Monthly Archives: February 2007

flash mobius


I’m working on something, so I’d like all of y’all’s input. What is your impression, good or bad, of kids in America today, aged about 13 to 18? It can even be a cliché or a gross generalization. What personality traits do you think they have, what habits? What’s the general feeling they give you? Use big words if you have ’em!

every day is william henry harrison day


It has been a crazy week, full of writing, joyous celebration and weird weather. We are all leaving town for a few days and will see you after the three-day weekend! And if, say, Annie wants to start today’s topic in the comments, I will be reading from Colorado…

best shot taken, surmounted



Nothing could be finer: Lucy communes with Tyler Hansborough

Last night’s victory over Dook was not only a booster shot in the arm, but reminded me of Dean Smith’s teams: we hang within 5-7 points for seemingly forever… then, when you look at the clock with six minutes to go, we’re up by four. Then six. Then seven. And then the game is over, and the opposing team is wondering how it happened.

It was a gritty, bruising win, but you aren’t going to have an Instant Classic™ every time you play. What you do have are two teams that, despite the occasional interview to the contrary, really don’t like each other. When you see Reyshawn jump on that Dookie like he was going to EAT him, you know you’re in for a ride.

I’d like to turn the comments section over to the rest of you, because I just downed a dram of 1981 Brora single-malt scotch from a long-demolished distillery in the Scottish highlands. I was going to save it for a crowd, but I felt like a little celebration was in order. Chip, you were sitting ten inches from the court – would you care to elaborate?

I know all parents are now using YouTube to pimp their brood’s cuteness, but Lucy saw that Tyler Hansborough was sweating during the game, and there’s nothing she hates more than to see anyone get dirty. So, like any of us, she offers him a moist towelette:

secondary break



This is my 21-month-old daughter Lucy, and she has a mad crush on Tyler Hansborough. Before, pretty much any handsome athlete on television was Tyler, but now she understands that Tyler wears blue (and not orange. or green.) When Tyler dunks the basketball, Lucy jumps and says “That’s Tyler there! He threw the ball! He’s HAPPY!!!”

I mention this because Lucy has been nothing but a wonderful talisman for the Heels; ever since she was conceived, our team has turned things around. She came into being during the summer Roy got everyone’s head straightened out (2004), gave us the momentum swing we needed to finish off Dook in March 2005 and was due on the night of the national championship (4/4/05) yet had the courtesy to wait ten more days.

I don’t put much pressure on her, as I know she doles out her mojo in modest doses when needed. But her favorite book right now is the My First Carolina Board Book, full of pics of the Davie Poplar, the Bell Tower, Gerrard Hall and erlenmeyer flasks (her specialty). I tell her they make these board books for every major university and they don’t even bother to change some of the pages, but she doesn’t care.

Her favorite page is the sports section, where there’s a pic of a football helmet, field hockey chicks, and a shot of the Dean Dome. Even though Tyler isn’t pictured specifically, she knows this is where he lives, and looks forward to getting there every night. She even imagines other career paths he might take:

Anyway, due to the curvature of the Earth, the Dook game starts at 6pm here in Los Angeles, giving Lucy a good dose of the first half, and I’m hoping that’ll be all the spark we need. If that wasn’t enough, I wrote another column for the Daily Tar Heel, who kindly asked me to write a companion to the original.

It was a déjà vu of awesomeness to be writing a little Wednesday’s Child again after fifteen years – the same mad rush on a Tuesday night as I cajoled the Editorial Page folks to spare me just a few more inches. I have to say the editors didn’t allow me the latitude that Laura Pearlman or Jean Lutes did, but then again, what have I done for them lately?

And though the printed version isn’t half the length of my first draft, it gets the point across. Does it have the same flavor as the old stuff, the breathless idiocy of a 20-year-old maiming the English language in a quest for immortality? Probably not, but the electric charge of writing for the paper again was sweet.

I’ve been published in two books, written for the New York Times, Washington Post and Newsweek, sat in high-powered television meetings with people who decide what America watches. And yet I’m infinitely more jazzed to write another column for the DTH. If that doesn’t tell you something about Carolina – or perhaps my own disturbed pathology – I can’t imagine what would.

Maybe it’s the adrenaline feedback buzz of Dook game day, but it’s hard not to feel ageless. That I get to share it with the chick pictured above makes it so much sweeter.

I do not bite my Thumb at you sir


I’m mid-draft on a project, so must resort to a CODE WORD question today: namely, do you believe some people’s personalities are so screwed up that they can’t be saved? I don’t mean true psychopaths, serial killers and Dook fans, I mean people who probably could have been normal if they hadn’t taken a really rotten left turn.

Do you believe that one’s basic personality is malleable enough to turn a mean-spirited person into a positive guy? Can someone who has dined on their own negativity for decades pull off a mood makeover? I know pills can change the dynamic quite aggressively, but how about one’s inner definition of self? Can everyone be fixed, or are some people too far gone?

with Texas Pete packets please


Hey, it’s Various Things to Say Monday©, so here goes:


Cyia, my dad, Lucy and me last November

1. My stepsister, the lovely and talented Cyia Batten, landed a recurring role on “Studio 60,” and her second episode airs tonight at 10pm. You may have seen her before (as Wendy) on the show last fall as a member of the Bombshell Babies, performing on the show. Cyia is also a founding member of the Pussycat Dolls, but there’s a much bigger story behind that, so don’t get me started. All I would ask is that you watch Cyia kick ass on TV tonight, and throw your PCD disc onto a billowing pile of burning lard.

2. Billy from Time Out has died. Yes, that Billy. The one who wore the T-shirt that said “I’D SLAP YOUR FACE BUT SHIT SPLATTERS.” Going into Time Out at 2am to fuck with Billy was a rite of passage for all Carolina late-night social fiends, and though the constant mean-spirited persiflage between Billy and the legions of fratboys sometimes smacked of racism (or at least classism), Billy always gave better than he got. I once saw him humiliate a stunningly stupid Phi Delt in front of his date, and it was awesome. Plus, he always put extra cheese on my Chicken, Egg and Cheese.

3. Whatever magical thinking you’ve got, get it going: we play Dook the day after tomorrow. Both teams are coming off humiliating losses, but let’s not mince words. Dook deserves a beatdown; a constant, throbbing, ass-drubbing for the ages. We owe them plenty, and it’ll take five years of shellacking to get the taste of the Gut/Doherty years out of our collective memory. Here’s to a thirty-seven point drubbing, and, failing that, a dunk at the buzzer that sends the Kameron Krazies into a miserable death spiral.

egg meets the sidewalk


Just so you know I’m serious, I’m using this link – yes, from Fox News – to confirm what many of us have known and dreaded for sixteen years. The debate is over: global warming is man-made and will cause seas to rise anywhere from a disastrous seven inches to a catastrophic three feet. Hundreds of scientists and reps from 113 countries have come to this conclusion, a referendum that included input from skeptics and scientists that paint a rosy picture. In their own words, “we have this nailed.”

In essence, their average prediction can be taken as a “best-case scenario.” Republicans, you were wrong. Bush Administration, you were dead wrong. Again. Last year, 59% of Americans refused to believe man caused global warming. Look for that number to plummet in the coming weeks.

The most distressing part of the report isn’t the forecast, it’s the powerlessness. The consortium claims that it’s going to impossible to stop for centuries. We can only hope that sort of language doesn’t inspire a kind of lazy epicurianism whereby we all buy Hummers because we’re fucked anyway. We can do a lot to put a dent in this forecast and give ourselves a fighting chance at getting through this century.

It’s a harrowing moment of reckoning, this report. Hopefully, it’ll get the Square Wheelers out of our fucking way for good, so we can stop the debate and actually do something. When any of you read this report, does it make you throw your hands in the air and say “fuck it” or does it inspire any kind of action?