Brushes with fame

by L

How many Totebaggers know famous people? Are they sports stars? Actors? (Cough) Authors? Do you know them well, or just in passing? Are the stars truly “just like us”?


166 thoughts on “Brushes with fame

  1. I don’t know any really famous people. Dh has a fraternity brother who is a male model and so we see him in commercials and print ads here and there and another guy we went to college with is an actor that we’ll see in movies with one or two lines once or twice per year. The model guy is now a devout Christian, so while DH doesn’t keep up with him, he has friends that do and you apparently get a religious earful.

    When I was in high school, my boyfriend’s family hosted college baseball players for the summer with the Cape League and he had one player stay with them when we were 15 who ended up being a very famous Red Sox short stop (I’m sure you can guess who). Nice guy.

  2. As you can imagine I’ve met lots of famous people. I can still remember all the super nice ones. I see someone famous probably once a week. In fact-yesterday I ran into someone who has been on a million tv shows and i cannot remember his name for the life of me!

    I’d say most of them are pretty normal but they definitely operate on a world of their own.

  3. My sister used to work for a somewhat famous documentary filmmaker (I believe she has an Oscar) so she met quite a few celebrities over the years. Their company did some documentaries on celebrities and did one of the ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries. She definitely had some stories…

  4. I grew up down the street from a Very Famous Author (definitely a household name), which was fun, especially since it brought traffic into the town. Now I don’t know anyone famous, but one of my friends from law school writes for TV so I see her name on TV occasionally. :)

    Lagirl, are all the famous actors short? ;)

  5. Many years ago during my NYC puppy years, I struck up an acquaintance with Kathy Lee Gifford of all people. She is one of the most decent, generous, genuinely nice, and charming people I’ve ever had the chance to meet. At the time, she also had a secretary who was a riot and could seemingly do anything who was truly terrific in her own right.

    But her world and my world were very, very different, and many years have passed. But every time I think of her, it brings a smile to my face.

  6. DH s late cousin’s adult child is the life partner of a well known actor with OCD. They have been able to keep their family life very private, so I’d appreciate no name speculation. He is NOT a regular guy, but his oddity is not specific to his art. His public ego is fairly typical for famous a holes, but in private he is just weird.

  7. My former neighbor was one of the Daily show correspondents. Course I did not realize that at the time. I am really clueless about noticing famous people. Many actors, actresses, and authors live in my larger neighborhood but I don’t really notice them.

    I did see Conan O’Brien once on the sidewalk. He is really hard to miss. Sat near Joan Rivers and Matthew Broderick, on separate occasions, in restaurants.

  8. In another life I worked in the music industry. They operated in another world, but at the same time it didn’t seem all that glamorous. The record labels definitely had them tied to doing a lot of annoying appearances and putting on a fake smile. I think that would get old really fast.

    Growing up my best friend’s dad won an Oscar – it was placed on top of a file cabinet in his home office…not front and center on the mantel. He was gone a lot, months at time. Again, not very glamorous.

  9. A famous person bought the house next to my aunt many years ago. She didn’t live there full time, but a staff was there almost full time. The staff were very nice and my aunt got to know the “household manager” fairly well. My aunt and a guest (me) were invited to two parties there with the famous person. The parties drew a large number of primarily locally famous people, but I don’t think my aunt would have even said she “knew” the famous person. When my aunt died (more than 20 years ago now), the household manager adopted my aunts dogs and took them to her home. Famous person died about 10 years ago.

  10. When DH and I were on safari, we met a famous cricket player. He was very nervous about us being all star struck and ruining his holiday with his wife…until he realized that we were Americans and had no idea who he was, and didn’t care.

  11. I’ve met two Nobel Laureates while in grad school. One was just an introduction, the other was at a conference where he spent an evening drinking wine regaling us with life stories. He was warm, funny, self deprecating and cool beyond words.

    There was a summer camp near where I grew up that Hollywood celebrities sent their kids. My parents were friends with the owners and when the owners’ kids got married, we were invited to the weddings, also invited were celebrity kids. The ones who went to the wedding were charming. Either for real, or they had their party faces on.

  12. L I haven’t noticed anyone shorter than expected but Vince Vaughn is very tall. We attended the same premiere and he was next to me in line for popcorn-i’m 5’2 and he’s over 6’5

  13. Just this weekend at my parents’ the memory of Gordon McRae kissing me on the forehead came up. Found out he kissed Mom on the cheek, too. Other than that & Nick Nolte being my seventh cousin once removed, I can’t think of any.

    Kerri, I’d be kicking myself. Did you just happen to recognize your former neighbor on tv or what?

  14. I grew up with three people who are now famous in different fields (acting, music, and athletics).

    I’m sure they all remember me very fondly as that lab partner who told them to stop going on about [talent that is now their multimillion dollar career] and write their share of the blooming lab report for a change :)

    Because at different times I told each of them to stop pursuing their ridiculous dreams and try studying for pre-cal….

  15. I was going to say I don’t know anyone famous, but remembered that a guy I knew from college has produced some hit movies, so I guess that counts, though it’s not like we keep in touch. I did see him at our last reunion — pleasant as always, but seemed to be a little bit warier than I remembered him. Possibly he’d had various classmates pitching ideas to him all week. Oh, and a couple more guys I knew in college are on NPR, one hosting a show my family enjoys, so that’s kind of interesting, but we’re not in touch at all. And another college acquaintance is/was on CNN, and one of my sister’s college dormmates is well known for telling us all to lean in, but again, these are people we knew back when.

  16. I don’t really count all the once and future famous people one encounters in certain elite colleges or Div I athletic powerhouses, whether professors, returning alumni, or fellow students. They are more or less part of the backdrop.

  17. I know well a couple of CEOs of big companies everyone would recognize.

    Having lived in LA for a stretch, I saw lots of actors/actresses/athletes, probably the most famous was Julie Andrews who was being feted for her b’day at the same restaurant we were dining at.

    As an undergrad I:
    – had lunch with John Wooden. 2 other people and me. Just happened, not like winning a actual raffle or anything.
    – played racquetball once with Wilt Chamberlain. He won.
    – would watch Farrah Fawcett play tennis from my dorm window fairly frequently

    And, going to undergrad where I did, there were tons of college athletes there who for the most part were normal people. Some became very famous.

  18. Many years ago during my NYC puppy years, I struck up an acquaintance with Kathy Lee Gifford of all people.

    Didn’t you also used to ride the elevator with Jackie O?

  19. One of my grade-school classmates became the lead singer in an indie band that was very popular for a time. For a while, he seemed to have a great life — he dated a bona-fide supermodel! But he also got involved with drugs. I haven’t heard of him in a long time; I hope he’s OK. He was a nice kid back in Kindergarten.

  20. S&M – the whole tale is rather embarrassing. When he first moved in, he invited me in to show me a problem with the exterior of one of our windows that could only be seen from his window. Super nice apartment, really nice guy. I hinted that his bubble jet bathtub was right next to our living room so he should not enjoy it too much with any guests since we would hear him quite clearly (a problem with the previous tenant). DH was mortified I mentioned it.

    Later, DH and were watching the Daily Show and he said, “hey isn’t that our neighbor?” I was replied “nah, really?” Well it was.

    Other than an unfortunate hallway accident involving his new puppy, we really didn’t see him very much.

  21. Yup, Rhett. Yoko Ono, too.

    Also a lot of famous, mostly approachable, famous folks out east in Long Island. None of whom, however, would know my (real) name.

  22. Houston – I was visiting the home country and there was a famous actor making an appearance in the mall, I was shopping at. The mall was mobbed with people. The sales people were rushing out too.
    The only famous person I saw was Keith Lockhart while in Boston. He was at a table in the back of a restaurant we were dining in. It was pretty late, so there were hardly any patrons.
    DH runs into famous singers while he travels. He got an autograph from Steven Tyler. DH happened to have an Aerosmith CD on him at that time. Steven T. was amused at that.

  23. i will say one of the nicest actors i’ve ever met was James Denton. I met him multiple times and he was always super nice to everyone. LeAnn Rimes was one of the rudest people – I once spent an afternoon with her and her ex-husband and he was soo nice and she was awful. To this day I can’t listen or watch her.

  24. PTM is the world’s most interesting man.

    He is. I bet he tells great stories. Sort of like a glamours Sophie Patrillo – “Picture it New York 1977…”

  25. Kerri, think how rich you could be, selling those audio sex tapes! (Joking, I’m joking, everyone)

  26. can’t think of anyone really famous. When I used to play fiddle, I knew some of the people who placed in the top 3 at Galax. And I knew Jane Curtin’s personal assistant because she played fiddle too.
    I took my mathematical logic course, required of CS majors, from this strange little Russian guy who I learned later on is one of the gods of computer science theory. He was a real sweetie, serving tea in his office to those of us who ventured to office hours. I loved that class.

  27. Louise: Very similar situation–This guy was often chase by screaming mobs of fans.

  28. MM, isn’t Howard Zinn, who you’ve mentioned having a class from, a pretty big deal?

  29. Long time since I’ve been on here, but today’s topic made me giggle so I had to stop by. My brother & SIL moved here last summer and it has been funny to watch my SIL be star-struck by our local celebrities, mostly college football & basketball coaches and current/former athletes. She’s always texting me that she met one of them at Starbucks, and she was impressed to see one of the coaches’ wives shopping at TJ Maxx. Having been in small-town life for 2 decades, I guess I’m used to it. However, I am excited to be attending a pre-commencement dinner this spring, where I hope to meet the commencement speaker, Sheryl Sandberg.

  30. SWVA Mom – If I am clueless about mainstream actors and actresses, no way on earth would I know coaches or athletes, much less their wives! Maybe Shaq or Jordan but that’s it. (I really just dated myself, didn’t I?)

  31. I only know people who know famous people. My DH had a Nobel Laureate client who stiffed him on his fee and one of my kids was taught by a famous Nobel Laureate author. That same kid also used to get his teeth cleaned at Mark Zuckerberg’s father’s dental practice. This kid is something of a celebrity hound and in his new job he’ll be dealing with Very Rich People so he’s bound to rub shoulders with some famous ones. For an upcoming conference the keynote speaker is a former head of a European country and I’m sure he’ll try to ease into chatting with him. Our CPA had several famous entertainers as clients, and he says they were all super nice.

  32. Kerri – I’m in a small college town and SIL & I are fans and follow the teams, so we definitely recognize them when we see them off the court or field. I’ll admit it’s kind of fun to have coffee with a guy one day and then see him on ESPN the next!

  33. I know a lot of people who know a lot of people. I don’t really know anyone. I did go to college with a current infamous political personality and I ran into John Boehner on the street one night headed back to my car after drinks with friends. He was very nice and cordial but declined a selfie because he was smoking. Not on board with all his politics but he was very pleasant, very tan and shorter than expected – Maybe five foot eight.

  34. DH took a couple of classes from Elena Kagan. One of his classmates is about to be Solicitor General. Uh, one time I was in first class two rows away from Gloria Steinem.

  35. My closest connection is that I went to college with a famous fashion designer. My niece is in college and is friends with a famous actor’s child (said actor was a presenter at the oscars).

    I have seen a lot of people in San Francisco over the years in restaurants or on the street, and I rode in a hotel elevator in LA with Gabriel Byrne a few years back – so handsome!!!

    My most recent encounter was seeing Jack Del Rio (Oakland Raiders Coach) in church.

    My favorite story is from my grandfather: he and my grandmother were in a hotel in Washington DC and he yelled “Hey Grace” (her name) and Grace Kelly turned around!!

  36. Rocky, you were at UNC?

    I know very few of the people being mentioned, athletes or not. Only know what school Jordon went to because of his major. Their grad dept is great, but I won’t make any claims re their undergrad.

  37. I see basketball players around town. I am sure they are on our local team. They are very tall big guys (of course). I see a shadow, look up and see this towering person who to a shorty like me seems like a giant.
    I don’t follow sports, so wouldn’t know who they are.

  38. Oh! I’m feeling a little envious with all the famous people drama. I am at a Starbucks right now, and if Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and Hillary Clinton came and bought coffee, I might not notice. I am terrible at recognizing it people out of their appropriate context. When I was a resident, we had a very famous government official come to visit us for an episode of fainting. The Doctor who saw her was chosen based on the fact that he was the only one wearing a tie that day. He was terrible. However, administration cares a lot about doctors wearing ties.

  39. you were at UNC?

    Yep. I hasten to add that I never said two words to any of the basketball stars, let alone Jordan.

  40. The Doctor who saw her was chosen based on the fact that he was the only one wearing a tie that day. He was terrible. However, administration cares a lot about doctors wearing ties.

    So the women are automatically ruled out in such a situation?

  41. My brother writes for (currently) kids TV, and is not famous, but several of his good friends are Emmy winning writers from very famous shows from a decade or so ago. They seem to be extremely nice, down to earth people, and very funny story tellers. My SIL is an actress in a network sitcom that no one here probably watches. She has been in episodes of a number of dramas that I know people watch, but only a regular on 1-2 seasons of one. But it’s so fun when I’m watching a rerun and her face pops up on screen. She is a delightful person, to the point that my sister and I used to joke that he needed to propose before she realized she was way out of his league. (She jokes that funny guys marry up). I’m not around them very much since they live in LA, but each time I have been with her someone has stopped us to ask if they know her, then they also ask if they know me, which is hilarious. I can imagine that gets old but she is very nice in telling them no, she’s not anyone. Her actress friends were very friendly and welcoming at the wedding stuff, and I dutifully pretended to not be starstruck. Oh – and when I was out there for my birthday this year, John Stamos stopped by the table and wished me happy birthday. He was very nice and extremely thin! Everyone I have met through then is very “just like us” (but with more money), but that’s probably because of home my brother and SIL are.

    I don’t know if Milo still reads, but this story always made me think of him. On a vacation with some of their friends, a freak alignment of circumstances occurred which ended up with them having dinner on the yacht with one of the worlds probably 10 richest men. A small boat pick them up and ferried them out to the yacht, and he said the small boat was nicer than anything he could ever afford. On another freak random occasion, he met Tom Hanks, who ended up reading some of my texts to my brother out loud, so my brother allows me the claim that Mr Hanks has publicly read my writing, but neither of my professional writer siblings.

    On the Wilt Chamberlain mention, my dad played on a basketball team with him in high school- said they never lost a single game in the the three years after he joined the team. (In mid-50’s brought a date to a party with other guys on the team, and didn’t think to mention to her that it was a racially integrated team – had funny stories about her shocked reaction.)

    I think I would have been much more excited to meet the Nobel Laureates!

  42. @hm – if there had been a femal attending who wasn’t wearing scrubs, she definitely would have been in the running. Emergency medicine, even in academics, is a male dominated field.

  43. I did go to school with the son of a very famous celebrity doctor. You would recognize his name, probably. Dad was Cray Cray. A friend went on vacation with the family wants and prepared dinner for famous doctor dad. She was scrutinized for the amount of saturated fat in the meal, which included 0.5 g from the soba noodles. That was a huge sticking point.

  44. “In my mind you also look just like the original Dos Equis guy.”

    Me too.

    The most “famous” people I know were on a reality TV show (The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise or something along those lines). And there is the guy I dated briefly in HS who is a sports reporter for Iowa Public Television. Now that’s big time!

    I’ve seen celebrities around here & there, but I’ve never approached any. I wouldn’t know what to say. Both TV/film, political, and sports-related “celebrities”. One time after a game at Wrigley, a player on the Pirates propositioned me & friend at a bar. That was a long time and many wrinkles ago.

  45. Annabeth Gish’s mother was one of my grade school teachers as well. But she’s only a little bit older than me. So while I knew her BITD, she was like 11. She did do community theater & the like though. I always wonder how her mom is & if she is still alive when I see her on TV though. She was my favorite grade school teacher.

  46. I just remembered that a school age friend was a contestant on the Dating Game (Chuck Woolery days) and won. They split the money and never dated. Does that count? =)

  47. In mid-50’s brought a date to a party with other guys on the team, and didn’t think to mention to her that it was a racially integrated team – had funny stories about her shocked reaction.

    My sister’s old roommate’s parents met at a midwest university around that time or a bit later, and as her parents tell the story the only black students there were the basketball team — except for roommate’s mom, an international student from Cape Verde. Apparently the admissions office didn’t know the place, looked it up and saw it was (then) part of Portugal, and figured, ok, European! Such a different world from today.

  48. I forgot, my parents were extras in the definitely-not-Oscar-winning Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. They were impressed with the director, and didn’t have strong impressions of the stars one way or the other.

  49. Tee, hee. As Rhett probably remembers (he remembers everything, doesn’t he?) I once appeared off-off Broadway for about a month in my Fruit of the Looms.

    I can guarantee you that Calvin Klein did not offer me a job!

  50. Speaking of jobs – DS’s friends father reviews movies for a living. The family gets invited to LA, Disney and various film events. He also has to/gets to see movies before they come out.
    The kids think it is a very cool job.
    I remembered this when I read of Sky berating her now famous classmates for dreaming on…

  51. My great-grandfather discovered vitamins A and D.

    Yeah, I’m obviously out of ideas.

  52. No, wait, he was my grandfather. Jesus, I’m getting old. I only met him once.

  53. HM – DH just made me watch that movie because he loves the actor that was also in Pitch Perfect.

    Ivy – when I was a young 20 something, my roommate and I were out at a bar in Baltimore, and we got propositioned by some Yankee players. I had totally forgotten about that until you mentioned your story. Bernie Williams had invited us to go back to his hotel room to “hang out”. We declined. I do remember Derek Jeter being there but he was not trying to hit on any of the girls.

  54. How could I forget? Abby Wambach is from my town, went to my kids’ elementary school ~10 years before they did. Comes to church with her mom when she (Abby) is around. Just a normal 30-something. Her whole family, brothers, etc, still lives here.

  55. I’ve got nothing.

    But one of my favorite posts of all time was what-celebrity-do-you-look-like. I just wish I could remember what people said.

  56. But one of my favorite posts of all time was what-celebrity-do-you-look-like. I just wish I could remember what people said.

    I remember that one–lots of googling to see what people looked like. Never did come up with any who look like me.

  57. Oh, I forgot a biggish one! My college roommate’s father is a celebrity photographer and her brother writes for a very running TV show. I only met her dad once and her brother never, so I don’t think that is much of a connection.

    HM – I haven’t seen your parents’ movie, but I heard it was funny. If I watch it I will be sure to look for them.

    MBT – what a fun connection!

  58. a very long running tv show!

    And I guess I contradicted myself because it isn’t a big connection – close, but no real contact.

  59. This is weird timing because I was with famous people on Monday night. I don’t know famous people, but one of my friends from HS married the daughter of two actors. One of them performed on Monday night, and I sat with her husband and my friends. It was very strange because their friends kept coming over, and they are famous actors from TV and Broadway. They’re all 70 to 80 years old now, and it was like being with anyone’s parents.

    I’ve met them a few times before, and I even held her Golden Globe when I went to their house.

    I mentioned ten people that I met to DD. I showed her pictures the next day. She didn’t know anyone except one guy that has won multiple Tony awards etc. She didn’t care about that, but she did care that he was a dad on Gossip Girl.

    I’ve met famous people when I worked on the financing of movie deals, but this night was totally different. I was having dinner with them, discussing day to day stuff etc. They really did seem normal, but they’re all 20 to 30 years past their peak fame so I’m sure it’s different than if I had met them in 80s/90s.

  60. Meghan Trainor went to my high school (and is probably the only famous person to have ever gone there) and when I told my oldest DD this, she asked if I knew her in high school. I had to tell her that there was a bit of an age difference and I went there way before Meghan.:) Meghan went back and performed at my high school last year and she recorded a nice video message for my best friend’s brother’s kids (there was some connection there but can’t remember what it was).

  61. SSK — since we’re all using noms de guerre, it makes me smile to think of you looking out for my parents when you watch it!

    Ivy, Atlanta — Ted Kennedy hit on my sister once (he was between marriages at the time), a detail which probably narrows her identity down to about half the female population within 20 years of her age. Meme, this was in DC and after college so it counts!

  62. Hmmm. Well, I met Colonel Sanders when I was 4 — does that count? I had a class from Paul Wellstone before he ran for office, which was fun when he did run. Wes Unseld (used to) shop at my Giant. And I’m pretty sure the guy at the next table at dinner last night was in a TV show I used to watch a few years ago on one of the off-channels, but I couldn’t place him. He looked familiar, and then the chef came out to talk to him, and another guy in the corner, so figure my first reaction was on target.

    My problem is that I am very good at faces but horrendous at names or at identifications out of context. So I probably see people all the time but just don’t make the connection.

    PS — Hi from the Acela out of NYC — alas, a last-minute trip for DH scotched my plans to stay over after my meeting. Especially annoying since I found out that Louisville is playing in the ACC Tournament in Brooklyn RIGHT NOW and I coulda been there. Oh well. Next time.

  63. Mooshi – I hope you’re enjoying your time in Seattle. I’m sorry for the not so nice weather.

  64. Perhaps only WCE will appreciate this, but I took a class from an IEEE fellow. Several years later, at a conference, he walked up to me and greeted me by name, and that happened again a few years later.

    I had a chance to work for a little while with one of the authors of one of THE texts for semiconductor device physics.

  65. Oh, and I went to HS with a guy who ended up pitching for Seattle for a number of years. We were all excited at graduation, because he was signed right out of HS, which basically doesn’t happen to anyone around here. He went to the minors and was there a number of years, and then broke through fairly late. The funny thing is that he was a skinny little guy when I knew him. Apparently he grew like 6-8″ after graduation, which is probably what made the difference. I always liked it when Seattle came to town, because the fans would always give him a nice round of cheers when he was introduced.

    Also walked past Kevin Spacey one day when they were filming House of Cards in front of my office. So stupid I didn’t even realize who it was until like a block later — I was wondering what all the $@%#! trailers were doing parked in front of the building. :-)

    One of the guys in my office is one of those nice guys who just sort of knows everyone — one of the characters on “The Wire” was modeled after his best friend from HS. He’s just the guy who knows people like that.

  66. SSM– the sister of a buddy of mine is a media producer in your area. She used to work on some local newsmagazine shows there, including in front of the camera. I saw her when my buddy’s son graduated from college a couple years ago, and she still remembered me.

  67. A big name in baseball who died suddenly last fall graduated from my kid’s school a few years ago. Some of the kids who are there now have siblings who were in his class. There was a big memorial held for him, and huge waves of emotion in the community.

  68. If we’re talking about knowing someone who knows someone famous, a lot of people here know someone who knows Obama. I know a HS classmate of his, whose photo has appeared in many publications and websites because he happens to be next to Obama in it. DW worked with another HS classmate, and DS has volunteered with yet another HS classmate.

  69. Laura, now you’ve got me wondering if I should’ve recognized anyone in the commercial they filmed around the corner recently.

  70. HM – I guess I am expecting them to look like Myrna Loy! Or at least I will look for a cute, older couple in the background.

  71. I am terrible at recognizing it people out of their appropriate context.

    Me too. I was literally nose to nose with Will Smith passing through a narrow opening between tables at a restaurant and I had no idea who it was. On the other hand, I was at the airport walking to my gate and coming the other way, on a little mobility scooter, was Nichelle Nichols. She’s a tiny little old lady in her 80s now but I instantly knew who she was.

  72. Ted Kennedy hit on my sister once

    Have you read Carrie Fisher’s account of being hit on by Ted Kennedy? Doesn’t cast Ted in a particularly good light, but of course it’s a highly entertaining anecdote.

  73. Doesn’t cast Ted in a particularly good light, but of course it’s a highly entertaining anecdote.

    You could say the same for my sister’s account ^_^ .

  74. Rhett, I’m terrible at recognizing faces and at remembering names. With students, I usually could connect their writing/style to their name after about two assignments, but still couldn’t address them by name when they walked up to me (unless they mentioned an argument from a paper.) Anyway, it makes sense to me that you’d recognize a famous person less by their face (ie Will Smith upclose) than by their body/mannerisms, visible from a distance.

  75. 2 days ago a coworker and i were walking to lunch and i recognized an actor who i worked with so i stopped by and said hi. this coworker was a bit stunned as he was a fan of the guy’s old tv show. I’m usually pretty good at recognizing people but sometimes i’m not sure if i know someone because i worked with them or because they’re on a tv show.

  76. I saw Cheech Marin in the supermarket and I went up to him and said “Hi Cheech, how are you doing?” He must have thought he knew me and forgot who I was because he was very friendly and asked how I was as well. Then I was embarrassed and made sure I didn’t run in to him again!

  77. My Dad was in the wedding of a famous serial killer. And my great aunt dated the Green River Killer (but everybody in her town did). That the kind of famous people endemic in my world.

  78. My Dad was in the wedding of a famous serial killer.

    Oh, oh, which one? Give us hint.

  79. Here, I’ll help:
    Ted Bundy
    Jeffrey Dahmer
    David Berkowitz
    William Bonin
    John Wayne Gacy
    Arthur Shawcross
    Charles Manson

  80. I went to HS with a member of a punk band who was popular a few years back. I got him through a history class. My cousin dated a former child star. DH and I went on a weekend trip hosted by some famous (former) SyFy and current TLC stars. We went ghost hunting with them.

    I know and have worked with very famous people in my field. My PhD advisor was one. My academic family tree is quite impressive. I am a black sheep as I not a rock star or even rising rock star in my field. No bragging here.

  81. Addendum- I went to HS with a Rockette. My SIL is friends with a member of an 80s rock band. The band still tours and is more famous than my HS friend in the punk band.

  82. Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer’s mother once bought a frying pan at my garage sale.

  83. “I know and have worked with very famous people in my field. My PhD advisor was one. My academic family tree is quite impressive.”


  84. I was expected to be a rock star, had a few people, some from other countries, contacting me about my work.

  85. So as has been noted I imagine that some in the totebag crowd know or are themselves “famous” people that are only well-known to certain professional/geeky groups. Like I used to work with a star fund manager who was not really a household name but was well known within a limited circle in the industry.

    I know two people who have worked at a major network studio, one who worked closely with a well-known anchor. The one who worked with the anchor used to post FB photos of herself with celebrities, many of whom I was not familiar but I never commented “who’s that?”. Usually the other comments to those photos were mainly things like “wow” and “so cool” and “how’d you meet him”. The other person I know worked at a backstage union job at the network some years ago and tells stories of how he used to fish soap opera scripts out of the trash bin to send to his aunt who was thrilled because she was a soap opera devotee.

  86. I was not expected to be a rock star, but I actually turned out to be one since my field was geology. ;)

  87. When I went out in the field to map outcrops I could be described as out standing in my field. ;)

  88. I hope they didn’t take you for granite!

    (I used to hang out with a geologist. I can do this all day.)

  89. I can now say that I “know” a geologist and a geographer. I love hearing of the different fields people go into.
    My friend was so passionate about astronomy and space. If she had been in this country she would have gone into that field. I feel so sad about it. Her Dad passed away when she was young, so she couldn’t follow her dreams. Had to graduate and support her Mom. My friend did become a teacher though.

  90. A friend’s college roommate is married to George Lucas. The friend and her husband went to the big party in Chicago and also spent the weekend with Lucas at a Princeton reunion.

    My only other brushes with fame involve Washington legal and political folks such as Scalia, and Sandra Day O’Connor’s husband who was a partner at my firm. The WaPo Fact Checker (who awards the Pinocchio noses) lived around the corner in our Virginia neighborhood.

  91. Thd guy is not terrifically famous, perhaps because he was captured years later. But he did get a book and a movie. He’s known by his initials, which don’t stand for Bluberries Tomatoes and Kale.

  92. We should stop the misspellings before Finn erupts.

    I suppose you were slated to say that.

  93. Aha! Just remembered a good friend of min from high school took one of the actors from Beverly Hills 90210 to our prom. It caused quite a stir.

  94. Did you want me to subside?

    Nah, I’ll just chalk it up to your education.

  95. Nah, I’ll just chalk it up to your education.

    Indeed, the whole conversation has been uplifting.

  96. WCE, but hoodoo you think wants to read them other than the three of us?

  97. WCE, but hoodoo you think wants to read them other than the three of us?

    Yeah, it’s a tuff crowd.

  98. But now she may be getting sediment-al.

    It is a truly subductive subject.

  99. Ha! I’m loving the geology jokes! They’re making me erupt with laughter! (Not nearly on par with you all but I think at a glacial pace lately…)

    Schist is a favorite word around here… close enough to curse but not quite there.

  100. Rhode, I remember the days of two little ones and their difficulty. I thought my cloud was lifting until last night when Baby WCE started vomiting because she felsic.

  101. All these comments are lavaly. I was actually trying to think of some good ones last night as I was falling asleep in bed (that’s a subtle one!) but I don’t think I can top these. You all frack me up.

  102. I just noticed this and apparently it’s a thing for men.
    Do you see this?

  103. So my kid absolutely refuses to wear a belt even when his pants are falling down because his inner fashionisto intuits the latest tends by feel? Thanks for clearing that up.

  104. As I said upthread, I have been feeling stressed and under pressure lately, so I decided to start chipping away at my massif to do list. I started yesterday by buying a car. My thinking underwent a seismic shift over the weekend, and I ended up NOT buying a Camry. (No more puns. My creative energy has petered out.)

    On Wednesday at 7pm I put RAV4 into AAA – True Car buying service, and Camry via Costco, mostly to see what happened and which dealers responded. My inbox and phone (I have a landline for just such a purpose). Apparently under True Car the dealers are supposed to search for what you want, but they really want to sell you what is on their lot. I got a certificate for “guaranteed True Car savings” of 1314 off MSRP plus the factory rebate from two dealers. The third, located a bit inconveniently, sent me an email with 3250 plus the rebate. So I made the drive, chose a fancier model that had all the options “standard”, was in my preferred color, and was in his inventory, and cancelled all my other appointments. I paid the True Car reported average off MSRP for that model, and got the blue book trade in. Total time from submitting the email to signing the papers on the deal, 15 hours. Maybe a lot of driving around face time and/or a good negotiator would have saved me some money, but not enough to make a difference to me and no time wasted and no aggravation (other than having to drive to Lynn twice). I’ll have the car Monday. I chose the larger vehicle because of grandkid ferrying duties and the fact the DH is talking about getting a two seater for his next car (replacing the Matrix, which is useful for large loads. I got the foot activated rear cargo door, dual climate control, top line tech package (safety and DH wanted good audio), remote starter, drivers seat that conforms to each driver’s key, etc. I am happy. And even though I spent more than I planned, I still have enough for a new induction range.

    BTW, costco has a deal with the local megadealer, who promises to find a car within 500 miles at an agreed price. I didn’t choose to price that one out. I

  105. Meme – very nice!!! :)

    All these puns are great – I should show them to my rock-toting 4 yo (rocks are precious objects at this point and there is copious crying if we put the rocks outside!).

  106. I have definitely seen that beltless look around downtown on younger guys.

    But my office is more casual so it doesn’t really apply here – I can’t remember seeing anyone wear a tie, ever. Even our European global holding company CEO doesn’t wear a tie when he comes to town. Our local leadership definitely doesn’t. Client pitches are usually blazers/suits for men but – no tie. I’ve always worn a dress for client meetings.

    I’m pretty sure DH wears a belt whenever he wears pants with belt loops. It always seems uncomfortable to me. I’m not sure that I own a belt anymore.

  107. DS is supposed to tuck in his shirt and wear a belt for school. When he doesn’t feel like doing any of those, he wears a sweatshirt.

  108. Meme: Congrats!

    I am looking at the RAV4 for my next car. The MDX is 14 years old and is still running well, but we will eventually have to replace it. We will get something smaller for the next go-around, as the kids are grown. We are Honda people, but I do not like the exterior of the CRV. I am also looking at the Honda HRV, which looks much sportier than the CRV.

  109. Meme,

    Very exciting! Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P)— Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Automatic High Beams (AHB)26 and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) all standard!

  110. “…there is copious crying if we put the rocks outside!”

    But that’s where their family is! They want to see their mama.

  111. “usually blazers/suits for men”

    What’s the difference between a blazer & a suit jacket?

  112. Congrats Meme! Should we now say “Rav4-level amenities” instead of Camry?

    @Houston – I like the looks of the HRV too, but our next car needs a big backseat for a growing kid. We are thinking of just getting another Accord because it’s been such a great car for us, but I am thinking about other options too. I would prefer a sedan because of the shared city garage configuration and the ability to fully lock/conceal what is in the truck.

  113. “I had a bit role in the Oscar winning Spotlight movie.”

    Anon, please tell more if you feel comfortable revealing. What was your role, what scenes? How did you land the role?

    Way back when the Boston Globe was free online, I read those stories, some have stuck with me to this day. There was no way anyone could read them without thinking, “this is a game changer” in the church, in journalism, in what-is-discussed-at-dinner-parties, etc.

    As a tween in the early 80’s I had a morning newspaper route, so I was particularly struck by the scene of the big green Globe delivery trucks pulling out of the printers in the middle of the night to begin their distribution process. My father woke early and enjoyed having his paper delivered in the wee hours of the morning so that he never had to wait for the delivery kid. This was two decades before the abuse stories, but I have wondered what our household conversation would have been like if that first headline had been waiting for him in a bundle of papers in our garage.

  114. “What’s the difference between a blazer & a suit jacket?”

    I’m using the term blazer to mean a suit jacket not matched to the pants in a set. Whereas a suit = matching pants and suit jacket.

  115. Rhett – The high end audio also standard includes a bird’s eye view camera – you can put it on and see all around the car when you park. The only downside of the top line model is the fancy wheels – if you get a flat you might have to replace the expensive wheel rims. Heated steering wheel, too.

    Houston – There are a zillion trim and feature levels on RAV 4s. My friend who is 4 ft 11in is on her third one, and I can attest that it is easy to drive for the vertically challenged. The Honda CRV is available with foot activated lift gate as well. In Texas you can get the front wheel drive only version of either. In MA, it is AWD only. We are Toyota people.

  116. Heated steering wheel, too.

    You’ll marvel at how you were once able to live without it.

  117. L, we had to transport several boxes of rocks during our last move. And the boys were not 4. I “lost” the box of feathers. And just last fall I persuaded college grad DS to discard the animal skulls.

  118. As a short person, I’m glad that the RAV4 is comfortable for people like me! The RAV4-HRV conundrum will be solved by the space in the back seat. With 2 teenaged boys, we need a car that’s comfortable for everyone. Dual climate control is also key.

  119. Quick rant on this school district:

    Bitd, the last few days before any break meant deadlines & tests. Some teachers put tests on the day before a 3-day weekend to make sure kids would be there. The last week of the grading period meant assessments too, although the very last day might’ve been a little lighter.

    Public schools in this county do the opposite. They assume kids will skip, so the last few days before a break/at the end of the quarter (this week is both) are EZ. The very last day (today) is a total goof-off day, with enforced fun. Storytellers or sing-alongs in grade school. His HS is having a fund-raiser, where kids can pay to watch a tournament of various sports. In MS, the fundraiser was the Faire, with a vague connotation of renaissance /geekdom. The tourney thing sounds dumb to him. I told him he could skip today if he got his makeup work done. He didn’t, so he’s there now, texting me every time he turns something in, demanding to be picked up.

    Why does this state have such low standardized test scores? Why do people take their kids out of school for a couple days so often? Gee, those are tough questions!

  120. Scarlett, L, and anyone else traveling with people who loves rocks but not with the technical precision of a geologist should visit the Alpinium in the botanical garden in Jena. It’s the oldest part of the garden, which was set up by Geothe. I love botanical gardens. This was different from any other I’ve ever been in. There are rocky hillsides, some big rocks, plants growing between and around the rocks. It’s a naturalistic setting, and was tons of fun for an Easter-egg hunt. It really just feels like a walk in a park, where all the plants happen to be labeled, and in excellent shape.

  121. The RAV4-HRV conundrum will be solved by the space in the back seat.

    And the test drive. HRV has terrible ride quality and the noise level is appalling. The RAV4 is much smoother and quieter.

  122. Oops–I looked at the Wikipedia page for the garden and saw that it dates back a couple centuries before Goethe. It’s a short wiki entry, with interesting stuff like when Linneus’ ideas were incorporated and the aftermath of Napoleon’s troops. This is the entire entry.

    The Botanischer Garten Jena (4.5 hectares) is the second oldest botanical garden in Germany, maintained by the University of Jena and located at Fürstengraben 26, Jena, Thuringia, Germany. It is open daily; an admission fee is charged.

    The garden was first established in 1586 as a hortus medicus, six years after the establishment of the Botanical Garden in Leipzig in 1580. In 1630 it was rearranged and expanded significantly by Professor Werner Rolfinck who had previously studied at the Orto botanico di Padova (founded 1545). In 1640 a second section (1.3 hectares in area, north of the city walls) was donated, and a catalog from 1659 documents over 1300 plants in the two gardens. In 1662 the original garden was expanded, with the first heated greenhouse added in 1674, at which time the garden first began to maintain a collection of tropical plants.

    In 1770 the garden introduced Linnean taxonomy, and in 1776 Goethe began his association with the garden and helped organize the Jena Institute of botany; over subsequent decades he often studied botany and wrote poems in the garden. Although the garden area was only 1.3 hectares at this time, purchases recorded in 1794 include Buxus sempervirens, Juniperus sabina, Periploca graeca, Sambucus racemosa, and Thuja occidentalis. Several years later, additional purchases included amaryllis, cacti, succulent Euphorbia, Pelargonium, and Zantedeschia. The garden’s first published catalog issued in 1795.

    Unfortunately, the garden was severely damaged in 1806 in the Napoleonic Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, and its recovery was long and slow. By 1819 the garden contained only some 50 potted plants in one greenhouse and approximately 200 outdoor plants. However in 1820 an additional greenhouse was constructed, and the existing greenhouses reorganized to become an orangery, palm house, and cold house. The garden was thoroughly reworked between 1877–1879, after which it contained 2020 species from 85 families as well as a medicinal garden and 13 groups of potted plants from geographically distinct regions. As of 1966 this number had grown substantially to about 2000 families, to which were added a further 300 families (more than 3000 species) in a new alpine plant collection.

    Today the garden contains about 12,000 plants. Its outdoor areas include an arboretum containing about 900 species of deciduous and coniferous trees and shrubs; an alpine garden representing approximately 2,500 species; a systematic garden organized by contemporary taxonomy; a collection of medicinal and useful plants; a small hill and pond; and a collection of rhododendrons, roses, and dahlias. Its five greenhouses are as follows: cactus and succulent house; cold house for the transitional zone between tropics and subtropics; palm and tropical house; “evolution” house with ancient plant forms including cycads and tree ferns; and a tropical aquatic house which contains Victoria cruziana, mangroves, epiphytes, etc.

  123. swim, s&m: oh priests were already convicted and in jail, but the archdiocese kept chalking those priests (of which geoghan was one) as one-off pedophiles. the globe showed that that the abuse was known at the highest levels and the movement of pedophile priests was systemic and purposeful. getting the resignation of a cardinal is no mean feat. i work at the globe and was just lucky enough to be an extra in the background. the actors were all so nice.

  124. SM: DS2 has had exams all week, and I find this typical in the week before Spring Break. DS1 has several big projects due either this week, or the week after Spring Break.

  125. Do most of your kids have spring break next week?

    My kids have another week of school before spring break. Last night DD was telling me that she’d finished the last of a bunch of tests she’d had this wee.

  126. “Do most of your kids have spring break next week?”

    Ours is not until April. The week before Easter.

  127. Mémé, is the RAV-4 bigger than a Camry? My brother has an older RAV-4, and it’s smaller than DW’s Camry, but the newer RAV-4s do seem a lot bigger than his.

    One thing that bugged me about my brother’s RAV-4 was the direction the rear door swung. It’s good when you parallel park on the left side of a street, but when you parallel park on the right side, e.g., dropping someone off at the airport, it swings the wrong way. IOW, it looks like the swing was set up for somewhere, like Japan, where people drive on the left side of the road, and wasn’t changed for the US or other right hand drive countries.

    I’m really interested in hearing how the advanced safety features work and how you like them.

    RMS, I’m also interested in hearing how your like the safety features on your new car.

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