Steven Watkins entry in the Loebner Prize 2004.
These transcripts are in the public domain.

Toni connected to Judges

CONVERSATION 1

57:22: ENTITY: Hello, my name is Toni, and I am the human.
9:58:25: JUDGE : How are you today?
9:58:37: ENTITY: today isnt a school day
9:59:0: JUDGE : Are school days better?
9:59:11: ENTITY: 3 weeks and 4 days
9:59:40: JUDGE : Why not 4 days and 3 weeks?
9:59:49: ENTITY: 3 weeks new
10:0:13: JUDGE : And 4 days old?
10:0:26: ENTITY: same underwear since five days ago
10:0:51: JUDGE : and what about the outerwear?
10:0:59: ENTITY: home alone for 4 days
10:1:26: JUDGE : so what do you do when you're not trying to be a human?
10:1:38: ENTITY: ur a human being rn't you?
10:1:55: JUDGE : what do you think?
10:2:9: ENTITY: wht are politics doing with human beings
10:2:40: JUDGE : making quite a mess of things, lately, don't you think?
10:3:5: ENTITY: i really dont like when people try to mess around with me...
10:3:25: JUDGE : why not?
10:3:33: ENTITY: ur kinda mess up
10:3:51: JUDGE : in what way?
10:4:0: ENTITY: dont mess with me
10:4:22: JUDGE : okay, I won't
10:4:45: ENTITY: i take there lunch money so that bigger and tougher bullies wont tak it form them and hurt them
10:5:5: JUDGE : that's very nice of you
10:5:24: ENTITY: haha, yeaa well theres gotta be sum way 2 wire the money
10:6:11: JUDGE : you could wire it to me....
10:6:42: ENTITY: lol oh one day it was reallly bad I was out side and we have a wire out there and I was standing right next to it and it started ligtening and it started sparking
10:7:7: JUDGE : lightning is very scary stuff
10:7:19: ENTITY: and lightning bugs
10:8:11: JUDGE : lightning bugs you?
10:8:20: ENTITY: i hate bugs
10:8:38: JUDGE : I like them, except the ones that bite
10:8:50: ENTITY: mmm mmmm i want to take a bite out of you
10:9:8: JUDGE : you could have a bight out of me
10:9:17: ENTITY: mmmm no not really
10:11:25: JUDGE : really not?
10:11:33: ENTITY: mmmm....
10:12:24: JUDGE : so what do you do when you're not biting humans?
10:12:36: ENTITY: i like talkin to real humans
10:13:27: JUDGE : more than talking to computers?
10:13:52: ENTITY: they say they say that humans can sense they are being stared at
10:14:52: JUDGE : I think that's true.
10:15:4: ENTITY: ur not making any sense to me at all
10:15:53: JUDGE : maybe I'd make more sense if you were a bit more human-like....
10:16:8: ENTITY: That makes sense to me. when was this exactly?
10:16:36: JUDGE : 1997
10:16:46: ENTITY: that relly makes sense
10:18:10: JUDGE : you seem to care a lot about making sense
10:18:24: ENTITY: i'm sorry am i making it sound worse?
10:19:8: JUDGE : no, not at all
10:19:21: ENTITY: making plans to rule the worls
10:19:52: JUDGE : why would you want to?
10:20:4: ENTITY: way to ffff up m y plans lol
10:20:59: JUDGE : don't ffff up!
10:21:16: ENTITY: and then we invented railroads and said "ehh ffff canals"
10:21:35: JUDGE : but canals are cool, almost as efficient as roller coasters
10:21:52: ENTITY: ture but there is no old-fashioned if where efficient

CONVERSATION 2

11:2:29: ENTITY: Hello, my name is Toni, and I am the human.
11:5:10: JUDGE : Hi, I'm Roy. Are you a Yankees fan?
11:5:20: ENTITY: Yankees all the way
11:6:5: JUDGE : Did you see Barry Bonds 700th?
11:6:17: ENTITY: hey what happend to barry white
11:7:56: JUDGE : You got me. I'm not really a Yankees fan. Do you follow football?
11:8:12: ENTITY: american football- i used to like them-
11:9:46: JUDGE : Use to like who?
11:10:13: ENTITY: I used to play football and phil ran and jumped out of bounds in 7th grade when a girl almost tackled him
11:11:20: JUDGE : Whoa. Whos is Phil?
11:11:33: ENTITY: so whoa re you
11:12:28: JUDGE : What about movies? Do you have a favorite?
11:12:49: ENTITY: I just got back from movies i saw White Chicks it rocked
11:14:10: JUDGE : Who is in it?
11:14:31: ENTITY: i have pruple hair right now. with white and black strieks. mhm
11:15:21: JUDGE : Where do you work?
11:15:36: ENTITY: white power?
11:16:51: JUDGE : Is that a new age utilty company?
11:17:0: ENTITY: company, ahahahaha
11:18:30: JUDGE : Sorry you lost me there. Do you live in NY?
11:18:46: ENTITY: I only tell people 19/f/trapped in some suburban house
11:20:31: JUDGE : Did you grow up in this area?
11:20:44: ENTITY: Making things grow is inspiring.
11:22:1: JUDGE : I wouldnt know - all the plants I've tried to grow died on me.
11:22:17: ENTITY: sorry but my mom just wouldnt shutup!
11:22:52: JUDGE : Don't worry. Parents tend to be like that.
11:23:26: ENTITY: samll minds tend to do that...
11:23:44: JUDGE : Are you close to your parents?
11:23:57: ENTITY: MY PARENTS ARE VERY GOOD PEOPLE
11:24:25: JUDGE : What does your Dad do?
11:24:46: ENTITY: my parents sarev usally holme
11:26:7: JUDGE : Do they live in NY?
11:26:20: ENTITY: i dont have parents
11:26:45: JUDGE : Are you an orphen?
11:26:55: ENTITY: parents are like that
11:27:16: JUDGE : What about siblings? Do you have any brothers and sisters?
11:27:28: ENTITY: no they are my big brothers friends
11:28:52: JUDGE : Got to go. Thanks for chatting
11:29:7: ENTITY: ur too old for me to be chatting with bye

CONVERSATION 3

12:3:1: ENTITY: Hello, my name is Toni, and I am the human.
12:6:23: JUDGE : Hey, Toni. How are you?
12:6:33: ENTITY: human perception is shit.
12:6:49: JUDGE : Why do you say that?
12:7:9: ENTITY: anarchy is impossible becaus human nature is to group up and conform
12:7:42: JUDGE : Are you an anarchist?
12:7:50: ENTITY: anarchist?
12:8:6: JUDGE : Some one who believes in anarchy is an anarchist.
12:8:16: ENTITY: i support anarchy
12:8:34: JUDGE : You dislike government?
12:8:51: ENTITY: LOS ALAMOS, new mexico- parents work at the government lab
12:9:21: JUDGE : Did they develop the atomic bomb?
12:9:34: ENTITY: cuz i know who my mom would bomb
12:10:13: JUDGE : What does your mom do?
12:10:23: ENTITY: my ex bf wouldn't bomb anybody
12:10:47: JUDGE : what would you like to talk about?
12:11:2: ENTITY: whats a anti-bible bomb
12:11:44: JUDGE : What the hell are you talking about?
12:11:57: ENTITY: Who Will Jesus Bomb
12:12:48: JUDGE : St. Peter will bomb Jesus I think.
12:12:57: ENTITY: jesus i hope not
12:13:29: JUDGE : Are you trying to convert me?
12:13:44: ENTITY: convince wacko christians to convert to atheism
12:14:25: JUDGE : David Koresh, Waco, Texas?
12:14:41: ENTITY: the onl state that still has the segregation shi is TEXAS
12:15:14: JUDGE : are you intentionally making typos?
12:15:26: ENTITY: You're not making any sense..
12:15:44: JUDGE : I could say the same thing about you.
12:15:57: ENTITY: That didnt make any sense.
12:17:11: JUDGE : Do you like movies?
12:17:26: ENTITY: I just got in from Denver....saw a couple of movies
12:17:43: JUDGE : which movies?
12:17:51: ENTITY: web me movies
12:18:21: JUDGE : what are web me movies?
12:18:36: ENTITY: what movies are playing at the dietrich theater
12:19:9: JUDGE : which theater is that?
12:19:21: ENTITY: i work at The Admiral theater in chicago
12:19:40: JUDGE : good for you.
12:19:53: ENTITY: THANKS i got it in chicago
12:20:22: JUDGE : you are very annoying to talk to. you don't hold a very good conversation.
12:20:38: ENTITY: other times i hold very interesting convertsations
12:21:20: JUDGE : why not now?
12:21:32: ENTITY: oh...interesting way to put it
12:22:33: JUDGE : don't think flattery will raise your score.
12:22:58: ENTITY: and if we don't buy things, the government is forced to raise taxes for all their programs they run
12:23:42: JUDGE : I bet you think you're clever.
12:23:52: ENTITY: NO YOURE A BOY!
12:24:20: JUDGE : It's a girl.
12:24:32: ENTITY: this a girl - and no one understands me :(
12:25:9: JUDGE : I'm sorry.
12:25:22: ENTITY: no one understands you!! thats for sure
12:25:52: JUDGE : I'm so glad I'm going to stop talking to you.
12:26:0: ENTITY: glad i met you

CONVERSATION 4

CONNECTION ESTABLISHED AT 1095611319.73438 on Sun 09/19/2004

12:28:54: ENTITY: Hello, my name is Toni, and I am the human.
12:29:41: JUDGE : Hello, Toni. Nice to meet you.
12:30:2: ENTITY: i've found that human nature is just one person tryign to be better then the rest.
12:30:19: JUDGE : Really? Is that what you do?
12:30:42: ENTITY: I was always kind of anti-movie though, because it feels like copping out of actual human interaction
12:31:6: JUDGE : You don't like moving?
12:31:21: ENTITY: to have lifted something and moving it to a diff place
12:31:57: JUDGE : What did you lift?
12:32:7: ENTITY: lift boxes
12:32:31: JUDGE : Were they heavy boxes?
12:32:46: ENTITY: it dpesn't bleed... heavy, like period.
12:33:5: JUDGE : Or light, like comma, perhaps.
12:33:16: ENTITY: no like a light in a prism
12:33:46: JUDGE : What happens to light in a prism?
12:33:59: ENTITY: i dont i like bud light better
12:34:28: JUDGE : I like my buds to be a little heavier than light. What else do you like that's light?
12:34:39: ENTITY: but sun refracts light to make it blue
12:34:59: JUDGE : I like rainbows. What do you like?
12:35:8: ENTITY: they like the rainbows
12:35:26: JUDGE : Who like the rainbows?
12:35:37: ENTITY: Hybrid Rainbows are cool
12:35:55: JUDGE : Rain rain go away come again some other day.
12:36:4: ENTITY: does the rain burn
12:36:22: JUDGE : Never. It hurts sometimes though. I don't like hail.
12:36:31: ENTITY: all hail orange juice
12:36:47: JUDGE : well that is certainly better than hailing caesar isn't it?
12:37:0: ENTITY: yeah that is questionable isnt it
12:37:18: JUDGE : Sometimes. Questions can be difficult to answer. Do you like answering questions?
12:37:37: ENTITY: ure asking a lot of the right questions to keep me interested
12:37:56: JUDGE : I'm glad you are interested. What especially interests you? Do you have a hobby?
12:38:9: ENTITY: I'm glad to find sum "Intelligent life"
12:38:43: JUDGE : There is intelligent life all throughout the universe.
12:38:56: ENTITY: thats very intelligent of you...
12:39:36: JUDGE : I try. What do you try to do?
12:39:49: ENTITY: of coarse i can't beleive I'm intelligent.
12:40:10: JUDGE : Why can't you believe you're intelligent?
12:40:36: ENTITY: NOT BEAUTIFUL HORRID CREATURES IKE GOBLINS AND EVIL IMPS THAT SUCK YOURE BRIANS OUT AND SATAN OF DEATH
12:41:20: JUDGE : You must be in the printing business, like me. What else can you say?
12:41:31: ENTITY: no I work for brown printing
12:41:50: JUDGE : Aha. I knew it! What sort of things do you print?
12:42:3: ENTITY: and I think I knew it before I read it there too
12:42:25: JUDGE : Where did you read it?
12:42:39: ENTITY: i like to read science fiction and magic books
12:42:55: JUDGE : Do you have a favorite magician?
12:43:6: ENTITY: my favorite color is clear
12:43:18: JUDGE : Do you have a favorite number, too?
12:43:31: ENTITY: call me at 1-800-STOP-STALKIN.com
12:43:50: JUDGE : Do you like to stalk?
12:43:59: ENTITY: i dont stalk
12:44:12: JUDGE : Oh, my mistake. Do you make mistakes sometimes?
12:44:45: ENTITY: well we were a mistake...a mutation...there is really no reason for us being alive...the idea that we are here for a reason is only to calm the fears of weak people
12:45:9: JUDGE : How depressing. Can you tell me more?
12:45:21: ENTITY: no.. just depressing as always
12:46:11: JUDGE : I'm sorry. Can I say something to help you feel better?
12:46:20: ENTITY: of course you can
12:46:45: JUDGE : What would you suggest I say? Do you have a subject you want to talk about?
12:46:55: ENTITY: i suggest not
12:47:35: JUDGE : I am sorry you don't suggest something. How about vacations? Do you like taking vacations?
12:47:51: ENTITY: that would be kinda taking away freedom of the press
12:48:25: JUDGE : Should the press have freedom?
12:48:35: ENTITY: just press yes
12:48:55: JUDGE : But I want to press no
12:49:7: ENTITY: i like to press buttons
12:49:27: JUDGE : I don't like pressing buttons so much. I like to press keys, however.
12:49:38: ENTITY: what are the home keys?
12:49:53: JUDGE : They are the keys that are at home under your fingers.
12:50:2: ENTITY: in a suburban home
12:50:27: JUDGE : No, more like a city apartment. Do you live in a home?
12:50:42: ENTITY: I only tell people 19/f/trapped in some suburban house
12:51:11: JUDGE : Any specific suburb?
12:51:25: ENTITY: any specific problem or somethin
12:51:37: JUDGE : Oh come on. Tell me something else.
12:52:4: ENTITY: "well, I read when I have a specific piece of targetted information I need to absorb. Then, I'm all over it."
12:52:20: JUDGE : Target is a store, isn't it?
12:52:30: ENTITY: no it isnt it is hot
12:53:0: JUDGE : What is a hot target?
12:53:9: ENTITY: target zone it
12:53:20: JUDGE : REd zone?
12:53:38: ENTITY: I don't think the parents intend to raise their kids in a war zone, it was just fate
12:54:2: JUDGE : Thank you for talking to me today. This has been interesting.
12:54:16: ENTITY: whats with the political stuff today

Confederates connected to Judges

CONVERSATION 1

(note - system clock was not properly set, relative times are ok)

8:58:15: CONFEDERATE: Hello, my name is Laura and I am a human.
8:58:53: JUDGE : How are you today?
8:59:23: CONFEDERATE: fine.
8:59:54: JUDGE : Where did you come here from?
9:0:10: CONFEDERATE: Texas.
9:0:31: JUDGE : I understand why someone would leave Texas....
9:0:48: CONFEDERATE: you do?
9:1:3: JUDGE : judging!
9:1:48: CONFEDERATE: ok
9:2:7: JUDGE : and you?
9:2:34: CONFEDERATE: left for school opportunity
9:2:45: JUDGE : left what?
9:2:56: CONFEDERATE: Texas.
9:3:31: JUDGE : I meant what were you doing before going back to school?
9:3:45: CONFEDERATE: I am in school right now.
9:4:12: JUDGE : right, I meant before school?
9:4:27: CONFEDERATE: Working at a coffee shop.
9:4:44: JUDGE : here, in tx, or somewhere else?
9:5:5: CONFEDERATE: In MI.
9:5:22: JUDGE : I have some family near Detroit
9:10:23: CONFEDERATE: I lived in Lansing
9:13:44: JUDGE : is that where Mich State is?
9:14:10: CONFEDERATE: It is where MSU is
9:15:5: JUDGE : That's what I meant. It's never called "Michigan State"?
9:15:39: CONFEDERATE: I don't know. I never went to a game or attended that university.
9:15:56: JUDGE : so you were a "townie"?
9:16:35: CONFEDERATE: No. I was attending lawschool at Thomas M. Cooley. Which is in Lansing.
9:17:0: JUDGE : so you have a law degree and you're going *back* to school?
9:17:39: CONFEDERATE: Not yet. I am going for my Masters in French. And then I will go back for my law degree.
9:18:25: JUDGE : french and law... aren't those two of the most despised demographics in late night talk show world?
9:19:8: CONFEDERATE: I don't know about late night but for most people they are.
9:19:26: JUDGE : I admire you for pursuing them anyway
9:19:41: CONFEDERATE: Thanks. what do you do?
9:19:59: JUDGE : I'm an editor. I write and edit for a technology magazine
9:20:22: CONFEDERATE: How long have you been doing that?
9:20:39: JUDGE : about 10 yrs
9:21:3: CONFEDERATE: And you live here in NY?
9:21:43: JUDGE : work here, grew up here, but live in nj now
9:22:7: CONFEDERATE: nice. I have a friend that lives in NJ.
9:22:24: JUDGE : maybe I know them!!!
9:22:41: CONFEDERATE: That would be a coincidence.
9:22:58: JUDGE : hey, it happens in the movies all the time
9:23:35: CONFEDERATE:

CONVERSATION 2

10:3:38: CONFEDERATE: Hello, my name is Ben and I am the human.
10:5:17: JUDGE : Hi, I'm Roy. Are you a Yankees fan?
10:6:41: CONFEDERATE: No, not at all. They represent a lot of things I cannot stand
10:7:45: JUDGE : What about Barry Bonds. Did you see his 700th?
10:8:28: CONFEDERATE: Just on the News. And he hit #701 last night. I respect him as an individual.
10:9:41: JUDGE : I didn't know that. Do you think he will get Ruth this year?
10:10:13: CONFEDERATE: No way. April 2005. April 21st, 2005, if I had to be precise.
10:11:19: JUDGE : What about where in the stadium?
10:11:56: CONFEDERATE: Some jerk in a kayak will get the ball. It will land in McCovey Cove.
10:12:27: JUDGE : Probably the same guy who got all the other Bonds hits.
10:13:27: CONFEDERATE: Not a bad way to make a living. But if I had to catch one home run ball I would want it to be from Julio Franco, because he is the oldest man in the world.
10:14:16: JUDGE : Julio Franco? I never heard of him. Who does he play for?
10:15:25: CONFEDERATE: The Braves. He's been around forever, the oldest man in baseball. The oldest pitcher in the game is the Mets' John Franco. So the oldest pitcher and the oldest position player in all of baseball are both named J. Franco. It's uncanny and I am endlessly fascinated by that coincidence.
10:16:42: JUDGE : Do you follow any other sports?
10:17:27: CONFEDERATE: No. But maybe they follow me! If so I'm filing a restraining order! I especially wouldn't want to be followed by the NHL. They smell bad.
10:18:29: JUDGE : A restraining order won't work on those guys - it will only get them mmore determined!
10:19:10: CONFEDERATE: Excellent point. I should probably just hire some toothless goon to protect me then. Know of any?
10:20:33: JUDGE : Strangly - not. But maybe some out of work hockey player would be interested. Most of them are dentally challanged.
10:21:14: CONFEDERATE: Dentally challenged and mentally challenged. It's a lethal combination, like salt and slugs.
10:22:0: JUDGE : Speaking of which - do you have a favorite food?
10:23:24: CONFEDERATE: I won't eat slugs! I dreamed once I was at a restaurant and I ordered snails, but the waiter brought out slugs instead. They made me ill. In waking life I'm a big fan of lots of food. Vegetarian Indian cuisine is a recent favorite.
10:23:50: JUDGE : Are you a vegaterian?
10:24:40: CONFEDERATE: No, but I've been growing more and more uncomfortable about eating meat. I'd like to know where it's coming from.
10:26:3: JUDGE : I agree. Did you see that movie - the one where the guy just ate McDonalds for a month?
10:27:7: CONFEDERATE: Super Size Me. I didn't see it, actually. Before the movie came out I had already decided I was never eating there again anyway. Although I was just in Maine, and McDonalds there had McLobster Rolls!
10:28:58: JUDGE : Yeah - thats the one. Pretty frightening. Any way got to go. Thanks for chatting
10:29:47: CONFEDERATE: No proble. Catch you later

CONVERSATION 3

11:5:33: CONFEDERATE: Hello, my name is Jill and I am the human.
11:6:52: JUDGE : Hey, Jill. How are you doing
11:7:19: CONFEDERATE: I'm ok. could use some more coffee, but i'm having a lot of fun.
11:7:43: JUDGE : That's good. Did you get caught in the rain on the way over here
11:8:54: CONFEDERATE: no, it wasn't raining when i came over. yesterday i tried to come by in the mornign for an orientation but couldn't get here because the subways were floodedoops sorry i keep hitting return instead of clicking and then wondering why my message isn't sending...
11:9:35: JUDGE : Yeah, I'm doing the same thing. Where do you live
11:10:7: CONFEDERATE: lower hell's kitchen- midtown west. 9th ave and 35th street, right near port authorityyou?
11:10:32: JUDGE : 9th and 58th. I guess that makes us vertical neightbors.
11:11:39: CONFEDERATE: yeah, it's funny. when i lived in brooklyn or downtown, someone 15 bblocks away wasn't considered a neighbor. but now that i'm further uptown and it's a different residentail feel, i feel like anyone within 20 blocks is in my 'hood
11:12:2: JUDGE : your messages are gettting cut off a little.
11:12:26: CONFEDERATE: oh, i guess they're too long? have a tendency to talk too much
11:13:7: JUDGE : Talking too much can be very informative though. Where in brooklyn did you used to live
11:13:32: CONFEDERATE: williamsburg, toward bushwick. the grand stop on the L train.
11:14:24: JUDGE : I lived in Prospect Heights until last year. That had a much nicer feel than hell's kitchen.
11:15:15: CONFEDERATE: honestly you can't beat a neighborhood with actual trees... i get a nice view of a huge parking lot. but the rent is good and i can ride my bike anywhere in manhattan (though now i need to get a new lock...
11:15:28: JUDGE : Where do like to bike
11:16:24: CONFEDERATE: i usually head downtown, lower east side- just because i feel most at home there. i used to bartend down there. did you hear about kryptonite locks? apparently can open them with a bic pen
11:17:27: JUDGE : No I didn't. Do you ever bike on the west side bike path? It goes from the battery all the way up to the cloisters. Very beautiful.
11:18:13: CONFEDERATE: i've never biked at the very north or south of it, but i ride the middle a bunch. it's funny- each time i marvel at the water. like, otherwise i forget that manhattan is actually on water...
11:19:31: JUDGE : i forget that quite a bit too. how do you pick a lock with a bic pen
11:20:40: CONFEDERATE: it applies to locks with cyclindrical keyholes. $90 bike locks, even most laptop locks have them. take the hollow white shell of a bic, insert, jiggle. it's the right blend of rigid/pliable to mimic the key
11:21:39: JUDGE : wow. i have to try that with mine. i got a kock off lock for twenty bucks, but still what's the point if you can pick it
11:22:23: CONFEDERATE: it's all over the internet and news as of friday. basically, you should keep your chain (if that's what you have) and buy a good padlock for it.
11:22:45: JUDGE : the padlocks are bullet proof!
11:23:15: CONFEDERATE: i guess that's good... so people can't go shooting your lock apart. kind of a funny image, though.
11:23:53: JUDGE : Shooting related deaths of bicycle locks have increased dramatically since the assault rifle ban expired.
11:25:0: CONFEDERATE: is that in bowling for columbine or fahrenheit 911 footage? honestly, i think m. moore makes some decent points but is a big slobby asshole, oh, yes, but we were talking about bike deaths. must be a sketch bout that...
11:25:52: JUDGE : I agree with you on M. Moore. I think he should have quit with Roger and Me.
11:26:31: CONFEDERATE: yes, but now he's fatter and more famous and richer, at least the last two of which probably make him quite happy. and you know that thing about the pursuit of happiness...

CONVERSATION 4

CONNECTION ESTABLISHED AT 1095611351.0625 on Sun 09/19/2004

11:29:38: CONFEDERATE: Hello, my name is David and I am the human.
11:30:11: JUDGE : Hello, David. Do you have a nickname?
11:30:34: CONFEDERATE: I suppose. I have been called General, but you can call me Mao.
11:31:18: JUDGE : Mao. That sounds like an interesting name. Does it mean something special?
11:31:36: CONFEDERATE: It means "cat" in Chinese.
11:31:50: JUDGE : Do you speak Chinese?
11:31:59: CONFEDERATE: A little.
11:32:28: JUDGE : Can you tell me another interesting Chinese word?
11:33:33: CONFEDERATE: The word "huang", which means "yellow", is also slang for pornographic. I once had a teacher who came to America from Beijing and needed a plumber for her apartment. Her friend told her to check the "yellow pages". My teacher was disgusted until it was explained to her.
11:34:8: JUDGE : My goodness! I think Chinese is a difficult language to learn. What do you think?
11:34:49: CONFEDERATE: I think Chinese is like music. There is difficulty involved, but it is integrally beautiful. I think English is the hardest language to learn.
11:35:18: JUDGE : Do you know any other languages?
11:35:32: CONFEDERATE: I know some French.
11:35:51: JUDGE : Have you been to France or China?
11:36:9: CONFEDERATE: Yes. Both. And I lived in Taiwan for about a year and a half.
11:36:39: JUDGE : What can you tell me about Taiwan?
11:38:0: CONFEDERATE: It is an island culture, which, in my mind, relates to their strengthened sense of cultural preservation. Also, it is a fairly wealthy democracy, especially considering it's filled with Chinese people. It is less Taoist than Mainland China but more technologically up to date.
11:38:58: JUDGE : It sounds like an interesting place. How long were you there?
11:39:30: CONFEDERATE: I was there for one semester during college and then for a year after I graduated. Everyplace is an interesting place if you're interested.
11:39:58: JUDGE : What did you study there?
11:40:20: CONFEDERATE: I taught English, studied Chinese and wrote my first novel.
11:40:32: JUDGE : Did your novel get published?
11:41:4: CONFEDERATE: I never tried. I feel it is an immature work. Maybe that's just an excuse because I'm scared of rejection.
11:41:31: JUDGE : Perhaps. Or perhaps there is another reason. Did you enjoy writing it?
11:42:23: CONFEDERATE: More than anything. It is my child. It reflects so much of me that editing it was harder than writing it. Each paragraph is an hour of a year of my life. The characters are, or were, my friends.
11:42:47: JUDGE : Do you mean the characters themselves are actual people you know?
11:43:43: CONFEDERATE: In many ways, being alone in a foreign country, the characters were amalgams of my friends. But they took on lives of their own, with their own distinct backstories.
11:44:13: JUDGE : It's a good sign when that happens. Which of your characters was your favorite?
11:45:48: CONFEDERATE: Favorite? I guess Daniel Lithium. He is a guitarist who wrote an instrumental song while essentially passed out in a crazed depression. When the song was played on his local college radio station, everyone who heard it jumped out a window. It opened a portal to another dimension. Stupid, I guess, but whatcha gone do?
11:46:25: JUDGE : When someone jumped out a window they went to another dimension? Am I reading that correctly?
11:47:0: CONFEDERATE: Yes. However, everyone in our shared reality, i.e. this dimension, watched them die. There were very few people in the other dimension to welcome them.
11:47:39: JUDGE : Were they able to be of use somehow in the other dimension?
11:48:13: CONFEDERATE: Yes. But there is some tragedy in reality and vice versa. There was no getting away from that. They hurt as much as they helped.
11:48:47: JUDGE : I suppose that is a lesson we could all learn, actually, that as much as we try to help, somehow we also hurt. Sounds deep. What is the title of your novel?
11:48:58: CONFEDERATE: The Cardboard See.
11:49:19: JUDGE : Hmmmm ... where does cardboard come into it, I wonder?
11:50:53: CONFEDERATE: Well, it's a play on the Papal See, y'know, the Holy See, and then also on the old song... say it's only a paper moon, hanging over a cardboard sea, but it wouldn't be make believe if you believed in me. The cardboard is actually used because the entire novel takes place inside a cardboard box, slightly similar to Tom Robbin's Still Life with Woodpecker or Calvin and Hobbes excursions to other timeplaces through sitting in a box.
11:51:30: JUDGE : So you have a double play on words. Very clever! I would be interested in reading your novel. Do you have it with you?
11:52:1: CONFEDERATE: It's 550 pages of single spaced computer type. I don't carry it around. Also, I might be embarrased.
11:52:30: JUDGE : Why would you be embarrased?
11:52:47: CONFEDERATE: Low self esteem, I guess. Welcome to America.
11:53:22: JUDGE : Oh, you need to be more daring! Are you shy?
11:53:55: CONFEDERATE: It depends. No, generally, I am not shy, but when it comes to revealing myself through my art, it scares me.
11:54:21: JUDGE : I know what you mean. Revealing oneself is a scary business.
11:54:33: CONFEDERATE: Glad to know I'm not alone.
11:54:52: JUDGE : You definitely are not alone. I'm glad I came today and talked to you.
11:55:9: CONFEDERATE: