Tucker's Tales


How You Know The World Is Ending

Posted by Tara Bilby on May 30, 2012 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (1)

That's it folks, finish building your bunkers, stock up on some more soup, chop down your last trees for fire wood, the world as we know it is coming to an end. I never thought I would join the crazies in thinking that 2012 would be my last hoo-rah.. but the time has come. I am welcomed by those in radio active masks, the Boo Radley's of our generation, they welcome me with peace...

The final nail on this world's coffin was just nailed in. (take nail as a noun or verb as you wish). Shaun White hooked up with Bar Rafaeli. *takes pause from writing post while I grab another tissue*

There is so much that is wrong with this world, but that just moved into the top five. I had my moments where I thought the time was nearing before now. But I tried to push them to the side, tried to listen to the "normal people" well I'm done listening to the "normal people" damnit!  It's time everyone starts listening to the Mayans. Maybe they were the equivalent then to what the New Jersey psychic is now. Need more proof then Shaun White and Bar? I'll give you the proof. Here they are, signs that people can no longer ignore, signs that the world is coming to an end...

Snooki conceived a child.

Ally Tucker admitted to liking a Taylor Swift song.

Drew Franklin gave up Taco Bell.

Amanda Bynes was arrested for a DUI.

Miley Cyrus hasn't been arrested for a DUI.

Drew Franklin gave up Taco Bell.

John Travolta found pleasure in activities that weren't dancing.

Kim Kardashian is dating someone that isn't an athlete.

Blu Ivy has yet to release a baby lullaby track of her mumbling.

YOLO became popular this year.

... Did I mention Drew Franklin gave up Tace Bell?

And then of course there's this..

I'll save you room in my bunker if you bring the booze.

Thank You

Posted by Ally Tucker on November 29, 2011 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (1)

If you want to read something witty, clever or funny...go read every other blog entry from our archives. 

I spent more time than I would like to admit today trying to think of a comedic tribute blog that I could write to honor Transy's true gem, Letha Mattingly (known to some as "The Thank You Lady"). It turns out, there's really only one way to honor the woman, who has worked for over 30 years swiping Crimson Cards in Transy's cafeteria and making each student smile on their way in to lunch.... and that is by simply saying....

Thank you, Letha. THANK YOU...

things i'm thankful for

Posted by Kristen Geil on November 24, 2011 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

A quick and dirty list of things I am thankful for today:

-My "monday" playlist on my iPod- full of songs that get my psyched for the day ahead (featuring the styles of Beyonce, Billy Ocean, and of course DMX)

-Parks and Recreation

-A family who sends me a Thanksgiving sweets tower and christmas sweaters for Thanksgiving presents

-The worst thing that has happened to me in the city has been losing my wallet through my own dumb fault- could be a lot worse

-Even though I complain about being a poor grad student, I'm better off than 95% of the world and my fridge is always semi-full

-I have a best friend who texts me pictures of her animals daily

-I have a roommate who loves to bake and sew and introduced me to Jimmy Fallon late night; also that her family is here today and cooking us thanksgiving dinner

-I have finally figured out the perfect coffee to water ratio in my coffee machine

-I have never seen Twilight movies

-I survived- no THRIVED- my senior spring and "long hair don't care" has become a legitimate life motto

-UK basketball

-The national dog show on television today (I MISS MY DOGS)

-That my dad has a brand-new knee and is doing great with physical therapy


-My little sister is an awkward dancer and can't really sing- since it's the only things she is NOT good at and therefore I can feel better about myself because we all know how good of a singer/dancer I am



-I do not have a child

-I am not pregnant

-I have a doorman who gives me fine jewelry

-That I have Ally Tucker as a friend who let me jump on this blog and introduced me to the wonders of Monday Night Karaoke, birthday scavenger hunts, Twitter, texting games that only we understand, and basically been my same sense of humor soulmate.

You might even say I'm as thankful to have Ally as a friend as Joker Phillips is thankful to still have his job. Or as thankful as Kim Kardashian is that the wedding check cleared BEFORE the divorce papers were signed. Or as thankful as America is that stores are staying open ON THANKSGIVING so that they can go straight from the dinner table to the deal racks??? Oh, America. Truly nothing like it.

Ally's Quick List of Dirty Things She's Thankful For (or something like that...)

I couldn't let Kristen have all the fun... I'll add my 2 cents. In no particular order...

- Holiday Reese Products (yes, any and all of them)

- Kentucky Basketball (word, Kristen)

- The fact that I spend every Thanksgiving with my cousins in Tennesse...and we are all 20 + years of age...and we all still spend each night of the long weekend sleeping together sleepover style in the middle of the living room floor...and that we still sit at the "kids table"...and that we have a tradition where we each go around right before we eat dinner & say what we are thankful for...and that us kids always find a way to "pull one over on the adults" with something ridiculous....for example, this year: We each went around and said that we were thankful for one of the Kardashians. I got Rob. I wanted Khloe, or baby Mason.

- The fact that phones now have the capability for you to set 3 alarms, instead of just 1. 

(Okay, clearly my phone is slacking because this one has 5....I need that phone , hint hint, Mom...Christmas)

- Kenny McKenny from Monday NIght Karaoke

-Hallye Griffin texting me everyday to update me on Brad Calipari (yes, John Calipari's 15 yr old son's) and his girlfriend, Maddie, who she follows (both of them) religiously on Twitter. "I think Brad & Maddie are in a fight."

- The fact that my Mom is NOT a "Twi-Mom"

- Billy Gillispie....Because without Billy G, we would not have John Calipari. And we would not have this picture....

-My Family...#LaFamilia

-The fact that I genuinely LOVE my job. I work with the greatest, most kind-hearted kids in the whole world. I've actually been lucky to have 2 great jobs back to back...both of which allowed me to meet the most interesting people and leave every day knowing that I was able to "laugh" and "smile" at my job. What a blessing. 

-Jay BIlas' "I gotta go to work" tweets. Now that I have tried to follow in his footsteps, every morning when I have to get up and go to work...it's just a little bit easier because I always look forward to finding the perfect rap lyric to proceed the 5 words "I gotta go to work"

- The fact that Jay Bilas went to Duke...because if he hadn't, I might devote my whole life to stalking him & trying to make him my baby daddy.

- TuckersTales.Com (check it out...do it)

-TuckersTales.net   and the fact that you all take the time to stop by and read it. 

- That I have Kristen Geil as a friend who jumped head first into this blog thing with me. We've giggled our way through the (almost) year we've been doing it. I'm so grateful that she's been such a big part of it. I'm also thankful that she makes me jealous every other day by sending me pictures of her amazing meals she makes, and plays tennis with me even when it's 100 degrees outside, posts obscure websites and youtube videos on my Facebook wall, has ballin' family members like PG (Twitter Queen) and RGeil (starting sweeper for my Life Team anyday) and finally (as she put so eloquently) that she is my sense of humor soulmate. 

You might even say I'm as thankful to have Kristen as a friend as John Calipari is that he can always use the "Television adds 10 pounds" excuse. Or as thankful as Doron Lamb is that Terrence Jones went back to pick up his 3 goggles that he left at Two Keys at 2 a.m. a few weeks ago. Or as thankful as Rizzo from Grease was when she found out that it was "just a false alarm" with Kinecke. Or as thankful as I am that Brandon Daulton pulls his weight by guest blogging on a regular basis......oh wait...


Posted by Ally Tucker on November 3, 2011 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (0)

November 3rd. Does that date mean anything to you? Besides being today's date? Probably not. And for me and some of my best friends, November 3rd used to mean nothing at all either. These days though, I can expect a text message or 2 every year on November 3rd saying...."NOVEMTHREE!!!"

You might find yourself sitting there right now saying "WHO/WHAT is Novemthree?" First of all, let me stop you right there--stop pronouncing it No-Vem-THREE. It's pronounced No-Vem-TREE. Common mistake. Now, let me explain to you just exactly who Novemthree really is....

Meet Novemthree....

Members of the Transy women's soccer team met Novemthree one night many years ago while we were spending the night in a random hotel for an away game on Friday nights like we always did for a Saturday match. We were in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC), aka our away games were in the middle of nowhere in the most bizarre towns in all of the midwest. We would always arrive to the hotels late at night, with our stomachs full of Burger King (why, oh why Coach Fulton/Parviz did you always take us there for pre-game meals? It's a miracle we ever won a game). We would have to be in bed shortly after our arrival, so there really wasn't much else to do on these trips in the hotels other than watch mediocre Friday night television. 

Our programming of choice that night? "FACE EATING TUMORS!"  God bless the Discovery Channel and all of it's ridiculously named shows. 

That's when we met little Novemthree, the most precious little 3-year old boy in the world. His spirit could not be hampered by the fact that he had 3 large, continuously growing tumors on his face. The tumors grew so large in fact that Novemthree was unable to see at all out of 1 of his eyes and the other eye was nearly blinded as well. His lips were so swollen that he had to be fed through a straw. He also had trouble speaking clearly because of the swelling of his mouth and lips.

Do not be fooled by his dramatic appearance though. After 5 minutes of watching the show, none of us cared one bit that he had 3 face eating tumors. He was the happiest, most precious little boy of all time. He was being put through surgery after surgery to try to remove the tumors and re-construct his face. No matter how many weeks he spent in the hospitals, he kept laughing and being playful and adorable. At one point in the hour long show, he was in a hospital bed talking on the phone to someone and just jibber-jabbering away while bobbing his head back and forth happily. We all literally were wiping tears from our eyes because he was just so darn cute. 

It's hard to explain just how much little Novemthree's spirit warmed all of our hearts. I wish everyone could watch the show because there's just something about the little guy that makes you root for him and fall in love with him. 

The last 5 minutes of the show were so uplifting because Novemthree had what the doctor's were calling "majorly successful surgeries." He was on the up and up. His face was starting to look better and better and he was not holed up in a hospital anymore. The cutest minute in all of television happened in the last minute when they showed Novemthree asking his friends if he could play soccer with them. He was running around with the biggest smile on his face. He was able to be a kid again, just like everyone else.

The final images of the show were of Novemthree playing and laughing. We all turned our attention from the screen for a moment and clapped and were smiling and laughing about how cute he was and how great it was that he was able to have a somewhat normal life from here on out. 

And then... 

With no warning at all.....

Out of nowhere.......

After the show was completely over....

The Discovery Channel decides to randomly throw in as a footnote that almost a year after the filming, Novemthree passed away.

The Discovery Channel TOOOOTALLY dropped a bomb on all of us. We all just sat there, staring at the screen in shock and then we all, strangely simultaneously cried out, "NOVEMTHREE...NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!"

It was one of the most devastating moments of our lives. To this day I will never forget how caught off guard his passing took us. 

As a tribute to Novemthree, we decided that on November 3rd every year (NovemThree...get it?) we would dress up in all black to mourn his death. 

It just so happened that while at Transy, November 3rd always fell in the middle of soccer season....so we had to wear our all black gear to practice. (One of my teammates, Haley Hart, even typed out a small speech about Novemthree the night before our conference championship game my senior year. "Let's do it for Novemthree!" I kid you not). 

Parviz was always so confused. "Why everyone wear black today?! Don't do this again."

We won't Parv, until November 3rd of the next year.

Today is November 3rd and we still remember and mourn Novemthree's death.


(This video is footage mainly from a 2nd installment of Discovery Channel's coverage of Novemthree. It's not exactly what we watched but it should give you an idea of just how special this little guy was).

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

Hey...My Dad Is Awesome

Posted by Ally Tucker on June 19, 2011 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (1)

#1 Dad Award Ribbon


              According to Facebook and Twitter today, everyone has the best Dad in the world. In the words of Kristen Geil's Twitter account (@KristenMGeil) "Not every single facebook/twitter user can have the best dad ever. Sorry! But tell me your dad's credentials and I'll help judge."

              I have to admit, I completely agree with Kristen. I am not sure why everyone thinks that holidays give them an excuse to go nuts on Facebook and proclaim their undying love for their Dads (or whoever the holiday applies to). It's sweet, I guess. But we all know that chances are good that half of your Dads do not even have a Facebook...and the half that do......well let's be honest, you've probably already told them in person that you love them and Happy Father's Day. Is that not good enough? Is it necessary for me and every other friend/co-worker/person you enjoy stalking because their lives are so entertaining/kindergarden classmates, to know that you love your Dad and he is always there for you? I get it. That's great. But tell  him that.

                  Now that I have that off my chest, I want to take Kristen up on her challenge. She asked for a list of credentials to pass judgment on the best Dad. I'm sure plenty of people can come up with plenty of worthy lists, but here's mine.....so pick me Kristen. Pick me


My Dad's Credentials:

 1)    He lived in a house for 18+ years with 3 women and 3 women only.

2)     He is the winningest coach in Kentucky Girls Soccer history (Over 300 wins, 6 state championships, multiple Kentucky Coach of the Year Awards, Multiple National Coach of the Year Finalist awards, multiple lives touched by his compassion for people & love of the game of soccer)

3)  He is full of the best life advice, such as....

"Don't walk with a drink in your hand...."


 4)   He used to play Barbies with  my sister and I when we were really little. We used to BEG for him to play with us because he made us constantly laugh the entire time. He would make Ken walk around with his legs that don't bend and with each step he would make a pooting/farting noise. #Casual. He would also play on the fact that Ken was constantly smiling.

"My name is Ken and my dog just got run over by a pick up truck....but I'm  stillllll smiling."

"My name is Ken and I just got dumped by my girlfriend....but I'm  stillllll smiling."

"I can never change my underwear....but I'm stillllllll smiling."

(I wish everyone could have the experience of playing Barbies with  my Dad as a child....you have to hear the tone of voice to truly appreciate the genius behind it)

 5)  Every time my sister or I come home to visit my parents, my Dad always runs out and fills up our gas tanks before we leave. He doesn't even ask or make a big deal about doing it. He just does it. Every time.


6)   Almost every time I come home he also makes me a CD. (He loves music--and all types, literally). His most recent CD? "Soccercize" by SoccerCy. Full of songs "good for when your team is doing fitness type stuff."

7)    2 years ago when our family went out to eat around the holiday for a "fancy" dinner (my Mom said before we sat down "Everyone order what they want...this is a special treat...") at a pretty nice restaurant, my Dad ordered a "Stadium Style Hot Dog." And he was so pumped about it.

8)   He visits his Dad who lives in a personal care home, every single Saturday. He picks him up and takes him to see his wife who stays at a different personal care home. He spends the afternoon hanging around for the phone call that he needs to pick his Dad up and take him back home.


9)   About an hour before UK played in the Final 4 against UCONN, I texted my parents and told them they should cut their jeans into Jorts. They were hesitant, but 20  minutes later they texted me a picture of both of them in their freshly cut Jorts....doing the 3-goggles sign. (I can't find a way to get that picture from my inbox on my text messages to the computer....but please believe the picture is 30x better than the one below)


10)    Puts up with my Mom randomly putting the "reject food" on his plate to eat so that she doesn't have to throw it away. Seriously....anytime there is a gross carrot or a brown piece of lettuce or a burnt piece of toast....she tries to sneak it onto his plate when he's not looking. He always notices eventually, sighs in disgust, then laughs, then eats it. What a man.


             Honestly, I can't imagine a better Dad or husband to my Mom than my Dad. He is the most thoughtful, selfless, caring, HILARIOUS, witty, smart, passionate, kind, sarcastic, loving man that I know. Those are a  list of adjectives that just scratch the surface. Only those who have been fortunate enough to meet him and get to know him know the entirety of it. Those of us who have though are the luckiest people in the world. I feel sorry for my future husband....he has a lot to live it up.

I love you Dad



Tribute to the Graduates....

Posted by Ally Tucker on May 27, 2011 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

Tomorrow marks a grand milestone in the lives of many of my friends....one of which is fellow blogger Kristen Geil. She will be graduating from college. Graduating from college, unlike graduating from pre-school (which by the way....people literally celebrate these days) is a big deal. I feel like high school graduation and college graduation are the two legit graduations. Everything else just takes away from that. Yes, we are pleased that you graduated from the 5th grade but really--who doesn't? Graduating from 8th grade? Not really all that great of an accomplishment either. I seriously can't think of anyone I know who didn't make it on to high school. Now from there, life kicks in a little bit and I believe obstacles must be surpassed in order to graduate......... I'll step off of my soap box now and get on to the main point which is ....

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CLASS OF 2011 at Transylvania University. 

You all were just babies when I first met you my senior year and now look at you....

To me, you all will always be my little babies...but you have outgrown Transy's bubble and now must head off into the real world. I love you all dearly & can't think of a group more prepared....yet at the same time still full of youthful joy and excitement. Hold on to that even when you enter the big girl world out there. You are never too old to smang it, ride a trolly  or have a group sleepover. 

And now I would like to say a few words to you all regarding graduation, using Vitamin C's lovely "Graduation Song" as a guide. I will analyze her lyrics and throw in my own 2 cents about what to expect.....

And so we talked all night about the rest of our lives

Where we're gonna be when we turn 25...

- When I heard this song I used to think...."Good grief 25 is old." Well, I'm 25. I can't say for sure if it turns out like this for everyone but I work at a mental institution. So don't waste your time staying up all night tonight before graduating talking about where you will be when you turn 25. Spoiler Alert: 25 isn't that big of a deal. You go to bed a little earlier and you can't get away with eating as many cheese sticks. You also fall in love with karaoke and lame television shows. Get excited.


I keep thinking times will never change

Keep on thinking things will always be the same

- Well, time changes. I hate to break the big mystery to you like that, but yes....the clock ticks every second. Hope that didn't take anyone by surprise. 


But when we leave this year we won't be coming back

No more hanging out cause we're on a different track

- Okay, this one is a little depressing. I've got good news and bad news. Good news: You will remain close to the people who you were truly the closest to. Fact. Bad news: In college, you feel like you are going to stay "BF4L" with like 20-30 people. The nature of college throws you into constant hang out situations with 20-30 different people at all times. Unfortunately, when you graduate--you have to get a job or go to graduate school, or maybe even move to a new city. There's simply just not enough time in the day to keep in touch with everyone you would like to. I hate that about growing up and I miss a lot of people who I was CERTAIN I would stay in touch with on a regular basis. It's just tough.

Silver Lining Though:  Those people who you may not be able to keep in touch with as much as you'd like...you will run into them from time to time. Maybe at a wedding or one weekend in the summer. And you know what? You won't even skip a beat. It will be as if no time at all has passed and you will pick right back up where you left off. So that's good!


And if you got something that you need to say

You better say it right now cause you don't have another day

-Well I think Vitamin C was being a little dramatic with this one. Thanks to technology (i.e. cell phones, Facebook chat, HeyTell, etc) I don't think you have to necessarily say everything RIGHT NOW. Now if you plan on dying over the weekend or the week following graduation, than yeah...you may want to say what you have to say. Otherwise--you're probably okay.


Cause we're moving on and we can't slow down

These memories are playing like a film without sound

-Again, I think that Vitamin C is a little lost time-wise here. First she sings without regard to modern technological advances and then she talks about films playing with no sound. Ugh. Figure out the times V.C.


And I keep thinking of the night in June

I Didn't know much of love, but it came too soon

- I guess be weary of love in June? 


And There was me and you, and then it got real blue

Stay at home talkin' on the telephone and

We would get so excited, we'd get so scared

Laughing at our selves thinking life's not fair

And this is how it feels

- I think Vitamin C is alluding to the feelings in the weeks following graduation. It's a weird time. You won't quite feel like you are out of college yet because you are always off and away from your friends in the summer anyway. It will feel much like any other summer. The reality won't really hit until the time the next fall rolls around. So just brace yourself to feel a bit more emotional at that point than in the summer. Also, Life isn't always fair, but you don't have to laugh at yourself because of it. It'll be okay


As we go on, we remember

All the times we had together

And as our lives change, from whatever

We will still be, friends forever

-This is where I struggle. I remember a lot of the funny memories and times I had with friends in college. But I also forget more and more as the years pass (man, what's gonna happen when I'm ACTUALLY old?). I wish I had written down more memories. Pictures are good for that as well, but I still wish I had taken the time just to jot down more funny things. It's a little late now--but maybe for future graduates reading this.... IT'S NOT TOO LATE! Grab that pencil and paper...


So if we get the big jobs and we make the big money

When we look back now, will that joke still be funny?

- I can't exactly speak about big jobs or big money.... but I can say that hopefully, unless you are some big jackass who forgets all the little people and turns into a life-hater, you will probably still find the jokes to be funny. I do think that money can change people, but not the truly good people. If you are a good person, you will be good with or without money. I truly believe that.


Will we still remember everything we learned in school?

Still be trying to break every single rule

- True story: You will remember NOTHING (or very little, seriously) of what you learned in most of your classes. You will remember the fun times that you had with friends, the impressions and life lessons that you gained from professors, and life lessons that you learned from yourself and others around you. If you stayed up late hanging out one night though and didn't act that test---don't worry. I promise you it won't matter. Ever. Also--you break a lot less rules when you graduate college. Even though technically you are an adult in college, you are still protected by this random net of safety for some reason. Shit gets real after college. If you steal someone's bike, you get arrested. Be careful. You had it easy in college. Trust me.


Will little brainy Bobby be the stockbroker man?

Can Heather find a job that won't interfere with her tan?

- Uhhh, I don't know who these Bobby and Heather characters are...but they sound like real chotch bags...don't worry about either of them. 


I keep, I keep thinking that it's not goodbye

Keep on thinking it's a time to fly

And this is how it feels

- Though I'm not 100% sure, I do think that summer is a decent time to fly. You might be able to find some good deals. So sure-- it is a time to fly.


La, la, la, la; yeah, yeah, yeah

La, la, la, la, we will still be friends forever

- Lalala go make friendship bracelets.


Will we think about tomorrow like we think about now?

Can we survive it out there? Can we make it somehow?

I guess I thought that this would never end

And suddenly it's like we're women and men

-Everyone really will be fine. You will survive and make it. Just don't compare yourself to everyone else around you though. Everyone finds their way into various stages of adulthood in their own time. If you worry that you aren't "keeping up with the Jones'" than you will be unhappy. Not everyone figures out exactly what they want to be or gets their dream job out of college. Some people don't find the love of their life in college and that's okay too. Enjoy the pace that your life takes, whatever that may be, and be happy for others along the way. But don't compare yourself. You are no better or no worse than anyone else just because of what stage in life you are at. Truth.


Will the past be a shadow that will follow us round?

Will these memories fade when I leave this town

I keep, I keep thinking that it's not goodbye

Keep on thinking it's a time to fly

- Seriously.... we get it. Book a flight somewhere. It's time to fly.

In all seriousness though little graduates....life after Transy/college isn't so bad. It's different, to be sure. But it's good-- in a new way. No one can ever take away the college experience from you and the memories and friendships. I know all of you well enough to know that you enjoyed the fire out of college while you were there and made the best of it. Having no regrets in that respect will make life after college so much better. It's time to move on. Notice I didn't say time to grow up. Take on the new responsibilities and mature. Don't be in a hurry to grow up entirely though. Still make time to be goofy with one another (like say, Monday night karaoke?) 

Love you guys. Congratulations!!!

(This isn't everyone....but a good representation of the crew)

Happy Mother's Day!

Posted by Kristen Geil on May 9, 2011 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (2)

In honor of the holiday, Ally and I wanted to give a shout-out to our two biggest fans- besides Aaron and Chandler, of course. Our moms have been loyal blog devotees since the day we started four months ago, with Ally's mom contributing a guest entry and my mom cracking us up with her witty comments. We'd like to honor them each by posting a short entry about each of them, since that's how we express love in the blog world of ours. Happy Mother's Day!



I've come to realize over this past year how much I truly appreciate my mom not for her fabulous parenting job, but also for how she is as a person. My mom is one of the funniest people I know, and her goofy comments and creative use of twitter hashtags are completely endearing to me and to the rest of the world (side note- Mom, don't get freaked out when you see a random person following you on Twitter, chances are it's one of my friends I've told to follow you @pgeil1118 ).


As some of you may have heard, it's the year of the commoner.This has without a doubt been my year of glory (seriously, I can't believe some of the things that have happened to me this year- and more to come, I'm sure), but what's made it even better is coming home the day after some ridiculous adventure and rehashing it over breakfast with my mom. She loves my stories, winces, laughs, and groans at all the appropriate times, and has completely jumped on the Krisson bandwagon (for those of you not in the know, that's me and Layson's celebrity couple name). Without someone who loves me to share in my (mis)adventures, they just wouldn't be as memorable.


Plus, the year of the commoner applies to my mom as well. Although parts of this year have been rough on her, Patti has risen above and beyond and still manages to do the common things that we all take for granted. There is no better feeling than coming home after a long day for some much needed R&R to find that Mom has left a goofy present on my bed, or has stocked the fridge/pantry with my favorite snacks (for those of you who have never been to our house, let me assure you, the snack pantry is LEGENDARY, especially considering my mom's occupation as a dietitian and diabetes educator). It's the little things that go the longest way, and that's without a doubt what I will miss the most when I finally fly the Lexington coop this August. With both of us as dialed in to technology as we are, I'm not worried at all about communicating less with my mom- we'll probably talk every day. But I'll miss her thoughtful consideration and day-to-day help more than anything (especially appropriate since I'm writing this before we go shopping for graduation dresses and new apartment decor).


Mom, I love you very much and thanks for everything. I can't on the spot think of an appropriate karaoke song to dedicate to you tomorrow night, but the fact that I just tried to google karaoke songs and it auto-finished to "best karaoke duets for women" as the most recent search makes me think you have it under control. Happy Mother's Day!



When Kristen approached me about writing a tribute blog to our Mom's on Mother's Day I thought it would be a piece of cake. If I can write a blog entry about Mis-placed letters to Santa Claus and fabricate an entire episode of Celebrity Survivor, this task surely would be easier. Turns out trying to properly pay tribute to and explain how wonderful my Mom truly is, is almost impossible. Words don't do her justice. I'm going to give it my best shot anyway though......

I started off by trying to think of all of the things that change about your relationship with your Mother from the time you are a baby, to your first day of Kindergarten, to high school on to adulthood. I tried to think of all of these things that I personally had in my relationship with my Mom when I was younger that had changed into something different today. The funny thing is-- so much less has changed than I thought. 

I still look up to her and hold her higher in my mind than any other person on earth (equaled only by my Dad)

I still feel unconditional love and support from her

I still trust her with my life

I still think she hangs the moon

I still think she is so funny...so so so funny!

I still think she is the person I want most to be like in this world

I still admire her willingness to hug a complete stranger as if she's known them and loved them forever

I still am impressed by her ability to hold a conversation and genuinely take interest in every person she meets, making them feel special and important

I still want to be just half the teacher she is for the students who have been lucky enough to have her over the years

I still trust her judgment and have a hard time making a decision without knowing she is behind me (the funny thing is....she's always behind me no matter what decision I make)

I still love her hugs

I still cherish and hang on to little letters, notes or cards she sends my way...even the goofy ones 

I still adore and admire the marriage she and my Dad have

I still love to watch terrible tv shows with her

I still like to complain when she makes food I don't like (Mom, if you ever make pork chops again....haha)

I still go to bed each night (even though I don't always get to say it to her as she tucks me in) thinking that "she makes life worth living."

I could write a million and one words and they still wouldn't be enough but I think I am the luckiest person in the world (equaled only by Kristen and her Mom) for having the relationship that I do with my Mom. I love you Mom! "it's the year of the commoner" and by God....today is your day!!!!

Other Mothers who deserve recognition today....

"Just A Dream"

Posted by Ally Tucker on April 3, 2011 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (4)

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

I woke up this morning and the last month suddenly seemed like one big dream. And although the dream didn't quite end as perfectly as I would have liked--I can honestly say the "dreamlike" month which included 10 straights UK wins, an SEC tournament championship and a Final Four drought-ending run (not to mention in THE HARDEST bracket imaginable), has been one of the most exciting months I can remember since living in Lexington (and I've lived here for 7 years now). 

Do I wish more than anything that Kentucky would have beat UCONN last night for the chance to play Butler in the National Championship game? God yes. We fell 1 point short-- but in my eyes, many more points ahead for the unimaginable and unpredictable run. This group of guys wasn't supposed to be the group to do it. Nope. Not this group. YET, THEY DID.  

I decided that instead of writing an insanely long emotional piece (which I could easily do), I will just jot down a list of some of my lingering thoughts in the 24 hours after the end of the incredible season.

MY LINGERING THOUGHTS (in no particular order)

  • I was 12 the last time UK won a national championship, or even played in a Final Four for that matter. When we won I lived in Louisville (Oldham County....I'll claim Louisville though for the moment) and I remember celebrating by banging pots and pans in the front yard. I remember thinking to myself, and perhaps even saying to myself at some point between the age of 12 and when I turned 18 and left for college (in Lexington--just the small school down the road), "I have got to live in Lexington during a season when UK wins the National Championship." I know we didn't win the national championship but you simply cannot convince me that any other town in the United States would celebrate any bigger or any better for a national title than Lexington celebrated last weekend when they beat UNC or this weekend in preparation for the Final Four. If you weren't in Lexington--you flat out missed out.  I have never seen anything like it. I feel like I finally got that experience I longed for the past 13 years. Thank you 2010-2011 Kentucky Wildcats for letting me have that experience.

  • I will never, ever be disappointed when I think back on this season. Will I be sad that we didn't win the championship? Yes. For the guys on the team. For us fans, we were given a true gift from these players. Kentucky basketball has had a complete re-birth and a return to the glory days. 
  • I won't allow myself to question or even entertain any more ideas about "What if Enes Kanter had played?" I, along with every other Cats fan could play that game all day long but you know what? Add Kanter to this team and JORTS never happens. Plain and simple. Sure the nickname was already given to him years ago, but this season for Josh Harrellson would NOT have taken this path. He would have been Kanter's back-up. He would have been able to comfortably sit in his "reserve role" like he had the past 2 years at Kentucky and he would have never developed or had the opportunities he had this year. 
  • Call me crazy...but I wouldn't trade Josh Harrellson's senior season for Kanter and a national championship. I can live with a Final Four and the realization that Final Fours are going to be a regular thing around here for a while. I'll take Jorts and the Final Four. Every single time.

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

  • I LOVE JORTS. I love everything about the nickname and the absolute insanity that has surrounded Kentucky fans and their love affair with denim. It has not only been hilarious and just funny to be a part of, but it acted as a strange kind of unifying symbol for all of the Big Blue Nation. And I used to think it was just a connecting thread for the younger generation, the "new generation" of Cats fans....but then my parents started using the phrase Jorts. And then I saw restaurants in Lexington embrace the idea and offer free meals to customers for allowing them to cut their Jeans on the spot. AND THEN.....my parents sent me 2 picture text messages. The first was of my Mom wearing Jorts and doing the "3 goggles" sign. The second was of my Dad wearing freshly cut jorts. JORTS.  Love them.

  • I will never understand why every UofL fan suddenly claimed the UCONN victory last night as if it were their own. Judging by all of their ridiculous Facebook statuses, I plan to drive to the Yum Center! (cool name...) soon to check to see if UofL gets to hang a championship banner too if UCONN wins. Maybe they get rings too? I'll ask Preston. 
  • I won't ask Preston if I can borrow his hairbrush. 

  • I will never forget how much fun I had this season watching DeAndre Liggins play defense. I have never been so engulfed in watching an individual player on the defensive end of the court. Usually I am paying more attention to the other team's offense. Liggins made defense cool. Really cool. I honestly will cry if he doesn't come back next year. Truth be told though--I will be so excited for that guy if he gets an opportunity to play professionally somewhere. For selfish reasons I want him back, but for his own struggles he's faced in life(read this article if you haven't)--I want nothing but good things for him, no matter when those good things come.
  • I will also never forget the forehead kiss from Cal and then Liggins clearly being moved by it as he walked back to the huddle. Wow. My 3 goggles are tearing up again just thinking about it....

  • I will forever keep the Ohio State & North Carolina games on my DVR. I have re-watched both games at least 3 times. Brandon Knight. That is all. 

  • I will never, ever watch a game at Pazzo's again. I hate that place. The food is good...the prices weren't bad. But I just felt wrong the entire time I was watching there. I had never watched a game somewhere that high profile before. I usually watch in a more laid back environment. I got too big for my britches and got caught up in the hoopla. I feel partially responsible for the loss last night. I truly do. Screw you, Pazzo's. I probably won't eat your pizza anymore either--even though I reallllllly like it.
  • Speaking of Pazzo's pizza...thanks to the people sitting next to us who left practically an entire pizza after the game was over. That was a good snack to help ease the pain of the loss as we walked home. Good lookin' out, neighbors...
  • I will probably never let Jeremiah Dean West use my vuvuzela again. The entire crowd at Pazzo's just did a silent cheer at that announcement.

  • I will always remember watching the Kentucky team arriving at the Lexington Airport after making it to the FInal Four. Even more touching to me than the fan reaction was the player's reaction to the enormity of the fan support. They were in awe and humbled. I loved that. 

Although I am not even anywhere close to disappointed....for some reason I am left with this final thought:

This one will always feel like both "The One We Never Saw Coming" and "The One That Got Away." 

One Last Time: GO CATS

A Waffle House Birthday

Posted by Ally Tucker on February 21, 2011 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (2)

Today is my Mom's birthday....in her honor...I am writing this blog post. This one's for you, Mom...

Do you have a special place you always choose to go for certain occasions such as your birthday or another important celebration? A lot of people I know like to splurge at their favorite restaurant for their birthday. Some go really upscale, like Malone's or Desha's. Others like to try someplace new and exciting on their special day...

What if on your birthday you could choose to eat anywhere in the world....and you picked Waffle House? Well, then you would be my Mom. She picks Waffle House, without fail, each and every time. It's her birthday/special occasion treat. 

Some might find it an odd choice. Others might say, "why would anyone ever willingly go there (sober)?" Well, perhaps if your family did the "Waffle House Experience" the way my family does, you would like it too.

The crucial element to any and every WHE (Waffle House Experience) is to come prepared. And I'm not talking about having your order already planned out to fit your fad diet. No, no, no! I'm talking about quarters...and lots of them! Four isn't enough. Ten is probably too many. Better safe than sorry though.

The first order of business when entering the establishment is to race to the juke box machine with your pocket full of sunshine (quarters). My sister and I usually take this duty upon ourselves. We proceed to scan the Waffle House juke box for the 3 staple selections:

1) One song everyone will actually enjoy, usually played 1st to warm up the crowd and make them think they won't regret the choices made by the girls who just spent 20 minutes at the juke box machine

2)  A few songs guaranteed to cause a bit of a stir, or make everyone feel uncomfortable/somewhat awkward. An overly sensual song or an annoying one usually accomplishes the mission.

3)  One of the "Waffle House Orginials"

Now let me explain that last one in more detail. Situated to the far corners of the selections on the juke box are a whole cluster of songs based upon the wonder that is Waffle House. For example, "There are Raisins in My Toast" or "Waffle Do Wop" or one of my personal favorites, "Waffle House Birthday."

It always takes a few moments for the workers and other patrons of the restaurant to realize a Waffle House Original is playing. As soon as they do though...guaranteed cheer and laughter.

And if you foresee your dining experience as being positive from the get-go, I like to throw in a little "Waffle House Thank You" with my last quarter. Even if you've already left, it's a nice note to leave everyone with. 

So...the music is half the battle. The other half is the genuinely interesting characters you might be lucky enough to meet while dining there. 

I'll never forget my Mom's birthday one year while I was in college. All 4 of us (Mom, Dad, sister Colleen and I) piled into a booth after getting the juke box pumping (probably with a sensual Celine Dion number for starters).

Our waitress appeared normal enough at first glance. She was a 30-something, maybe a 40-something ear old woman. Well, anyone who knows my Mom knows that she is 1/3 human, 1/3 angel and 1/3 Easter Peep. Basically, she's the nicest/most friendly lady you will meet. Within minutes of meeting people, they feel they can open up to her whole-heartedly as if they've known her for years. It's both a gift and a curse. This waitress opened up just like everyone else...

I'm not sure how the big reveal happened or what exactly led up to it, but all I know is that sometime in between our chocolate milk and waffles, we were knee deep in our waitress' story about how she is a published poet. 

My Dad, ever smart ass that he is, immediately asked where she bad been published.

"Oh, on the internet." She giddily replied.

As she skipped away, my Dad said under his breath something to the effect of "can't anyone be "published" on the internet?" (why yes Dad, look at me now). My Mom immediately slapped his wrist with the "Cy!...you can't just say that kind of stuff" look all over her face.

Next thing we knew, she was opening up even more about her poetry. Turns out she mostly writes poetry that comes to her in dreams via her dead cat.

At that moment, my sister literally erupted into laughter, but quickly buried her head in her hands and turned the laughter into a dramatic fake cry, whimpering while wiping her eyes, "that's just so sad."

Seeing her and knowing what she was up to, I could no longer containt my laughter either. I too had to fake tears.

My sister and I boo-hooed as she went on to give us some examples of her post-mortem cat poetry. My Mom, always sweet as can be, took one for the team and maintained composure and faked interest as the waitress chatted on.

By the end of the dinner, all 4 of us were fake crying to mask our laughter.

That is just one example of the many wonderful memories we've had at Waffle House for my Mom's birthdays or other special events. We've had hundreds and I know we'll have plenty more in the years to come...

Happppppppppy Birthday, Mom! I hope your day is filled with Waffles, laughter fake tears and Waffle House Originals. I love you!

Why Do We Love Sports?

Posted by Ally Tucker on February 2, 2011 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Why do we love sports so much? Logical question, right? Okay, so not everyone is as obsessed and consumed with sports as I am, but even the self-proclaimed "non-sports lovers" can, given the right situation, become enthralled or captivated by a game or a player or some sports-related instance. Plus, sports dominate our lives whether we want them to or not. Our cable networks have multiple channels dedicated to them (i.e. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNWeTriedToMakeAnAllWomansChannel). If you turn on NBC or Fox on Sundays during the fall, football is your only option. You get my point. The world loves sports. 

But why?

Do we love sports because of their competitive nature? Watching two individuals, or two teams, or sometimes even watching an individual compete against themselves is intriguing. And for those of us with a strong allegiance to one team or another, the whole concept of competing against a hated rival is exciting and provides bragging rights. But I don't think our main source of love for sports comes from being able to talk $hit (Ke$ha style) to our opposing fan base. It's fun, but fun doesn't equate to love (ask the previous Bachelor Jake, who chose a "fun girl" named Vienna). 
(Fun? Eh, maybe...certainly not love though)

So do we love sports because when we participate ourselves, the physical demands are not only healthy and exhilarating but also a challenge and a struggle? The kind that leave you feeling accomplished and satisfied when its all said and done? Or, for those who never took pleasure or had the ability to play sports themselves--the dedication, the struggle and challenge while watching someone else compete is still somewhat of a rush. 

Or perhaps sports are simply entertaining at their core. Sports, much like other forms of entertainment such as movies, television, theater, TuckersTales.net, provide a way for us to escape from reality for a while and engulf ourselves in watching someone else do something extraordinary, rather than having to do it ourselves. 
(I don't want to necessarily discourage you from trying this yourself, but it's a lot easier to watch John Wall do it)

All of those reasons, along with a myriad of others help to "explain" or "justify" why so many of us love sports. And I don't disagree at all with the validity of any of those reasons. I do think that there's something more to this love though. There's something that ties all of us together--those who have played sports themselves, those who just love watching sports, and even those who have very little interest in sports at all...

Here's my theory (stay with me....)  :

Ever seen the "One Shining Moment" video? (Went with 1998, a year Kentucky won). 

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

Or this version, which I like even better...done by kids in their basement

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

Never seen those? What about a 30 for 30 (ESPN production, 30 different films by 30 different directors about sports) episode on "The Best That Never Was," chronicling Marcus Dupree, who at one point coming out of high school was considered the very best running back to ever grace the game. Never heard of Dupree? The guy they call possibly the best ever? He never played a game in the NFL. In fact, he only played one season of college football at Oklahoma. What happened to him? Why is he driving trucks now, living in a small house that he can barely afford? Watch the episode. It's incredibly sad and interesting. And I bet even those of you who don't care much about sports are at least slightly interested in what happened (I'm getting to my point...stay with me people).

Surely you've stumbled across an emotional segment of "Outside the Lines," like the most gut-wrenching one that I have ever seen, about the guy who was the North Carolina Tarheel mascot (Jason Ray) before a tragic car accident took his life. The Outside the Lines report visited all of the living organ donor recipients and portrayed how his death gave them a new chance at life. In fact, his death saved their lives. 

(The lives he saved/improved)

Or how about most recently, when Kansas basketball player Thomas Robinson lost his mother to a heart attack in the same month as he lost his grandmother and grandfather, leaving him and his younger sister with virtually only each other to lean on. Even more, how his entire team flew to Washington D.C. on the eve of a home game for his Mom's funeral. Or how the Phog Allen crowd at Kansas erupted each time Robinson touched the ball against arch rival Kansas State, just two nights after the funeral. Robinson, usually only a minor contributer as a reserve, notched 17 points and 9 rebounds in as inspired a performance as I've ever seen. As if that's not enough-- how about when opposing player Jacob Pullen of Kansas State walked over to Robinson to give him a heart felt hug in the final minutes of the game as Robinson was subbed out. Not to mention the thunderous roar of the crowd cheering him on, many with tears in their eyes. 
(Paying tribute to Robinson's Mom before tip-off)

At this point, you're probably thinking...why are you bringing up all of these random things? My examples answered the main question of this piece....

We love sports because of the moments and the stories. Moments and stories like the ones I just described. I can't even define them as anything more. Moments. Stories. Plain & simple.

You all know what I'm talking about. I'm not talking about the entire game back in 1989 when the Chicago Bulls beat Cleveland 101-100 in game 5 to win the series. I'm talking about "the shot." The moment when Michael Jordan hit the improbable game winner.

I'm not talking about the whole somewhat boring SEC championship game last year between two worn out teams, Mississippi State and Kentucky. I'm not even talking about the entire UK season, where they rose back to prominence in Coach Cal's first year. I'm talking about the moment when Eric Bledsoe intentionally missed a free throw, and then the warrior Patrick Patterson kept the rebound alive by tipping the ball into the hands of John Wall. Then Wall took an off-balanced air ball that somehow found the big paws of DeMarcus Cousins...who miraculously laid it up and in, literally as the buzzer sounded to force overtime. 

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

Now that was a moment. I don't remember anything else from that game but I will never, ever, forget that moment. Or the incredible, overwhelming, awe-inspriring feeling I had when it happened (mind you, in a room full of snoozing/snoring Eastern State patients who could have cared less). 

I'm not just talking about the big moments either, the ones that you see replayed over and over on national television. I'm talking about precious moments among regular people like you and me. Like the moment when a young boy whose only ever thrown a baseball with a worn out mit in his own backyard, walks into a Major League ballpark for the first time with his Dad. Or hugging your Dad after the final game of playing for him as your coach for 4 years. These little moments in sports are special too. 

And then sometimes, from these moments, come stories. And these stories, such as the UNC mascot's story, touch us deeply.

Sports give us a way to connect to those athletes, those players, those teams, those coaches, those people... we connect and we feel like we are a part of their moment. 

The stories we hear, they lift us up. They make us cry. They show us examples of incredible people over-coming impossible odds...much like the father/son duo pictured below. The son is extremely disabled with Cerebral Palsy. The father, in an attempt to give his son something to wake up for each day, an adventure, took up marathon running. His father was not a marathon runner before, but picked up the sport as a way to take his son on a journey with him. Imagine how difficult running a marathon is by yourself. Then imagine pushing someone else along with you? Incredible people. Impossible odds. But they did it.

WIthout sports, we may never have any reason to know who these people are, or hear their stories or share their moments with them. Thanks to sports (well, and national media), we are connected. 

In my opinion, that is why we truly love sports. We like the games. Of course we do. But sometimes I think we're all watching just in case one of those moments or stories happens.