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.
Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at email@example.com
Find more columns by Palmer here.
Steamboat Springs Something is wrong with my cell phone. It has taken over my life.
We have a strange and complicated relationship. I believe it owns me, which is an issue that could get me committed somewhere - just lock me up at Pearl Lake and throw away the key - but truly, it has become an electronic leash to which I feel tethered. We are overly co-dependent and probably need hours of intensive couple's counseling.
Can you imagine?
Shrink: What seems to be the problem?
Phone (sniff, sob): I feel neglected. She left me underneath a couch cushion with the remote and went to the grocery store without me.
Me: I needed a break. Just 30 minutes off the electronic leash, out of touch, it was heaven!
I have the Blackberry Pearl, aka. the smartphone. This Phi Beta Kappa phone has dozens of applications I do not use or understand, which makes me feel dumb. What is mobile streaming anyway? It sounds like a 3-year-old who couldn't find a bathroom.
And by "application," I do not mean a form you fill out to apply for a job. I think an "application" is a smartphone feature.
Let's face it, these phones are designed for members of the 20-something set who want to shoot videos and pictures of themselves participating in adrenaline-charged activities and upload them to their Web sites or post them to their Facebook accounts.
For me, in the warm embrace of the 50-something years, I have a different set of application needs for my phone. I really want a hybrid phone that is part Swiss Army knife and part phone.
Here is my list:
- Face recognition
I have now reached the tender age where it is getting really hard to remember people's names. I need a phone application that allows me to hold the phone up in a discreet manner so it will recognize the face of the person coming toward me and display their name on my screen.
- Comb, lip-gloss and tissue
These are the three things I am always looking for and if they were contained in my phone, it would simplify my life.
- Car and house keys
Aren't keys and codes obsolete by now? Shouldn't I be able to wave my phone at my car's ignition to start it?
If you've ever been to the movies and eaten popcorn, you'll know what I mean.
- Small mirror
You need the mirror to see if you have a kernel of popcorn lodged in your teeth and need the toothpick.
- A small pair of scissors
Have you ever noticed how difficult some packaging - especially plastic - is to open? My son just bought a pair of headphones, and we practically had to use a machete to open it.
- Recipe help
I am standing at the grocery store with a recipe that calls for the spice turmeric. Do I already have it at home or do I need to buy it? My smarty-pants phone should have the answer.
- Fat siren
Finally, the ability to get an honest answer to the question, "Does this make me look fat?" Because I do not have a full-length mirror, I frequently debate which pair of pants makes me look less doughy. A small but audible - only to me - fat siren on my phone would be invaluable.
- Medical scanner
My throat hurts. Is it strep, or have I been screaming at my phone too long? Scan it!
I think that takes care of my wish list. Call me when it's ready.