In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find more columns by Palmer here.
Steamboat Springs Even though Hallmark has not officially recognized it, residents of Steamboat Springs know there is a certain week in winter where it is OK to be depressed. Blues Break - a dreadful seven-day period where certain people with frequent flyer miles, large amounts of money and jobs that aren't tied to the resort industry get to skedaddle out of town. Of course those of us left behind don't begrudge them this good fortune. We merely hope they contract food poisoning, have lots of flight delays and lose their luggage. If you are reading this column, you are one of the people who didn't get to go anywhere on this school vacation. And so you are, like me, working and buying a set of earplugs so you don't have to listen to your friends tra-la-la about their exotic beach vacation when they return.
When not working, I tried to find things to do that might cheer me up.
I decided to be productive and get my tax stuff in order for my accountant. Despite that the mortgage company and bank send me envelopes clearly proclaiming, "Important Tax Information Inside," they seem nowhere to be found. They could be buried inside a pile of newspapers, magazines, bills and papers I've been meaning to sort through for quite some time. I am motivated. I want that $600 the government is promising to send me. I want every penny I am due, and so I go online to read up on tax deductions everyone misses. Boy, howdy! Lots of crazy, interesting things.
A Seeing Eye dog!
A humidifier and the extra electricity to operate it if a doctor orders you to have one!
Losses incurred at the roulette wheel if you declare gambling to be a hobby!
Is this better than a beach vacation? No, it is not!
What about spring cleaning? Time to purge my closet of clothes I don't wear and things I don't use. Once I get the receipt, I'll have another tax deduction. The only problem is that I have to actually get in the closet. It's just ever so much easier to wash the same clothes over and over and pluck them off a chair in the bedroom every morning. On the third attempt, I manage to pry my closet door open enough to squeeze through it. The heaps and piles of socks and clothes is so overwhelming I declare defeat.
Is this better than a beach vacation?
No, not even close.
How about a movie? A movie guarantees a two-hour escape and popcorn. I went to see "Juno." It terrified me. It made me remember that teenagers drive, get pregnant and drive while crying and pregnant. It was about as honest a portrayal of teenagers as I've seen since I've been one. I decided to lock my son up for the next eight years.
Was this better than a beach vacation?
All right, all right. Hit the gym. Get those endorphins going and cheer up. If you watched the Academy Awards, you may have noticed the sculpted arms many of the actresses had. There were so many of these well-defined triceps and biceps I started calling them"Xerox arms." It was so unoriginal. So,"I-have-a-personal-trainer-and-don't-eat-refined-sugar-or-carbs." Nevertheless, I must go to the gym and try to get those same arms. But on the way out the door, I trip over my large box of Girl Scout cookies. Stay home and eat Girl Scout cookies or go to the gym?
Girl Scout cookies.
Is this better than a beach vacation?
No, but it's getting closer.