Waltham Weekly 22
October Closing In

29 September 1999


Hey everybody. See, I'm on time! Basically a week... you just can't argue with that. Arguing is something I'll be doing quite a lot of this semester. Perhaps every weekend from here till Thanksgiving. & Thanksgiving, my friends, is a long long time away.

I haven't said this this year, so here I go... if you never want this message to darken your e-doorway again, on a weekly? basis, simply let me know... it's one of those no-obligation, cancel anytime deals. I might even write you again after you do that... no, actually, I won't be the slightest bit offended. If, on the other hand, you are new to receiving this message (I kept meaning to add you to the list before, Robbins, I swear!), back issues are always available for the low-low price of free. & that's really all to the disclaimer section of this little endeavor.

HOWever, disclaimers are separate from apologies, & on my good buddy Eliaii's behalf, I'd like to apologize to all of you who might not have wanted to be "GM'ed" by someone who has obviously spent too long in the backwoods of upstate New York. The "reply-to-all" button is a dangerous thing &, like that little red button in North Dakota, should probably never be pressed. Eliaii, I'm sure you have a little address book on your Rochester e-mail server & it shouldn't be that tough to discern the people you know from those who you've never met. Now that THAT's out of the way...

How's everybody been this past week? I ask mostly because I haven't heard from all that many of you, but such is the busy college (or non-college) life & I understand completely, so fret not. I've been fairly spiffy myself, mostly due to the onslaught of friends from the Eastern Seaboard, as Jaque, Gris, & Freez all joined Schneider & I for a weekend of Bostonian fun. While we missed the Red Sox games, we saw a good bit of the inside of the T (local subway system, for those of you who have yet to visit), as well as both the good & bad side of the tracks out here in the hopelessly funky ville we call Waltham. If you have ever ordered too little Chinese food in your life, I'm impressed, because our visit to Waltham's finest reminded me that portions at said restaurants are always more than one can handle. I'll gladly entertain any stories to the contrary.

Anyway, Pelta-Heller (my roommate, as you'll recall) stayed mostly to himself this weekend, as he is quickly becoming a moody introvert, which is odd for someone who always accused me of being a hermit. Regardless of which, he managed to beat all of us at Risk one night in what was actually the inaugural game of Fall '99 & will probably be one of only a handful played on the hall this year. Instead, the game of choice this year has turned out to be poker, yielding a new crop of players, including Gardy "the Haitian Sensation" Guiteau & Sean from East. Even Ashwin & Eric Niver from last year's Scheffres crowd pop up for a visit to the Castle Commons for a game every now & then. It's most groovy & as yet I'm way ahead for the year, not that we'd think of playing for money or anything like that......[wink wink nudge nudge knowwhatImean saynomore saynomore]....

Meanwhile, the rest of my friends from last year are rapidly shaping themselves into the equivalent of a cheezy toned-down soap opera, making me the bearer of shrug-filled advice. On any given night, I'll be approached by as many as 4 people all telling their version of the same incident or dialogue or tidbit of hearsay & I'm steering as clear as possible without being disinterested. It's actually probably good material for some sort of fictional work (if I ever recommit myself to writing, which I keep resolving to do...), but as yet it's only looking like good material for the loony-bin certifications that I'll be asked to sign later. I suppose everyone goes through this type of thing most of their lives, as the lives of those around them become increasingly tangled. Regardless of which, it's starting to make me wonder why events in my life are strangely outside of this weaved web... I'm afraid I'm equally thankful & disappointed in my own weird way.

Meanwhile, as the fog from the Atlantic slowly settles in with the dusk on the hills of Brandeis, October is creeping up on us before we even know it. & while October will bring with it the release of a new Counting Crows album (the best one can hope for since Simon & Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, & the Beatles are no longer producing), it will also assuredly bring with it the chaotic shift in order one tends to associate with October. Or at least I make such associations. October offers five weekends & I may well be at a debate tournament in each & every one of the five, which is daunting to say the least, but keeps me occupied &, like fixing a hole when the rain gets in, it stops my mind from wandering. Well, from wandering on subjects where I'd rather not tread just now anyway.

I'm getting oblique, so I should probably head for personal messages soon. Though before I do, I have to plug Zack's & my radio show on 100.1 WBRS! Trust me, none of you get it in your area... not even you, John. Well, I guess you do, Mesco, since you live on this befuddled little campus, but aside from that, I'm pretty sure our 25-watt reach is minimal. Either way, 8-10 am on Wednesdays brings with it Wolfman Zack & the Never-Ending Storey, spinning all your favorite tunes & supplying plenty of random chatter that sounds authentic because it's exactly like the flack we give each other in our room. We make all our friends get up early so we have a nominal guaranteed audience, but we're trying to build a following, though judging by our requests, the following we want may be a distance down the road. Courtney has been loyally taping some of our shows in their 120-minute entirety, so we can train & improve, or maybe just be obnoxious & relive our great moments of airtime while expanding our active listening audience. The constant duel between Zack's desire to play Pearl Jam, Radiohead, & Rage Against the Machine & my desire to play Simon & Garfunkel, Dylan, & the Counting Crows provides for an interesting, if not slightly dubious mix, but we have a good time & there's always a good centipede story to tell.

Jaque, Gris, & Freez, thanks for coming up... it was great seeing all of you. You too, Schneider. It was a great time for me; I hope you guys had fun too. Come back early & often, & with much rapidity... Waltham just wouldn't be the same without you guys coming up.

Freez & Kate, I still haven't confirmed that I can go to the JHU tournament later this month, but I HAVE confirmed that our team is going, which is a major step in the positive direction. So I'll probably be down there one way or another...

Kate, I'll probably see you this weekend too... depending on where you're going. It's looking like a packed week, though, so I'm not sure if calling will work, but I'll try to notify you later. At Smith, I'm actually probably debating with someone not from Brandeis, considering that there's an odd number of folks & Kraig (my usual partner) is taking a week off to get ahead in his science homework. The fools, the fools...

Fish, glad to hear that you're settled & all is well in your new abode. That view sounds pretty spiffy too. I'd give you flack for not joining us this weekend, but I know that you woulda been there if you coulda, so... many people asked about you, though, since you seemed to be very much missing amongst the group.

Barrett, where's Mike Greene going to college? Did you get in touch with him? I was just curious about that.

Dad, I'll try to send you a copy of one of the shows, since you expressed interest in that. It comes with the advance disclaimer that I don't pick all the music & some of Pelta-Heller's taste is, well, very intriguing.... Anyway, we discovered this weekend that the place you & I went in Boston when you were up here (Cornwall's in Kenmore Square) is actually a bar & doesn't allow under-21'ers in. So much for that idea.

I miss the rest of you too... perhaps more so, because none of you are writing! But enough about that... the world is plenty difficult without friends giving guilt trips. Write when you can, all of you. I'll try to keep up with personal e-mail if you send it along & I'm striving to be timely with this little shindig as well. This week has shown, among other things, that one never knows WHO will show up in one's inbox after a while... every time that I get a handle on life, it crawls up like a hyperspeeding centipede & bites me while I'm looking the other way. Which, I suppose, is simply encouragement to get me to start looking in every direction at once. A challenge, but one not without possibility, I hope.

As The Shawshank Redemption (for a brand-new list of my 10 favorite movies, head to my trusty website) reminds us, "Hope is a good thing." I leave you with that & a reminder (since everyone seems to be talking about their address-&-phone-number info) that my mailing address & phone number are the exact same here as they were last year. In fact, they're slated to be identical through May of 2002. See, my life has some stability!

Peace, Hope, Love, & All the Deterrence of Centipedes I Can Muster,

"I'm not a fan-a banana"
     -Courtney McEleney, in a comment which always precedes her cracking up for a period not to exceed 180 seconds, but certainly not to be much less than that either.

"That's a whole lotta Coolatta"
     -Courtney McEleney, quoting something I said after mistakenly ordering a "large" coffee coolatta at Dunkin' Donuts & not quite being able to grapple with the weight of the object which was foisted over the counter. This, usually said in tandem with the above quote, can set Courtney laughing for upwards of fourteen minutes. Yes, she's got an inexplicable thing for rhyming.

"And here I sit so patiently
waiting to find out what price
you have to pay to get out of
going through all these things twice"
     -Bob Dylan, from the song "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again", which Fish isn't the biggest fan in the world of & has absolutely nothing to do with things Courtney McEleney finds amusing. Good night.


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

[Quotes thanks to Hootie]