I'm here at my home in Aurora, Ill., for the last time before some free weekend in the Fall. Wow. Everydays start next Friday. I have been reading my friends' away messages about "shopping for tour" and "packing for tour" or "getting ready for tour." This is another great drum corps tradition: the trip to Wal-Mart/Meijer/K-Mart/Target for tour supplies! My great tradition of doing everything at the last minute will regretfully continue. This year, however, it means something different for me to get everything ready at the last minute, since not only will I be preparing my tour life, I will have to get my life together for college in the fall. I can tell you my schedule through December already: May 27 -- Leave for everydays/tour
August 14 -- Finals might
August 15 or 17 -- Illini band camp
November -- Thanksgiving break (next time I'm home)
December -- Finals and holiday break So as I begin to prepare myself for departure, instead of listing things I am bringing with me, I have made a list of things that we should all say goodbye to for the summer, some of them being things I am saying farewell to, as well: So long, bed. While others sleep on their fancy air mattresses, I will stay comfortable only with my sleeping bag and blanket. I will miss you while I am away, in all of your padded comfort. You were a wonderful place to sleep, and when I was nestled comfortably in your sheets, I did not have to worry about the jerk next to me snoring, or the buzzing of the gym lights coming on. So long, television. If you are in Champaign, we got you for free from an Internet scam. If you are here in Aurora, you have provided me with hours of cable entertainment, most of them from the Food Network. Iron Chef, Alton Brown, and Al Roker, I will miss you. These hours of daytime TV watching, yes, these are the times I will remember the best. So long, my favorite restaurants. I might catch you on a laundry day. Qdoba, BW3, Antonio's, Potbelly's, you all held me up when I was down. Someone told me once that food defines me. I know that the wonderful Southwind cook staff will provide me with delicious and nutritious meals, however, I will miss you in all of your greasy goodness. So long, bathroom. I enjoyed the privacy you gave me while I showered, and performed any other duties in the washroom. Your shower curtains, temperature control and cleanliness made my mornings a pleasure. The consistent pressure out of your shower nozzle was never a surprise, but always welcome. The amenities you carried, I can only bring what is necessary on the road with me, and I will miss the rest. So long, lazy days. Even though I became very bored early, I will miss sleeping in and playing video games all day. This video game golf was much too hard for me, yes, but I will miss especially a good round of Klondike Solitaire. I didn't even put on a respectable pair of pants today, until 5 p.m. So long, computer. You have kept me company through thick and thin, and I love you for it. I was able to update myself on my e-mail status, various 'blogs,' the Southwind Web site, and DCI.org through your brilliance. We enjoyed taking quizzes and surveys that tell me to within a decimal point how big of a loser I am (82 percent -- it's science), or how big of a drum corps "geek" I am. You tell me my grades, I did my homework on you, I played "Word World" for hours with my roommates. I will miss you, home things. And computer, I'll be back for one more column on you. Emails, do it soon: dittrich@uiuc.edu