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Podcast of the Commoner #1 - Tucker's Tales, Parviz, and the Illuminati

Posted by Richmond Bramblet on January 14, 2012 at 10:05 AM Comments 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

Let's Re-Write the Social Norms

Posted by Ally Tucker on January 13, 2012 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (3)

Last week on Tucker's Tales, I made some bold predictions for 3 trends that I fear in the upcoming year of 2012. I got to thinking about predictions. Predictions are fun. I mean, who doesn't love when they get to experience that "Aha! I told you so!" moment after a previous prediction comes true? I know that I was very pleased with myself when I predicted that A'dia Mathies would score 34 points last night and hit a last second game-winner against Tennessee. I was also pleased with myself when I predicted that Katy Perry and Russell Brand would break up. I mean no one saw that one coming. 

As great as predictions are, do they necessarily accomplish anything? I tend to think that no, they do not. Instead of simply predicting trends in 2012, I've decided to take things to another level. 

I am going to attempt to make major changes to social norms in 2012. 

Quickly, let's re-visit a few of our most common social norms. 

Tipping your waitress/waiter 20% 

Answering the phone with the greeting "hello."

Hating on the University of Louisville. 

All of the aforementioned social norms are great. They've been around forever. I can certainly get on board with all of them.  The last one in fact is as easy as breathing. But as someone famously once said in a movie, or a book, or in an interview, "the only thing constant is change."

The time has come for some additions to our social norms. I'm not sure how I qualify to be the one to make these changes, but hey, how does Kris Humphries qualify as a human and not a robot?

Let's start with our vocabulary norms. There are certain words that have been deemed "taboo" socially. Curse words, for example, are avoided in certain situations because they are inappropriate or offensive. To be honest, curse words just aren't that offensive to me anymore. I would love to replace a few of the words on the "curse word" list with some new ones that I find offensive:

1) "Winning" -- I've alluded to it once before here on Tucker's Tales, but can we all please, please, please agree to stop saying this word in that obnoxious tone after we do something that we think is cool? Charlie Sheen's new found fame lasted for about a month. Why oh why has this catchword (is that a word?) continued to last?

2) "Swag/Swagger"--  Swagger stopped being swagger when my 91 year old  Grandpa used it to describe his pony tail. Enough said. 

3) "Honey Badger"-- No, I haven't watched the YouTube video. I've heard just enough about it to believe that it sounds completely idiotic. I'm not sure how or why LSU's uber-talented football player (no, I don't know his name...because I've never heard anyone use it) took on this nickname. I'm sure it started out as a nickname among teammates or perhaps local media in Louisiana. Nickname's are fun and occasionally referring to a player by that nickname during the course of daily conversation, or even further, during the course of a nationally televised broadcast is one thing. ONLY REFERRING TO A PLAYER BY HIS OR HER NICKNAME DURING THE ENTIRE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP, especially when you are a broadcaster in your late 40's/early 50's is flat out mind-boggling. Why was that okay? I'm serious. I'm so bothered. Does that kid not have a name? The nickname wasn't a play off of his name either. Why was he never called by his real name? I'm so angry. The next person to say Honey Badger in my presence will get a swift kick to the aorta. Try me. 

4) "Epic Fail" -- The first few times I heard this phrase used, especially when paired with a really funny
picture of someone being unsuccessful at something, I laughed. I never really jumped on the train though. As with anything, the phrase quickly became overused. Words like epic used to hold value. Words like epic used to be reserved for things/people/performances that were in a category with very few other things/people/performances. When epic is tagged with a picture of someone tripping up a flight of stairs, the things that actually are epic, lose all value. The word holds no weight anymore. Everyone has tripped up the stairs a time or two. If you are sitting here reading this and saying "I haven't," you are an epic liar. There's nothing epic about falling up a flight of stairs. Thanks for ruining a cool word, world. (Tongue twister)

So, now that we have officially put all of those words into the category of curse words, it's time to move on to changing another social norm.  

Let's make it a social norm that people cannot leave Voicemails that simply say "this is _(insert name of caller)____. Call me back."

I really dislike Voicemails. The reasons are threefold....

First, like the picture says, the icon in the corner of my phone irritates me. I have to check it as soon as I can so that icon will go away. My main problem though is that I am a bit of a technology hoarder. I don't delete text messages. I don't delete contacts. If I get a nice or funny voicemail or one that I worry I might need information from at a later point in time, I save it. At the time, it seems like a great idea. When I get a new Voicemail though, and 1 out of every 3 times I try to check it I have to go through and re-save every other old message before I can even get to the new one,  I want to scream. 

That brings me to my second point. If you are going to call someone and leave a voicemail that says (and I would say that 90% of voicemails say exactly this, and only this) "Hey this is ______. Call me back" let me save you the trouble--DON'T LEAVE A VOICEMAIL. It took me 5 minutes just to listen to your voicemail and by the time I heard it, I knew everything that I knew by the fact that you called me. We all have cell phones. Cell phones have caller ID. I know who you are. If you called me, I'm going to assume that you want me to call you back. Got it. Check. No need to hear all of that verbally. Say something of substance or send me a text. 

And finally, to my last point-- actually, I don't have a last point. I just really enjoy the phrase "the reasons are threefold" and wanted to use it. Carry on...

Can we find a way to make it so socially unacceptable to ask for a "Retweet" from someone that
people just stop doing it all together?

Honestly, to me, this one feels like a social norm to me already. I would feel way too uncomfortable and embarrassed to shamefully ask someone for a Retweet. I don't understand why people do it. I understand the logic behind trying to get someone who has more followers than you to send out something that you say, or a link to something you've created (i.e. I send Mary Jo Perino links to Tucker's Tales on the reg). That concept makes sense to me: wanting more people to see something that you've said or created/getting a new audience.  What I'm trying to eliminate is just sending a tweet to someone (usually a famous someone) and saying "Hey!! Can I get a retweet?" What's the point? You're not saying anything!

I think famous people on Twitter only promote this shameless activity when they actually do retweet people who ask for retweets. Why encourage this pointless activity? Does anyone ever see a retweet by a celebrity that they follow of a random person saying "hey can I get a retweet" and immediately think to themselves  I NEED TO FOLLOW THAT PERSON? No. No one ever sees a retweet and thinks that. Ever. The only thing that I think is, "I bet that person has those family member bumper stickers on the back of their car."

(Real picture from a real car that I saw in a real parking lot. Please don't say "epic fail" when you see this)

Okay guys...I honestly have a list of about 8-10 other social norms that I would like to change. I have a lot of ideas about things that should probably become socially unacceptable, and the sooner the better. I think I've ranted enough for one blog entry, so perhaps I will write another one tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Let's change the world we live in, Tucker's Tales readers/people who accidentally search for something else and find us!

Late Night Confession: ASPCA Hates Me

Posted by Ally Tucker on January 10, 2012 at 8:35 PM Comments 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...

(Fair warning...)

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** 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. 

Consumer's Report: The Chronicles of Harris Burdick

Posted by Kristen Geil on January 9, 2012 at 4:00 PM Comments 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. 


Late Night Confession-

Posted by Kristen Geil on January 8, 2012 at 10:20 PM Comments 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.

What Did You REALLY Mean By That?

Posted by Ally Tucker on January 8, 2012 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

When you decide to play basketball for the University of Kentucky, your life becomes totally different from anyone else's. The spotlight is constantly on you. I'm not speaking from experience, of course. But I am speaking as someone who follows every Kentucky basketball player on Twitter, hoping to somehow get that extra ounce of insight as to what's going on in their lives, how they feel about the team, what kind of personality they have, what kind of J's they prefer to wear and whether or not they prefer the musical stylings of Wale or Drake. 

When I send a tweet out into the Tworld, approximately 200 people have the opportunity to see it and dissect it. To be fair, at least 50 of my followers are Twitter-bots, so let's shrink that number down to 150. Anyway, 150 people having access to my daily thoughts and musings feels like a lot. Then I think about the Kentucky basketball players and how they all have literally thousands of followers. Jon Hood, who has a torn ACL, poor taste in facial hair and hasn't ever been considered a "star" for Kentucky, recently reached the 10,000 follower mark (I know this because he tweeted a picture of the screenshot on his phone #HumbleBrag). Other more heralded players, such as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, have over 40,000 followers. That means that every time they pick up their phone and send a tweet, that many people are exposed to whatever they type. 

Now, Kentucky basketball fans are some of the greatest and most passionate in the world. Along with that though, comes a level of interest and curiosity unlike any other fan base. When Kentucky walk-on Sam Malone tweets about liking Taylor Swift, the Big Blue Nation takes note. Sometimes this amount of exposure and access can cause some problems though. 

For example, this morning Darius Miller tweeted "Pocket full of money, parkin lot full of them haters."

Among other things, he should have spelled haters with a "z" instead of an "s" for more emphasis, but he also clearly worried some Kentucky fans into believing that he was unhappy and more than aware of the fan base's growing contempt with his average play on the basketball court. An hour after that first tweet, he sent out another:

"Haha, ya'll that's a song... I didn't mean anything by it."

Chances are that poor Darius was hounded by tons of his twitter followers asking him if he was okay or unhappy at Kentucky. I see this kind of twitter action from UK basketball players all the time. They have to send out reassuring tweets to fans to make sure they understand that the sky is not in fact falling. 

I would be lying if I didn't admit that when I saw Darius' tweet this morning, I thought for a moment that he might be alluding to the reaction of fans on radio shows and internet message boards across the state. I certainly didn't feel the need to check in with him about it though. I got to wondering though if these poor players receive that kind of worried response to every single thing they say. Perhaps people are over-analyzing their every move. 

I went back and looked at a few of the most recent tweets from our current Kentucky basketball players and tried to read them through 3 goggles the lens of an overly nervous fan.

(Editor's Note: All player's tweets are REAL. All worried fan response's are...more than likely real, but not proven as fact, yet). 

11:40 a.m. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist tweets TO Anthony Davis: "Love u bro"
11:45 a.m.  Anthony Davis responds to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist "love you too my SON"

**Worried fan response: "OMG, does Anthony Davis have a kid out of wedlock?"

January 3rd Doron Lamb tweets: "Goin to Freedom Hall now in Louisville"

**Worried fan response: "Doron Lamb is transferring to U of L"

January 3rd Anthony Davis retweets Doron Lamb's tweet

**Worried fan response: "Doron Lamb & Anthony Davis are offering themselves as a package deal to U of L."

December 11th Terrence Jones tweets: "Let my haters have they night last night buts still a lot of games my bros know that's all that matters I don't forget nothing"

**Worried fan response #1: Terrence Jones hates the fans
**Worried fan response #2: Terrence Jones is failing is English class & will be ineligible 
**Worried fan response #3: Terrence Jones seems to be in denial/worried he might have early onset Alzheimer's 


January 6th  Ryan Harrow tweets: "Catch me at the STOOP"
5 minutes later Ryan Harrow tweets: "Not guilty until proved"

**Worried fan response: Ryan Harrow does drugs. At the Stoop. That must be what the kid's are calling it these days


December 27th Sam Malone tweets: "Out of breath from stomping my foot on the ground trying to get my heal in the shoes without untying them."

**Worried fan response: Coach Cal isn't doing enough conditioning for the boys in practice. He needs to run em' all practice long. They also need to practice free throws more. 


December 24th  Sam Malone tweets: "#ThatAwkwardMomentWhen Your Jewish on Christmas."

**Worried fan response: Sam Malone supports Hitler. 


December 25h  Darius Miller tweets: "If the Heat keep playin like this it's over..."

**Worried fan response: Someone please go check on Darius Miller. He is suicidal. 


The moral of the story? Most of these players are 18-22 years old, although I think Eloy Vargas is old enough to be Brian Long's father (and he called him son once in a tweet, so....). These guys are going to say all kinds of things on their personal Twitter accounts. Clicking that follow button and being exposed to their thoughts is a choice. Obviously they are opening themselves up to some scrutiny and an audience by Tweeting things, but let's all remember that these players are probably NOT thinking about you and how Joe in Pikeville might interpret a song lyric that they like as a threat to quit the team. 

Relax people. Relax. 

3 Trends I Fear In 2012

Posted by Ally Tucker on January 5, 2012 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (5)

Hey, it's 2012!

Let's be honest, either the world is going to end or.....

That's what I'm here to discuss... the "or."

 It seems like each year has a theme. For example, last year was the "Year of the Commoner." If you are thinking to yourself, "but Time Magazine said it was the Year of the Protestor," worry not, they just mis-spelled commoner. 

Though I'm not quite sure what this year's theme will be just yet, I am fearful of certain trends becoming popular and widespread in 2012. When we look back upon a year, we can all probably admit there were some trends that we "soh" (shake our head) at. See, just there...I used one of the trends I'll be glad to see go from 2011. The saying "smh" (shake my head) took over the online world and texting world last year. Let's all quit shaking our heads in 2012 and spend more time using our heads to carry around things like books to impress people. While we're kicking 2011 trends to the curb, let's all also agree to stop saying "winning" in that annoying voice after doing something or saying something. Oh, and also, if I never heard the word swagger again, that would be okay too. 

(Dang! Look how cool she looks!)

(See? Overkill)

Now, as I said...on to the trends I fear in 2012....

Nooks Replacing Books

I am genuinely afraid that Nooks and other electronic reading options are going to be the death of books. Of course stories will still be written, novels and the like. But I am a bit of an old soul and I LOVE books. I love everything about them. I love flipping pages as I move through a story. I love folding down the page I stop on with a dog ear (even library books, shhhh!). I love reading a good book and then being able to just hand it to someone else and let them be the next person to enjoy reading it. There are few feelings better than adoring a book and then sharing it with someone else and watching them adore the book too. 

I get that a "Nook".......hold on one minute. Let me just rant here real quick: What a stupid freaking name! Nook? Nook?! That's not even creative. I don't know why but I hate the name almost as much as the concept. 

Okay, let me try that paragraph again...

I get that a "Nook" can be convenient in certain situations. If you are traveling for a long period of time and can't fit a bunch of books in your suitcase, the concept makes a little bit of sense. I get that some people think bookstores, especially the larger corporations, overcharge for books. I get that the Nook offers a cheaper option when you want to purchase a book. I also get the picture about what the future might look like thanks to these little iPad wannabes...

Bookstores are going to be almost non-existent soon. Some people think I am crazy for making a statement like that. I've seen it starting already though. Bookstores are closing here and there and the situation is eerily similar to one that happened a few years ago when movie rental stores began disappearing thanks to Redbox and Netflix. 

My Mom started an analogy club when I was in middle school. I joined it. Let me put together a little analogy for you. Nook is to Book as Netflix is to Blockbuster. Netflix is to Blockbuster as Video is to the Radio Star. And for those of you who listen to music, you know that Video killed the Radio Star. I fear that the Nook is going to kill the book. 

I pray that somehow this transformation from books to electronic reading somehow slows. I can't stomach losing an experience that I have loved for such a long time: Walking into a bookstore and browsing around, flipping through pages of books before deciding which one to buy and take home to read. 

You simply cannot convince me that reading a book on a small screen holds a candle to flipping through the pages of a book. 

Every Movie Ever Made Being Re-released in 3-D

(Okay, I might actually be a little excited to see Titanic in 3D)

First it was The Lion King. Now it's Titanic. What's next? Schindler's List? Yikes. No thanks. 

Seriously though, 3D is becoming such a popular way to see/make a movie. To this day, the only movie that I appreciated or felt needed the 3D technology was Avatar. That's it. The list begins and ends there. That movie was phenomenal and I'm not talking about the weak dialogue and story line. That movie was only phenomenal because of what it looked like. And I haven't seen anything similar since and I haven't seen anything before that movie that I thought to myself, "dang, give me that in 3D!"

I think the 3D experience is overrated. I don't like that my eyes feel a little sore the whole time I'm watching. I don't like that they try to make the glasses look hipster-friendly now with the thick rims. What happened to the old school red and blue lens 3D glasses? Now those, I could get behind. 

(3D of yesteryear)

(Hipster friendly 3D glasses...Boo!)

I realize that movie producers are going to continue to make new movies with the 3D option. I will simply pass on going to see those (and if you know me, I will see almost any movie). But what about all of the movies we loved or experienced years ago being re-made or re-released in 3D? I just don't see the point and I don't see the draw. The Lion King was not made better by adding 3D. I didn't even notice. The only cool part of the experience was experiencing the opening theme song ("Ahhhhhh savanyaaaaaaa!") once again on the big screen like I did when I was 7 the first time I saw it. 

Think about it though...what's next? Dirty Dancing in 3D? Can you imagine Baby's nose in 3D? WHOAH! And if they do Dirty Dancing will they also be inclined to do Dirty Dancing Havana Nights in 3D too? Oh boy! Other movies that are funny to think about being in 3D: Honey I Shrunk The Kids (would that kind of defeat the whole concept of the movie?), Airbud (I wanna see that dog dunk in 3D), Space Jam (Monstars in 3D!), Gigli (Because who doesn't want to see that movie again?), Jaws (Could be released during Shark Week), or Fern Gully (oh wait, that would be Avatar). 

Streaming Live Child Births On Facebook

Call me crazy, but are we that far off? Yesterday my Facebook news feed brought up a 34 week old baby's ultra sound picture. I thought I was going to throw up. First of all, the simulated picture of the baby's face that was waaaaaay too detailed was the creepiest thing I've ever seen. It looked more or less like this:

That's not cute. That's not endearing. That's creepy. That's a face only a mother could love....in a few more weeks when it comes out of her vagina and looks more like a human than an alien. 

The only thing worse than a teenager with Facebook who overshares their "emo" feelings via song lyrics is an adult mother who overshares her pregnancy experience on Facebook. It's one thing to put up pictures of your 1 month year old taking their first bath naked on Facebook. I used to think that was the worst thing I had ever seen. Now, those people are starting to look normal to me. Now my Facebook timeline is loaded with Mom's taking maternity pictures of their bare stomach. Uh, how is this any better than pornography? I don't want to see your naked body. I definitely don't want to see your pregnant naked body. Sorry I'm not sorry. I also don't need to hear about your morning sickness or constipation. Your husband doesn't want to hear it so you vent on Facebook. News flash: If the guy who pledged his life to you, in sickness and in health, doesn't want to hear about it...neither do we. 

I'm more and more surprised each day by what I see on Facebook. These new ultrasound pictures of the baby's progress week to week are the latest trend. So, am I crazy to think that a live feed video of a birth on Facebook is out of the question? God, I hope I am crazy to think that. But I'm not so sure. 

Twitter is so much better. 

One trend I hope to see make a comeback in 2012? Hand-written letters. Seriously....read about my "Breakfast Club" idea and join the movement. 

Jay Bilas Still Works! 1/3/12

Posted by Kristen Geil on January 3, 2012 at 4:15 PM Comments 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.

Blog So Hard, KSR Wanna Hire Me

Posted by Kristen Geil on January 2, 2012 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear KSR,

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,

Kristen Geil

Life as an Ex-Pat UK Fan

Posted by Kristen Geil on January 2, 2012 at 10:10 PM Comments 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.


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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.