$Texas, It's in the vault, Me Myself and Ty

Just go out.

Beer just tastes better out of a glass to me.

I’m not pretending to have just discovered this, as I’m sure many of you are aware of the aromatic properties of certain glasses (see the Sam Adam’s glass for such an example) but it has been impressed upon me to use glasses as much as possible.

This has grown increasingly common now that I have a dishwasher that seems capable of ONLY correctly cleaning glasses (and somehow never getting that one pot lid clean) and I have taken to drinking even canned light beers out of a glass.

Yes, in those cases it is a 32-ounce mug that’s heavy enough to count as a weapon in certain cases, but it’s still an example of me always preferring a glass, even when the beer contained therein isn’t the greatest.

Of course this all has its roots in my preference for draft beer over bottled beer, which is truly what this post is about.

I live within walking distance of a handful of bars dotted along one of the main roads here that is marked by urban sprawl. Continue reading

Don't Call it a Farewell, DRIVEN, Journalism, Uncategorized

It’s in the Vault: Tall tale

My long-term absence will be explained in a future post.

When I got started in journalism, it wasn’t because I wanted to be a journalist.

It was because I wasn’t good enough to play sports at school anymore, so I sought a way to stay connected to them any way I could. Daniel Ellis invited me to attend a sports section meeting with him, and from then, I was sold.

Which is surprising, since I started out in the undesirable beats – for instance, covering our volleyball team which was riding a conference losing streak of more than 30 games.

Of course, I love volleyball, so it wasn’t really a stretch to stay interested, but there was also the spandex and the tall females I got to talk to on a weekly basis…

Maybe it wasn’t surprising, but regardless, I wouldn’t allow myself to date any of them.

I say that now and pretend like I was being an objective journalist with integrity, but it’s only because I was too afraid of them rejecting me to even ask. Continue reading


Girls and intramurals


That’s something I don’t talk about at all outside of Tweeting about idiot classmates and professors, but it’s important to set up my most exciting moment from Friday afternoon.

My bio-transcript

So I’m majoring in history because I have a good memory and like to talk and tell stories a lot. It’s not ever going to make me any money, but that’s why I’m minoring in the highly-lucrative field of journalism.

I ended up minoring in journalism mostly because I was required to take a course in copyediting to be editor-in-chief at Technician, and I figured if I’m going to dedicate 60 hours a week so something, I may as well have a note on my transcript to insinuate that I know what I’m doing.

My women’s and gender studies minor is probably a bit surprising to most, but it came from a freshman course in family sociology that grew into an obsession with understanding people. That, combined with some history courses that counted both ways (Sexes and society in early modern Europe, to name the most impressive-sounding class I’ve ever taken) and a quick, online introductory course (A+!) gave me a minor that (hopefully) will differentiate me from pigs and misogynists and land me a job.

My final minor, however, has no connection to any of my other curricula, and that’s because it’s not something I stumbled into, but something I’m passionate about: coaching.

My father, my failure, my future

My dad coached throughout his 20s and 30s and would be one of the best physical education teachers in the county if it hadn’t

Taylor kills

Between watching Taylor (above) play, playing intramural games twice a week and driving home to Goldsboro to coach volleyball, this entire semester has felt like one big match.

been for an idiot guidance counselor that told him he’d never find a job…but I digress.

So it was that three-year-old Ty wore a little jersey to softball games with a fraction on the back where an ordinary jersey number would be and spent springs and summers in dugouts where my mom and aunt played and my dad coached.

But it’s not a “coaching family” urge that makes me want to coach, it’s the horrible coaching experiences I had growing up.

My dad, burned out from coaching, opted to watch me from the sidelines while coach after coach ruined my potential either by oversimplifying or over-complicating skills I needed before I hit high school where the booster club kids were the starters.

Fast forward to college, where at one point I told inquisitors I was majoring in girls and intramural sports. With my WGS and coaching minors, I’m as close as you can get.

But to my anecdote…two years ago I helped my dad coach volleyball back at my old high school (he returned from coaching retirement to coach Taylor) but I was coaching and offering help to girls I had gone to school with so it was mostly just awkward.

But as my final class for my minor, I have to take part in some student-coaching, which meant a return to my alma mater for another stint at coaching volleyball.

Now that everyone I attended school with has graduated, I’m known as Ty…not Coach Ty. Definitely not Coach Johnson (That’s my father).

I’m Coach Johnson’s son, Taylor’s brother…he graduated from Rosewood…well…sometime…and he’s here when Coach Johnson isn’t here…or whenever he can make the 45-minute journey back to Goldsboro around his insane schedule that revolves around classes, beer and high school sports.

My coach-able moment

We were doing stations last Friday in advance of our state playoff opener and I was in charge of a passing drill when a girl slid on the ground to get a pass. Her kneepad had slid back and exposed her knee where the hardwood wore a sore into her knee. Nothing but a scrape, but, bent over looking at her knee, she turned toward me and said “Can I get some prewrap?”

I whirled around so the head coach, who was running a hitting drill, could hear her query and tell her where to find the first aid kit, but as I turned back toward her, she said again, “Do we have any prewrap?”

But that’s when I realized she was talking to me. It was the first time I had ever felt like a coach! I thought about how monumental a moment it was for me, and wondered when it had happened for other coaches…Wooden, Kryzewski, my dad…but then I realized she was still looking at me. Oh yeah…she wanted prewrap.

So I grabbed the coach’s office keys and rummaged through her drawers looking for that sticky, foamy, stretchy stuff so she could wrap her knee and prevent the blood from seeping into her kneepad.

But I couldn’t find any! Great…I finally feel like a coach, and I can’t even come through in the most minuscule medical way possible…

I took her something that was wrappy and opened it up. It was a weird gauze-like thing…no sticky. She said don’t worry about it, so I ran it back to the office and decided to take solace in the notion that while I couldn’t deliver like a coach, at least I had the respect of a coach…that’s worth something, right?

But then I saw it! The first aid kit! It was on the sideline!

I ran to it and threw open its lid and there was a roll of prewrap right there on top! (Imagine this sound)

I ran over and tossed it to her. She wrapped up her knee and gave it back, and just like that, I was a coach…

Practice leads to perfect

Bolstered by my newfound (internal) title as a coach, I walked into the gym Saturday and did the most efficient scouting job you can do on a team when all you know is the team’s name (Northside).

I built up a database of serving tendencies (#7 – short, #4 – cross-court, #10 – down the line, 9 – jump) and watched #6, their best hitter. After an early block, she tipped it over every time. I told Coach Cochran and she yelled it to her players for coverage. She even wrote it down in her notebook!

And every time a server came in, she turned to me. “Seven, short,” I’d say and she would yell to her back line to move up.

We won and play tomorrow again at home, in case anyone is wondering, bringing my career varsity volleyball assistant coaching record to 5-2.


Music Monday – Vanessa Carlton

The honor of being the first inductee into the Ty Johnson holy trinity of dark-haired lyricists belongs to Vanessa Carlton.

You likely know her as the “Thousand Miles” singer, but as I mentioned before, piano-infused pop music is a weakness of mine.

This means that in a CD-driven world (early 2000s) I bought her album “Be Not Nobody” and proceeded to memorize every song on it, including Ordinary Day.

I just stumbled through Wikipedia and learned that Ordinary Day actually charted in the U.S., but that wasn’t on any radio stations I was listening to.

I just really like her strains and the simplicity of the song. It’s just a piano and a voice. Plus it’s kind of an uplifting tune that’s fun to belt really loudly in the car.

TJHTODHL honorable mention #2: Regina Spektor

Sonja suggested Spektor to me when she learned of how much I loved Kate Nash. The two have very similar musical styles, but I wasn’t buying it…until I became the editor of Technician.

My managing editor, Ana, was the DJ of our shared office, so I was submitted to her music often and one of the songs I fell in love with was Fidelity, mostly due again to the simplicity of the song.

It became an audio sanctuary for me during rough nights. Sometimes I needed only to call out “Ana, play me a song” and Fidelity would fill the room in seconds. It soothed my head and allowed me to collect my thoughts…I don’t think I ever accomplished anything while that song was playing, but I also never murdered a writer/editor/designer during that song either, so that’s a plus.


My view on the ticketing fiasco

UPDATE Sept. 27 12:40 p.m. A few posts on the SG website to clear some things up, plus information about the additional opportunity for tickets we’ve sorta known about since Sept. 24: http://students.ncsu.edu/ The story (not the letter from Johnson) was lifted from Technician.

So if you’re an N.C. State student who requested a ticket for this Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech, that means you’re fuming because you didn’t get one and you don’t know why.

I say this because I only have heard of one friend of a friend who did not get shafted this go-round, and Facebook has blown up with people angry over this thing.

Because I no longer have editorial freedom or feel welcome writing for Technician, I decided to do my conspiracy theorizing here on my blog, so enjoy:

Did anyone receive the “Howl” from SBP Kelly Hook last week (Sept. 24)? If not, here’s the excerpt that concerned ticketing for the VaTech game:

“SG student ticketing UPDATE for the Virginia Tech game.
•  Student ticket demand is expected to be at an all time high with Parents & Families weekend.
•  Be sure to check out GoPack.com, the Technician, and our SG website on Monday/Tuesday for other opportunities to receive tickets for the VT game.”

So, if I’m reading this right, there is expected to be an all-time high amount of demand for tickets to this game, but Student Government is still predicting there will be other avenues through which students can receive tickets?

Anyone reading the writing on the wall? When has there ever been a forecast for there to be EXTRA tickets for any game? The tickets that aren’t claimed by students are generally reinserted into the lottery with remaining tickets being released to students in a first come, first serve ON DEMAND basis.

So how is it that the SBP knows, on the day that ticket requests begin, that there will be both a high demand for tickets and some excess that SG can give away at a later time?

Consider all of the other issues that have happened this season concerning tickets. At one point I heard grumblings that group leaders that received tickets had members in their groups that didn’t receive tickets, plus the all-around confusion that’s associated with freshman and ignorant upperclassmen not understanding the ticket process.

I understand that people bellyache every year over tickets (because Technician reports on it every time) but I’ve never seen an uproar like this over tickets. That, coupled with the suspiciously forecasting Howl e-mail from Kelly Hook makes me feel like something is up with the ticketing system that was glitching during games earlier this year (the group leader/member ticketing divide before the Cincinnati game) and hasn’t been fixed yet.

I hope everyone that wants/deserves a ticket gets one, and if SG does miraculously discover an excess of tickets or acquires some from visitor vacancies like they did during the Cincy game (not likely since VaTech generally travels to Raleigh well), then that is one problem solved. No worries for the student body and Go Wolfpack, ya know.

But I really feel like some investigation should be done into that Hook e-mail and whether or not SG knew about these ticketing problems ahead of time.

The way I see it, there are either enough tickets, or there aren’t. If SG or the ticketing office is holding something back from students, be it tickets or information, then we’ve got a problem on our hands