a deal. People have been asking me for more time.

They think that this week's entries are exceptional - and they want to have more time to read them. They want to have more time to tell their friends to get off their butts and read them. Because they think this week is a testament to just how damn good the writers in Season 9 of LJ Idol are.

Well, that's not how any of them put it. But that's what *I* thought when I read them.

I thought "this is what I was talking about when I've mentioned how much potential I saw" and (of course) "this is why I love intersections!"

I almost offered more time when I posted the poll itself. I actually wrote a different time, before checking it against "The Schedule" and realized that I couldn't afford to do that.

But people have asked me for more... and that got me thinking.

There is something *you* want, and something *I* want... and our interests can coincide!

People want more time to vote in the poll: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/778354.html

I can give you that... for a price, and under my terms.

I'm putting this week's poll on a pressure plate.

To make it easier on you, I'm going to paraphrase the film "Speed" here:

I want active Green Rooms.

You can give that to me.

If THIS Green Room has 100 comments or more by 5pm EDT. (Thursday, before the current deadline) the poll closure deadline is moved back one day.

If the following day (Friday) has a Green Room with a 100 or more comments, it moves back until MONDAY. Monday... until Tuesday.

Tuesday, regardless of how many comments we get, the bomb goes off and people go home...

I will also be nesting the Week 21 topic into this mix. It will be coming tomorrow, regardless!

So, you - the Idol community need to decide how much time you want for finish reading entries, and what you want to say in order to make that happen! :)

I think it's a more than fair deal. Everyone wins!

Hopefully you do as well.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Because I thought I deserved it.

Because I was told no one would ever believe me, and even if they did, who did I think the police were going to make leave/arrest?

Because when you have someone on top of you, with their hands around your neck, choking you in the bed - and you kick them off - they are the ones who end up with bruises

See also "I'm too smart to leave bruises" and the only thing damaged by the butcher knife was the door that ended up with a huge hole in it and maybe my stuff that was thrown across the room and shattered *was* proper payback for being clumsy.

Because when I went to the family, I was told that it was "your responsibility now"

and when I sought help from an organization that is dedicated to stopping domestic violence, I was told "Just leave"

Because I said, and did, my share of yelling and things you can't un-say. Relationships are are complicated, even when they are working right - and there is always plenty of blame to go around for everyone involved.

Because your gender doesn't always dictate that you will make more or less than your partner, and you can't always just pick up and leave everything

Because I was young and in love enough to think that eventually things would get better - if I just tried harder.

Because I saw my Mother go through it and thought "that's just how relationships are".

No, these aren't random examples of why someone stays in a physically/emotionally relationship.

They are part of MY #WhyIStayed

All over the internet right now, because of the publicity of the Ray Rice case, people are speaking out against domestic violence and explaining why it's not always as easy as "if someone doesn't treat you right, just walk away".

People are speaking out for all of the women who haven't been able to get out of their circumstances - which is fantastic.

The downside of it is that whenever someone mentions that it happens to men as well, they are often silenced and told that their are trying to distract the issue, or that it's "minimal" and not really talking about. They are told "Men are stronger - they can stop it at any time", without really thinking about why men often *don't* use their strength to defend themselves in those circumstances - or why they just don't walk out and never come back.

I could just tell the story of my Mom and what went on there. But that isn't my story to tell. Heck, I'm sure there's a lot of it that I will never fully understand.

This story is mine though. I'm sure that there is still a lot of information that I *still* don't have and may never completely understand. My ex is a good person. I like her very much. From what I understand, the temper is still there and horrible things are still said, but the violence isn't. Which is good. I'm glad that she could make that progress and hope that it continues. For everyone's sake.

I've made progress of my own. I still overreact and I yell more than I should. My issues are still my issues. But I'm "better". I like to think that's it's because I've become a better person... but that may just be looking back and not having much respect for the person that I was, the person who stayed. It's one of those things you think about and wonder just what you would have done differently, and *when*.

***

With that uplifting, completely rambling,part out of the way - there's a vote going on: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/778354.html So get on out there and #helpthemstay!

(How's *that* for a horrible transition!!)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
A few words from [livejournal.com profile] clauderainsrm:

One of the $580 million dollar Powerball winners will be donating a million dollars to random voters in this week’s poll! But only if they read all of the entries and comment! So make sure to share this status with all of your friends, and encourage them to support their favorites!!


(Note: This might not be any more true than it was in 2012, but who knows when that Powerball jackpot was actually won. But I just saw the urban legend resurface on Facebook - so there is a chance that maybe a Powerball winner *will* decide to give you a million just for supporting Idol!! You never know!)

Or perhaps you will win an I-Watch!

If you do, I don’t know anything about how that would happen! But, *maybe you will*!!

That’s all I’m saying!

So you should definitely support your favorites this week!

Unfortunately, Real Life has engaged in absolute shittery to [livejournal.com profile] bookishgeek, and she will be saying goodbye this week. Hopefully we will see her again in Second Chance!

As for the rest of you - two people will be leaving us in Redemption Tribe and four from the main tribe. It IS an intersection week, but vote totals will NOT be added together this time around. You write as a team, but you are going to rise and fall as individual entries.

I was particularly impressed by what I read this week - and hopefully other people have been reading as they went as well, because the poll is closing Thursday, Sept 11th at 9pm EDT. See terms and conditions of the "Pressure Plate Deal".

Good luck to everyone!



Click here to Vote! )
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
They used to say "To the Victor, goes to the spoils!" and that "History is written by the victor".

Now it's "To the Victor goes the apology for winning" and "History is written by everyone - but people pay more attention to the people who lost".

We need to start being *less* tolerant to people and their ideas!

Especially "Fat Pieces of Crap" like Wil Wheaton and more understanding that the cops in Ferguson are people too, and deserve respect! Unless they hit a woman, in which case they are scum and deserve to die!

(I'm sure that I'm forgetting to troll *someone* this morning. Please remind me if I haven't personally trolled you yet with this update, and I'll try to come up with something! :D)

***

Oh, and of course today is the deadline to have your entries in! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/776330.html So you had better be doing that!!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
In yesterday's Steelers game against the Browns, there was a punt return where the guy was about to break free for a touchdown. He saw the way open with only one guy in front of him.

He could have adjusted and gone around him. He could have lowered his shoulder and went through him. Instead, he jumped up and tried to go over him.

Which ended up being the wrong thing to do - given that his foot ended up in the guy's face.

The internet, of course, exploded with Karate Kid and "This is Sparta" memes.

I don't mention this because I suspect that the people reading this have developed some sort of lasting love of American football.

I'm thinking more along the lines of what you are doing right now - you are looking down the field, trying to see what is between you and the end.

Maybe you are going to be tackled, maybe you are going figure out how to break free into the open field and go all the way for a touchdown.

Just don't get too cocky and think you can jump over a guy.

That may not end well.

***

The deadline for the topic is TOMORROW: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/776330.html so make sure you have your entries in!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
LJ is acting weird again this morning. So I have no idea if this will actually post or not.

If it does - your next challenge designers is an Unconventional Challenge. You need to write an entry using only the materials you can find in this industrial waste dump.*

Remember, the judges are going to be looking for originality and use of the materials, so don't go using "words", just the materials you find here, to make something spectacular. You have 3 minutes. ;)

(*Note - this is NOT an actual challenge. Just in case someone missed the Project Runway joke)

What IS an "actual challenge" though is writing the entries for the new topic(s): http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/776330.html With your partners! Hope you are having a good time with that!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I've been checking out the Yearbook feature over at Classmates.com for the past couple of days.

They have been scanning actual yearbooks into their site. Currently, they only have my freshman year.

It's strange to look at because I never actually owned any of my yearbooks. If I had asked, I'm sure my Mom would have bought one for me. Maybe. But I knew not to ask.

I had a Year Bag though!

Everyone else has having people sign something, so I took a brown paper bag, cut it open so I could fold it out flat and had people sign that!

I actually still have those, although I haven't looked at them in years. Maybe now that I have pictures to compare with names, I will.

I doubt it though, because the more that I look at the book, the more I've convinced that maybe I went to another school. Or maybe they were wiped out of my mind by some sort of alien abduction - or perhaps I just wasn't paying attention!

A few of them I go "Oh yeah, I am aware of the existence of that person". But only in the vaguest sense.

The few that I recall, I'm pretty much still friends with - the rest? Not so much.

There are also a few that I seem to remember being friends with, but then also recall *not* being friends with them anymore! I wonder what happened. Was I a jerk to them? Were they a jerk to me? Was it just one of those things with people moving in different directions? I'm really not sure - I'm curious, but I don't think I'm curious enough to actually try to find out!

***

One thing that I *do* want to find out though is I want to see what you guys are up to with the topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/776330.html
as well as the discussion *about* the topics: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/776594.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I was in the middle of writing one post about the internet and the idea of privacy when I stopped and said "I really don't feel like saying that today".

So I started a totally different one, about Eeyore and depression, based on another conversation I was having earlier.

Then I was on my facebook feed and saw something that *does* hit me personally. It's something that I actually care about in a way that pretty much no one else does.

https://www.facebook.com/CarolinaLiar/photos/a.116488334940.97192.9858114940/10152616988319941/?type=1

"Did I stutter?" is something that people say without really stopping to think about what they are actually saying.

If you made a comment about someone's color, religion, weight, pretty much everything else, you would see all hell raining down on you. For good reason.

Make a comment that says that people's inability to process information and think clearly is the same as someone having difficulty speaking? You get a lot of LOLs.

A friend reposted that photo above and I had to explain it to her. Once I did, she "got it". But it took me actually "virtually sitting her down" to talk about why it wasn't OK.

There are days when it feels like the last thing that people are able to mock. (I know there are others in the same boat. But they also have their advocates. Perhaps ours are talking, just no one can understand them! ;) )

Seriously though. I beat this issue like the dead horse that it should be. (And damnit, who is speaking out against people killing horses and then continuing to beat on them!!!)
I know it gets old.

But it gets even older having to have that conversation.

If everyone has it though, about the stuff that *they* care about, maybe things can change, one person at a time.

***

One thing that *won't* change is that the new topic is up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/776330.html and that people continue to discuss finding intersection partners in the Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/776594.html

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