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Our names are Amanda & Megan. If you're reading this right now we can only assume that you are a fan of Straight No Chaser! We have had so many adventures in our journeys to see them that we needed a place to write them all down. Cue blog! We can only imagine the adventures will continue and we can't wait to see where they lead us.

12.28.2010

Anxiously Anticipating New Years' Eve


It is pretty accurate when I say that the wait between Straight No Chaser concerts is always long and torturous, and it seems to get worse and worse after every time we see them.  Pretty much the moment we left the concert on November 21st in Cranston, RI I knew that the wait until New Year’s Eve would be difficult (and it would only be a month and a half). 





Amanda and I, of course immersed ourselves in everything Straight No Chaser, and our friends and family were quick to inform us that we had become OBSESSED! “Stalkers” and “crazy” were terms often used to describe us as well. At this point, however, we didn’t even care who knew or what they thought about our love of Straight No Chaser. Being the Christmas season, I personally felt like it was my duty to spread the chaser love wherever I went. This included only playing Straight No Chaser in my car, putting it on every time I was home (which led to family members randomly singing the Christmas Can-Can and blaming me because it was stuck in their heads), even bringing it to the school I teach at where I subjected the staff and 4th graders I work with daily to their music and my obsessive banter. By the time Christmas vacation finally arrived I had successfully converted many of the staff members I work with as Straight No Chaser fans, and even had a few 4th grade chasers amongst us. It made me happy to know that more and more people were becoming aware of the amazing talent these ten men have.

As for Amanda and I, our world has become about Straight No Chaser 100% of the time. Every twitter post, blog, and video made by Straight No Chaser was viewed daily by us with excitement and increased anticipation of what would come next. Every time we post something on Twitter and get any kind of response from any of the guys, our day is pretty much made. It is always a sign that good things will follow, and it never fails to leave a smile on our faces. Just for the record, we have received responses from Ryan, Seggie, Randy, and Tyler (between the both of us). Any of the other guys reading this, feel free to add your two cents wherever you want…I guarantee it will put a smile on our faces. And to the guys who have responded, it seriously makes us just as happy (if not happier) every time it happens, so keep them coming!

Twitter, YouTube videos, and Straight No Chaser in general, also leads to many inside jokes and increased insanity between Amanda and myself. 1) Every time we listen to SNC’s version of Jingle bells (or any version really) we must quizzically shout “upsot?!” and say “time” at the end of the song. 2) We will randomly yell “Richard!” during casual conversation, usually resulting in bizarre looks from strangers, eye rolls from friends, and incessant laughter from ourselves (we seriously crack ourselves up). For other chasers who may be confused by this, we met Richard (SNC’s tour manager/sound guy) in Rhode Island in between their two shows. He made an appearance in a YouTube video Ryan graciously posted for our entertainment in New York from the Beacon Theater. Amanda and I happened to watch it together. When we spotted Richard in the video we simultaneously yelled his name and got so excited because we spotted him. We then re-watched the video at least 3 times, laughing every time Richard flashed on the screen. 3) Randomly asking people, “What is a Hoosier?” and yelling “Go Hoosiers!” whenever we see a basketball game on the TV. We even considered going to a Hoosiers basketball game when they were playing Boston College, but we were afraid of being considered traitors. We were torn between who to support, and this became even more apparent when BC won the game and the Hoosiers lost. Boston pride wanted us to be happy for the win, but at the same time we couldn’t help but feel bad for the Hoosiers. This has also led to many discussions of what it would have been like if we had gone to Indiana University for school…life seriously would not be the same.  4) Whenever there is a reference to New Jersey we can’t help but sing the infamous line from Straight No Chaser’s Jersey Girl …“So much beach and interstate, WHY’S it called the Garden State?!” This has even happened when driving down the road behind a car with a New Jersey license plate…no joke! It was so rude that the driver of the car (who was totally going way too slow and was in our way) didn’t answer this very important question. Someday, it will be answered! 5) Amanda and I like to pretend that we’re a part of Straight No Chaser when we listen to their music. When we saw them in Boston, Amanda joked with Seggie about seeing them so many times so that we could take their place whenever they needed. Since then, we have “practiced” our very best singing every time a Straight No Chaser song comes on…which is pretty much constantly. We’re getting so good! Those guys had better watch out! 6) Okay so I can’t think of a sixth inside joke, but I’m sure there are many, many more, and if there isn’t then I’m sure there are far more to come.

The blanket Amanda made me!
As Christmas fast approached us, Amanda and I decided that we would be exchanging gifts…duh why wouldn’t we?! As I thought about what to get her, the logical thought was something Straight No Chasery (as previously mentioned this is now part of my vocabulary). I first thought of making Amanda a calendar of Straight No Chaser pictures, but none of the online companies I was using were making exactly what I wanted…and I couldn’t have that, Straight No Chaser deserves perfection! Needless to say I put that project aside and decided to do something different. I made Amanda a Straight No Chaser mug on which I put the group photo we had taken with the guys in Cranston, RI. It came out amazingly, and I HAD to purchase one for myself as well…I’m so bad! In addition to her coffee mug, I also purchased Ryan Ahlwardt’s Malibu EP (which after listening to it with Amanda, I obviously had to come home and purchase it for myself as well…again, so bad!) There was about two weeks until Christmas, and we both had our gifts wrapped and waiting to give each other. The anticipation was KILLING us, and we knew that if we waiting much longer we would probably rip open the packaging and keep the presents for ourselves. So, we exchanged gifts super early…I think I was more excited to give Amanda her gift then to see what I got…I love when that happens. Amanda of course LOVED her gift. She immediately added Ryan’s CD to her iTunes and tweeted about it! I was AMAZED by my gift from Amanda…it was AWESOME! She had made me a blanket, on which she had printed pictures of Straight No Chaser. It was PERFECT! I joked with her, telling her that I was going to wear it “like a Snuggie” wherever I went. The blanket has been on my bed since the day she gave it to me! In addition to our amazing gifts to each other, Amanda’s mom also surprised us with our very own “I’m a Chaser” t-shirts. Amanda and I had wanted these shirts since we saw them this summer, but much to our dismay they had been sold out when we saw the guys in Atlantic City. The shirts returned to the SNC Store just in time for Christmas, and Amanda’s mom immediately purchased them for us. She said they explained us PERFECTLY!

Front of the "I'm a Chaser" t-shirt.
During this time, Amanda and I also had to decide how we would want to travel to Reading, PA for our New Years’ Eve Extravaganza with Straight No Chaser. We discussed driving, flying, and taking a train. The logical first choice would have been driving, however, we both have had car issues recently and (as people who live in New England know all too well) there was always the nagging thought of bad weather that could happen at the end of December. We then started to look into both flying and taking the train, weighing the pros and cons of each. Flying would a) cost the most, b) could still be affected by the weather, and c) would be the fastest, but we also knew we would have to consider wait times for check-in, security, and layovers. The train would a) be cheaper than flying, b) take just as much time as driving, c) would still go in the snow, unless it was state of emergency conditions, and d) would require us to find additional transportation from Philadelphia to Reading. All three modes of transportation had their pros and cons, but in the end we ultimately decided that taking the train would be the best way for us to get to Pennsylvania. We booked our Amtrak train…we will be leaving at 8:30 am on December 30th, giving us an entire day for travel. When we get to Philadelphia, we will pick up our rental car (which is actually a small SUV…just in case of snow) that we booked in advance. We will then drive to Reading, where we booked a hotel room in the Best Western there. Then all we have to do is wait patiently…or not so patiently…for it to be 5:30 pm on December 31st so our evening with Straight No Chaser can begin! Now that everything is decided, booked, and ready to go I have become even more excited about this fantastic New Years’ Eve evening with Straight No Chaser!

Back of  "I'm a Chaser" t-shirt.
There have also been many discussions and preparations about what to wear for the momentous occasion both between Amanda and I and with fellow chasers on the SNC website. This will be discussed later in a subsequent blog…can’t give away what we will be wearing that evening. Although I can guarantee we will be ZAZZY! It also wouldn’t have been a Straight No Chaser concert without us being crafty. This too will be discussed later, but I can tell you that we got our crafty juices flowing for the guys again….and Jerome, I promise we didn’t go glitter crazy this time ;-).

At the time this blog is posted, there will be a grand total of two days until Amanda and I are on a train, speeding toward Philadelphia. Three days until the much anticipated New Years’ Eve event! I truly cannot wait for what that evening will bring and to meet so many fellow chasers who all have the same passion and love for these ten amazingly talented men. I hope everyone who is making their way to Reading has safe travels, and for all of you who aren’t joining us there I hope you are able to party like rock stars wherever your adventures take you that evening. As chasers we will uphold our duty to document as much of the event as we can, and make sure you look for another fantastic blog (yes I can predict the future) after we ring in the New Year with Straight No Chaser.



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