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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.

5.20.2012

Newark? But what happened to Oldark?



Saturday, April 28th started like any normal day…well, as normal as any day gets in our world. We got up, showered, and percolated some coffee while readying ourselves for another exciting evening with Straight No Chaser. We reorganized our belongings, making sure our most precious valuables were protected. It would have been a tragedy if anything had happened to our light necklaces or Sunstaches after all.




                
We packed up my car and I navigated out of the parking garage and onto the streets of Reading. While stopped at a red light, just in front of our hotel, Amanda noticed a window display and inquired, “Is that a real man?” As I stared at the man in the window, contemplating whether he in fact was real or not, he noticed us, smiled, and waved. This left us in a fit of giggles, but we were happy to know that they had put this man to good use…surprising young ladies when they stared at him in a questioning manner.
                
Once our laughter was under control, and that pesky red light had turned to green, I maneuvered through the Reading streets narrowly avoiding death on many occasions. Maybe driving like a Masshole isn’t a great idea outside of our home state. You'd think I would have learned this by now. As we drove away from Reading and onward toward Newark, some quintessential life questions were answered for us. Like the fact that flea markets actually exist in real life, not just in movies. We took this leisurely drive as an opportunity to stop at the local CVS and acquire a few necessities before heading into Newark.

Logically, despite the laid-back mood of our journey, we arrived at Tops Diner (where we would be meeting other Chasers for dinner) in Newark wicked early. We decided to try and find a Target, so I searched for one that was close by and we went on our way. It was better than sitting in a parking lot for two hours. Wrong! We drove through sketchy parts of Newark, saw about a million police vehicles (I swear they were out to get me), and literally almost died 12 times (Jersey drivers are so unpredictable). When my GPS finally told us we had reached our destination, we were crossing over a creepy bridge with no Target in sight. We made a pit stop at an ATM and decided it was probably best if we just headed back to Tops. When we arrived (thankfully unscathed) Tara, Jenn, and Marna were already in the parking lot so we hung out in Tara’s car until we met up with everyone else for dinner. We spent most of this time laughing...you know, peeing in your pants, sidesplitting laughter which results in your inability to breathe for a solid amount of time. Most of this resulted from Amanda and me making ridiculous comments to each other, which is totally normal and most of the time we didn’t understand what was so funny. When it was finally time for dinner, Jenn sat between Amanda and me. She was subjected to our banter once again and probably regretted this decision when dinner was over.

We left my car in the Tops parking lot and headed over to the venue with Tara, Jenn, and Marna. When we got there we hung out by the merchandise table with other chasers and waited for the doors to be opened so we could be seated. I’m sure K-Merch appreciated the company. When we found our seats we were happy to see that we would be in the center of the third row. This would be a perfect viewing location. As we were glowifying, two women sat down on my left. We quickly became acquainted (the glowing apparel is always a great conversation starter) and were informed that their husbands would be sitting on Amanda’s right. When the male counterpart of our sandwich arrived, we wasted no time and instantly became friends. They inquired about why we hadn’t been neighborly and brought light-up necklaces for our entire row. We informed them that we were not from around here, and definitely not the neighborly type. We laughed and joked with them until the lights dimmed and the opening video began (which we didn’t have the pleasure of seeing the night before). It was obviously hysterical, and our sides were hurting once again.

The guys came out to sing Get Ready and our Sunstaches went on. It was easier to sit there without cracking a smile than the night before. That was until Mike saw us while he was singing and started to laugh. At that point the glasses were removed. We would have kept them on, but we couldn’t take ourselves seriously and, to be honest, we couldn’t really see the guys all that well with sunglasses on (and that just isn’t acceptable). We soon realized that Blake’s white lights were blinding and debated between our options of losing our ability to see periodically, or donning our sunglasses and being in darkness the entire time. We decided periodic blindness was a better choice then total blindness, and we were thankful whenever Ryan sang lead because he usually blocked the white lights from our eyes. His height is quite handy.

The concert was stocked full with hilarity and shenanigans, despite the fact that they didn’t sing Buddy Holly and we had planned some fun with Charlie the night before. The guys provided us with hysterical intros resulting in Charlie becoming derailed on many occasions. A portion of the male counterpart of our sandwich decided he would also serenade us during the concert (because the 10 guys on stage weren’t enough). He sang during many songs, but the most obvious moment was during Fix You and it made us laugh (like we needed another reason to laugh during this very serious song). We enjoyed all of the new songs, cried with laughter through the Movie Medley, and suppressed our urge to join the guys on stage during their closing Club Medley…you know, we’d make great Shuffle Bots. The guys received a standing ovation from the rowdy crowd and came back out for their encore. I have to say I REALLY enjoy their mash-up of The Way You Make Me Feel and Billie Jean/Poison. They ended the night with an always emotional off-mic rendition of Up on the Roof. It was a seemingly perfect concert, like always.

We dried our eyes and made our way toward the lobby for the meet and greet line, but not before we were interrogated by Blake. He thanked us for the birthday card we had given him the night before, and clarified that the $100 Burger King gift card must have fallen out before we gave it to him. Sorry, Blake, we were really hungry and we had a long drive. When the interrogation was over, we went to the lobby and waited for the guys to come out for the meet and greet. It was another one of those twisty lines like in Disney, through which you are a roller coaster of emotions but you can’t wait to hop back in line and do it all over again. The guys made their way to the table and we began to snake our way toward them. As the table came into view, Mike made eye contact with us, so we smile and waved at him. He smiled and waved back. Tara and Jenn informed us that it was not our turn yet. As we rounded the corner by DR, he also smiled and waved at us. We received more disapproving looks from Tara and Jenn. Hey, we can’t help it that we’re popular.

Finally we made it to Jerome, and our descent down the meet and greet table was about to begin. Not before we had to trick the security guard into letting more than one item go down the line to be signed, however. (Amanda had a coffee mug and her Sunstaches. I had a tote bag, my Sunstaches, and a birthday card for my brother…some whispers to Jerome were needed to make this happen.) Amanda asked Jerome to sign her glasses after he signed her mug. The security guard gave her a dirty look, so she kind of breezed right past Jerome without really talking to him. I snuck my items onto the table and thanked Jerome for being so generous, completely ignoring the security guard. We always say ignore the unwanted behavior.

It's so good, it's worth sharing again
Amanda had now moved onto Mike. He started the conversation by saying, “So, there were a lot of comments on that picture.” He was referring to the picture she had taken the previous night of Mike and Seggie wearing our Sunstaches. She responded with “YEAH! Because it’s fantastic!” At this point I had joined the conversation and we discussed how he had seen us wearing the Sunstaches during Get Ready and he couldn’t help laughing. He hoped we hadn’t taken them off because of that. We reassured him that it was because it’s actually really hard to see them with sunglasses on. He found that to be an acceptable answer.

At this point I witnessed Amanda hurrying away from us and the conversation. She sure is speedy…I think she may have been on a mission of some sort. Mike wanted to continue talking about the Sunstaches, so I kindly obliged.
Mike: That was the best picture ever!
Megan: We’ll Amanda took it.
Mike: Well you as a collective, it’s both of you together. (Yes, we are the same person, Mike.)

Now is the time when conversations begin to get a bit jumbled. If you remember, Amanda had put on her Road Runner shoes and sped away (completely skipping over Randy, if I remember correctly), so I will now tell you her recollection of what happened during the meet and greet. We will return to me shortly, as these events were happening at the exact same time.
        
Amanda joined her Sunstaches, which were being signed by Walt, and he exclaimed, “Ryan is going to be SO jealous that I signed the mustache!” Amanda said, “Yeah he is!” and redirected Walt by telling him that the mug in front of him was also hers. He said, “Oh, it is? Good thing I signed my real name. Sometimes I just make stuff up.” Honestly, I think it would have been hysterical if he had signed something else. Amanda and I have discussed on many occasions how Walt’s signature is always different on everything we get signed. She then moved onto Seggie. He signed the glasses and said, “Now you won’t be able to see anything.” Amanda replied with, “I already couldn’t, they’re sunglasses.” Seggie said, “Oh yeah.” They then discussed that the pictures she took was the best picture ever (Duh!).
                
She traveled over to Tyler where he was lounging in his chair, so she said, “ummm, just make yourself comfortable.” Ryan took this opportunity to lean over and say, “I literally just said to him ‘you look so chill right now.’” Tyler then took Amanda’s glasses and put them on stating “I’m just going to sit here like this with a straight face.” (That is so hard to do!) Amanda said she wished she had a camera so that she could take a picture of that. He took the glasses off and passed them to Ryan. She went to follow them, but stopped in her tracks because she had forgotten to ask Tyler a question. We were curious to see if Tyler would be attending a Hyannis Sound show before their shows on Cape this summer. He wasn’t sure what his schedule would look like around that time, but said he would love to.
                
Due to her slight back-tracking, she didn’t really get to chat with Ryan. She found herself in front of Charlie and abruptly exclaimed, “I want my glasses back!” I think this may have been the mission I had suspected earlier. She told him they were no longer on speaking terms. I met back up with Speedy Gonzalez around this time, so we’re going to hop into my time machine for a moment and travel through the time/space continuum (nerd alert!) to my conversations that were going on at the same time.
                
I had been laughing with Mike about how Amanda and I are the same person and then made my way to Randy.
Randy: So, which show was better?
Megan: They were both fantastic!
Randy: So, do you have a timeline for when the blogs will be done?
Megan: No.
Randy: By Summer 2014?
Megan (laughing): Definitely by Cape Cod.

By saying the phrase “Cape Cod”, I successfully distracted the guys in my vicinity with my accent (no use harping on how long blogs have taken us recently). Randy and I quickly discussed the birthday card he was signing for my brother, and he stated I was such a good sister. I somewhat deflected this and moved toward Walt. He asked me if I had had a good time, and of course I had, then asked when my brother’s birthday is. I admitted that it had actually been April 19th, and I hadn’t actually been a great sister and forgotten to get him something. Randy seemed surprised by this, but I told them that this (as I gestured to the card and the meet and greet table) would make up for it…or at least the cash I would insert later would.
                
I glanced over at Seggie and he was making weird, squinty faces at me. I made them back at him and he laughed. Then he told me my brother didn’t tell me he wanted a card, he actually wanted a CAR. I told him that since he was only turning 14, he isn’t ready to drive a car. Seggie clarified that he didn’t mean one that worked. I laughed and told him knowing my brother, he would make it work. I went to move on to Tyler, but then Seggie said, “See you tomorrow!” I had to correct him (again…it was like a repeat of Reading) and told him we wouldn’t be attending the show in Philly. He got upset, asking why not. Apparently work isn’t a good enough answer because he has to work too. I retorted by saying, “Seggie, you know you said the same thing last night, and you got just as angry. Unfortunately the situation hasn’t changed.” I stalked off, never talking to Tyler because I was in front of him when this exchange happened.
               
 I found myself in front of Ryan:
Ryan: So, what was your favorite song?
Megan: All of them.
Ryan: I like that answer, very political.
Megan: No, it’s just true.

Ryan then told me that he liked my ensemble for the show. At this point I was out of control and was like “oh, you like all of this?” and made crazy hand gestures toward all of my glowy garb. He laughed and said, “Yes I do.”
                
Now let the time/space continuum realign. I was questioning why I was acting like this while witnessing Amanda confront Charlie about the lack of Buddy Holly in the set list. Charlie was trying to reassure Amanda that they would do it at the next show. She informed him that we wouldn’t be there. (I thought at this point this was common knowledge.) He got really upset and shouted, “I THOUGHT YOU WERE!” He then placed all of the blame on Tyler, informing us that he was the one that had made the set list for the show. He told us that he hasn’t told Tyler yet, but he has surpassed him in twitter followers, so if we wanted to unfollow him as well it was fine. Tyler heard us blaming him and told me that he had to switch it up, we saw Buddy Holly last night. I told him tonight was not the night to take it off the set list (as a matter of fact, it should be in every show in my opinion oooweeeoooo). Charlie then quickly asked if anyone would be there that could record it for us. We placed this burden on Jenn because we knew she would be there and because she was right behind me and had witnessed this all going down. Amanda then said, “Oh, I was so upset I almost forgot to give this to you.” It was a birthday card for Hayden. Charlie laughed and thanked us for spelling his name correctly. Apparently it’s a difficult name to spell.
                
We tried to compose ourselves and moved to the last guy in line, DR. The security guard down this end told Amanda she had to step aside, but DR came to her rescue and told the woman that Amanda was still waiting for her stuff. Tyler apparently didn’t realize her mug was in front of him, or maybe he was just trying to keep it for himself. We took this time to talk to DR about how the mustache glasses had stemmed from their Manchester show when he had told us that he would have lost it if we had worn disguise glasses to the show. He said he remembered that. We told him that that was also why we had gotten him the birthday card we did. It had a picture of a dog wearing disguise glasses on the front, and said “Have a happy birthday. Seriously.” He obviously loved it.
                
When Amanda’s mug had made it back to her, we exited the line and assembled with the other chasers waiting for group pictures. Richard came over and asked if this was anyone’s first time doing group pictures. Amanda and I were the only ones to raise our hands. This derailed Richard for a solid amount of time. He wasn’t sure if he should take us seriously or not. Richard then gathered the guys. They positioned their group in a shadowy area, so logically Richard told them to move forward. As one of the shorter members of the group lunged forward, I made an extremely inappropriate comment that luckily only Amanda could hear…remember, I was out of control! It left Amanda and me in hysterics. Ryan happened to notice (during the first picture) and mouthed for us to stop. We were embarrassing him in front of his friends. We tried to compose ourselves and quickly found that it was our turn for pictures. Walt told us that we always looked so serious when we come up for our pictures. Charlie said, “Well, look at us.” We just didn’t want to be yelled at by Ryan again. As we positioned ourselves for the picture, the guys began to spout words like Bawstin, Hahvahd, and chowda. My favorite part was when Tyler said “Legal Seafood! Oh man, that doesn’t have any R’s in it.” This had us all cracking up. Richard snapped the picture and told us it was perfect.
What are we going to do with you, Seggie?                
As we went to walk away from the group, Jerome put the hood of my sweater on my head, so I walked away like that. I think I had completely lost my mind at this point. I was out of control and acting crazy, just ask Amanda. We gathered our belongings and put on our Cape Cod sweatshirts, which we were using as jackets. Tyler saw them and got wicked excited. Ryan and Don wandered over to talk to Tara, Jenn, Marna (and others? It’s so hard to keep people straight) and us. They asked us if they were going to see us the following day. We told them no, again, and pointed to our sweatshirts we had just donned and said Cape Cod. Ryan asked us what was inside the “D “of Cape Cod on our sweatshirts. We told him “Cape Cod.” He got confused then realized it was actually the shape of Cape Cod. Ryan slipped in and out of conversations with people. We spent most of this time talking with Don. He asked why we weren’t coming the following night, and we explained that we had to work. Amanda told him she could come if he didn’t mind her 52 fourth graders also attending. Don informed us that they would actually love that. I think if that happened, the guys would see a whole new side of Amanda and I that they are totally not used to. We’d be forced to be much more serious. He asked us if one of us had tweeted Charlie about the Wang (it was Amanda), we discussed the creepy, very dark showers there. We told him we are getting used to road life. He laughed, agreed, and told us at least they have someone to drive them around. We then asked him if we could bring up an issue we had. We told him that the light brown shoes with dark suits just aren’t okay. They claim their suits are blue, but they really do look black. I told Don maybe it’s because the suit is so shiny. At some point Ryan chimed back in during our shoe debate. He told us the other guys are slacking and should shine their shoes like he does. Apparently that makes them look better. If you say so, Ryan. Then it was time for them to go. Ryan said, “We’ll see you tomorrow.” We quickly reminded him that he wouldn’t and he said, “Oh yeah. We’ll see you in Cape Cod!” He gave us each a hug and wished us a safe journey home.
                
We went and collected my car in the Tops parking lot, which Tara had trouble finding at first. She was confused because we had my car and not Amanda’s, but I’m pretty sure it was the only car in the parking lot with MA license plates. We filled up our gas tanks and maneuvered onto the Jersey Turnpike. Tara suddenly began driving at warp speed and I was left to rely on my GPS. That is never good. She didn’t fail in her attempt to get me lost, and had us get on and off the Turnpike…twice. We were literally driving in circles. Finally I figured out that she just wanted me to stay in the cars only lane. How silly. We finally made it to Tara’s apartment, significantly later than everyone else, and had an incredible night of laughs and Gumby games (which we are not allowed to talk about. It’s the first rule of Gumby games after all). We awoke not too early the next morning and began our journey back to Massachusetts. We were saddened by the thought that we would not be spending the evening with our friends in Philly, but we are wicked stoked for some summertime fun with SNC!


P.S. For those of you playing along at home, we have traveled approximately 5, 142 miles (one way) to see SNC, and we've had a blast doing it!



1 comment:

  1. Love your blog...again! Thanks for continuing to entertain me well after the concerts are over. I look forward to Danbury...unless you will be at Longwood Gardens first? Wherever we meet again...I can't wait! You ladies always make me smile!

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