Columnist: Wes Platt

Aug. 30, 2013 @ 01:19 PM

Getting it done at the Carolina

Kristen “Pally” Hrncirik probably stood out that day in Canal Winchester, Ohio, when she watched Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” in a movie theater with a bunch of her sixth-grade girlfriends.

It wouldn’t have just been because of how young she was at the time, in the audience for a movie based on Stephen King’s story of a winter caretaker going homicidally insane in a Colorado hotel.

No, it may have been the giggling.

Aug. 23, 2013 @ 03:48 PM

An epic adventure in the stacks

On Saturday afternoon, Durham County librarian John Davis plans to take a handful of people to another world.

A Durham native, born and raised, the 30-year-old beard aficionado and fan of artisanal cocktails is kicking off a Dungeons & Dragons tabletop role-playing game campaign in the main library branch.

Aug. 16, 2013 @ 04:39 PM

Attacking the wrong problem, the wrong way

In 2006, I walked into the Prestonwood Country Club – my polling place at the time, when I lived in Cary – and offered my driver’s license along with my voter registration card to the poll worker.

“Oh, we don’t need that,” she said, waving off the license and perusing the registration card instead.

Aug. 09, 2013 @ 01:27 PM

The journey’s start seemed slow at first

“How did it happen so fast for you?”

It’s a fair question. At first, though, the question took me aback as I stood before the Wednesday lunch crowd at the Durham Lions Club last month.

Aug. 02, 2013 @ 05:49 PM

New priorities make decisions tough for old allies

The cat looked a little too much like Don Corleone, with her right cheek puffed out. She’d finally blown that cracked fang. Now it was infected.

Aug. 02, 2013 @ 05:50 PM

No crying in the sanctuary

I don’t think I was ever bold enough to consider myself an atheist.

Instead, for much of my life, I tread in the comfortable water of agnosticism: not too cold in my cynicism to declare there’s no god, but not so hot in my zeal to claim I could prove otherwise.

Aug. 02, 2013 @ 05:50 PM

The house of (few) secrets

I’m sociable when I have to be. But, by and large, I wouldn’t call myself a terribly social person.

In fact, I confess, I’m just this side of a hermit.

Jul. 12, 2013 @ 03:07 PM

The furry Fourth of July kitchen bomb

But I suppose nothing freaks out this dog more than fireworks. During the bang-bam-boom holidays, it’s never just one night and done, either, is it? People buy fireworks, and if they don’t set them all off on the first day, they’ll set them off every subsequent night until the supply is exhausted.

Jul. 05, 2013 @ 02:22 PM

Durham’s just as interesting without a T-shirt

I’d rather not be shot in Durham, the face, the leg or even the spleen – no matter what some T-shirt might say.

Jun. 28, 2013 @ 02:20 PM

Adjusting to the hectic routine

For most of the first month of fatherhood, I've felt a lot like Phil Connors in "Groundhog Day."

Jun. 21, 2013 @ 05:41 PM

The world accordion to Gene Lee

Gene Lee was a teen growing up in San Juan, Puerto Rico the first time he saw an American girl – a teenage daughter of Methodist missionaries – playing music in a Wesleyan Methodist church.

Jun. 14, 2013 @ 05:51 PM

First-time father, full-time duck

We didn’t even have time to panic.

From the moment we got the call at Walt Disney World to his arrival in our lives, our time was consumed by picking up a stroller, crib and child seats for the cars and stocking up on diapers and formula. We had to finalize our medical records, complete an updated home study and send in our fingerprints for federal criminal background checks.

Jun. 11, 2013 @ 05:53 PM

When life hands you a Fastpass

We had coped with rejection or, more accurately, non-selection, in the past. We could handle it again. Our philosophy: “We'll get a kid when we get a kid. It'll happen when it happens.”

Jun. 05, 2013 @ 04:49 PM

Help us help the newspaper work for you

Ten years ago, I walked away from journalism and never looked back. Well, that was the plan, anyway.