The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 14, 1998, Page 5, Image 5

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CLIFF HICKS is a junior
news-editorial and English
major and a Daily
Nebraskan columnist.
“Another year, another headache.”
“Well,” James thinks, “this year
will be different It has to be.”
He sits on the loft bed of his dorm
room, looking at his folded hands rest
ing in his lap. The room is slowly
begmning to warm up, and his luggage
is still unpacked on the floor in the cen
ter of the room. He’s been thinking a lot
over the tweak.
' On the excuse for a desk in the cor
ner of the room lies his report card, the
grades a bitter reminder of last semes
ter’s excesses. Too much drinking, too
many parties and not enough studying.
1 “I will learn,” is James’ new
mantra. It replaces “Party! Party!”
Sarah, James’ ex-girlfriend, knocks
on the door, pushing it open a little.
They’re still friends, but nothing more.
“Hi, James,” she says to him as she
peeks her head in.
“Hi, Sarah.”
“Ready for classes?” she asks as
die slips into the room, closing Ae
door behind her.
“Not really” he confesses, “but are
we ever?”
Sarah nods, hiking out a pack of -<
cigarettes and tapping them on her
thigh. “I know what you mean,” she
says. “Last year was the same way. We
got back and neither one of us wanted
to be here. Thatfc the problem with
school - it’s just not any fun to learn
He lifts his head up at the sound of
plastic on denim, his blue eyes firm
and rejuvenated, ‘lid really rather you
didn’t smoke inhere, Sarah.”
She looks up, surprised, then puts
the packet away in her jacket “Trying
to cut down?”
“Quit cold tmkey.”
Her eyes widen a little as she takes
offher jacket, setting it over the back ol
one of fee room’s two chairs. “Really?”
she asks. “Why?”
He smiles a little, shrugging as he
jumps from the loft to the floor. “It
wasn’t good for me.”
Her laugh is as soft and melodic as
ever. “Neither is drinking, but you
aren’t giving that up.”
His smile broadens a little as he
picks up an apple, buffing it on his U2
T-shirt. “Who says?”
This time she looks even more
shocked than the last time. “Oh come
on, James! You can’t give up drinking!’
He chuckles, moving to lean
against die radiator; the capitol budding
visible through the window behind
him. “Why not?” he asks before he
takes abite of his apple.
“What are you going to do at par
> ties?” she asks as she straddles the
chair, watching him curiously.
With the push ofa button, his
stereocomes on and the soft, lulling
white noise of My Bloody Valentine
floods into die room. “I don’t think I’m
going to be at very many parties this
yeat Sarah,” he remarks, knowing this
whole conversation must simply be
stunning to her
“You’re just going to sit hoe and
study all die time?” she laughs. “I’ll
believe that when I see it”
James moves to open up one of his
suitcases, slowly taking out die clothes
from inside of it “Well prepare to be a
believer then.” He pulls open a drawer;
setting ah his neatly folded jeans into it
The whole room is James’ this
semester, and he knows it will be nice
not to have the crowds of people com
ing in and out all foe time and the loud
yelling at 2 a.m. about stupid topics.
When he is ready to sleep, he can sleep,
he thinks to himself. Getting up will be
the big challenge, though, since he has
a tendency to oversleep.
“Aren’t you taking French for; like,
the fifth time this semester?” she asks,
picking up his half-eaten apple and tak
ing a bite from it “Itb not that hard of a
class. I did it straight through my first
He shrugs, rubbing his bare chin.
“Some people can do things easier than
Sarah sighs, setting the apple back
on the counter. “You know, your mom
told me once that you were like a
genius kid back when you were young.
What happened?”
Janies takes his shirts and puts
them into the next drawer, then closes it
before turning back to look at her. “I
think I just got lazy. You know, all the
basic subjects in school were never that
hard for me, so I figured the advanced
stuff would come that way too, but it
“So you change,” she says. “You
get back to working hard and doing
what you have to do.”
“I know,” James replies. “That’s
what I’m doing.”
She gets up, picking up her jacket
with a finger. “You don’t need to isolate
yourself to do it, James. You just have
to refocus and regroup. Don’t cut back
on your social life because you have a
“But what if it’s part of the prob
lem?” he asks her.
There is a long moment of uncom
fortable silence before she puts her
jacket on. Sarah thinks to herself that
James is just having another one ofhis
mood swings. Part ofthe reason they
broke up was because he didn’t like her
friends and she didn’t like his, so him
cutting back on the parties really does
n’t surprise her.
“Well, I need to get going,” she tells
him. “Don’t be a stranger. Give me a
call sometime. WfeTl hang out or some
He nods as she slips out the door.
‘Take care of yourself, Sarah.”
“You know me, James, it’s all I do
He locks the door behind her, sigh
ing to himself He knows he won’t call
her, because she was part of the prob
lem. Trying to get him drunk four
nights a week, telling him classes don’t
matter, trying to wean him away from
his friends. -
It’s back to basics fra* James, Hard
work, lots of studying and hanging out
with friends he enjoys-no more sense
less partying, no more clouds of ciga
rette smoke and no more drinking
binges that make him forget his own
brother’s name.
College life is like a drug - you say
a lot of times that this is the last time
you do it to excess, but sooner or later,
you get that bad hit and you need to get
things in working order before they kill
Sooner or later, you have to quit
cold turkey.
It’s pot the good life, boNti life and
it’s getting better./
“And to think,” he says as he puts
his books on the shelf, Irvine Welsh’s
“Trainspotting” staring at him ironical
ly, “these are the golden years of my
With that, he can only laugh.
junior broadcasting
major and a Daily
Nebraskan columnist.
Greetings, my dozen readers.
I’ve returned from the land of
milk and honey to write for you
once again. The last few weeks have
been a hoot. I’ve been bustin' a
move on tour with Puff Daddy and
the Family as their special guest.
Quite a bit has changed since the
last day of classes. The sun rose and
set a few times and a new year has
paid us a visit.
With a new year comes resolu
tions and goals, and in the world of
journalism, the obligatory year-in
review story. Year-in-review articles
are like teen-agers and smoking.
Everyone's doing it. At least that’s
what the influential ones say.
1 Among all the year-in-review
stories, tiie most appalling one came
from the Denver Post. On the front
page of the Dec. 29 issue was a -
photo of Jon Benet Ramsey between
Mother Teresa and Princess Diana.
The caption said their deaths were
the most important events of 1997.
Mother Teresa, yes. Princess Di,
maybe. But the picture of Jon Benet
fiamsey between the next saint and a
great humanitarian was just
When I pointed this out to Puffy
on the tour bus, he didn’t cease to
amuse me.
“It’s so obvious that the mother
killed her because she was jealous of
her husband having sex with her,” he
said. V * ~
The next day, the tour was post
poned and I checked P.D. into Hard
Copy rehab against his will. The
doctor tells me he hasn’t mentioned
the British Nanny in three days.
There’s hope yet that he’ll make it.
Anyway, back to the year-in
review concept
Now it’s my turn, but since I’m
not your typical journalist and I’m
fighting a Green Bay Packer
induced, Old Style headache, I pre- ,
sent to you the year in review for the
first two weeks of 1998.
So far there’s been death.
Let’s start with Chris Farley.
Granted, he died at die ripe old age
of 33 on Dec. 18, but the results of
his autopsy weren’t published until
the Jan. 3, so he counts toward this
review. Found face-down, dead and
bloated and loaded full of drugs isn’t
exactly the most gracious way to go
out Farley always said he admired
John Belushi, and now he died like
him. It was a bit of a shock, but
when you weigh 295 pounds and
spaz out on crank, your heart is
bound to explode after a while.
But hey, according to the
National Enquirer, he was enter
tained that night by an orotic dancer
or two. Booze, drugs and lewd
women - maybe that is a good way
to die.
The silva lining to his death is
that a spot has opened up for a Chris
Farley/John Belushi impersonator,
and Fm going to try to be that guy. I
could gain 125 pounds, Fm fairly
funny to people who are on Prozac ,
and I guess I could do drugs, like
speed, if it meant that I could sweat
incessantly at will
Ruling in die new year was the
death of Michael Kennedy. The son
of Robert died while skiing the
slopes of Aspen, Colo. Kennedy and
pals ignored die warnings from the
ski patrol that playing football while
skiing among trees is dangerous.
Maybe the Kennedy family's
rampant inbreeding was the cause of
his lack of common sense. Poor guy
was really the black sheep of die
family. He was a recovering alco
holic and was facing chaiges of
statutory rape that stemmed from his
lustful affair with his family’s teen
baby sitter.
But after all was said and done, I
learned something interesting about
the Kennedys. The family lives in a
compound, not a home. A compound
would be a neat place to begin my
bloating and rampant drug use.
For a couple days, Michael’s
death looked to be cover story
to prove
can die
just as easily. ,
Their plan worked. Sonny’s
look too happy.
The university’s football team
played a game over the break. They
beat Tennessee like a bunch of red
headed stepchildren. The citizens of
Lincoln took to the streets. The
drunken revelry was so intense
you’d think Ronald Reagan was re
elected for a third term.
Sometime during the ruckus, or
so the authorities suspect, a statue
was removed from the Sheldon’s
sculpture garden. It was a silly look
ing bronze thing titled “Man in
Open Air.” To a group of intoxicated
football fans, it was die perfect sou
venir of the night. And I thought I
was being a rebel by helping myself
to a pint glass from a local tavern.
The only problem was the bronze
figure was worth $500,000.1 would
have loved to see the looks on the
faces of whoever stole it when they
saw on the news that their souvenir,
now dressed in a Huskers’jersey,
Bermuda shorts, and a hat made
from the packaging of a Busch Light
12-pack was worth half a million