Waltham Weekly 2
Waltham Weekly Report, vol. 2

16 September 1998

Hello Everybody...

This is my planned-to-be-somewhat-weekly rendition of the events taking place up here in beautiful Waltham, Massachusetts... location of the surely picturesque though not always anywhere near gorgeous campus of Brandeis University, named for an obscure & well-unknown justice in the US Supreme Court, now deceased. The justice, not the Court. In theory, at least. Regardless of all that, if you want to keep getting this, you will... if you don't, lemme know & I'll stop sending it to you. I'll try to write personal messages too, but this is a much easier method of telling everyone how life is going in a general sense... BTW, if you want a copy of the first edition of this thing & didn't get it, lemme know & I'll send it.

I'm still writing from Andy's computer... Andy, if this is unbeknownst to you, being my somewhat Marpellian, somewhat practicing (very vaguely) Jewish roomie from just west of here (as opposed to Chris, from just east of here).... the Compaq tech has been in & out of the dorm & is beginning to take on a first-name basis with a number of my fellow Brandeis frosh... The best target date for everything being well with my computer is looking like this coming Monday. But we'll see. Until then, all is still functional using Andy's much faster, much bigger computer... it provides a lotta motivation to get mine fixed; really it does.

But actually it does in a way, because Andy's sleep schedule is thoroughly non-compatible with that of Chris & myself, & this means that I can't use his computer after around midnight, when he begins his approximate 4-hour attempt at getting to sleep. Chris tends to have guests of all sorts over in our section of the "natural" triple room... I'm either out-n-about or trying to do homework (well, sometimes...) in the room, but I'm often walking in & outta the room all the time before about 5 in the morning. Every time the door opens, Andy awakens as if in a stupor & makes sure that we lock the door, even if we're going to the bathroom & intending to return in about 25 seconds. Everything would be fine if he weren't especially good at making us (Chris, myself, & all our guests) feel especially guilty for opening the door every time. But this is the way it's s'posed to be for a year, so live with it we will.

Most things are going well, except that I'm not disciplined enough to keep up with my Russian course, which actually is planning on making us fluent, as opposed to just pretending like we did at the Academy! But, assuming I survive that, the work here is pretty easy & this college format of basing grades on 2 or 3 things all semester is gutsy, but not that stupid.... it makes for a fair amount of "free" time, which, as I said before, is free only in a sense. Laundry is a real party.... I did mine at 2 am & ran into 2 other people in the same laundry basement, just to give you an indication of the local schedule. At the same time, Chris has yet to wake up before noon that I've seen. I always come back from a morning full of classes to discover that he looks the same way he did 3 hours previous. So it goes.

The people here are great with the flailing exception that everyone perceives this to be Dumping Grounds University.... thus making DGU a haven of complaints about "where I could be, should be, wanna be" etc.... it's a pain in the rear to always be hearing people whine about not getting into Ivies or (!!) places I turned down. Other than that, it's hard to complain about the population... it's all about the ratio! (this fact will probably make some shake their heads, others nervous, many laugh out loud, & a couple just sigh). Oh well. Debate, as I've said earlier to all of you (I think) is a fun thing I've joined, & a good excuse to go to NY this weekend! [sidebar: Gris, I'm planning on calling you tonight to work stuff out.... be there!]. On this topic (sorta), I saw Schneider last Saturday, visiting BU (check your ID at the door!) & hauling him back here in an experience worthy of the old country mouse/city mouse fable. Never woulda pictured myself as the country mouse, but Waltham's fairly remote. At least it's a block & a half from campus to the commuter rail, which connects directly with the T (Boston subway system), as well as Amtrak & other fun schtuff.

Someday, I will realize that I'm actually here for the proverbial long haul; that this is not summer camp; that green chile is two-thousand miles away, & so is the Frontier, & my ducks. Until that time, I'll keep on enjoying the building routines of this camp environment. If you're at college & it's already sunk in for you, I'm amazed.

What else? Ah yes, the Monopoly game! This was an epic event... just a coupla days ago. Greg, a guy from NYC down the hall, who I initially pegged as a straight-up richkid prick from the city & is actually a fairly nice guy, bought a brand-new shiny Deluxe Monopoly set with the intent of setting up several hall-wide tourneys on the 2nd floor of Scheffres. (Mike) Decker, a guy from NJ, Greg, & I all sat down to play the first game after finishing our homework, or at least what we intended to do. It was about 9 pm. 3 hours later, Decker went bankrupt. An hour later, when about 1/3 of the board was owned by Greg with the max number of houses & hotels, 1/3 of the board was owned by me with max number of houses & hotels, & the rest of the property was split between us (he had the utils, I had the rails, & 2 or 3 color groups were split between us), we were making a whole lotta money but not beating the other. The pendulum kept swinging back & forth. At around 1:45 in the morning, he looked like a zombie & had been whining for a full hour about the endlessness of the game & the fact that we seemed to be out of hundreds & five-hundreds. Eric, a guy living across the hall from the Berkeley area, offered to plug in our game to the computer Monopoly program he has & let the comp play it out. So, we set up our game on his comp, dollar-for-dollar & let it fly. When it hadn't been resolved by 2:30, he promised to let it run all night so Greg could get some sleep. He's just slightly fiercly competitive & I (as all of you know, I'm sure) am just a teensy bit stubborn. So, finally, at 8:30 am, Eric gets up to report that I have $200,000, Greg has $400,000, & he's shutting it off to end the madness before it breaks his computer. In the first Monopoly game played by the class of 2002 by the men of Scheffres 2nd, the game of Monopoly was defeated. "The only winning move is not to play." Free door brize courtesy of the Waltham Weekly Report to anyone who can name the movie that quote is from. All this may not quite have the spectacular odds of, say, Jake & the six-o-spades, but hey.... it's pretty crazy. THIS, my friends, is what college is all about.

Anyway, hope I haven't bored the crud outta you guys.... If the Kosher Kops don't mistake me for the non-Jewish guy who ran off with the kosher fork & cupcake; if Chris doesn't string me up on the door for stepping on his rug with my shoes; if I'm not mugged in NYC by an angry debater; & if Eric's loud music doesn't send us all into orbit; then I'll be writing again soon. Take care everyone... I love you all!

Peace Out,


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

[Quotes thanks to Hootie]