Waltham Weekly 23
The Hunt for Mid-October

Jake's got the right idea. It is a good day to write e-mail.

17 October 1999

Hey Everyone.

So, how's everyone been doing out there? Yes, I know it's been a while since I last wrote & I'm way behind last year's pace & all that... so it goes. I've been sick now for almost precisely one week & I'm just about to be over it, so that's rather spiffy. Nothing more than one of these pesky headcolds, along with an on-again off-again migraine to sweeten the deal. But I'm better now & have a moderate amount of energy for the first time in recent memory, so it's time to hit the keyboard while the typing's good.

The typing's going to have to be really good this week. I have five (5) midterms this week, at a school that prides itself on spreading its midterms over a 2-month span of time so that no one knows when their grades will be determined. 3 of the 5 are take-home papers due in the next 48 hours, so it's time to keep the printer & the coffee warm. It's only fair, I suppose, since I've had no real academic worries so far this semester, aside from my Computer Science 2a homepage, which is why (in case you've been there lately, which you most likely haven't) my Brandeis homepage is now hidden in a different folder (obtusely labelled "homepage") & most of the internal links don't work anymore. Let me survive the last science class of my life & then my web presence will again be fully functional.

My room isn't exactly fully functional these days. Pelta-Heller, my (beloved?) roomie went home (again) this weekend & I can't honestly say I'm crushed. Things between us have more or less been slip-slidin' away of late as we realize many of our rampant differences & try to reconcile them or (in his case) not reconcile them. We had a good 3-hour talk shortly before he left on Wednesday night & it would appear by the nature of that "talk" that something is rotten in the state of Castle Tower B. So, we'll see how things go. I think we'll continue to get along, but he seems to have reservations about everyone these days & I'm perhaps the least of the exceptions. Living with someone is very difficult. It doesn't matter who that person (or people) may be, there will always be struggles & compromises to be made. One's ability to maintain sanity in these living situations seems to depend upon one's willingness to. & if one side isn't willing, there's nothing the other side can do. 'Nuff said there.

One can probably never say enough in a debate round, which is where I've spent no small time in the past couple-plus weeks. So far this year I'm 8-2 in 2 tournaments... my third (JHU) would've been this weekend, but vocals were no-go due to illness & I decided that I could go to the tourney & be sick for 2 weeks or not go & be sick for 1. I've also apparently joined the "partner-of-the-week club" since my normal partner, Kraig, left the debate team indefinitely because he's not enjoying it anymore. I know how he feels... I lost my desire to debate for a whole week last year! But I get the feeling that Kraig's decision is more than a one-week-outta-six-year occurence & that his life has turned away from rhetoric for a good long while. This forced me to debate with someone from Tufts (Tufts!! Sheesh! How low can you go??) at Smith & a pretty good novice from our team at Harvard, who was debating in his 2nd lifetime tournament. & despite my lack of familiarity with partners, we've all held up pretty well so far. But it's seeming quite possible that I have a different partner every weekend I debate this semester, & most of next semester too, assuming I return. There's something to be said for variety, though I'm still not sure what that is.

Just for variety's sake, I'll be at Yale this coming weekend, attending another college Model UN conference. I'm kinda becoming disillusioned with MUN... the team here isn't terribly organized & there's a great deal of politics behind many of these conferences that gives every meeting that Chicago smoke-filled room feel. Nonetheless, I get to represent Russia in a Security Council & that's not an opportunity to be overlooked in my book. So that should be interesting... it turns out that James Weingarten is the Secretary General for that, which is groovy, since I haven't seen James (one of these random Florida highschool debaters, if you don't know) in years upon years. Maybe that will get me an "in" in the New Haven smoke-filled room.

The only place you can find filled rooms of any kind these days at Brandeis is in front of the television sets scattered about campus in the late afternoons & evenings. It's October & one of the greatest blessings of that month is playoff baseball, far more blessed 'round here since the Red Sox are still going strong. While we have plenty of Long Islanders rooting for the Yanks & Mets, Brandeis is still thankfully dominated by those rooting for an end to the 81-year jinx against the team from Boston. Though I'm sure the fever is stronger, say, where Schneider goes to school, the local sentiment rides with the success or failure of Nomar, Pedro, & the rest of Beantown's own. I've been cheering for Boston since the outset of the playoffs as any good local whose primary team failed to make the playoffs would, & last night was a joy & a pleasure as Usdan Student Center's big-screen lit up the 13-1 win for the Sox over the hated Yankees. Appearances were made by a handful of NY fans, but by the end, they were too embarassed to stick around for the final outcome. Sorry Gris & Mesco, but we all know the Yankees are going down! There's even t-shirts on campus being circulated for $10 a pop with a slightly ruder expression of that very message. You might well say "Bambino Shmambino".

You might also say that the new Counting Crows album, entitled "This Desert Life" is coming to stores on the 2nd of November. While this is true, the entire album can be found on my computer, in MP3 form, available for a listen anytime. & while I understand your "util" analysis, Gris, if others of you are interested in a 2-week-advance listen to some of the greatest new music to emerge in a long time, let me know & I'll see what I can ICQ. Personally, I think it's an excellent album & most of the songs are classic CC fare, though there's a couple that are less than stellar. Either way, I can hardly wait for the NYC concert on the 9th of November that Gris & I will be at to see that very band, one week after the official release of the album. I'm jazzed.

Other than tracking down MP3's, working on papers (or at least thinking about thinking about working on papers), working on MUN & debate, & watching Red Sox games, there's not much doing in this neck of the woods. There's been a heat wave of sorts here as we've gone from freezing temperatures to the mid-60's & everyone's breaking out the shorts like it's Nuevo Mexico. I've also been reliving the past in a weird sorta way with an online Diplomacy game with most of the guys who used to play back home. I'll be back there (home, NM), since Eliaii inquired, sometime in mid-December as I will not (I repeat, not) be going in any way, shape, or form to Australia. Long story. From there, it will be interesting, for I'll have to decide how much more time I'll be spending in Albuquerque or, to be more precise, where I'll be spending the first part of 2000. I'm in no way convinced that I feel like coming back here to Waltham for that half-year & deciding whether or not to take a semester off will be a big concern during my time in December. Life here has been stagnant & uninspired for a good long while & before my life starts getting a mind of its own & taking me down a road I don't necessarily want to travel, I need to make sure that there aren't better alternatives. I'm only nineteen & I'd kinda like to maintain the idea that some of my life can still be decided & isn't destined.

But there's plenty of time to discuss such things in the mid-future. For now, there's the near-future...

Gris, I'll be at the Columbia tourney till late Saturday, so feel free to go to the frisbee tourney. I might just go back to 'Deis afterwards, since I'll be coming back to NY for most of the couple weeks after that. If I come up with something to do here on Halloween, I'll come back; otherwise, I'll hang out there on Saturday night/Sunday. Sound spiffy?

Jaque, your e-mail gave me some of the best laughs I've had in a while. There's still hope if you transfer to a humanities school & major in English!!

Fish, good to hear that your alive & well in 7.0 territory. Quakes are fun & I always considered the experience to be vastly overrated. But that's just me.

Schneider, how are things? Haven't heard from you in what seems like ages. Please don't tell me that Physics has consumed your life...?

Kunx, speaking of which, how'd you hold up, since you were closer to the epicenter? Nothing like a good shake, rattle, & roll.

Lisha, we should hang out sometime in the next coupla weeks. Well, maybe after this coming week sometime. Let me know what your schedule looks like & such.

Kate, a call would be in order sometime after Tuesday. I'm feeling better, but most of my late nights will be spent writing for the next few days. How'd JHU go? I will be at Columbia, so I'll see you then.

Eliaii, your move to Ruhr was a complete violation of our previous agreement! What are you THINKING? Oh well... maybe Diplo' DOES represent one's true thoughts & feelings!

Barrett, glad to hear that you're getting into debate & that the west-coast debate boys are treating you well. As per your recent question, I ended up deciding, by the end of the class, that Enlightenment wasn't such a lofty goal after all. The way Enlightenment seems to be defined, it represents a great detachment from feelings & thoughts, which I value more than transcending them. My final paper was about how being Enlightened would be rotten, actually. Keep up the good riming!

Well, folks, that's all the words we could fit in today's news. Tune in next week when time marches on. Enough with the cliches; I'll cut to the farewell--


"In a house where regret is
a carousel ride
we are spinning and spinning and spinning and..."
     -Counting Crows, "St. Robinson & His Cadillac Dream"

"All the bluelight reflections that color my mind when I sleep
and the lovesick rejections that accompany the company I keep
all the razor perceptions that cut just a little too deep hey I can bleed
as well as anyone but I need someone to help me sleep"
     -Counting Crows, "Mrs. Potter's Lullabye"

"I'm thinking about leaving tomorrow
thinking bout being on my own
I think I've been wasting my time
thinking bout getting out
thinking bout getting out"
     -Counting Crows, "Speedway"


the Past has come and gone
the Future's far away
but Now only lasts for one second

[Quotes thanks to Hootie]