Chat log for December 6, 2004

[camidon] Thank you, I will be polite.
[camidon] was in the andromenda cafe, i had the nasty bar; now, in the asteroid lounge, I have the drop down menu.
[anneliese] Oh, yes, I have that bar too!
[anneliese] Nice Colors. Hi CM!
[camidon] Evening, Anneliese.
[anneliese] When do you leave for Mexico?
[camidon] let's try the darker green
[anneliese] And the dark red.
[camidon] <much better> I leave this Friday.
[anneliese] You must be excited.
[camidon] The red really stands out.
[anneliese] (I'm excited for you)
[anneliese] Kind of seasonal colors, don't you think?
[camidon] Yes, excited, exhilirated, a little nervous, and already missing the familiar even though I haven't left!
[anneliese] LOL, as it should be!
[camidon] Oh, gosh, you're right. lol
[anneliese] I wasn't sure whether to write a critique tonight, or just hope you'd show up.
[Elizabeth] hello there!
[anneliese] Hi Elizabeth!
[Elizabeth] CM, I'm green with envy over your trip. Except for the caving part, which would probably send me into claustrophobic fits. Eye-wink
[camidon] Just started the packing; had been gathering supplies for the last month, but now its time to cram it into as small a bag(Drunk as possible!
[camidon] Evening, Elizabeth.
[Elizabeth] And congratulations, both of you, on making the NaNoWriMo numbers!
[Elizabeth] I failed even more miserably than usual. Smiling
[anneliese] Thanks.
[anneliese] There's no such thing as failing, Elizabeth
[camidon] Thank you, but don't forget, failing is a whole lot better then not even trying!
[Elizabeth] Okay...let's rephrase it...I set a low-word-count record this year.
[camidon] lol
[Elizabeth] I should probably put off the NaNoWriMo thing until I'm employed full-time and doing extra stuff for kiddo's school. For some reason I work best when overextended.
[anneliese] When I am not busy enough, I tend to accomplish nothing at all, so I know exactly what you mean.
[camidon] Nothing like the added pressure.
[anneliese] How are your job prospects?
[Elizabeth] Getting better. Had an interview Friday and two today.
[Elizabeth] Knock wood, I'll have something by January.
[anneliese] Sounds hopeful.
[camidon] Good luck, <fingers crossed>
[Elizabeth] so how long is this trip for, CM?
[camidon] How are things in Conn, Anneliese? Things back to normal after NaNo?
[anneliese] Getting there, work is still very slow, the final week push of NaNo got me exhausted to the point that I was sick all last week, but things are better now...up to scene 6 in edits.
[Elizabeth] Good for you, Anneliese!
[camidon] Technically; it's on going. I leave this Friday. And I have to be back no later then Feb 1 (7 weeks or so) Some people may stay longer.
[anneliese] And tomorrow is next appt. for hubby with the neuro-opthamologist.
[Elizabeth] How's your husband doing?
[camidon] Bummer on the sickness, but it was all for the writing right? Congrats on the ongoing edits!
[anneliese] Make that Wednesday. He's doing better. He still has a little over half the vision in the left eye, and right eye is showing some improvement.
[Elizabeth] I'm glad to hear that. Have they figured out what was/is going on?
[anneliese] Right, CM, now that I've seriously started writing again...I can't stop! I am going to get this through the second draft and sick it onto you!
[camidon] That sounds hopeful. again <fingers crossed for you>
[camidon] PLease do!
[anneliese] What he has is called pseudo tumor cerebri. It is an elevated pressure in the spinal fluid, which in turn, causes constriction of the optic nerve.
[anneliese] You're lucky you're leaving for Mexico this Friday, or I'd be sending you stuff now, hee hee.
[camidon] I promise I won't do this: to your manuscript (Have to put it in once a chat)
[Elizabeth] Ah. I hope he and you keep making progress...I want to see what you're working on!
[anneliese] Oh, please, I was looking forward to that, CM!
[camidon] I still have three days...
[anneliese] Don't tempt me!
[camidon] I think I've been tempting you all of November!
[anneliese] But we should be talking about your sub tonight!
[anneliese] You got my opening...what more did you want?
[Elizabeth] I'm ready to talk about the sub if you'd like, CM. Eye-wink
[camidon] I'm always open to feedback, but it's so much more fun to pester others about writing!
[camidon] Sure, my virtual ears are all open!
[anneliese] Well, I especially liked your last line of the rewrite.
[camidon] umm, that should be BOTH ope. I don't have more than two, at least, I don't think so.
[Elizabeth] <===agrees w/Anneliese. I loved the closing line of the new version.
[camidon] Anneliese, you mean, the Casablanca homage <sp?>
[Elizabeth] just how many virtual ears do you have, CM? Inquiring minds want to know.
[anneliese] It is about as splendidly ambiguous as you could get.
[Elizabeth] The part I'm thinking of is where Raymond says, "I'll be damned" and CaComp replies, "Not if I can help it."
[anneliese] Exactly.
[camidon] That's good to know; Eddy did not. I thought it summarized the story rather well.
[Elizabeth] So did I.
[camidon] Okay, so that's good, now please, pull out your howitzers, let me have it!
[anneliese] There were a couple of typos?
[Elizabeth] Are you sure about that, CM? :evil grin:
[anneliese] lol
[Elizabeth] There were paragraphs that seemed choppy to me: lots of short sentences, one right after the other.
[anneliese] It felt a tiny bit rushed...as if you could have taken more time (ala more words) with it.
[Elizabeth] And I sometimes had to read twice to distinguish Raymond's internal monologues from the dialogue/action.
[camidon] <Damn typos> (refraining from inserting certain smiley icon) In one of other stories I spent a week examining every darn paragraph six times, before moving on to see if that dimishes the typos. We'll see in the future...
[Elizabeth] Perhaps that's because you didn't want to use underlining or italics in this draft. I enjoyed Raymond's internal conflict and wanted to see it stand out.
[anneliese] Nope....typos are best resolved by someone not too close to the work.
[camidon] Any specific spots that felt rushed or choppy.
[anneliese] You just can never see them all.
[camidon] true, true, about the typos
[camidon] Elizabeth, Would you suggest using Italics?
[Elizabeth] I especially liked the description of Greg's desk toy. Very Captain-Queegish, and I loved watching Ray "crush Greg's balls" in the second-to-last scene. Great metaphor for how Raymond finally stands up to his jerk of a boss.
[Elizabeth] Italics would help, yes.
[anneliese] Well, one thing I liked about this version was that Ray really changes as a result of his experience, but it felt too fast, like I wanted one more scene with the robot to cement the change.
[Elizabeth] The first paragraphs--where Raymond is trying to figure out what's wrong with CaComp--seemed a little jerky to me, a little rushed. Lots of short sentences.
[Elizabeth] And there was some awkward description of Greg's office and his energy-ball desk toy.
[anneliese] <==agrees w/Elizabeth about the desk toy
[camidon] Ah those balls of steel...
[Elizabeth] Perhaps you can describe it by showing Greg playing with it, and how that play annoys the hell out of Raymond, as Greg lectures him.
[Elizabeth] Maybe Greg keeps smacking the two balls together so that the noise is just as loud and annoying the fiftieth time as the first, or makes them take wild trajectories,
[camidon] OK, so one more possible scene to cemet the transformation. Any ideas what it could be?
[Elizabeth] or fondles one in one hand...more of the Captain Queeg reference.
[Elizabeth] What if Raymond shares his poem with CaComp?
[camidon] Good idea, about Greg toying with the balls, very in his character (as stock as he may be)
[Elizabeth] Shows that he's taking CaComp's transformation, and his, seriously, and that he's willing to deal with the robot as with another sentient being.
[Elizabeth] It could also flesh out CaComp's personality, for instance, if Raymond tells CaComp that his poem stunk and CaComp praises it. "It is an excellent poem, Raymond Weathers. It rhymes, the rhythm is correct, and it expresses your feelings perfectly."
[camidon] That's also a good idea. Will have to try it. That would be a subtle way to show how Ray is starting to take CaComp seriously.
[camidon] oh that's funny!
[Elizabeth] Or what if CaComp mentions Raymond's leap of faith--the fact that he finally stood up to Greg and quit his lousy job without a secure backup.
[Elizabeth] :::blushes::: thanks.
[camidon] You two are on a roll tonight! Great ideas left and right! <Eating them up greedily>
[Elizabeth] Because leaving this lousy job is such a big step for Raymond...up to this point he's been too afraid to do much of anything.
[anneliese] Oh, no...the pressure's on me now
[camidon] You're right. A little more time would be good. And then a line like that about faith, would be the perfect crack in Ray's disbelief. He's see the duality.
[Elizabeth] Nah, Anneliese, you've been sick. Plus you've been writing like a mofo...cut yourself some slack.
[camidon] No no, Anneliese, the only pressure is to submit your stuff!
[anneliese] You guys are going to be so sorry...
[camidon] Ah yes, NaNoMoFo. Hmmm... Where's the smiley with the halo when you need it!
[Elizabeth] roflmao!
[Elizabeth] That'll be the name for my website, when I finally get around to setting one up.
[anneliese] lol
[camidon] We'll jump that gorge (about being sorry) when we get there! No regrets!
[camidon] ditto the roflmao
[camidon] One critter asked: "I was wondering why a psychiatrist would be sent to see a robot." Is this a problem in your minds? That it's not really answered WHY Ray has to go see CaComp?
[Elizabeth] Greg's enough of a jerk that he would throw people at CaComp until he got the answer he wanted.
[anneliese] Because it's the reverse of Eliza
[Elizabeth] I just assumed that the engineers and programmers didn't give Greg the answer he wanted, or he just wanted to jerk Raymond around.
[anneliese] Good answer, Elizabeth...that was my conclusion.
[Elizabeth] The very illogic, and arbitrary nature, of Raymond's visit highlights just how crummy his job is.
[camidon] My kind of logic too, Elizabeth.
[anneliese] But I still like the Eliza reverse-analogy.
[Elizabeth] If the boss is crummy enough, no logic is necessary.
[camidon] Reverse of Eliza? Not following.
[anneliese] Eliza was the first computer program to pretend to be a psychologist.
[camidon] Wow, how about that, I didn't know that.
[anneliese] But maybe I have the name wrong.
[camidon] That's really intersting.
[anneliese] Predates AI in its infancy...a product of the 60's
[camidon] "arbitrary nature, of Raymond's visit highlights just how crummy his job is" Or perhaps how crummy my knowledge of pyschologists is!
[camidon] I'll have to look up some references.
[Elizabeth] No, you have the name right. I remember dealing with Eliza in a college computer programming course.
[anneliese] If you are going to assume that this *company* has psychologists, then Raymond can be believable.
[anneliese] I've met some pretty not-so-intelligent psycholists.
[anneliese] Or, rather, psychologists that probably should have had other careers, but were not cut out for anything else.
[camidon] That was my thought too, Anneliese. If the story was longer maybe it would matter. But it's just a short romp through religion, robotics, and bad poetry. Oh and balls of steel!
[Elizabeth] Ahhh. And Raymond would be easy to pigeonhole in that way, because he's so afraid of change and of asserting himself.
[camidon] That sums of Ray pefectly.
[anneliese] Gotta have those balls of steel!
[Elizabeth] Or he could be the put-upon HR guy, the one who gets hauled in to do psychiatric evals of employees the company wants to get rid of.
[Elizabeth] Greg's had it with CaComp and sees no reason why he can't make Raymond do a write-up on CaComp as well.
[anneliese] Or someone the computer programmers can go to--to test their newest robotic-human interaction protocols.
[anneliese] So he has to test the robot, because he must have screwed up telling the computer programmers something in development.
[camidon] Yes, this is kind of straight out of Office Space, only with robots, religion, oh and those balls of steel if I haven't mentioned them.
[Elizabeth] Exactly.
[anneliese] At least they aren't balls of plastic.
[camidon] But is that desperately needed, that reason for Ray to be there? Does it have to be stated?
[Elizabeth] Good idea, Anneliese.
[Elizabeth] I don't think so, really. The whole company has a very Dilbertesque or "Office Space" feel to it.
[camidon] lol
[anneliese] I don't see any reason that it has to be stated. But, if you know the reason, it helps to flavor your explanations and interactions between characters.
[Elizabeth] And there are employees, in sufficiently big or old companies, who get in somehow and just cling to their cubes like limpets.
[anneliese] Too true.
[camidon] To me, that's really tangential to the story so I scrapped it all together. Not that those ideas aren't good, because again, you two are on fire tonight with good idea.
[camidon] Very true, Anneliese.
[anneliese] I agree. It is pretty tangential.
[anneliese] (love using that word...tangential)
[camidon] <ack> The mere thought of clininging to those cubes makes by spine shiver (thinking about Mexico. thinking about Mexico thinking about Mexico thinking about Mexico thinking about Mexico)
[anneliese] LOL
[anneliese] It's actually clinging to the paycheck.
[Elizabeth] And the water cooler.
[camidon] True, true. Many wallets are stitched to those cubes.
[Elizabeth] And the red Swingline stapler.
[anneliese] Gotta have that water cooler!
[anneliese] Red! I want a red Swingline stapler!
[Elizabeth] And the coffeemaker, so that they can get their java at just the right sludgy consistency.
[camidon] What a great simile, like limpets. I love it!
[anneliese] That reminds me...I was going to make cappucino tonight.
[Elizabeth] Or barnacles. Those things are murder to get off of a boat's hull.
[Elizabeth] lol Anneliese!
[camidon] Can I sip from that well of metaphors from which you must be drinking, Elizabeth?
[Elizabeth] I had a coworker at my first programming job...one of those guys who started back in the "scratch the instructions into the bare metal days"...
[camidon] Ah, cappucino and barnacles, those two thought go so well together!
[Elizabeth] He actually waited an hour after the first pot was brewed because he *liked* his coffee thick and extra-bitter.
[anneliese] egad!
[Elizabeth] Take a drink, CM, but keep an antacid handy.
[Elizabeth] Metaphors can give you a wicked case of acid reflux.
[camidon] <topic shift> Anneliese, Any word on some of those online contacts you mentioned? A new members in the wind?
[anneliese] I sent out 2 joining letters last week. I may follow-up this week if I don't hear anything from either of them.
[camidon] <Adding to shopping list, buy antacids.>
[camidon] Well, the mere contact is good.
[anneliese] True. One sounded serious, couldn't tell with the other.
[camidon] Any other glorious ideas for "Divine Transformation"?
[Elizabeth] <topic re-switch> CM, I did like the second draft a lot better. With a little polishing it should find a good home.
[anneliese] Hire an illuminator to paint decals on the robot?
[Elizabeth] For some reason, SF writers don't tend to do humor.
[Elizabeth] lol!
[Elizabeth] give the robot loose wires in a televangelist up-do?
[anneliese] Yes, seriously, the second version is a good story.
[camidon] Before we wrap this up tonight? <though chatting with you two is one big giggle fest after another)
[anneliese] Yes?
[camidon] Wow, that post came late to the board.
[camidon] I do like this NaNo induced jaunt.
[Elizabeth] Oooh. The robot can probably generate static electrical charges large enough to knock people out--or robots--and "slay them in the Spirit".
[Elizabeth] Okay. I'm definitely going to Hell for that last remark. >:-)
[anneliese] LOL
[camidon] Rewrote "Divinie Transformation" in an evening of NaNO induced procrastination. Who knew you could procrastinate writing by, um, writing!
[camidon] HA!! LOL
[anneliese] Really, I am so amazed by your overall productivity last month, CM
[Elizabeth] Just think of all the cool electrical stuff CaComp will be able to do, with Raymond's tutelage. ::really evil grin::
[Elizabeth] As am I. My tiny little mind boggles at the amount of writing you two have done.
[camidon] That, just might be another story. I'd love to see CaComp in a glass cathedral with robes!
[anneliese] You've been known to knock the words out, Elizabeth.
[anneliese] Ooo, yes, that could be even more fun, CM.
[Elizabeth] So would I, CM.
[camidon] Had to write, or would have felt guilty in Mex.
[Elizabeth] And lots of great big video screens.
[camidon] You'll hit another groove yourself, Elizabeth, eventually. CaComp has ordained it thus!
[Elizabeth] I actually started on a couple of stories during November...now if I can just finish them up and get them out.
[anneliese] All bow to the holy CaComp!
[camidon] Ideas, Ideas. Everywhere! Fabulous.
[anneliese] My downfall...never finish...never get anything out.
[camidon] Well, the minutes slip by as they always do. Any last comments?
[Elizabeth] Ditto.
[Elizabeth] I have so much fun chatting with you all, but the Whippet of Mass Destruction wants to play...I'd probably better say goodnight.
[anneliese] I like where this story is going, and I'm jealous that you're going caving in Mexico, and we are going to miss you terribly!
[anneliese] It's been very much fun.
[anneliese] And I have to wake up hubby to send him to bed.
[Elizabeth] Yes, have a wonderful time in Mexico, CM!
[anneliese] I'm glad you both could make it tonight.
[camidon] I'll be back, the weeks will fly, I'm sure.
[Elizabeth] I'm jealous, even though I'd probably spend all of my time stomping around pre-Columbian ruins and eating.
[camidon] Thanks, you to have food holidays
[camidon] Um, I meant GOOD holidays, though I suppose FOOD holidays works too...
[anneliese] LOL...was working for me!
[Elizabeth] Food holidays works for me, too. Smiling
[anneliese] Take lots of pictures.
[camidon] Thanks for both of you coming. Fun as always.
[Elizabeth] Take care, and send us pics!
[camidon] gnight, then. Keep Writing!
[anneliese] Niters!
[camidon] willdo, gnight
[Elizabeth] good night!