December 5, 2007
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.
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The last time skinny jeans were in style, I split mine on a dance floor in Niles, Ill. It was in the early ’80s, and I was executing a bold move on a disco dance floor when I heard an unmistakable sound that could mean only one thing — it was time to go home.
Thankfully, thousands of tourists came to town to enjoy Steamboat's abundance of snow in December with the nearly 14,000 people on the mountain on peak days.
Did you know there’s an eyeball on the back of a $1 bill? And 13 arrows and 13 hats? And if you get out your magnifying glass, you may be able to find an owl in the upper left-hand corner.
Glass is nearly impossible to clean up. Even if you vacuum, sweep, mop and crawl over the floor looking for the tiniest pieces, a week later you will spot another shard glinting in a corner.
There will be no Christmas next year. I have looked into my crystal ball and am here to announce, sadly, that Christmas will only be an app in 2013. The iChristmas app.
Treat yourself to a digital detox and turn off the news for 24 hours, or longer if you can stand it. Hide your iPads, iPhones and iPods. Turn them off for a few hours.
It’s been 45 years since schoolyard bullies called my brother “retard,” but every time I hear that word my hands still instinctively curl into fists.
Poor gluten. No one likes you anymore. It’s getting hard to find a food product that doesn’t have a gluten-free option.
Listen to yourself and your friends, and you might be surprised at what you complain about. Is it really a problem? There are people in Steamboat who don’t have enough of the basics.
Election season is here, and in Canada a cat has decided to get in on the action. Tuxedo Stan, a striking 3-year-old black-and-white cat, is running for mayor of Halifax.
It was 1972, and I was running for senior class president. I was mad at the school administration, fired up to change things and convinced I could do it as class president.
I have a love-hate relationship with lists. I’m more productive when I write them, but I guess a tiny part of me rails against being so busy that I have to create them.
After U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., made his surprisingly uninformed remarks that implied a woman can’t get pregnant from a “legitimate rape,” I was stunned.
The dog collar looks good on the dog, but I don’t think it would do much for me. I don’t want to try to look sexy wrapped up in her dog leash, and I certainly do not want to be handcuffed to anything or anyone.
Have you ever paid attention to what exactly is bouncing around in your brain during a five-minute period? Try it. I think you will find it alarming.
Because the dog and the teenager sleep a lot and frequently are unresponsive, I have become adept at reading body language, picking up on nonverbal cues and bribing them with food.
Everything in life would be better if it worked like a library. Think about it. A library is built on trust, something that is in short supply these days.
Skyscrapers used to be safe. Airplanes used to safe. Movie theaters used to be safe. Then Friday happened.
I’ve come to the startling realization that I spend an alarming amount of time thinking about food.
Cheryl Strayed's “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” is a memoir of regaining your footing, of the healing power of nature and of the burdens we all must shoulder.
It’s time to give up on mowing, aerating and fertilizing. Instead, lay down some love by transforming your backyard into a salad bar.
I never worried about my blood pressure, gray hair or insomnia until my son started practicing his driving. Now my neck hurts from swiveling it in every direction looking for pedestrians, cars and motorcycles.
“Awww, your baby is so cute.” As soon as this seemingly innocuous comment left my mouth I realized, much to my horror, that I had become “one of them.”
As all great garage-salers will tell you, what you set out to find rarely is what you come home with. And as much as I love a bargain, the people-watching is equally fun.
For her 75th birthday, my mother had only one request: To throw out the opening pitch at Wrigley Field. “I’ll start practicing while you arrange it,” she said matter-of-factly. My friends thought the request odd. Couldn’t you take her to lunch instead? Well, no.
In this week's column, I decided to develop my own Laws of Moving Physics to help any of you facing a move in the near future.
The other night, I started thinking about decorating, Steamboat-style. I think we furnish our homes differently from the rest of the country.
Procrastinators rejoice! The IRS has granted you a two-day extension for filing your taxes. Yes, you have two more days to delay.
Last week’s $656 million Mega Million jackpot inspired hope in millions of Americans. According to USA Today, Americans spent $1.5 billion on tickets — but the odds of winning were 1 in 176 million.
The social media hub in our beautiful little town is located about 9,000 feet above sea level in a place lovingly referred to as PHQ — ski patrol headquarters.
Unable to find a set of keys I really, really needed, I launched a search worthy of Scotland Yard. After looking in the car, coat pockets and hall closet, there was only one place left to look: my closet.
I challenge each and every one of you to make a difference. For the next week, ask yourself, “What can I do to help someone else?”
Just as I finished eating one of my all-time favorite meals (bread and butter), I opened an email from my sister encouraging me to read a review of the new diet book “Bread is the Devil: Win the Weight Loss Battle by Taking Control of Your Diet Demons” by Heather Bauer and Kathy Matthews.
Google has got me in its clutches, and I can’t escape. I am a compulsive Google Girl. I love Google. I am obsessed with Google. I am completely and utterly hooked on it.
We are on the set of Steamboat’s newest reality TV show, “Who Wants to Live with a Teenager?” We are going to zoom in for a close look at actual dialogue between a mother and her teenage son.
If you ever want to see a forlorn, lost-puppy-dog look come over a man’s face, give him a Saturday without football.
The last thing I need at 5:30 a.m when I reach for my half and half is some sassy refrigerator telling me I’ve made an unhealthy food choice.
For months, I have used one-half of the dining room table as my desk, which means we are eating dinner amid a pile of mail, calendars and my laptop.
I am on a diet! No, not that kind of diet. I am smart enough to know that when it comes to food, I have zero willpower. The diet I’ve embarked on is harder than a food diet.
Isn’t the spirit of Christmas about lifting our heads up from the computer screen and away from the smartphone and giving whatever we can?
Finished with your holiday shopping, gifts all wrapped and nothing to do? Get creative and challenge friends and family to rewrite the lyrics to a Christmas carol with a Steamboat twist.
Science came to my rescue this weekend. Just as I was about to wrap my beloved mate in a strand of Christmas lights, we called a truce and booted up the computer to do some research.
Every Thanksgiving, I give thanks I didn’t steal a turkey. Here's what happened. It’s 1978, and I am a senior in college. My two roommates and I always are broke. We always are hungry.
I like to think of myself as a creative person, open to new ideas and willing to try anything once. I’m the kind of person who abhors routine and likes to mix it up a bit and live life on the edge.
Every time I try to save money, I end up spending more. I don’t know how it happens.
Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” That did not stop me from repeatedly trying to connect to the Internet and make a phone call during the Verizon Wireless service outage on Halloween.
Everyone loves a bonus, and this fall we have Mother Nature to thank for giving us an extra big bonus of warm weather.
On Thursday morning, right in the middle of the crazy get-the-teenager-to-school-before-he-is-late routine, my Ford Explorer sputtered and died.
Before there was Google, Ask.com and Wikipedia, there were mothers. I grew up in the age before the Internet, and whenever I had a question, I asked my mother.
I have such a long list of things I want to do that when I hear about something I have absolutely no interest in I think, “What a relief that I don’t have to add that to my list.”
If you want to find out what is going on with your mate, your child or perhaps even your dog, just go for a car ride.
I know that dieting makes me and everyone within a 26-mile radius of me crabby. Having tried, and failed, over the years to diet, I now employ these tried-and-true methods.
Nothing says “I love you” like a gun. Yes, a gun. Christmas is months away and my 14-year-old son already is badgering me to buy him a gun and put it underneath the tree.
In my next life, I want to come back as a Pearl Izumi girl. How do you get such a job? What do you put on your resume to land a job such as this? “Career objective: professional smoocher."
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When did everything get so complicated? For example, remote controls. I think there are at least five remotes to our TV. They work for other members of my household but not for me
I have my life back, and I don’t want it. Let me explain. My son, the child formerly known as Peter, has morphed into a teenager and doesn’t need me anymore. He prefers hanging out with his peeps instead of me.
Raise your hand if you understood the debt ceiling debacle. Me neither. Oh my goodness. What a long, drawn-out process.
At a recent dinner party the term “Nouveau Local” came up. The eight of us sitting around the table were all longtime locals, and we were reminiscing about bars gone by. Once upon a time, there was a great bar called the Steamboat Saloon where everyone went post-rodeo to dance with the cowboys.
I love summer. I do. All winter, I think about the perfect summer weather in the Yampa Valley: cool mornings, warm afternoons, nights that still allow a blanket. I dream about swimming, strawberry rhubarb pie, smoothies, puttering in my garden, planting flowers, eating outside and my favorite hikes.
You bait the hook,” I say to my brother, handing him the fishing pole. It’s part of our unspoken bargain. I get the fishing licenses, drive, untangle the lines, but I can’t bait the hooks. He doesn’t say anything, just takes the pole, opens up the Styrofoam bait box and does it.
If you have more than three quarts of paint in your garage, dust off your tiara and get ready to preside over your kingdom! Few things in life are more confusing than choosing a paint color. Looking at a paint chip in the store is an exercise in futility. Buying a quart of it to take home will be the start of your reign as a Quart Queen
The one thing that hasn’t changed is being popular. Being popular, as I recall, consumed my thoughts during most of my waking hours. It was hugely important to me, and judging from conversations with my son, it still seems to matter. A lot. Ugh.
You still have some room for improvement, let's review your performance
Here at the world headquarters of my property management business, the House Nanny, it is time for performance evaluation of all employees. It is an annual review I conduct just to make sure all expectations are clearly defined and everyone is working up to their full potential.
I'm already ready for next year
Click-clack. Click-clack. Click-clack. The fresh smell of morning dew combines with the welcome aroma of coffee. A swirl of yellow, blues and red spins around me. Diesel semitrailers fire up as volunteers finish loading luggage. There is nothing graceful about trying to walk in road bike shoes.
Dear Mother Nature, wasn’t more than 400 inches of snow enough? Do we need even more moisture? Do you like looking at a line of sandbags lining the Yampa River? I am beginning to molt, and I refuse to buy an umbrella. They are probably all sold out anyway.
Thanks to a new trend, anglers are finding a plumage shortage
Thanks to a new fad, women are causing some ruffled feathers in the fly-fishing industry. Yup. The fad is feathers. Women, and Steven Tyler on “American Idol,” are wearing feathers in their hair. Plumage producers can’t keep up with the demand. Simply put, there is a feather shortage.
Packing, planning and patience are keys to sanity
One of the challenges of living in paradise is that, when it comes to your children’s sporting events, you are light years away from another team.
Remember the power of mothers every day
Fourteen years ago, if there were an award for “Exhausted, Confused New Mother,” I would have won. When I wasn’t nursing or changing a diaper, I spent large blocks of time in my bathrobe crying, or sitting on the couch staring vacantly into space.
Steamboat’s mass exodus creates a community of refugees
Back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, people sent postcards when they went on vacation. Now, of course, dinosaurs are extinct and so almost are postcards. People can now tweet, text, blog or Facebook their adventures, and post every memorable moment instantly.
The shenanigans have begun. The presidential election is still 20 months away, but presidential hopefuls already are launching websites and personal attacks. I have big news. And I do mean big. There is a new electorate. Bathrobe moms.
It is time to set the record straight on the weather. No one has a clue. Not me. Not you. And especially not the weather forecasters. The weather, just like a 3-year-old, has a mind of its own. It will do whatever it wants, when it wants.
According to a new book, “Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything,” the secret to remembering is a “few tricks and a good erotic imagination.” The secret to memory, it seems, is that handsome men can help you remember your grocery list.
Ho-hum. I am so tired of the phone calls, the e-mails, the media attention. Once again I appeared on the cover of the AARP Senior swimsuit edition, and the press and public cannot leave it alone.
Dear Internal Revenue Service; Taxes, taxes, taxes. What else do people think about this time of year? I know you are busy processing the returns of organized people who already have filed, but I have a few suggestions.
Psychosis leads to bike commitment
Spring training is here! In a moment of temporary psychosis, I wangled a press pass for myself for Ride the Rockies. I committed myself and my true love to a petite pedal 412 miles through the Colorado mountains and up five mountain passes.
An awards show suitable for the mountain town
It’s time to roll out the red carpet and get ready for Steamboat’s first Snowy Awards. Co-masters of ceremonies of this year’s event will be Michael David and Patty Zimmer, two of the funniest people in the Yampa Valley.
You can rent a movie, rent a car, rent a hotel room — so why not rent a life? Yes, life. I know you think I’m kidding but it can be done. Spring, the season of renewal, is just around the corner, so read on to re-create your life.
The second ice age is upon us! The snow is piling up, another arctic blast is bearing down, and the only reasonable course of action seems to be to stay inside and bake endless batches of chocolate chip cookies. Or count the nanoseconds until Girl Scout cookies arrive.
Thanks to a controversial new book, motherhood is in the news. The book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” by Amy Chua, sings the praises of “tough love” Chinese parenting. I am proud to be a teddy bear mother. I believe in raising a happy child.
Jeans and a cell phone — standard issue for most of us — had until now been out of reach for my developmentally disabled brother. Thanks to the cell phone, he can go to a sporting event or a movie by himself and call when he’s ready to come home.
I was the victim of quite a shock last week. While speed-reading news headlines online I spotted a tidbit about a 13th Zodiac sign. An account in the New York Times declared my sign has been shifted from a Scorpio to a Virgo.
Turn off coffee pot. Check. Print out boarding pass. Check. Return library books. Check. Check. Check. I am now a fan of checklists. Here’s how it happened. I went to the store five (count ’em, five) times to buy a new toothbrush for my pearly whites. I left the store five (count ’em, five) times without the toothbrush.
The next time someone asks me what I do for a living, I’m going to reply, “I’m a professional wonderer.” Wonderer is a hard word to pronounce, right up there with “rural,” which always wobbles around inside my mouth like a handful of marbles.
I am so glad you started an advice column for pets. I need help, pronto. It’s the holiday season, and I just can’t get into the spirit of things. I have done a terrible thing. I am mad at my owner. I have not wagged my tail or greeted her at the door for five days.
Stalling, procrastination and leftovers are all hazards of writing at home, and the Internet can be the biggest time waster of all. Although in the time it’s taken me to write the above, I have called the ski report, fed the dog and searched for my calculator. But what if there were Freedom from the Holidays software?
Announcer: Good evening and welcome to the final show of “Dancing with the Snowflakes,” Steamboat Springs’ newest reality TV show. Tonight’s final will feature a competition between three residents attempting to clear the snow from a 120-yard driveway.
When my brother says he’s going “to pay the water bill,” what he really means is he is going to the bathroom. For reasons I have yet to comprehend, families love to share too much information, or TMI, with each other.
The stinky, salty smell of my son’s dirty laundry greets me as I open the front door. Nothing strikes temporary paralysis in a teenager’s body quite like the edict, “clean your room.” However, my son always reinterprets it to mean: “Do nothing. Absolutely. Nothing.”
Hello, my name is Joanne Palmer, and I have a problem with birthdays. Yes, today is my birthday, and I have been admitted into an AARP-sponsored Birthday Rehab program.
He’s done it again. In a futile attempt to keep me away from his Halloween candy, my son has issued a restraining order against me. Boo-ya! It’s an annual event. As if the threat of jail time is going to keep me away from his Reese’s.
Today, Apple executives announced a new product line for pets. iPaw and iMeow, revolutionary new cell phones for pets, will be released Nov. 1, in time for holiday shopping. Here is a sneak preview of the first two phones in the animal lineup.
Parents of the world, unite against slug-bug slugging. I have had it. Every time I drive in the car with my son, I am beaten up whenever we see a Volkswagen bug. A yellow slug bug counts for two punches; every other color mercifully warrants only one punch. It was funny at the beginning. Now, it just hurts.
Help wanted: Hardworking couple in search of an old-fashioned ’50s-style husband. Must have a sincere, serious work ethic and happily bring home the bacon in the form of a large paycheck. That way, we can stay home and greet you warmly at the end of the day. We will be so rested and happy to meet you at the door with a martini and your slippers.
Help Wanted: 1950s-style wife. Cheery, hardworking individual needed immediately to take over domestic duties for hardworking couple and one teenager. Must be disciplined, focused and highly organized.
In a moment of temporary insanity, I decided my morning routine needed a change, a shakeup, an about-face. I decided to redouble my efforts to break my morning computer habit. I stumble out of bed and there she is waiting for me — Miss Mac, my pretty white MacBook on the dining room table. Overnight she has learned to speak.
School starts today in Steamboat Springs. The overnight low was 35 degrees. You know what this means. Routt County Communications, beware of the following: 911 Dispatcher: 911, What is the nature of your emergency? Caller: Summer. It’s over.
If Eliza Doolittle came to Steamboat, how would Henry Higgens instruct her? Let’s eavesdrop on a sample Steamboat conversation and see what would happen.
I hate the weather in Steamboat. Most of the time it’s perfect, and that’s the whole darn problem. There’s too much sunshine. No humidity. No rain. All admirable attributes, unless you need to get something done. Every day is perfection. Please tell me. How am I supposed to be productive when paradise awaits outside my door?
We’re all busy. But our blood is busier. Did you know that our blood travels 12,000 miles a day? 12,000 miles! All without MapQuest or GPS. Imagine how far it goes when it boils.
I have wrap rage. And I am boiling mad. Get out of my way, and let me wrap my hands around the scrawny neck of the packaging engineer who invented impossible-to-open plastic packages.
As a child, I was amazed my mother could produce a tissue on demand. Whenever one of her children had a runny nose, a spot of blood or sticky hands, my mother produced a tissue out of her purse. Now, I do the same, but my purse is less of a purse and more of a miniature suitcase.
Last week, I arrived at my hotel in Denver and opened my overnight bag to discover I’d forgotten to pack my dress shoes and a pair of long pants. But I did find two dog treats at the bottom of the bag.
Let the countdown begin! 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … By the time this column appears, there will be exactly one week until the first part of the U.S. Highway 40 construction project is completed. The bad news is: What will we complain about now?
Strange things happen at my house. At night, things disappear or multiply. For example, all of my pens have packed up and left on summer vacation. I have searched and searched, and there are no pens to be found. My entire house has morphed into a pen-swallowing Bermuda Triangle.
Dr. Von Fleaburg and I got to daydreaming about what it would be like for parents to have applications they could download into their children. Why should phones get all the apps? The possibilities are endless. Here are just a few.
The pros and cons of being birthed by Joanne Palmer
People often ask me how my 13-year-old son feels about being the topic of so many of my columns. At first he wanted $1 every time I mentioned his name, which, while clever, could be costly. So I nixed it. I decided to let him be the guest columnist this week and speak for himself.
One of the advantages of living in a very small town is there are only a very small number of ways to get lost. Unless you’re me. I am frequently lost for the simple reason that I am unable to read a map. To be politically correct, I am directionally challenged.
This week, I decided to go through my "Column Ideas" folder and pull out some interesting trivia and tidbits — all guaranteed to make good conversation this weekend. Read on to learn a new word and to find out when people say they wouldn't mind texting.
By the time I finally reach the hospital, everyone already knows about the reward. “Your mother,” the nurse says with a suppressed laugh, “is offering $1,000 to anyone who gets her out of the Intensive Care Unit.”
Lies. It’s amazing how many little falsehoods I tell myself every single day. Most of them are harmless, and many fall into the category of diet and exercise. In an effort to free up space in my brain and promote healthier thinking, I have listed all the lies I told myself in a 48-hour period.
Ah, spring: the happiest, most hopeful time of the year. The trill of a bird awakens me, red robins are easy to spot among the budding branches, and hearty crocuses poke through the sun-softened earth. Every day, the carpet of snow rolls back a little more to reveal a surprise: a forgotten garden tool, a flowerpot, even a patch of patio. And mud.
@joannepalmer: Hello, Mother Nature, are you there? @mothernature: Of course I’m here. I work 365 days a year, 24 hrs a day. What’s up, I just got out of the shower. @joannepalmer: You’re, um … real?
It’s time for spring training! Inspired by the Olympics, terrified by the impending arrival of bathing suit season and mortified by my winter caloric intake, I have made a firm commitment to get back in shape. Nothing, I repeat nothing, will stand between my workouts and me.
Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that I will never be a secret agent, spy or FBI agent. I am upset by it and have spent a few hours moping around the house, but the truth of the matter is I can no longer perform an essential job requirement of a spy: remembering passwords. How many pets, birthdays and children can one person have?
In celebration of this dog-loving town, I’ve provided some dog horoscopes for all you canines out there: Social networking on your DogBook account may bring you the help you’ve been waiting for and the support you need.
I’m training for the XXII Olympics! I’ve decided to go for a spot on the U.S. Curling Team in 2014. All the years I’ve been sweeping the kitchen floor, I thought I was just cleaning the house. Little did I know I wasn’t cleaning but training. No longer will I regard housework as a necessary evil, something to avoid at all costs or, gulp, a chore.
For the first time in ski area history, Aspen is trying to be like Steamboat. Wow! Aspen finally has decided that it might be a good idea to be friendly to its visitors. Last week, Aspen announced an “Adopt a Tourist” promotion. Here are some hypothetical chats between Aspen hosts and potential visitors.
Dear Olympic Committee: This is a letter of protest. The start of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games is less than two weeks away, and there are no events, no time trials and no competition for mothers. Motherhood is the most physically and mentally challenging activity there is, and yet the Olympic Committee fails to recognize us.
I hate January. There are 31 long, dark days to watch your mailbox for W-2 forms, get ready for the State of the Union snooze fest or, if you are truly bored, ponder whether Tiger and Elin will reconcile. Ho. Ho. Hum. If your brain cells died off by the tribillions in December, you may not have enough brainpower to contemplate anything more complex than hand sanitizer.
Food. It’s not what’s for dinner anymore. Guilt is for dinner instead. As more and more additives, chemicals and yucky-sounding ingredients such as hydrogenated oils and high-fructose corn syrup creep into our food, eating — once the simplest of pleasures — has grown increasingly complicated.
A new year calls for some new words of wisdom, sage sayings and pearls of wisdom to curl up and contemplate: ■ Make new friends but keep the old — especially the ones who have houses in warm places. ■ Better to date a first-rate man in a second-rate car then the other way around.
Nothing says I love you like a tarantula. Like many people this year, my bank account was no match for my son’s Christmas list. I thought he understood as we talked about it, and I cautioned him about getting his hopes up.
I had an early Christmas miracle. Last week, as I drove down U.S. Highway 40, my Ford SUV skidded on a patch of ice, and I lost control. I swerved into the oncoming lane and headed straight for a Subaru. I yanked the steering wheel hard to the right and put my SUV into a 180. I kept waiting for it to stop. I was sure my car would stop.
You’re invited to my annual Howl-i-Day Party on Dec. 23 at 1822 Bow-Wow Drive. I’ve made my guest list and checked it twice — no alpha dogs are in sight! There will be lots of spiked dog-nog, kibble kabobs and our usual holiday howl-a-long.
What happened to my face? Barely six weeks ago, I turned 29 again, but my face reflects a different reality. It seems to be trying to win first prize in some prune look-alike contest. Overnight, I have morphed into a “woman of a certain age.”
This is the time of year when I scour the Internet for outlandish gift ideas that hopefully will make for interesting reading, so here we go.
I’ve been picking up on a lot of turkey chatter lately. As I’ve been diligently yet surreptitiously eavesdropping, nearly all of the conversations I’ve been privy to go something like this: “Did you hear what happened to me last year? It was a disaster!"
Winter stargazing is just one of the activities that could happen in Ski Time Square … until we get a professional football team. The demolished site of Ski Time Square commercial area needs something that will attract tourists to the area.
Attention, all Steamboat Springs residents. Today, scientists announced the discovery of the Snowy Triangle. The Snowy Triangle is like the Bermuda Triangle where, poof, things vanish for no apparent reason.
Don't expect to find anything healthy to eat at a college football game. No one is selling veggie burgers, smoothies or fruit salads. You can, however, expect to find foot-long hot dogs, brats and burgers glistening with grease.
The balance in my checkbook has barely recovered from the SmartWool sale and SSWSC Ski & Sport Swap when, much to my delight, I spied with my little eye one more - the Mountain Hardware Wholesale Inventory sale this Saturday.
Sorry, Broncos, but I don't care about your season
Lock me up. Throw away the key. Revoke my Colorado driver's license. I don't like football. I don't watch football. I am not a Broncos fan.
Fall and winter have collided. The result? A dazzling display of frosted trees, buttery aspen leaves and "snain" - that half snow, half rain thing that's been falling from the sky.
I love odd behavior. I love it so much I keep a running list of strange habits and quirky behavior in a notebook on my desk. On my list are things like, "Wearing a baseball cap to bed," "Can't kiss in the bathroom," and "Sorting M&M candy by color."
Chocolate always makes me feel better, and chocolate and chicken soup together may pack the punch I need to send this cruddy head cold packing.
I just finished reading "The Book of Useless Information," a quirky little reference book that is oddly uplifting. It is compiled by The Useless Information Society, which seems like a lofty title for people who come up with factoids.
I hate math. Which is why I sometimes have to have a little help from People magazine. This horrifying realization came to me the other night when my son quizzed me on his math homework.
Dear Mom and Dad, I am so excited. I had to write and tell you about my new job in Steamboat Springs. A friend and I have opened the first local medical marijuana dispensary! Isn't that great?
All 20-year, full-time residents should be rewarded with a lifetime ski pass. Conservative calculations show these people have worked about 100 hours per week since moving to Ski Town USA while happily serving as local ambassadors. What do you know, I qualify!
"Mom, you are a turkey vulture!" My son shrieked, embarrassed and horrified that his mother would slow the car down to inspect a free couch on the side of the road. Comments like these make me wonder, why don't children come with prerecorded messages?
One of the many things I love about living in Steamboat is that I don't have to dress up to go anywhere. Jeans and shorts are appropriate for almost any function, including the biggies: graduations, weddings and funerals.
Serious fudge fans know there's only one place to buy fudge in Routt County - from Carolyn White, known as the "Fudge Lady," at the marina at Steamboat Lake State Park.
Consider the legume. This odd-sounding word resembles the noise you produce when you have a swollen sore throat and can barely swallow. Or the choked-up noise a clogged toilet makes when you try to flush it.
The recent behavior of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford finally tipped the scales in favor of a subject I've wanted to write about for a long time. Male menopause.
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.
Dear President Obama, I am feeling a little ho-hum about our national holidays. They are a great time to get paid not to work, unless you are self-employed like me, in which case you get to enjoy not working and not getting paid.
Dozens of worms are busy turning my newly created compost pile into fertile soil for my garden. They are hard at work converting eggshells, coffee grounds and bits of bread into rich, dark, earth-smelling soil conditioner. The worms are also absolving me of a tiny bit of Green Guilt.
The heat from the boat dock warms my beach towel as slowly, one by one, I feel the muscles of my body begin to let go.
I think I might be able to take advantage of one or two lazy summer days before the snow flies, but first I have to "summer-ize" myself, the yard, the dog and my bike. I need to buy more sunscreen, find my swim goggles, fix my summer sandals and do something about the brown spots in the yard. My to-do list is long, and my days are a flurry of hurry-scurry activities.
A new dance craze is sweeping Routt County, and it's called "The Flowerpot Shuffle." No fancy footwork or music is required. Just grab the nearest flowerpot and you'll be ready to go.
Insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result - which is why I avoid cooking as much as possible. My failure rate is astronomical, and my cooking confidence has suffered.
No other activity inspires dread in women quite as much as selecting a swimsuit. I'd rather walk barefoot across a field of broken glass than face a winter's worth of excess in the mirror.
The following report summarizes the surveillance operation conducted by P.I. Palmer on a typical afternoon as parents picked up their children after school.
There are only 11 short shopping days until Mother's Day. Trust me, this is a day you do not want to forget.
Friday, April 16, 4 p.m.: It's a cold, crummy, cloudy afternoon and I'm lying on the couch listening to the sounds of slamming car doors, diesel trucks firing and the excited laughter of children.
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.
The other morning, I stumbled downstairs to find the oven on. Inside, baking merrily away, was a casserole dish containing two charred pieces of bread topped with something that resembled two cow patties.
Psst! Have you heard the latest? The big brouhaha rocking the nation's capital is the First Lady's biceps. Dubbed "Bicep-gate" by the media, the Maelstrom seems to be about whether Michelle should be wearing sleeveless dresses in February that reveal her toned arms.
I'd really like to write this column but I'm busy socially networking. Hang on just a second while I check my Facebook page. It's been more than 10 minutes since I last looked at the status updates of my friends.
Lately, I've been contemplating one of life's more enduring questions. I don't mean the simplistic, easy-to-answer stuff such as, "What is the meaning of life?" Everyone knows the answer is chocolate.
Hear ye, hear ye! By the power vested in me, I pronounce you, the great residents of Steamboat Springs, worry-free.
In the 19 years I've lived here, I've watched Steamboat take on many personas. One year, ads proclaim Steamboat is Ski Town USA; the next, Steamboat is a world-class ski resort. We're friendly, folksy, snowy and home to lots of Olympians.
I hate this economy. I hate thinking about money, worrying about money and talking about money.
"What are you doing?" I yelled irritably, as I watched my dog, Kizzy, barking and jumping at the trunk of a tree. I was late leaving the house, and her behavior would only delay me more.
If I was looking for my passport, I'd have found it right where it is not supposed to be - in my top desk drawer. However, I am not looking for my passport. I am looking for a check. Not just any check, but a check a friend asked me to mail to the IRS.
Never underestimate the power of the perfect excuse. The right excuse can free you from dozens of situations you don't want to be in.
Quite by accident, I have stumbled upon the fountain of youth - the secret to looking and feeling younger. This revolutionary secret does not require a visit to a Swiss spa, a doctor's prescription or painful injections.
I have a notebook full of words that interest and intrigue me. Then, when I can't think of an adjective, I can pull out my notebook and come up with a really surprising word that will astonish my readers. Of course, the problem then becomes I can't find my notebook, and I start digging around through my desk drawers and find other things I've been looking for.
Using some super top secret hi-tech tracking devices and women's intuition, I caught up with Tom Turkey at Gobbledygook Farms and sat down to talk with him about Thanksgiving.
As I sat at my desk, fingers poised above the computer keyboard and staring at a blank word processing document with an equally blank mind, I felt a light brush against my shoulder. Hooray, the muse!
I live on a quiet street. My sleep rarely is interrupted. Most mornings I awaken to the sound of birds, occasionally a barking dog or my alarm clock. All is peaceful in the 'hood except for Friday. As I lay in bed trying my best to become one with my flannel sheets, I hear a rumbling that can only mean one thing.
We say it all the time: "There ought to be a law." But what would be on the list? I've been polling friends and pondering what I'd do if only I had a magic wand and the power to pass legislation. Here's the list:
About five minutes after the phrase, "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" burst onto the scene, I was tired of it.
In the beginning, there was guilt. Motherhood guilt. The worse kind of guilt there is. If you multiply Catholic guilt by not-going-to-the-gym guilt and quadruple the total and top it off with a dash of calorie guilt, you still will not fully comprehend the enormity of motherhood guilt.
Forget Division of Wildlife regulations. Hunting season really begins when herds of bewildered men begin foraging for food at local grocery stores.
When we met, I was a divorced, menopausal clown with a 5-year-old son. He was a job coach training a special-needs client to push shopping carts into Wal-Mart. For years, we'd lived in the same town of 10,000 people, shopped at the same grocery store and skied on the same mountain, but we had never met until match.com introduced us in cyberspace.
It happens every ski season. Even if I were to ski only one day of the year, I can practically guarantee that I will come across a couple stopped dead in the middle of the slope arguing with each other.
I'd really like to write this column, but I'm kind of engrossed in what can only be described as "strange backyard behavior."
A midlife crisis is a predictable rite of passage, like getting a driver's license at 16 and collecting Social Security at 65.
Happy New Year! Pop open that bottle of bubbly, settle down in front of the TV and get ready for the ball to drop in Times Square. What? It's only August? Yes, only August. But sadly, I already have spotted Halloween candy in one local store. The way I calculate it, in a few short days the Christmas merchandise will be upon us.
Crunch! Ugh, Cheerios. Even ground into the carpet she knows what they are.
Towanda! This is the battle cry uttered by Kathy Bates in one of my all-time favorite movie scenes. Cut off from a parking spot by a car full of twentysomething girls, Bates responds by punching the gas pedal, screaming, "Towanda!" and smashing into their car. Not once, not twice, but six times. Oh yes, the movie is "Fried Green Tomatoes."
The best daily entertainment in Steamboat Springs is The Record in the Steamboat Pilot & Today - a daily chronology of police, fire and ambulance calls. Admit it. I read it; you read it; we all read it.
According to the second edition of the esteemed Oxford English Dictionary, there are 171,476 words currently in use in the English language. However, after a three-day holiday weekend, only three words were used in my household: "awesome," "dude," and "I-need-more-fireworks" (said with such speed it sounded like one word).
Sharpen up that No. 2 pencil and get ready for a pop quiz. What is your worst nightmare?
Writer Henry James once said the most beautiful words in the English language were summer afternoon.
Just in time for Father's Day, I'd like to announce my latest invention.
The other day I decided it was time to take a day off. I think I had a day off about 19 years ago. That was before I moved to Steamboat - and when I still had a regular Monday-to-Friday job. That job, to the best of my memory, offered something called weekends.
It has come to my attention that the residents of Steamboat Springs are getting annoyed with me, Mother Nature. Therefore, the following memo will review the most recent performance of each season with a suggested plan for improved performance and productivity. Please implement all suggestions immediately. Let's get our ducks in a row!
I'm a Lacrosse Mom. Before my son started playing lacrosse, I knew nothing about it. After the first season of lacrosse, I still knew nothing about it.
I forgot to pack my cleavage! I've taken a few trips out of Steamboat recently and after spending time in airports and the "real" world, I'm here to tell you every woman who is ready, willing and able is sporting cleavage.
This is a column about how my fantasy life awakens me each morning by singing in my ear.
Let me always live in a town where the biggest problem is a baseball tournament. Let me always live in a town where a bear rummaging in a Dumpster makes the police blotter. Let me always live in a town where the residents are so passionate about issues that they take the time to express their opinion in a thoughtful way.
No one wants advice. Even friends who ask you for advice don't really want it. They just need to vent. Family members don't want advice, and your children : forget about it! They so don't want to hear the wisdom their parents have gained throughout the years.
What time is it? Is it new time or old time? I've been asking myself these important questions a couple of bazillion times a day since we all dutifully "sprung forward."
Baffled by Sudoku? Confounded by crosswords? Here's something new to try.
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.
The thoughts, events and feelings depicted in this column are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or otherwise is merely coincidental.
Recently, someone asked me if I have any insecurities as a writer. I had to respond, "How much time do you have?"
If the four walls of your house seem to be closing in on you, and you can't remember the last time you smiled you may be suffering from cabin fever, winter doldrums, January blahs, seasonal affective disorder or all of the above.
Down at the local barbecue stand (campaign headquarters for the Fat Fairy), we caught up for a quick Q&A session with the candidate.
In case you're already feeling guilty about New Year's resolutions - that you didn't make or keep any - I have some good news for you. New Year's resolutions are out. Passe. Bye-bye.
All I really need to know I learned on public radio. To be specific, National Public Radio is the best source of information, especially during the holiday season.
Dedicated to all locals who must work this holiday season. I don't have space to list all of you but a super big thank-you to:
Greetings from the Jordan family: Jackie, Jim, Jerry, Jasmine and Jewel and Jingles, my little Chihuahuas.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Rewrap. Regift. Rejoice. You have found a home for the white elephant you got last year. Now, someone else will have a toilet plunger that sings, "I'm Too Sexy for the Bowl."