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, April 15, 2009
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 I've answered a lot of odd questions in my life, but so far this tops the list as the oddest:
"You've successfully slain the dragon, how will you toast your marshmallows?"
Fortunately, this was not an interview question, just the final process of setting up a blog.
A blog (contraction of the term "web log") is an online journal where a person can relive their junior high school days by keeping a diary. Except there's one catch: Everyone can read it, which apparently is the point. Lots of people have blogs, so why not me? How hard could it be?
The first Web site I consulted, wordpress.com, emphatically stated I could create a blog in the same amount of time it just took you to read this sentence.
Let me state, just as emphatically, that I could have read the first chapter of "Moby Dick" backwards and memorized it in less time than it took me to create my blog. To be honest, it is easy to set up a blog account to read and respond to other people's blogs. But, at least for me, creating my own blog-a-mini-masterpiece for others to read wasn't so easy.
The Web site I finally used, www.blogspot.com, required a Gmail account. Once upon a time, I had a Gmail account. At least, I think I did. Let's see. My user name probably was something like: Jpalmer, palm, jopalm or erjp128&. Two thousands tries later, I finally remembered what it was. Now, onto the password. I have more passwords than gray hair, and trying to remember passwords creates more gray hair. Of course, I could make a list of all my accounts and passwords and print out a hard copy for my files but then what would I do all day?
Keep reading "Moby Dick," of course. By now, I was caught up in the account of Captain Ahab's relentless pursuit of big, bad Moby, the oversized white whale who had chomped off his leg on a previous voyage. Ishmael, the narrator, is a sailor on the whaleship Pequod. He hangs out with a harpooner named Queequeeg, and chief mate Starbuck. Ishmael frequently questions the wisdom of signing on for this voyage with a monomaniacal one-legged captain.
A few chapters later, I remembered my password. Now it was finally time for the fun part.
Name your blog.
Postcards from Paradise.
Pcards from Paradise.
P-cards from Paradise.
Despite the page-turning excitement of "Moby Dick," (Captain Ahab offers a golden coin to the first person who sights Moby), I managed to come up with a name and select a template for my blog: pcardsfrom-paradise.blogspot.com.
Then came this annoying question about the dragon and marshmallows. I wish I could remember the point of the question, but my brain was overloaded with facts about sperm whales. For example, Melville notes early on in Chapter 74 that the sperm whale's head has a certain mathematical symmetry.
Despite this information overload, I uploaded my first post, which makes me a bona fide blogger. Join me in a marshmallow toast to blog victory. I hope you'll take a moment to look at it, read it and make a comment or two.
If not, you always can curl up with Melville's epic literary masterpiece.