Carter Alexander <3 (Taken with Instagram)
Carter Alexander <3 (Taken with Instagram)
My new sounds:
This is me playing O, the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus as arranged by Faye Lopez. Please don’t pay attention to the voices and clicking and mistakes! They were not intended to be there. :D http://soundcloud.com/calliopeheart/o-the-deep-deep-love-of-jesus
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” ~Proverbs 25:11~
This verse was brought to mind recently when one of the members of my favorite music group respectfully cautioned his fans on a nameless social networking site to (and mind you this is paraphrased) be careful what we say publicly on social media, whether or not it was meant in good sport, because it not only affects the person to whom it is said but also those close to him. (I would like to take a moment to state that I really appreciated him saying that.)
I have also noticed a trend on social media to say whatever you want and not think twice about it. It got me thinking… “How often do we actually sit and think if what we are about to say will be kind, appropriate, encouraging, or even necessary?” I submit that it is not often. If at all. And I will be the first to raise my hand and say that I do not often think about what I say. (I usually think about it after the fact and often regret it.)
I am very thankful for his courage to speak up about something he cares about. It has inspired me to pass it on and also to take his advice. From now on I will be striving with all my might to speak (and type) edifying words to everyone. I encourage you to do the same. :)
My new sounds:
(The next paragraph was written yesterday while I was at work. In a follow up to my answer to Ryan Blanck, he asked me to write another blog outlining my dream for my life in detail and well… You can just read it for yourself.)
While at work today, I had music playing on my iPad. The album was the original soundtrack for the Disney movie “Newsies.” I wasn’t really listening to it. I was trying to come up with ideas on the best way to outline my dream for my life in detail for a blog post I was planning to write. I was having a difficult time with it because I’m really not sure what exactly I want to do. I just know that it needs to involve music in some way. (I need to research it a little bit first.)
As I was typing down my thoughts, the song “Seize the Day” began to play. It made me stop, listen, and think. How often do I seize opportunities that are presented to me? How much could I accomplish if I were to just capitalize on every moment of every day? I then realized that I had found the “way” to make my dream become a reality even if I don’t yet know what it is: Seize the moments. Seize the opportunities. Seize the day.
I was asked a thought provoking question via Twitter by the one and only Ryan Blanck; personal fitness and wellness coach of Straight No Chaser and Deviate CEO. (Don’t know who he is? Check out his profile here http://www.offtrackonpurpose.com/the-players/ryan-blanck.html) I readied my hands on my keyboard to reply to his tweet, but no answer came. I had to sit and think about it. In this blog I wanted to tell you about the answer I came up with.
In my younger years, I had a problem with keeping my anger under control and keeping a positive attitude. I hated absolutely everything; school, housework, my dog, my family, my friends, authority, responsibility, and the list could keep going… and whenever I tried to fix it, I always failed. And most people would say, “Oh, well at least you tried…” But the truth is I really didn’t try. As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that to change your ways, first you need to change your attitude from “I can’t!” to “I can!” Just as Henry Ford used to say, “If you think you can or you think you can’t, either way, you’re right.” Since I realized that, my relationships with my family members, friends, and authority changed drastically. My initiative in school work and responsibility in my home and work also improved.
Now that I’m a senior in high school, I’m constantly being asked “So what are your plans for the future?” And yesterday, I honestly didn’t know. I would lose sleep worrying about “What am I going to do with my life?” “I know I love music and want it to be a big part of my life, but I can’t make it in the music business!” I knew that I could accomplish much just by changing your attitude from “I can’t!” to “I can!” and yet these thoughts still haunted my dreams with no answer in sight… until someone I have never met before asked me this, “What is the one thing you didn’t think you ‘could’ and now you’re going to?” I now have an answer to the thoughts that have been giving me nightmares (and an answer for Ryan!).
Ryan, this is my answer: The one thing I didn’t think I “could” was chase my dreams and allow them to succeed. And now, I’m going to. The sky is the limit.
Yep. You heard me. But I’ll say it again. I love Mike Luginbill, Lugnuts, and Chasers! Don’t know what those are? Let me explain. Mike Luginbill is an amazingly talented tenor 2 in the 10-piece a cappella group called Straight No Chaser. A Lugnut is an extremely dedicated fan of the music a amazingness of Michael Luginbill (whose nickname is Lugs). A Chaser is an extremely dedicated fan of the music and amazingness of Straight No Chaser. I was recently able to sit down and interview Chaser, original Lugnut, and NASCAR fanatic Kelly Gregory to celebrate 100 followers of the Mike Luginbill Twitter fan page she created. I want to take a moment before we start to thank all of the Chasers and Lugnuts and Mr. Luginbill himself for all their love and support! You are all amazing!! Please enjoy the interview!
Maria Fulton: So Kelly, when did you first hear about SNC and what was it about them that spoke to you?
Kelly Gregory: I was in my junior year English class, and my teacher Mr. Huggins (who is the greatest teacher ever, I might add) was like, “Christmas is a few months away, so I want to show you this video of this a cappella group from Indiana University.” And he showed us the 12 Days video. I laughed so hard I cried. It was great. So I went home and looked them up, heard some of there stuff from 1998, and I though they were awesome. After that, I was a casual listener, until this past summer when I got bored and googled them. After that, I was hooked. I stayed up for 3 straight days, and all I did was watch SNC videos on Youtube. Then I started learning more about all the guys, how the group came to be, and then I ventured into Chaserville. And I haven’t left.
MF: Very cool! I was going to ask if you fell in love with them instantaneously or if they grew on you, but you sorta answered that… Do you remember what exactly it was or at what “moment” you became a Chaser? And what is your definition of a Chaser?
KG: Mike singing Sweet Child O’ Mine in the 80’s medley was my HOLY. CRAP. moment. I’ve got memories attached to that song, and he blew it away. My definition of a Chaser is about a mile long. The easiest thing to say is a Chaser is a fan of Straight No Chaser. But being a Chaser is more than that. Chasers really care about the guys in the group, and they really care about each other. They are some of the kindest, sweetest people you’ll ever meet. You’re welcomed into Chaserville with open arms.
MF: Aww! That’s so true! When was your first SNC show and what were some of your favorite things about it? Elaborate as much as you wish!
KG: My first show was this past December. I got the tickets for my birthday, and convinced my best friend Jon to go with me. It was our first “road trip” (we had to drive about 2 1/2 hours) without adults. We’re from a small town, so going to a big city like Raleigh excited us. So we spent the day in the museums and walking around downtown. We headed to the venue really early, and even though it was cold, we hung around outside until we were allowed in. There was this guy playing Christmas song on the sax out there, and he was really entertaining. We get in there, and I freak out cause I can see K-Merch! Then we met up with another Chaser Kristin and her mom and sister, and we chatted before the show. (Dottie’s cousin was also there.) I told Kristin I was standing with her in the meet and greet line because I was nervous! While we waited in the concert hall, they had songs playing, and I remembered hearing somewhere that the songs that play beforehand are some the guys pick. A Michael Jackson song came on and I was like “Yeah. Tyler probably chose this one.” The show was AMAZING! I cried during “Like A Prayer.” The show ended way to fast though! At intermission, I told K-Merch he needed a twitter. The afterwards, I explained to Jon that the best place to be in the meet-and-greet line was in the back. So we headed back there where Kristin and her crew was. While we were in line, the fire alarm went off, but no one went anywhere. Everything was fine. FINALLY we got to the guys. I went behind Kristin, who had gifts for some of the guys. Don was opening his gift from Kristin, and got a little behind, so Charlie goes, “Hurry up Donald.” Don goes, “Don’t call me by my full name!” Charlie replies “Donald Richard Nottingham!” I didn’t really get to say much, because I was SO starstruck, but the we got to DR, and I actually talked! All the guys were nice and everything, of course, but Dave put me at ease. I told him it was my first show and I turned Jon into a Chaser, and he said good job. I can’t believe I actually talked! Then I got to Mike, and I almost DIED. I had his solo CD for him to sign, and he was super happy about it. He and Jerome shared a little joke about my name, (Kelly with a Y, not an I), we greeted Rome, and then stuck around for our group picture. After that, we said goodbye to Kristin and started our trek home. It was such an amazing experience.
MF: I love the way you tell stories! That sounds so great! Now, I’m sure you’re aware that there is a group called IU Straight No Chaser out there, and I have heard that you like them a lot… So I have some fun questions for you pertaining to them and the Atlantic Records Straight No Chaser… You ready?
KG: Ohhhh yeah. I love IUSNC almost as much as the professional SNC.
MF: Ok, here we go… If you could pick any 3 previous members of IU SNC to become part of AR SNC, who would those 3 be??
KG: Will Lockhart, Jesse Townes, and Jason Jacobs.
MF: Wow. That was very quick and concise! Are you sure about that??
KG: Yes! I have thought about it many a time. Will has such a strong, yet sweet voice. Jesse can sing just about any part you give him. I’ve heard his sing high notes and do bass. And Jason Jacobs is just…amazing. He’s a tiny guy, but he has a huge voice.
MF: Very cool. Very cool. If I were to give you a piece of paper with the names of all ten members of SNC (from Atlantic Records) could you describe each member in one word?
KG: Oh my gosh. Uh…
MF: Wow! Great words. Nicely done. Now, I know this will be difficult to answer, but, who is your favorite member of Straight No Chaser of all time? (from the beginning of Straight No Chaser to now.)
KG: I don’t have a favorite, per se. I like different guys for difference reasons. For example, Ryan would be like my big brother. Walt would be my sports buddy. Tyler would be the kid I say with in class and talked about our musical interest with each other. But I will say Will Lockhart is my favorite IUSNC member.
MF: Nice. I like that analogy. I was going to ask if you have a favorite member of the Atlantic Records Straight No Chaser but you kind of covered it… Would you still like to answer it, though?
KG: Mike is my favorite. Ryan is my favorite. Walt is my favorite. Charlie is my favorite. Rome is my favorite. Randy is my favorite. Don is my favorite. Seggie is my favorite. DR is my favorite. Tyler is my favorite.
MF: Good answer… lol! Now, we both know that all of the music coming from SNC is amazing, but do you have any favorite tunes?
KG: Like A Prayer definitely. Miss You has also been a big favorite of mine as well. I’ve only heard them do Without Your Love once, but that one is also up there as well.
MF: Nice! Those are great. As you already know, we Chasers get our daily SNC fix from a number of sources. For some it’s the website (sncmusic.com) for others it’s Twitter or Facebook, and for the majority of us it’s either their iPod or YouTube. For me it’s definitely YouTube. I said all that to ask, what are some of your favorite YouTube videos of SNC?
KG: Like A Prayer from Harrah’s 2010 I’ve been addicted to since day 1. The Cartoon Medley is good. And All My Life is a great Mike solo. I love all the videos from Gettysburg. That was a great night. I really wish I coulda been there!
MF: As do all of us! As we both know, if you’re not a Chaser, you probably wouldn’t know that all 10 members of SNC have a great sense of humor. What do you think is the funniest thing you’ve ever heard from a member of SNC?
KG: Seggie: *Complains how hot it is.*
Someone in the crowd: TAKE IT OFF!
Seggie: Sir I will NOT take it off….for free.
MF: Great choice! Also one of my favorites. What are your hopes for the future of this group as their fan base has grown larger and their fame has continued to spread?
KG: I hope that they accomplish everything they want to accomplish. And I hope they always stay the same, sweet, humble guys we all know and love.
MF: This has been such a great interview! Before you go, do you have anything to say to the Lugnuts and Chasers who are reading this??
KG: Thanks for checking this out, thanks for following and liking the page and helping us support Mike in everything he does.
Kelly was also able to interview me. Here’s a link to that interview. http://thediaryofablondebrunette.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/happy-100-party-an-interview-with-a-lugnut/
Check out the Mike Luginbill fan pages on Twitter and Facebook. Like and follow!
Also, check out Straight No Chaser’s website: http://www.sncmusic.com/
I have two primary passions and two sub-passions which would all combine into the best job ever. Let’s start with the sub-passions… Sub-passion #1: Photography/Videography. When I have the chance (which, to be honest, is not at all often) I love getting my hands on any camera and playing with angles and natural lighting. Once I’ve taken my fill of pictures, I upload them to my computer and play with the (very lame) software I have. For the videography part, I’ve always loved taking random videos of fun stuff or just everyday life and putting little videos together for my family and friends to watch.
Sub-passion #2: Blogging. I’ve had three different ones over the past three years, two of which have been deactivated and the third I just made at the beginning of this year (and it is the one you’re reading right now.) I guess my love of blogging comes from my love of writing. I can “blame” my mom for giving me that love and encouraging me to refine my skill but also to come up with my own style. I also write song lyrics, poems, short stories, and am currently working on a novel. (I’ll keep you updated on the novel…)
Now on to the primary passions… Primary passion #1: Straight No Chaser. Yes, you heard me right. The ten-man a capella group of Atlantic Records. I mean, come on! How could anyone not be obsessed with the harmonies, the arrangements, the (hootin’ hilarious) choreography, and the ten fabulous personalities of ten amazing (and normal) guys?! I submit that no one could resist the obsession. I am a Chaser and also a co-administrator of a couple fan-run pages for two of the members of Straight No Chaser, and may I just say that I love being those two things! It’s so thrilling!! Ok, back to SNC… My obsession with them started on November 22, 2011, and has not subsided at all. On that day, I went to my first (and hopefully not last) SNC concert, experienced my first meet & greet with the band, and I experienced my first feeling of almost fainting when I met them all. (No joke.) Ever since then, I’ve been keeping up with them and their music on Facebook, Twitter, and their website (sncmusic.com), and I never want that to change. (By the way, there will hopefully be more fan-run pages for the other eight members of SNC)
Primary passion #2: Music. I could just leave it at that, but I won’t. Music has been a part of my life since I was born. Both my parents took great care to instill into my siblings a love and appreciation for great music by paying for piano lessons for us growing up, signing us up for kid’s choir at church, and daily encouraging us to keep with our musical endeavors. They have been huge blessings in my life and I am entirely indebted to them.
Now, you must be thinking, “What does the best job ever have to do with my passions??” They have everything to do with one another! I think the best job ever would be… (Drum-roll please) … A Keeper of Records of the Daily Life of Straight No Chaser. (Sorry, I couldn’t come up with a better title because there are so many things involved in the job description) Or, she could be thought of as the Band Mom. She would go on tour with the band, take pictures and videos of them during their everyday life and performances, blog about their everyday life and performances, do their laundry, keep them fed, and run their Facebook and Twitter fan-run pages. This position may already exist and I don’t know about it, and if it does I am so applying, but if someone offered me this position tomorrow, I’d take it in a heartbeat. “Why??” you may ask… Because I love Straight No Chaser, music, blogging, recording everyday life so you can look back and smile, and taking care of people. But, seriously, what’s not to love??
I now feel like an adult. Yes, I understand that I’ve technically been an adult for 12 weeks, but it didn’t feel that way until I began my first day of work at The Parent Teacher Store. (Funny aside: I talked to a friend this morning and when I told him where I was going to work, his response was, “If ever I need to buy a parent or a teacher, I’ll make sure to come see you about it.” haha! Anyways. Back on subject.)
Now, you must understand that I’ve never had a “job” before. Yes, I’ve mowed lawns in the summer, raked leaves in the fall, cleared away beaver damns in the winter (no joke. You should ask me about it sometime.), and taken inventory for a medical supply warehouse. Not to mention that I’ve been babysitting since I was 11. But this is completely different. This time I have to learn how to work a cash register, take product orders, and to be honest, I have no clue what else I have to learn. :) Give me a break! It’s my first day! ;)
Speaking of my first day, it was surprisingly not stressful. I got to work promptly at 3:50 P.M. My “shift” started at 4 P.M. so I had a few minutes to talk to my boss, Linda whom I have adopted as an Aunt. :) I love her to death! She showed me how to sign my time card and began to show me how to work the cash register. To be completely honest, my head was spinning with information as she was taking me through all of the steps, but I was able to get it pretty quickly and didn’t have a hard time with it the rest of the day. I also helped organize and put out merch. (This term “merch” is a slang term meaning merchandise for all of those reading who are not Chasers. [Sorry, that’s where I learned the term. lol!]) I clocked out at 4 P.M. and was taken home to make dinner. All in all, today was great. I learned many things and had opportunities to get rid of my shyness. :)
Something else I wanted to share, I am very excited to have some extra cash coming in! I am planning on taking piano and cello lessons to increase my knowledge of piano and actually learn how to play cello. (I might take voice lessons also, but we’ll see if I have the money to do that.)
I love my job. I love music. I love the feeling after an honest day’s work. But then, What’s not to love? :)