Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Day for "Celebrities"

Topper Shutt and Blue October.   What a day for my Missy M:)

Topper Shutt is visiting M's class today.   He is the Chief Meteorologist for a local television station (Washington, D.C.'s WUSA TV9).   We don't watch much television and rarely news other than for school closings:)  I just never know what will be shown or discussed, and didn't wish to be surprised as to what M was being exposed to when she was younger.  Now it's habit not to watch televised news.   I DID flip around last night to try to catch the news, in case we'd catch Topper.  (After "Everyone Hates Chris," a very good family show and one of the two that we actually plan to watch and is of interest to a middle-schooler and also at a level that's okay for her, too, nothing bad in it.)

M is studying weather and energy in her combined 7th-8th grade class right now.   Mr. L told me that he hopes to get their classroom/school set up as a weather station someyear, also.   He has this perennially optimistic excited expression:)  In the meantime, he's had the class study various weather items, and had them prepare for a debate, and with questions for this afternoon.   I've helped M understand a several-page document on global weather patterns, and she's watched Al Gore's movie with the class, did a big presentation on auroras after researching various weather phenomena which was fun for her to check out I *think*, visited a recycling plant which she claimed was a bit boring, yet she STILL comes up to me weeks later and tells me something she's learned from it, lol, and is currently studying solar energy.  (I was not happy to learn that the late President Reagan actually had one of his first acts as President be to REMOVE the solar water heater at the White House!  Truly I don't understand why, other than perhaps to appease his oil-business supporters?)  Again, I digress:)  M is excited for Topper Shutt's visit, and has her question all ready, "How do barometers work?"   She really does wish to know the answer to that question, first asking me what a barometer is when trying to read that long global weather document.

WUSA9.com | Topper Shutt | Chief Meteorologist  Hey, Topper's a celebrity in our area, whether or not known nationally really doesn't matter.   I think it's cool that he will take the time to visit area schools.   It may be within his job, or it may be an outreach tool.   To me, anytime a professional can share and spark interest in a scientific field, particularly increasing comprehension in a scientific field that has such practical aspects to ones daily life, it's a cool thing:)  He's a local celebrity professional.  (Okay, so I'm into weather, lol, I have printouts of hurricanes at my office among other things.   And "taught" her how to make a tornado in a bottle.  Etc.  Really.  Visit http://weather.gov for some cool stuff, or, if you know a girl in Girl Scouts, check out the Junior Badges related to weather.   *I* am excited that M's class gets such a visit.)

Then, after an afternoon with Topper Shutt, I'll pick up M and we'll head into DC.  

Yep, Blue October.   M won us tickets to see them, AND a special invite (along with other radio listener winners) to a sound check "party."   Not clear how it's a party but I assume there will be some meet and greet and hangout time, hopefully.   I did have to explain to M what a sound check is.   I talked with a coworker/friend who used to play in a touring band, and we've figured out it may be just a small group for this sound check bit, and he's not convined we'll MEET the band, gosh, I sure thought so, well, they sound like good guys, I hope we do.

I've verified so many times now that it's an all-ages show.   I haven't been to this venue since I was in college, joking with a coworker yesterday that I'll be the only one there with grey hair (yet, I don't really care).  I even let M buy some makeup last night, which she can only wear LIGHTLY (albeit the pink lipgloss is light, anyway).   I bought myself some cheap purplish lipstick, too, cuz I like that color on me, and I've lost mine from Clinique that's so good.   I'll bring some extra cash so she can pick up a t-shirt, too -- I like the "girlie" one with vines on it for M that I found on one of their websites.  Oh, and a Sharpie so maybe they can sign it, and our CD I had to buy just because I really wanted to, anyway, but once these tickets had beenone, I didn't wish us to be unaware of the rest of their current songs!   

These are my favorite websites for Blue October:

Blue October | Foiled



update: their official site is http://www.blueoctober.com

I couldn't find the interview with them from this morning's radio show.  Oh, well.   Blue October's opened for the Rolling Stones!, and is no overnight sensation, having Foiled as their 5th album, I mean, cd, (or they've had 5 previously? I'm unclear and can't find that bit of info right now to verify).   They played a comparatively acoustic version of "Into the Ocean," which M claims she doesn't like as much, lol.  

She took the Foiled cd with her to C's last visit, and now Si is even singing the chorus to that song.   M didn't let Si listen to "Hate Me," as the cd version has the "f" word in it, the only "bad" word I've heard on the entire cd.  (She and Md told Si that the bad word was "hate," because of course Si asked what the bad word was.)  I was concerned what their full range of music might be like, before I actually let M attend.   As a parent, I do check these things out just in case.  In this morning's interview, one of the guys said that sometimes fans are a bit surprised after their concerts, as they didn't anticipate the shows being so hard (hard rock style of music), or so sad and yet leaving them feeling so GOOD.   Okay, to me this says a lot, and is approximately what I've been anticipating.

Blue October mentioned this morning that the show is likely to feature "all" of their songs from Foiled, and 3-4 from their older cd's.  

I first got intrigued with Blue October with their song, "Hate me."  Yes, off their latest album, um, cd.   The lyrics caught my attention.  Good writing always does, and good lyrics in a song that's also good?  That REALLY does.   I tried to explain it to M, and I think that she understands.   The singer is saying to a woman (his mother) to do what is right for HER, not get dysfunctional and enabling which can be hurtful, for an addiction he'd had (but I hear everyone's been fine and "sober" for some time now, yeah).   "Into theOcean" is clever, also, dealing with depression and hanging on after feeling like drowning (after a breakup), with a very upbeat sound to it for such a, well, depressing topic.   I didn't even connect at first that these two songs were by the same band, until I felt compelled to actually call into a radio station and ask who did this "Into the Ocean" song which intrigued me so.   Now, I've gotten to spend some time listening to the other songs on the Foiled cd, and still like them.  Okay, a couple get a little, well, skip overable, but most of them I really like.   M herself is starting to enjoy "You Make me Smile."  :)

Blue October said that they would most wish to record with Peter Gabriel, who is, in my humble opinion, a musical genius I'm happy to have had the experience to see live, as a solo artist and in Genesis.  Yes, I'm telling my age, lol.  Also with a lot to offer, depth musically, lyrically, and with images.   Just not as focused on depression and such.

I'm getting excited for the show, and the soundcheck party!  :)  (It's sold out at this point.   Just like The Goo Goo Dolls show is that I've been drooling over and even like the one song I've heard of from their opening band.  Tis okay, I couldn't afford their tickets, anyway, but gosh.)

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