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Volume 68, Issue 143, Wednesday, May 28, 2003 


Nothing is new this summer

Jim McCormick
Opinion Columnist

Ah, yes. Summer. This is the one time of year when I can get up whenever I want, do whatever I want and eat for free.

Now back to reality. My parents still want me up before noon and I have no transportation -- the only working car left here during the day is blocked by a car that died at the beginning of the year -- and I have a dial-up Internet connection. So my mom gets ticked off when I spend the entire day online.

But this summer is a marked improvement upon past summers. I have a dog to keep me company this year. Yes, I bought my mom a Maltese for Motheris Day. Normally I am terrified of dogs, but Tee Bone Wrecks (thatis his name) is the cutest thing I ever did see. As Iive been the only person heis had to keep him company for the last month, weive grown quite close. And I never thought I could like a dog.

My father finally built himself a new computer and found a new Internet service provider. This means it is much easier for me to get online and do nothing. But Iive found that Iive been sucked into the strange and wonderful world of fan fiction, which is some of the most interesting stuff out on the Internet.

This newfound hobby has also come with a few other perks. For one, Iive been sending instant messages to a girl who is currently studying in Great Britain. Though she missed Memorial Day and the associated picnic excuse, I have reminded her that sheill be able to get a copy of <I>Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix<P> six hours before I will. That seemed to calm her down a bit. Now if only I had the money to fly over that night and take the Concorde back, everything would be perfect.

I have also declared this summer shall be free of any soap opera and court show antics. As I have cable now, those arenit the only options anymore -- no more <I>General Hospital<P> or <I>Judge Judy<P> for me. No sir.

Instead, if Iim not tying up the phone lines, Iim going to have a continuous DVD marathon or memorize the programs on VH1. Donit look at me like that. It could be worse. I could be memorizing everything on the Disney Channel again. But the one thing I have gotten from the college experience is that I am no longer a television addict. Although I absolutely had to catch the Sci-Fi Channelis <I>Star Trek<P> marathon Memorial Day.

Iive also taken up an interest in classic rock. I noted my CD collection didnit have that much hard rock in it. Yes, I did have the soundtrack from <I>Armageddon<P>, which, though not that great of a movie, had some decent music. OK, I bought it for "I Donit Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith, but thatis beside the point.

So, with the $200 I had left over from getting the dog, I went over to my local music store and got myself a little Queen, Jimi Hendrix and ZZ Top, as well as the soundtracks to <I>The Fellowship of the Ring<P> and <I>The Two Towers<P>. Though I got a funny look when I handed a $50 to the clerk, she quickly realized that it was genuine. So now, I finally have "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Purple Haze" in my collection. The bad news is I have to get a new place to put my CDs as Iive run out of space.

This summer, I am finally going back up to Iowa to visit my extended family. Times have changed since the last time I was there. My family is planning to drive up there in shifts, so you might want to avoid I-35 from Dallas to Des Moines at the end of June and the beginning of July, as I might be one of the people behind the wheel. If it werenit for the fact that Iill have my laptop with me, Iid be dreading the disconnection from the world I know -- but not to worry, Iill still write my column while Iim away.

Going to Iowa has other benefits. I donit have to worry about my mom yelling at me about getting a job. In fact, Iim pretty sure Iid be losing money if I had a job, as car insurance would be quite expensive, and I would be driving a gas guzzler if I had a car to drive. Frankly, itis cheaper for me to stay here at home and not work.

Now, if you would excuse me, I think the dog is making a mess downstairs.

McCormick, a sophomore biology major, can be reached at


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