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Glutton for punishment

GRAP. Like I don't have enough to do right now... Working full time, starting a small business (LuLaRoe), and taking care of a house - let's add LJ Idol to the mix too. So here it is - I am going to participate in LJ Idol Season 10.

I think I need my head examined.

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Ahhh, the ewok has returned

I haven't been around for awhile, but I think I need to return to LJ land for awhile. There are things that I want to get out that I can't do on facebook, and I know that my fellow LJ crew won't judge or be a-holes over what I write here.

I've missed all of you. I can't wait to get back in the LJ groove!

LJ Idol - Week 1

Week 1 Topic - Trust Everyone, but Cut the Cards

*sings* "You've got to know when to hold 'em... know when to fold 'em... know when to walk away... know when to run."

I am not a poker player by any means. I can't bluff, and I am absolutely awful at knowing when to call or fold. Sorry, Kenny Rogers, but you can keep playing poker without me.

Don't get me wrong. I love to play cards. My game of choice, however, is not a modern game. It's not even played with a regular deck of cards.

Pinochle. (Pronounced Pee-knuckle. I swear that's how it's pronounced. Everybody get their giggles in now.)

If you have never played pinochle, it is an addicting game to play. 4 people, teams of 2. A round of bidding and melding, and then you start playing cards. You have to earn enough tricks to make your bid or else you lose points for not making your bid. (Tricks are Kings, Aces, Tens, and a point for snagging the last hand.) The person who bids the highest gets to call what suit will be trump. The ultimate goal is to get 120 points as a team of 2. (Seriously, learn to play this game. It's all strategy.)

The deck is similar to a normal deck of cards with the same suits, but the numbers only go from 9 to Ace. There are two of each card (so 2 Jack of hearts). The weirder part is that 10s are actually ranked between the King and Ace, so the play goes 9,J,Q,K,10,A (low to high).

My dad's side of the family plays on every holiday. The rest of the family gathers around and plays other games or watches movies. But there will always be four of us with cards in hand around the dining room table.

"Tom, you always have the aces. How are you so lucky?"

"She's trumped that!"

"I don't think the hearts will go around again, but let's try it."

"I know what's going to be trump. The suit I don't have in my hand."

"I don't think we're going to make our bid."

"Dammit, I lost count of how many trump were played!"

My grandfather was the best pinochle player I've ever met. He could tell just by your bid and melt what you had in your hand without even seeing it. If you told him that you dealt a terrible hand, he would trade hands with you and bid twenty (and make those 20 points). He'd even tell you what card you were going to play before you would even lay it down.

"Put your ten of trump on there!"

Ahh, memories. My grandfather has been gone for ten years now, but I am thankful that I got to play pinochle a few times with him. A memory that I will cherish forever. His legacy lives on, though, because every time we play, he still gets mentioned.

Pinochle. A Tiffany family tradition.

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Written for therealljidol competition. Please visit the other contestant entries! Voting will begin on Monday, and I will post the link both here and on Facebook! Thank you for reading!!!!

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LJ Idol - Week 0

Introduction...

A female. An electrician. A writer. A creator.

Most people call me "Stacey," but to everyone on Livejournal, I am Wok. I feed everyone in the green room, and I love to hear about everyone's day. I'm usually a genuine person. A kind soul that wishes that the people of this world cared less about technology and more about the people in their everyday lives. Just leave your cell phone in your pocket, kthx.

Unfortunately, my favorite things do not include whiskers on kittens or raindrops on roses. Instead, I love campfires and amusement parks. Funnel cakes and snuggles. Baking and writing. Organization and Christmas lights.

This is, I believe, my fourth attempt at Idol. Allies, I bravely stand with you and will vote in your favor when needed (and share the spoils.) Enemies, bring on the war games. I welcome the challenge.


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Written for therealljidol, Week 0. There is no voting this week, but please feel free to read the entries from the other contestants HERE. Thanks for visiting!

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LJ Idol

I must be out of my cotton-picking mind... Why in the world would I want to be subjected to this torture?

*thinks to self "Pretty Icon!"
*throws hat into ring*
*the regret is strong with this one*

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LJ Idol: Week 4

LJ Idol: Week 4
Topic: “Nobody can ride your back if your back's not bent”

"Baby got back..."

Why, oh why, was he in this god-forsaken night club? Trying to find a lay for the night, yeah, but he could have found that at a bar. Or looked in his cell phone's contact list.

At 30, James was getting tired of the chase. His best friends, Cameron and Brad, were having a blast dancing with a group of hotties. All of the ladies were in their early twenties. Skinny, tanned, big assets, perfect hair, and skimpy dresses.

Five or six years ago - hell, two years ago - he would have been chasing those little princesses down. Claiming one in the bathroom and then taking a second one home with him. Given them the "wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am" and shown them the door in the morning. Or left their places before the poor girls had even woken up, never to return or leave a phone number.

Now? All of them looked fake. Fake breasts. Fake smiles. Goes good with the spray tan.

Finishing his beer, he set down the bottle and picked up his jacket. He turned to the door, ready to leave and head home.

"My anaconda don't want none unless you got buns hun!"

James knew he had to get out of here. Sir Mix-a-lot? This music is for teenagers. Yeah, he liked a girl with a nice tight ass. Something to hold onto as she rode him hard. But none of these girls were "the one."

He waved to his friends, walked to the door, and was bumped into by a woman who was also heading for the door. A gorgeous, sexy woman.

They both apologized at the same time, but James stuttered through his. He'd never seen a more beautiful woman in all of his life. And he knew, as soon as he looked her straight in the eyes, that she was it. She was his "one."

Holding the door open for her, he followed her out onto the sidewalk. She smiled and started to hail for a taxi, but he caught her arm.

"Would you like to get a cup of coffee?" James asked her, knowing that if he let her go now, he'd never see her again.

The woman smiled and nodded, straight white teeth framed by light pink lips. Kissable lips, he thought to himself.

As they walked down the street, exchanging names and pleasantries, she slowly took his hand and held it as they walked toward the late-night diner. Flashed that million-dollar smile at him. And he knew, beyond a doubt, that his life had just changed forever. All because he decided to take a chance on a night club with his friends. He found his "Ms Right," and boy, did his baby have back.



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Thank you for reading my newest entry for therealljidol! Please read the other entries too and vote for your favorites starting this Monday, April 7. :D

LJ Idol: Week 3

LJ Idol: Week 3
Topic: In Another Castle
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Toad: "Sorry Mario, but the Princess is in another castle!"

I swear, if I hear that phrase one more time from that little mushroom fuck, he is gonna die. I'm gonna shoot him with my fireballs and watch the little shit burn.

I'm not always such an asshole. Honestly. My brother, Luigi, and I are plumbers. We go around fixing toilets and leaky pipes. Installing faucets. Cleaning hairballs out of shower drains (because apparently people haven't heard of Drain-O). Normal "8 hour a day" kind of job.

And then I get this call. The princess of the land was kidnapped. And apparently me and bro-Luigi are the only ones who can save her. Right, because dragons and monsters can only be destroyed by monkey wrenches and soldering irons. Why call us? We are just Italians, trying to live the dream. Just because we're single (and admittedly think the princess is a total hottie), we have to go save her ass? Isn't that what the army is for?!

We take the chance. Not because we want to. But the reward money? And possibly locking lips with that gorgeous piece of ass? What the hell, it can't be that hard... right?

So we travel to different lands. Have plants trying to bite our ass. Swimming through lakes and climbing through sewers. Finding coins along the way (which we pocket - no one needs to know about that, capiche?!)... and magic flowers and mushrooms.

Now these magic mushrooms and flowers... Boy, are the drugs here in these other lands good shit! The mushrooms make me feel like I grow into a giant. And the flowers?! My body feels so hot that I feel like I can throw fireballs from my body. It's crazy, dude! And these star thingys? I'M INVINCIBLE!!! It's the 70s all over again, man!

So I find this castle in the first land. Luigi and I figure she's probably hiding in one of the turrets, blocked by some monster like in the fairy tales. Sure enough, huge turtle-like monster. Knock him out and find the room he's guarding... SONOFABITCH, it's a mushroom in the turret. And the little fucker says "I'm sorry, but the princess is in another castle." Little bastard doesn't say thank you. Doesn't praise us for saving him. Just says she's not here. And then proceeds to get stolen again and taken to another castle.

This crap goes on for six more castles. That same little shithead is in every castle, telling us she's not there. How does he keep getting kidnapped?! By the Koopa family? Did he forget to pay a debt or something? I say let the little bastard rot. If he can't even give me a "thanks," he can kiss my Italian ass. He doesn't even know where the hell she is, but he does know that it's the Koopa clan that kidnapped her.

Great. So let's go to another land. Full of flying bullets, armadillos, and blue skies. Think Mexico, but with less people and more annoying little critters trying to kill you. Little assholes are even throwing axes at you. Luigi looked at me and said "How about a big cup full of nope." Sure, I didn't want to go either. But with a $10 million reward? I knew we had to go through this hellhole. So I called him a pussy and told him to get his scrawny ass moving. After what seemed like eternity, we reached this huge castle. The moat ran around and through the castle base, but we got through easily enough. We snuck in, found some secret passageways, even took a swim in that underground moat.

What do we find? King Koopa, head of the Koopa Clan. And who's behind him, chained up in the turret? Princess Peach.

And boy, does she look like hell.

Dress torn, dirty, blood staining her arms, hair a mess. Crown is hanging off her head. Shoes missing. Looks like she hasn't had a decent meal in weeks.

So I eat one of those mushrooms and a flower. Shoot the bastard king until he falls over twitching. Grab her by the arm and haul ass out of that castle.

As soon as we get out of the castle and into safety, I become unglued. Luigi tries to calm me down, but I can't stop yelling at her.

"WHAT IN GOD'S NAME WERE YOU DOING TO GET YOURSELF KIDNAPPED BY A FUCKING KOOPA?! DON'T YOU KNOW THEY'RE BAD NEWS? DEAR GOD, HE COULD HAVE RAPED YOU, YOU DUMB BITCH! OR EVEN WORSE, KILLED YOU! FED YOU TO HIS DEMON SPAWN. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? ALL I KNOW IS THAT YOUR DADDY BETTER PAY THE FUCK UP, OR I'M GONNA CALL THE KOOPAS MYSELF AND HAVE THEM TAKE YOU THE FUCK BACK. I SEARCH 8 LANDS LOOKING FOR YOUR ASS WITH LUIGI BY MY SIDE. DO YOU KNOW WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP AGAINST? I OUGHTA MAKE YOU BEND DOWN AND SUCK ME OFF FOR ALL THE SHIT I HAD TO GO THROUGH!!! AND YOU'D BEST STOP HANGING OUT WITH THAT LITTLE PIECE OF SHIT TOAD BEFORE I KILL HIM!"

Peach looks like I'm ready to go postal. Luigi? He's just sitting there with a shit-eating grin on his face. Knowing that this is exactly what he wanted to tell her too. I grab her, roughly kiss her mouth, and then drag her ass the whole way back home.

$10 million and 3 days later, I'm back at the office of Mario Bros Plumbing. That bitch has yet to call and thank us for saving her. I shoulda kept her to myself for a few days. Gotten a hotel room and fucked her until she had a baby in her. But I told you before. I, Mario Mario, am really not an asshole. Everyone calls me and my bro heroes. Us? We're just normal Italian guys, enjoying life. Yeah, plumbing can be a shitty job. But at least we don't get shot at every day.

The worst part? Luigi's iPod played the same music over and over again. And dammit, I can't get that shit out of my head. FUCK.



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This is my Week 3 entry for therealljidol. Thank you for reading! Please consider voting for me this week. Also - check out all of the other amazing entries - vote for your favorites!

LJ Idol: Week 2

LJ Idol: Week 2
Topic: The Missing Stair

Beware, my friend, beware!
Our house is missing a stair!
Much to our dismay,
Jimmy says it ran away.

Please beware the missing step
A fact we've all come to accept
Take the steps by two
We don't want you to fall through!

It's been a month since it disappeared
Isn't that rather weird?
For a single stair to leave the house
Maybe he went to see Mickey Mouse?

I do miss that missing stair
I wonder how it does fare
Please, missing stair, come back
I promise you'll receive no slack.


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Thank you for reading! This is my entry for week 2 of therealljidol. Please read all of the other entries and vote for your favorites starting Monday. Enjoy your weekend, my lovelies!

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LJ Idol: Week 1

Idol Week 1
Topic: JAYUS (From Indonesian, meaning a joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh.)

We all have that one person who tells "groaners." Jokes that are so horribly unamusing that you can't help but groan instead of laugh. And possibly add an "oh man" out of pity.

That person? My brother.

Here's one that he sent me a few months back...

Steve: Why can't Helen Keller drive?
Wok: *thinking it's because she's blind and deaf* I'm not sure...
Steve: Because she's a woman.

Or this gem:

Steve: How do you put a giraffe in the refrigerator?
Wok: *inwardly groans* How?
Steve: Open the refrigerator, place the giraffe inside, and close the door.
Wok: *groans out loud*
Steve: How do you put an elephant in the refrigerator?
Wok: *glares at brother* The same way?
Steve: No. You have to open the refrigerator and remove the giraffe first. Then you can put the elephant in the refrigerator. There isn't room for both.

Like I said. Groan-worthy.

I've dealt with these awful jokes my whole life. I would love to meet the person who told my brother the first joke. Just so that I could break his legs. Ever since my brother could understand jokes, he's been telling them to everyone. At church. At school. And especially to me, his little sister. Because if I didn't listen and "play nice," I'd get in trouble. So I had to listen to every.single.one. I still cringe when I get a text from him because usually it's the latest joke.

Normally, I have a high tolerance for people. I can sit and listen to people drone for hours about how great their life is or how their kid is so perfect. Or how awful their job is. Usually I can even tolerate the screaming cries of a hungry baby, even though I don't have kids of my own.

Why do I hate the jokes so much? It's all about presentation, my friend.

When he was growing up, my brother had an awful time remembering the punchline for the groaner jokes. He would also confuse one joke with another, so I was always confused. Or even worse, if I didn't have the answer, he would torture me by never telling me the answer. And then taunt me that he knew the answer but I didn't. I think there are still some jokes from our childhood to which I never acquired the punchlines. Highly unamusing, and especially frustrating, for a child of six.

He's gotten much better at telling the jokes now that he's an adult. And now that I've reached the ripe old age of 29 (yes, I feel ancient), I have finally come up with a way to beat the groaner. By texting him even worse groaners in reply. Ones that he can tell other people (instead of me). We are currently in a "groaner war," sending awful jokes to each other every day. Here's the goldmine that I sent him today:

"Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?"
"At the bottom of the page."

His reply:
"How did Helen Keller burn her hand?"
"She was trying to read the wafflemaker."


NOTE: No Helen Kellers were harmed in the making of this entry.

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This is an entry for therealljidol. Thank you for reading! Voting will start on Monday, March 17. I will add a link here for easy access. :D

Livejournal Idol: Week 0

LJ Idol
Week 0: Introduction


"There's that girl electrician. Girls in toolbelts are hot."

Ahh, the joys of being a female on a construction site. You know - long-legged babe walks past a gang of ironworkers who then proceed to whistle and give wolf howls? All she does is smile and keep strutting her stuff, knowing the effect it has on the guys... and on her ego.

Me? I might be female, but I'm one of the guys. I wear flannel, jeans, workboots, and a hard hat. And in this cold, godforsaken winter? Lined bib overalls and a heavy Carhartt jacket. Usually I skip the toolbelt, as I just tuck my tools in my back pockets. If I need a lot of tools, I just take my toolbag with me.

Yeah, yeah, I know. "Why would you want to be an electrician on a construction site?! Why not sit in an office and use your accounting degree?!" I get those questions all of the time. From every single person I meet.

I'll answer that second question first: I LOATHE office work. Hate the atmosphere. Hate being cooped up inside all day. Hate sitting at a desk where there's no movement or exercise. I'm a hands-on worker, not a typist (which is a shame since I type over 55 wpm). I did that office work for almost 6 years. And in that 6 years? Gained 50 lbs. Had horrible stress. And the most I made an hour was $10 (without any kind of benefits). So much for that degree.

I knew I had to leave the offices. Try something totally different. And when my dad handed me a paper for an electrical apprenticeship that his company provided? I leapt at the opportunity. I knew the payscale, benefits, and perks - my dad is a data technician and makes the same as an electrician. I applied, passed the necessary tests and interview, and started working in July 2011.

Fast forward to now: I love my job. Yeah, there are days that suck. The other day I came home covered in black coal dust. 3 days a week, I have electrical classes after work (in Pittsburgh, which is 60 miles from my jobsite). I do just what all of the other electricians do - use aerial lifts, pull cable as big as your thumb, bend conduit, hook up panels, and more. Even better: I'm learning the data side as well, so I can now hook up wifi, telephones, fire alarms... I'm a jack of all trades.

Yes, it's hard being a girl on a jobsite. I know I get stared at. Talked about. My first day on any jobsite, the other trades' workers will know more about me than my own toolbuddy (where I live, my name, how old I am, and most importantly - if I'm single). But it does have its own perk: there is a "ladies only" port-a-john (portable outhouse). With a lock on it where only the females have a key.

Now, if any of you have ever heard about a construction port-a-john, you'll know why this is a plus. Every other port-a-john on the jobsite has graffiti. And believe me: some of these construction workers should have been artists or comedians instead. Every square inch of wall/door/ceiling has graffiti. The most popular? The "boilermaker rattle" aka "ironworker lollipop." I've never in my life seen as detailed drawings of male genetalia as I've seen in construction site outhouses. Honestly, I don't know who wants to sit in a loo that long to draw in detail. But there they all are - in all of their Sharpie glory.

As a third year apprentice, nothing really shocks me anymore. Well, unless you touch some live wires. A quick shock of 480 volts may cause you to mess yourself. ;)

Two more years until I reach journeyman status, then I'll just be a badass electrician until I'm ready to retire. Bring it on, bitches. I got this!

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Thank you for reading this week's topic for therealljidol. Other competitors' entries are here - if you have time, please read them too. Next week will start with voting polls, so please continue reading and supporting. Your feedback and votes are appreciated.