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.
I read constantly for the purpose of coming up with ideas for this column. I surf the Web, tear things out of newspapers and magazines and stuff them in a file folder marked “Column Ideas.” Most of the time, I ignore what is in the folder, but this week, I decided to go through it and pull out some interesting trivia and tidbits — all guaranteed to make good conversation this weekend. Read on:
■ Would you text during sex? This is guaranteed to get a conversation going at any barbecue or party. I would not recommend introducing this topic, oh, let’s say if you are having dinner with your boss or future in-laws. But if you’re hanging out with your peeps on the Yampa River Core Trail, you might just poll them.
The answer, according to an article from AdAge.com on May 5, 2010, is … if you’re younger than 25, one in 10 of you would. Isn’t that sad, shocking and surprising? Tsk, tsk and my, my. That’s all I am going to say on that subject.
Well, maybe not. I must reference this entry from The Record in the Steamboat Today on Tuesday, March 30:
“9:56 p.m. Police were called to a report of a domestic dispute, where a person heard neighbors yelling. Officers talked to the people involved and determined that the sound was from two people having sex.”
Maybe the fight began because one person was texting. Either that or, well, nevermind, you will have to use your imagination and draw your own conclusions.
■ Before we leave the subject of texting completely, here are some other factoids: The under-25-year-olds were asked if they’d text during a meeting, while they are eating or even on the john. They replied they “could be interrupted by an electronic message” while doing any of those things. Clearly, these youngsters need to have more interesting lives.
■ The award for the most interesting classified ad this week was: “Sign Spinner wanted. Energetic, upbeat, punctual, reliable employee with cell phone.”
Of course, I called. I had to find out exactly what this was. Interestingly, the job title is also the job description — you stand on the corner and spin a sign advertising a condo deal or restaurant opening. Checking with my sources out there in the real world (read: big cities), sign spinners exist, and it’s akin to juggling. Sounds like more of a distraction to drivers than texting, but I’m through discussing texting.
■ On to baby names. I love babies. I saw the snuggliest baby at Freshies during the weekend and my arms felt empty. In case you are lucky enough to be searching for baby names, the most popular names in 2010 are Jacob and Isabella. In 1970 it was Michael and Jennifer. In 1950 it was James and Linda. See the Social Security Administration’s “Popular Baby Names” Web page to see if your name is popular.
■ I like the website wordnik.com. Here is a great word to describe the repaving project downtown. “Tohubohu” (noun) means chaos and confusion. Example: “Driving downtown was easier before the tohubohu of road construction started.”
■ Imagine if you worked for the U.S. Census Bureau in 1888. Armed with a quill pen and a horse you would have to gallop up to an unsuspecting person and ask, “How many slaves are living in the household?” That obscure nugget is from History of the U.S. Census (1888).
■ I’m a stickler for proofreading, and here’s why. According to a bit I read in The New York Times, a typo in a cookbook resulted in Penguin Group Australia having to ditch all copies of the book. The mistake? An ingredient list that included “salt and freshly ground black people.”
Oops! Surely that resulted in a little tohubohu in the office.