|Posted by Richmond Bramblet on January 14, 2012 at 10:05 AM||comments (3)|
Here it is, what you've all been waiting for, the first episode of "The Podcast of the Commoner". This episode titled "Tucker's Tales, Parviz, and the Illuminati" was taped on Friday, January 13, 2011. Check it out, and if you like it, we will be sure to put out more.
Click Here to Download Episode 1 "Tucker's Tales, Parviz, and the Illuminati"
Click Here to Subscribe to the Pioneer Podcast Network on iTunes
|Posted by Ally Tucker on January 13, 2012 at 10:20 AM||comments (3)|
|Posted by Ally Tucker on January 10, 2012 at 8:35 PM||comments (1)|
Oh U(r)sher, no need to be shy or pensive. We've been here before. Next to my diary (oh wait, that's Kristen), you are the one who knows the most about me. We've been through a lot, Ush. Maybe not as much as you and Chili, but in lieu of how things turned out between the two of you-- I'd like to think you feel closer to me than her.
Anyway, it's been a while but I think the time has come for another late night confession. I've got to be honest Ush, I'm more nervous about this confession than any before. I fear that you will pass judgment on me as a human being. With that said, if I can't tell you, than who can I tell?
Before anyone passes judgment, in my defense, I was only about 3 years old. Can any of us be held responsible for the things we did at the age of 3? If that were the case, I think it's fair to say we could all have reason to hate Suri Cruise for life for some of the ridiculous outfits she had worn by the age of 3.
I digress. Before I go any further, let me just say this now: Sarah MacLachlan, I am so, so, so sorry....
I'm not sure exactly where the appropriate place to start this confession is, but I feel the need to provide an ounce of background information on my family's history with pets. Actually, I really just need to tell you about one particular event in our family's history of pets. Before I confess, let me confess something about my older sister Colleen. When she was about 3 years old (see a pattern here?), she and my parents found two box turtles somewhere in the mystic wild (probably a pond, let's be honest). For reasons I'm unsure of, they decided that keeping these turtles as pets would be a good idea.
Some time shortly after the adoption of the two turtles into the family, my sister began a secret nightly routine that no one (my parents, who else does a 3 year old know?) knew about but her. Every night before going to bed, she would kiss the turtles goodnight. Box turtles are not known for being good kissers, but apparently they are known for carrying Salmonella.
Poor little Colleen nearly died she became so sick (glad you made it sis!) from the Salmonella. And as an apparent lasting side effect from the illness, she has an aversion to milk. Fun fact! You're welcome, readers.
Anyway, fast forward 3 years to my confession.
When I was 3 years old, I was an accomplice pretty damn active participant in a serious crime against animals. I'm not proud. Oh no, I am not proud. But I like to be truthful with Usher and my readers.
When I was 3 and my sister was probably 5 1/2, my parents decided it was time to try another pet after the whole turtle fiasco. They bought us two gerbils.
Those gerbils look innocent and sweet, happy to be snuggling together. Our 2 gerbils must have tired of the snuggling because within a few short weeks, they were expecting!
My memory is vague, so I don't remember how long it was before our 2 gerbils brought Ivy Blue and the rest of the gerbil brood into the world, but soon enough--they had arrived!
Baby gerbils are cute. Baby gerbils are fragile. I repeat, baby gerbils are fragile.
My parents, clearly remembering my sister's run in with the turtles, made it very clear to both of us that we were NOT TO TOUCH THE GERBILS! This message was sent very directly and very clearly to the both of us. We were not allowed to even open the cage. My parents were as serious about this rule as they could be. They explained to us that the gerbils were too fragile for us to play with until they grew older and stronger. We understood.
But you know what else we understood? That for approximately 10 minutes every morning, my Mom was busy in the kitchen making us breakfast. We had exactly 10 minutes to sneak around in the living room and play with the baby gerbils without her really noticing. So what did we do? We played with the baby gerbils for 10 minutes in the morning, doing our best to convince my Mom that she had no reason to look in the living room to monitor us. I honestly don't know how we got away with it.
One morning...shit got real.
Did I mention that I'm really, really sorry, Sarah MacLachlan?
Honest to goodness, my sister and I were just trying to play with the baby gerbils. They were so stinking cute after all. And the fact that we were banned from playing with them only made us want to do it that much more! We were 3 and 5! We didn't know. We didn't know!!!
Baby gerbils are fragile. Very, very fragile.
One of us picked one up by the middle and...well... let's just say we accidentally squeezed a little too hard. It was a tragic accident. I'm not sure that we were aware of what we had done though. We continued to play with the other gerbils, assuming that one was just lethargic.
My memory is a little vague but we were either trying to play catch with one or...well hell, I don't know why else we would have been throwing gerbils. Anyway, we missed the target on one and it flew over onto the corner of the rocking chair bottom. Ivy Blue, as I like to think she was named, was split down the middle.
Sometime minutes before the "Gerbil catch incident of '89," I had thought it would be a funny trick to put one of the gerbils in my Dad's shoe. How I didn't realize that this would end badly for the gerbil, and nauseating for my Dad, I will never know. I was 3!
Anyway, after the gerbil hit the rocking chair...reality began to set in and we realized that we had accidentally and tragically killed one of our baby gerbils. We were a mixture of sad and embarrassed. We weren't sure what to do and we certainly did not want to get caught.
Obviously it didn't take my parents very long to realize that some of the baby gerbils were missing from the cage. And when my Dad stepped on the one in his penny loafers (makes for a better story, yeah?), a moment I can only imagine he has tried to erase from his memory (sorry Dad!), the true damage had come to light.
I cannot stress to you enough how innocent in nature the whole morning was. Regardless of intent, we Jeffrey Dahmer-ed a handful of baby gerbils.
I am not sure I will ever be able to make amends for that tragic day, but I had to get it off my chest. RIP baby gerbils. Someday I will dedicate a book to you. No, seriously...I will.
And again, Sarah MacClachlan...please believe me when I say that I am sorry. The experience from all those years ago certainly doesn't make your commercial any easier to stomach...
** TUCKER'S TALES Spoiler Alert .... Our good friend Richmond has started a project where he produces podcasts. The Tucker's Tales duo of Kristen & Ally will be his first production. We will be recording a podcast in which we discuss all kinds of things (Tucker's Tales, our recent hiring on the KSR College staff, etc). We are recording this weekend and the podcast should be available soon after on Tucker's Tales for you to check it out. If it's any good, maybe we will do it on a regular basis. If it's terrible....we'll throw it in the pile of mistakes along with Celebrity Survivor.
|Posted by Kristen Geil on January 9, 2012 at 4:00 PM||comments (0)|
After two failed attempts, I finally achieved a Chicago Public Library card this week. It was a process, to say the least. First, they were closed on Jnauary 2nd (I was not aware that this was a federal holiday). When I returned, they wouldn't let me because it was within a half-hour of closing (lazy much?). Finally, on the "third time's the charm" try, I GOT IT! That coveted laminated sheet of plastic that allows me to check out five items for my first month and thirty after this trial period. The responsibility is a burden, yes, but I will try my best to bring honor and glory with my library card and its power.
With the card burning a hole in my pocket, I headed to my favorite section of the library in hopes of finding a book worthy of my FIRST CHECK OUT: the "New Arrivals" section. One book in particular caught my eye--
I had read about this book in a magazine or online somewhere, and I had been intrigued at the book's premise and background. The author, Chris Van Allsburg, will surely induce readers to nod slowly and murmur, "Oooooooh, him..." He wrote our childhood favorites The Polar Express, Jumanji, and The Wreck of the Zephyr. We remember him most for his detailed yet slightly eerie illustrations, and his penchant for an unexpected twist.
This book, The Chronicles of Harris Burdick, stems from an earlier Van Allsburg work, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. This book (if that's even the proper term for it) was a collection of 14 images, each with a title and single line of text on the opposite page. The premise is that author/illustrator Harris Burdick dropped them off at an editor's office one day, with the promise to deliver the complete manuscripts of each picture book if the editor liked them and decided to purchase them. He never returned, leaving the detailed illustrations and dangling captions floating in a sea of mystery. Fans were invited to mail in their own stories to go with the images, and they responded in droves.
"Another Place, Another Time"- If there was an answer, he'd find it there.
Fast foward to 2011. Van Allsburg hand-picked fourteen acclaimed authors and assigned each of them one of the image/text pairs, giving them the opportunity to write their own story as accompaniment. A choose your own adventure, if you will. Authors include Louis Sachar, Stephen King Jon Scieszka, Gregory Maguire, Lois Lowry, and Chris himself.
"The Seven Chairs"- The fifth one ended up in France.
Okay. Long and windy backstory completed, here's why I recommend picking up this book. First, if you read half as much as I did, you should recognize the partial list of authors above and immediately feel a wave of nostalgia for The Stinky Cheese Man, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, and the Anastasia series. I miss reading kids books, and The Chronicles of Harris Burdick puts a grown-up twist on a childlike premise.
A grown-up twist, you say? Why yes, these stories may be written by children's authors, but I would hestitate to say that they are for kids. Each has a slightly menacing undertone and an eerie underlying message. For example, one of my favorites so far is "Strange Day In July," in which Sherman Alexie writes about quirky twins who invent an imaginary triplet with the sole intention of plaguing their family and schoolmates- only to have this invisible triplet turn the tables on them. The stories are gripping and thought-provoking, often concluding with a surprise twist. They are short stories as the genre is meant to be read.
Plus, how cool is van Allsburg's idea in general? I love that he chose some of our generation's favorite authors and gave them free rein to use their imaginations. True, it kind of sounds like an exercise in a community college creative writing class, but the results are fantastic.
Best of all, I know that Tucker's Tales readers are busy people without a lot of free time on their hands to devote to understanding and remembering long novels. Since Chronicles is already conveniently broken up into 14 separate tales, you can easily pick up the book for twenty minutes at a time and then put it right back down. With The Chronicles of Harris Burdick, van Allsburg reintroduces the short story as a viable, enjoyable reading option, and I hope that other authors follow this trend.
READ THIS BOOK!
|Posted by Kristen Geil on January 8, 2012 at 10:20 PM||comments (1)|
Hey friends. It's late Sunday night. I just made homemade pizza and I am watching Cupcake Wars. I am in my comfort zone and loving it. What better time to sit down with a shirtless Usher and have a heart to heart?
Tonight's Late Night Confession concerns a clothing item I've had since freshman year. No, not my Playboy Bunny sweatshirt- I just got that last year.
No, this blog is about one of the most hotly debated shoe genres of the millenium, loved or loathed by commoners and celebrities alike. I'm talking, of course, about UGGS.
These are the ones that I own, specifically. I bought them my freshman year of college because (and this is a little embarrassing) I just thought a pair of UGGS was one of those things all college girls had. I realize now, of course, that I was mistaken. Ally Tucker is probably groaning out loud at this point.
Anyway, I bought my UGGS (kids' sized, so I could get them on the cheap) and I'll be honest, I haven't looked back since. I've worn them the traditional way (with jeans), and I've worn them the college-sorority-girl way, with Nike shorts and a frat t-shirt (looking at you, Lily Griffin). I wear them around my apartment when my feet are cold. I wear them when I'm missing my mother and want something soft and cuddly to comfort me (no dogs allowed in my apartment, and my DeMarcus Cousins poster gives me paper cuts). I wear them because I LIKE THEM.
I understand all the reasons people hate UGGS. First of all, they are not stylish. Even- ESPECIALLY- the UGGS that consciously try to be glamorous.
These are as UGG-LY as the traditional boots (BA DOOM CCCHHH). Only girls under the age of ten may wear these and even then, they should be made aware of the potential consequences.
Secondly, people think it's okay to wear them with absolutely ANY article of clothing. The aforementioned Nike shorts and frat shirts, with formal dresses in the winter, or this--
Honestly, I think 99% of the reasons people hate UGGS have to do with Britney Spears being their unofficial spokesmodel.
And the name is ridiculous. UGGS? With randomly capitalized letters? Surely they could come up with something a little sexier than a synonym for sheepskin. And that also lends itself to wide-open puns.
But you know what? I don't care. If my UGGS aren't stylish, at least they are unobtrusive (more so than Becky Goncharoff's UGGS, which are knee high and metallic gold). If I wear them with shorts and a t-shirt, confusing my body about what the weather is outside, at least my constantly-cold feet are swaddled in sheepskin. If the name UGGS sucks, at least I can easily make a witty joke by saying "UGGGHHH, my UGGS are so dirty from the snow." If my UGGS look gross because they are so dirty from the snow, at least it's from living in a legitimately cold weather city rather than Lexington.
And above all else, if I shamelessly love my UGGS...
At least I don't own Crocs.
|Posted by Ally Tucker on January 8, 2012 at 1:20 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Ally Tucker on January 5, 2012 at 4:20 PM||comments (5)|
|Posted by Kristen Geil on January 3, 2012 at 4:15 PM||comments (0)|
For those of you who aren't Twitter-savvy yet, listen up, because this is one of my favorite aspects of The Twitter thus far in our relationship. Every morning, Jay Bilas lovingly selects an inspiring rap lyric and tweets it to the world, followed by the catchphrase, "I gotta go to work." With that simple press of a touch-screen, my morning is jumpstarted and I am ready to attack the day myself; often, I too tweet an IGGTW message in hopes of having the same impact on some of my followers. In this blog feature, I thoughtfully analyze Jay Bilas's IGGTW tweet and how you, the everyday reader, can apply it to YOUR dreary mornings before work. Let's get it on.
Hey readers! Can we all just take a second and soak in the fact that I wrote the year correctly on the first try in my first post of 2012? Clapping wouldn't be frowned upon in this moment.
With the new year comes new resolutions, and one of mine is to get back on my IGGTW hustle. Jay Bilas (and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) go to work every day, so why shouldn't I? Here it is, my rhetorical analysis of today's "I Gotta Go To Work" tweet.
I bet he's wishing those headphones were Beats by Dre.
@JayBilas: So many cars, I’m like eenie, meenie, miney, moe. So many colors in the diamonds, Kaleidoscope. I gotta go to work.
"Ballin" is a single featuring Lil Wayne off Jeezy's fourth studio album Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition.
The song taunts lesser hustles than Jeezy and Wayne who think they are impressive simply because they have staked an area in the hood. Jeezy jeers, "You think you ballin' cause you got a block?" (Note: Block could refer to one's neighborhood or a brick of cocaine. In either case, Jeezy feels having only one is nothing to brag about).
Jay's chosen lyrics are simple enough to interpret. Rapped by Lil Wayne, this segment of the song expands on how wealthy Jeezy and Wayne have become. For example, their garages are overflowing with automobiles- earlier in the song, Jeezy boasts about how nonchalantly he can purchase another car: "Hopped out the Lamb’/Said 'f-ck it, bought another car'/I bought the Phantom just to say it’s black/I bought the Phantom just to take a nap."
There appears to be more than enough room in the backseat to do so comfortably.
Wayne also mentions that the copius amounts and varieties of diamonds he owns are reminiscent of a kaleidoscope in all its multi-colored and ever-changing glory.
If you've read my other rhetorical analyses of Young Jeezy's lyrics, you may notice that this one is more light-hearted and mischievous than the rest. Whereas Jeezy's albums have typically followed more cynical themes, such as the risks associated with hustling and the wear and tear of the daily grind, this song is a celebration of being on top, of being the number one trapstar. In tweeting this lyrics, Jay Bilas inspires his followers to think about the rewards of going to work every day. Without going to work, one cannot enjoy the finer things in life, such as Grey Goose, supermodel escorts, or a nice new Honda minivan for your family. Keep your eye on the prize, and hustling will seem infinitely more bearable.
Ladies and gentleman, Jay Bilas has gone to work.
|Posted by Kristen Geil on January 2, 2012 at 11:20 PM||comments (0)|
Allow me to introduce myself- my name is Kristen Geil. I'm a 22 year old graduate student and a lifelong Lexingtonian- and because of that, a lifelong UK fan.
Some important facts about me: "All I Do Is Win" is the sixth most played song on my iPod. I recently bought the lifesize DeMarcus Cousins poster on eBay. I called in sick to work last Saturday so that I could watch the UK-UL game and got to the bar at 9:05 am to ensure seating. The best moment of my life was the post-buzzer beer shower at TIn Roof after UK beat UNC to go to the FInal Four last March. I've been a KSR Fan of the Day three times, and last April Fool's Day, my friends and I put jorts on The Lex's "walking man."
Did I mention it was monsooning and freezing? Because it was.
But most importantly, I should be one of your interns.
For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to be a writer, preferably in the sports, entertainment, or lifestyle sectors. My childhood diaries are filled with overdramatic ramblings and musings. In high school, I sent Mark Story a list of reasons UK basketball could be used to teach concepts in my AP English class- and got published in the Herald-Leader. In college, my friend Ally Tucker and I started this very blog for our friends and families to enjoy our smart-ass sense of humor- and managed to get 25,000 viewers in its first year.
(Figured it couldn't hurt to appeal to Drew Franklin and our mutual love of Watch the Throne).
Although our blog started off as a "just for fun" hobby, it quickly showed me that writing is one of my true passions. Sitting down to craft a blog entry isn't a chore. Sure, some days it's a challenge, but I love the feeling I get when an acquaintance comes up to me at a grocery store and tells me that my latest rhetorical analysis of Jay Bilas's "I Gotta Go To Work" tweet made them cry from laughing, or that they made a UK playlist on their iPod after reading my suggestions. We've even gotten some celebrity recognition through Twitter- Mary Jo Perino and Josh Hopkins are blog fans. Not to pull a Chane Behanan, but I'm a strong writer with a unique voice, and I know I could write posts that would appeal to your readership. Point blank. Period.
I know, I know, you guys are already thinking, "When can we hire this girl?" Okay, here's where it gets sticky. So... I currently live in Chicago.
That's also how I felt when I read the post advertising intern spots and realized that I was disqualified by not living in Central KY. But then I thought to myself, What Would Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Do? He wouldn't give up, that's for sure. The way I see it, if you like my writing enough, we'll find a way to work it out. There are lots of possibilities for a relationship much longer and more fulfilling than that of Rick Pitino and Karen Sypher. I'm currently at DePaul getting my Master's in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse, and as a grad student, my schedule is pretty flexible (class/grad assistantship on all day Mondays/Tuesdays, Wednesdays until 12:30; free the rest of the time, allowing for lots of blogging or even traveling time!). My Winter Quarter lasts until March 27th and I have a job lined up for this summer. The time in between and after, well, that's negotiable, and I'm hopeful you would keep my application on hand should you have an assignment for me.
Maybe you want a correspondent to give an ex-pat view on the state of UK sports (similar to my official writing sample submission for this position)- I can do that. Want to expand the KSR blog into Tumblr? I'm your girl. Perhaps Ms. Tyler Thompson is tired of the tweet beat- I'm happy to take over. I'd even be willing to tackle the daunting task of teaching Eloy Vargas the ins and outs of correct Twitter grammar and spelling. There's lots of dirty work out there, but somebody's got to do it- and I hear that's what interns are for.
So, in conclusion, pick me. Choose me. Love me. Or at the very least, read my writing sample (and maybe even some of my other blog posts that I have thoughtfully linked in this cover letter and the writing sample) and have a chuckle. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship, guys.
Love and Basketball,
|Posted by Kristen Geil on January 2, 2012 at 10:10 PM||comments (0)|
As many of you know, I recently left the nest for the first time in 22 years and moved from Lexington to Chicago to get me some more of that education stuff. You can imagine the anxieties I experienced associated with moving- making friends, living without my parents' purse strings, and cooking for myself without burning the apartment down- but one constant source of impending depression was the realization that I would no longer be living in the nation's college basketball mecca.
Being a lifelong Lexingtonian, I was spoiled by my easy access to obscure television channels showing the game, scintillating Herald-Leader sports articles by Jerry Tipton, copius tailgating, and the completely unique and (mostly) memorable experience of being a 21 year old during a UK Final Four run. My good friend Ally once paid me the best compliment of my life when she told me I am more "more Kentucky" than anyone else she knows. What on earth would I do in Chicago, where pro sports rule the landscape and no one else has the WBA's YouTube channel bookmarked?
Well, I started small- I found the local UK alumni bar and went for a football game.
Folks, I present The Pony, home of a mean Bloody Mary and a 14 inch grilled cheese appropriately dubbed "The Clydesdale." Since my first visit there in October, I have returned multiple times and- get this- seen someone I know EVERY SINGLE TIME. Whether they actually live in the city or are just visiting for the weekend, it's comforting and exciting to realize that the UK fan base isn't limited to the Bluegrass State. Drew Franklin can wax poetic about Jack Dempsey's in NYC all he wants, but I dare him to come experience The Pony's friendly yet frantic UK lovin' atmosphere and tell me it doesn't remind him of Two Keys on gameday.
Now, being in a different time zone from the Cats has both its pros and cons. Pro: Late night games are earlier, meaning I can get to bed at a decent hour (I'm only 22 years old, I swear). Con: Early games are earlier, meaning an 11 am tipoff is a regular occurence. Pro: For these 11 am games (see especially: UNC and UL basketball games), The Pony offers a two hour, $15 All You Can Eat Breakfast Buffet, complete with bottomless mimosas and certain draft beers. For the UL game, my friends and I got there at 9:05 am and got the last seats in the house- at the bar. That's the kind of dedication I would expect in Lexington, and nowhere else.
Other evidence that BBN likes the Windy City? The evening of the UK-UNC game, I was at a random bar in Chicago. Across the room, I made eye contact with a guy wearing a UK sweatshirt. Three goggles were exchanged, leading to a shared bourbon shot and a recap of the day's glory. If that's not magic, I don't know what is. UL fans would have just sized up each other's flat bills and continued sipping Crown Royale from their respective corners.
Oh, and speaking of the three goggles- they are rapidly becoming one of my go-to barometers for judging potential Chicago friends. I decided I liked the DJ at my New Year's Eve party because he obligingly threw up the three goggles. Potential dance partners that night were considered based on if they would perform the gesture. Other ways I know I can be friends with someone in Chicago? If we can have a heart-to-heart about where we were during that one game in 1992; if we share similar concerns about the health of MKG's mom; and if we can coordinate a victory dance routine integrating the John Wall and the Wobble.
Of course, every now and then my transplanted UK fandom hits a road bump. There have been several times I've been on the subway in a UK t-shirt, only to have some nasally-accented smart-mouth cheekily inform me that Calipari is a cheater or that Terrence Jones is way overrated. Luckily, years of living in Lexington have given me more informed rebuttals than Calipari has favorite Orange Leaf toppings.
Kristen Geil says SHUT UP.
Also, after spending nearly six months in Chicago, I'm a little disappointed that UK doesn't play more away games in the area. Considering that Calipari has a solid recruiting history in the city and a close relationship with Bulls' player Derrick Rose, I'd expect him to schedule a game at the United Center's "Madhouse on Madison." I have no doubt that our fans would love a road trip to Chicago and would fill the arena for the occassion. So Jay-Z and Drake have been to Lexington? I bet you anything Kanye West would come to a UK game in Chicago, if for no other reason than to one-up HOVA. Not to mention, NBA scouts would love it as well.
So, even though I have pledged to myself I will quit real life for a week and return to Lexington if (when) UK gets to the Final Four this year, being temporarily separated from the madness isn't as bad as I expected. In fact, being passionate about UK basketball has helped me adjust to life in Chicago while greatly increasing my appreciation for my hometown. For the next year and a half I live here, I will consider myself UK's Official Ambassador to Chicago, and wear my UK gear with pride. If you happen to be in the city and spot me on the street, throw up your three goggles and we'll bond. See you in March, Lexington.