What I know

On August fifth, it still seemed like a big joke. I’m thankful I never posted this on Facebook. I almost did: Today, Anne Heche Tiger Woods-ed herself.

That’s me, directing inappropriate levity and maybe a bit of schadenfreude at not one, but two celebrities involved in high-speed, inebriated, single vehicle crashes. It remained unclear at the time that Heche’s accident was serious. And really, isn’t there something sort of funny about crashing into a house? “I swear officer, it wasn’t there a minute ago.” In Adams County, a mid-sized Pennsylvania community of 100,000 residents, someone crashes into a building at least twice a month. Possibly, this happens everywhere, all the time, and it’s only news in Adams County because nothing else happens here. Regardless, the frequency of these crashes catches pretty much everyone’s attention.

From my viewpoint, the last thing Anne Heche ever did was date Ellen DeGeneres in the late nineties. I remember her costarring in a movie with Harrison Ford, and coupling up with Ellen, and then nothing, I never heard of her again. Yesterday, my blogger friend Angie at King Ben’s Grandma referenced Alanis Morrissette. She wrote about Alanis’ successes as a singer of course, but also as an actor. Huh! Here I go again. After releasing her blockbuster album, Jagged Little Pill, and touring it for all it was worth, Morrissette dropped off my radar. I assumed she stepped off the stage. If I ever thought of her again, I envisioned her living in a comfortable split-level with a deck and a pool cashing royalty checks. Where did I get that image? It’s exactly what I would do if I achieved success early in my life.  

I don’t do well keeping tabs on celebrity news. Susan probably knows all about what Anne and Alanis achieved over the past twenty-five years. First, she reads People Magazine online. But more importantly, she’s generally aware of what’s going on around her. Here’s a scene that plays out frequently in my life. When out walking our neighborhood walking loop, I’ll notice a car driving towards Susan and me. I’ll step off the road onto someone’s lawn to get out of the way. Susan says “don’t worry, they’ll park two houses up.” She knows every car in the neighborhood. I only know one car besides ours. A neighbor around the corner has the same pickup as us. The only reason I know this is because Susan suggested I go look at it when we were considering buying our own.

As it turns out Anne Heche lived a full life since first stepping into the limelight. This morning I saw the headline I expected for days: Anne Heche has died. A captioned photo gallery accompanied the article. Did you know that Anne Heche starred in a movie with Johnny Depp? And Tommy Lee Jones? And Robert DeNiro? Did you know that she directed a movie starring Sharon Stone? Was nominated for a Tony award? Did you know that Anne Heche competed in Dancing with the Stars?

Of course you did. These are the things people know. These are the things I somehow seem to miss. Decades ago, I knew stuff. I knew what Anne Heche and Alanis Morrisette were known for. I knew the popular actors and bands. I knew the movies playing in the movie theater. I could name supermodels on sight. Now I know nothing about the past twenty years. Somewhere along the way, I lost track of pop culture. I always assumed I lost interest. As it turns out, now that she died, I find I’m actually pretty interested in what Anne Heche did with her life.

Did you know people listen to podcasts? I hear they are quite popular. They’re essentially audio-only talk shows where the hosts engage in lively conversation on an interesting topic. I stumbled upon one of these last week and decided to listen. Five rock music experts discussed Camper Van Beethoven’s album Key Lime Pie for two hours and twenty minutes. It felt like I went to heaven. Over the weekend, I listened to my new friends talk about the Beastie Boys’ album Paul’s Boutique and the Beatles’ Revolver.

I feel energized participating in this newish wave of entertainment. Yes, all the music came out last century, but the podcast itself has only been around for a few years. A few weeks ago I wrote about Chapter Breaks, those quick but permanent descents in our physical and mental capacity that suddenly leave us feeling much older. Over the past few days I’ve felt the opposite sensation. By seeing all I’ve been missing, I accidently discovered a problem I didn’t know I had. All of this new information is revitalizing. Suddenly I realize that so much knowledge is close at hand. I only need to reach for it.

34 thoughts on “What I know

  1. I’m glad you found a podcast you like. I’m not up on current “celebrity” stuff. I don’t watch any shows or movies. I do still listen to commercial radio, so I have a bit of knowledge on newer “alternative” music.
    I don’t know if it’s about getting older, or priorities changing or being appalled by “celebrities” like the Kardashians 🙄 Celebrity culture changed too.

    Ramble over…😂😂

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Celebrity culture changed too” This may get to the crux of it.. I may just not ‘get’ celebrity culture anymore. It doesn’t help that I get all my news form CNN, WaPo & BBC. My library has online magazines. I’m thinking of looking to see which ones they have. Maybe I can get some lighter news-fare there. I wholeheartedly recommend Discord and Rhyme podcast. I’m sure you would find some music there you’d be interested in learning more about. Right now, I’m in the middle of a podcast about a Velvet Underground album.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am way behind of Celebrity news. I have no idea what is going on with who and most of the new actors today I have no idea who they are. I also couldn’t tell you what’s playing at the movies because I haven’t been to the theater in about 10 years. Podcasts….still don’t know much about those either. I don’t even know where to find one but I know a quick Google check will lead me to it lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Podcasts are completely irrelevant until you find your interest niche – then they suddenly become addictive. The great thing is I often stumble across a new podcast (to me) but arrive late to the party, so I can binge listen to 300+ episodes. I love it when this happens.
    The second thing that this post bought up for me is the importance of going to funerals and why eulogies matter. I have been to funerals of people I know and yet the eulogy is so wide ranging and well written that suddenly I feel I know that person in a whole new spectrum, or even multiple spectrums. My takeaway being, make sure your eulogy writer knows you well and loves you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Eulogies. Since I don’t really have any close friends besides my family, my eulogy is likely to be given by my kids. They certainly know me, but they know me as a father. I think any eulogy will be biased based on the relationship. I think it’s a rare case when someone can give a eulogy relevant to everybody. My new deal with podcasts is to put on on and walk to work. Such a nice way to start the day.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think I became less interested in celebrity news once everything started revolving around the Kardashians.
    The Anne Heche story is so strange and sad.
    I’m clueless about the latest movies. The kids and I were going to see the Top Gun sequel–but never got around to it.
    I didn’t do podcasts until about a year ago. Ditto athousandbitsofpaper about podcasts. I listen to an occasional true crime podcast, psychology and history podcast.
    The podcast that got me hooked is called The History of English. If you like learning about history and language–this one is for you. He doesn’t release them on a regular schedule though as some other podcasters do–I am waiting for episode 161.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So apparently my celebrity news source is you because this is the first I’ve heard of Anne Heche in an eon. (and such sad news too, not that I knew anything about her). There must be a prize out there for being the most oblivious?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s pretty sad if I’m your news source. The Anne Heche story was unavoidable for me. It was a CNN headline for a week. I’m gathering that foreign press didn’t really carry the story. I’ll nominate you for the oblivion prize.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This blog post is the first time I think I have ever heard the name Anne Heche. I do know of Tiger Woods, as the 3-hour morning, 1-hour midday, and 1-hour evening news and current event radio shows I listen to most days have quite extensive sports sections so his name frequently pops up when golf is discussed. When it comes to entertainment personalities, I have absolutely no interest in their personal lives. Quite frankly it’s none of my business, just as my personal life is none of theirs. The wife on the other hand knows everything that happens to everyone who happens to be a celebrity.

    I suspect my lack of interest regarding the life of celebrities is in no small part due to my prosopagnosia (face blindness), and inability to remember names. I’m simply not able to recognise faces out of context, and that includes my immediate family, so others, especially those in the entertainment industry, have nothing that I can attach events etc to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually find it a little depressing that your sports news talks about Tiger woods, just like mine does in Pennsylvania. We could hardly be farther from each other. It seems like we should be living in different worlds. One thing I find heartening, when I read BBC news, there are many stories about cricket and football that are completely irrelevant to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Golf has has a high participation rate in NZ . I think every local authority owns one or more golf courses open to the public. So it’s not surprising that international golf tournaments get reported here, and therefore, from time to time, the name of Tiger Woods is bound to turn up. Other international sports events in codes such as tennis, soccer, rowing and athletics also make regular headlines, as does any international sports event that has Kiwis competing. On the other hand, American football, baseball, or ice hockey are seldom reported. The most reported here would be Rugby (Union, League and 7s), Cricket in all its forms and Netball, but as we’re sports mad, every code under the sun gets reported on from time to time.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Like crustytuna, my celebrity news source is also apparently you – I didn’t know Alanis Morrisette acted in anything AND I was a huge fan. Anne Heche made the front page BBC news over here and I just happened to look at it that day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw that Anne Heche was on BBC news. Because I interact with so many people outside of the US, I started reading BBC news some time ago so I could get a non American perspective on the news. I’m probably a pretty unreliable source for celebrity news. I spent about 5 years believing that Sandra Bullock and Courtney Cox were the same person.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s obviously sad when someone dies too soon. Her face has been all over the need for a minute, it’s all seemed a little intrusive.

    I discovered awhile ago the less I know about actors, musicians, authors the less disappointed I get.

    I have also found podcasts to be a bit addictive and find myself splurging hours of drive time to them at times. Being held confined to the house recently I have not listened to them preferring to bing survival shows no idea why.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think intrusiveness is sort of the point of celebrity news. In this situation, It brought me a lot of respect for Anne Heche, although I guess that doesn’t do her much good now. Survival shows? What are those?


  9. I’m glad I’m not alone in not knowing who Anne Heche was. I vaguely know of Tiger Woods as I think he’s been around a while; I know he’s in sport but couldn’t have told you which sport if I hadn’t read it here. I’m not at all well up on celebrities anymore, although I was never that hot on them in previous years either.

    As for recognising cars and other vehicles, I’m useless at that. It could be that I’ve never driven myself, or it could simply be poor memory, or more likely, being totally disinterested in makes and models of cars. It can be embarrassing at times. I’ve lived next door to my neighbour for nearly 35 years, and I still couldn’t tell you anything about her car, which sits on her drive outside my house day after day. All I know is that it’s beige (I think!). My son, who is car mad, despairs of me.

    I’ve only ever listened to a few podcasts over the years. I find them difficult to concentrate on. I like to be ‘doing’ something instead of sitting still and listening. I get itchy feet; well, itchy wheels! Perhaps, if I found a topic I was really interested in, I might give it a go.

    I hope you and your family are well, Jeff.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think I missed out on some sort of ‘guy-gene’ with the car thing. I know nothing about them whatsoever. I can’t even tell you what color my neighbors’ cars are. It’s all very frustrating for Eli. he tries to engage in car conversations now and then and I’m oblivious. My family is well. Susan and I just spent the weekend moving Sophie into her off campus apartment over the weekend, so we’re a little beat… 20 hours in the car over 2 days–blah.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Like you, I had the same recollection of Anne Heche – that she was Ellen’s ex. I’m not sure who a lot of the celebs are these days either. And in a strange coincidence, I just started listening to my first podcast this week called Legacy of Speed. It’s narrated by Malcolm Gladwell, and it tells the story of the controversial fists in the air at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You give me a good hearty laugh with this one, Jeff: “Did you know people listen to podcasts? I hear they are quite popular.” As someone who has learned to be openly upfront with the confession, “I miss most pop culture references,” I had a bunch of other head-nodding moments. But yes, I am cheering with you: podcasts are awesome. I have a 70 mile roundtrip commute, so I was grateful to learn of this medium awhile back. Talk about a whole new world of wonders. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t really have a natural place to listen to podcasts. My commute by car takes a couple of minutes. I’ve been walking to give myself an opportunity to listen. It’s a great way to start the day but it might be less appealing come winter.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hear you. I listen much less or not at all when I’m off work/ not driving. But they do help me get walking or to the gym when I don’t feel like it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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