Is that a half deck of cards in your pocket or a wicked awesome Blackberry Curve, you stud?

curve.jpgMy phone is better than your phone.

Well, at least it is until someone releases a phone/Blackberry/organizer/web browser/coffee grinder/dialysis machine/keychain. But until that time comes, please bow down to my gadget superiority or suffer the consequences, ingrate.

You have an iPhone you say? I chew up and spit out your sissy-bitch iPhone. No wait… I slice up and grill your iPhone in extra virgin olive oil, lightly peppered, and put it in my Caesar Salad with croutons, extra onion and black olives, then chew it up and spit it out cause I hate olives.

A week ago Thursday, exactly four days after it hit stores, I became the proud owner of a Blackberry Curve. I got the silver, because the gold was just a little too Dolce & Gabbana for my sensible, Mid-Western, I’m-so-cool-that-I-don’t-have-to-try-to-impress-because-if-you-can’t-see-how-cool-I-am-at-a-glance-you’re-too-lame-for-me-to-worry-about-anyway-jackhole attitude that all humble Minnesotans possess.

It was such an exquisite geek moment. I was so cutting edge, that even the salesmen didn’t have their own Curves yet. They feebly fondled their pitiable Blackberry 8800 series phones which, I’m sorry, are as big as a whole deck of cards, while I effortlessly performed miracles of technological geekery on my Curve. All hail His Majesty Leif, Emperor of the Nerdnited Kingdom and the Technocratic Commonwealth!

So what previously unthinkable feats of geektastic covetousness can I do with my new device? Let us count the ways:

• It’s a phone, obviously
• It’s an organizer, with calendar, address book, note pad, alarm clock, calculator and task list
• It’s an email client
• It’s a surprisingly dynamic web browser
• It’s a camera
• It’s an MP3 and video player
• It’s a map/driving directions rendering thingie (or you can surf to Google maps on the browser if you prefer, but the built-in app does the same job without crowding the screen with superfluous images and ads

But it’s so much more cool than that. Apart from cute, standard add-ons like voice dialing, Bluetooth and personalized ringtones (that I create myself by editing my MP3s into 30 second segments with a simple piece of freeware called MP3 Direct Cut), one of the defining features is the EDGE wireless internet service. This is an always-on provider that lets you surf the net pretty much anywhere that has cell phone coverage. It’s kinda slow when you get outside the city, but hey, always-on, so take your ‘kinda slow’ and shove it.

Say what? You won’t shove it? You want high speed internet too? Fine Dinckleberry. It just so happens that the Curve has a WiFi sniffer. When it detects hubs, which are everywhere in this Buddha blessed country, a little ‘WiFi’ icon in the upper-right corner lights up and just a few trackball clicks later, bam!, you’re connected and getting high speed data transfer. Where’s your trash-talk now, McLovin?

OK, admittedly there are a couple, easily dealt with downsides. The Curve only comes with a measly 12 megabytes of onboard memory. This needs to be upgraded immediately if you know what’s good for you (and I most certainly do). Gripped in my Curve New Owner Daze, it didn’t immediately register that 12mb isn’t that much in this day and age. Furthermore, I didn’t think to ask if that was 12mb all told or 12mb available. Of course it was the former, which means all of those little pieces of software that I listed above were eating up several megabytes of my already limited onboard memory. Indeed, I was so fixated on my toy that it took me two days to zero in on this deficiency, after uploading several freshly cut ringtones and taking a few pictures of my butt in a mirror – the camera takes pictures up to 1600 X 1200 dpi (which happens to be the factory default, I discovered the hard way), so that 12mb disappeared in a hurry.

Since my Geek Stupor kept me from recognizing this important shortcoming while I was still in the store and my salesman, apparently distracted with wretched jealousy, didn’t think to alert me and offer the prudent extras, I need to go back to the mall and pick up a memory expansion card. One gig outta do it. I have to go back there anyway, because my Curve was so funky-fresh-off-the-assembly-line that the store hadn’t even received its stock of belt holsters yet. You gotta have the belt holster.

btheadset.jpgI’m still undecided about the Star Trek Next Generation, ear-hook, Bluetooth headset option, however. They certainly look practical even if you’re not driving, cooking or double-fisting Strongbow ciders, seeing as how the phone-on-the-shoulder maneuver can’t be realistically employed with the wafer-thin Curve without giving yourself a C3 spinal cord injury. I realize that this is going to sound silly coming from me after 600 words of geek-leaning bravado, but people wearing those Bluetooth headsets just look too asinine and smug for my liking. “Look at me! I have to walk around with this headset on all day like Buck Rogers yard sale jewelry, because I use my phone constantly and I can’t possibly be expected to take all these calls with my hands and still manage my global P.R. firm while eating my California Roll.”

It should go without saying that even without a gig of MP3s, pictures and amateur porn videos on my phone, I still had more gadget artillery than anyone else on the mall’s Nerdscape. After vanquishing all the unworthy dweebs in the T-Mobile store, I moved out to assert my superiority on anyone else unfortunate enough to cross my path. Thumbing the trackball and tiny buttons on my little miracle of geeklicious technology, reveling in the longing looks of (predominantly young male) passersby, I flashed on a classic Dilbert cartoon, where Dilbert roams the halls at work armed with an absurd assortment of gadgets hanging off every reasonable part of his body. Less gadget-strapped co-workers cowered and scurried as he passed by until, (dum, dum duuuuummm!!), he is confronted by his gadget wielding archrival who is even more ludicrously bedecked with tech, complete with a satellite dish hat and a jetpack if memory serves. Dilbert is handily defeated in the ensuing Gadget Dual. I just wasted 20 minutes searching for that effing comic online to no avail, but rest assured it was hilarious and topical.

Back in the present day, I couldn’t help but notice that virtually every identifiable gadget in that decade-old cartoon was now condensed into my Blackberry Curve, a device the size of a bathroom tile. As I walked through Rosedale Mall, men with lesser devices immediately recognized my superiority and recoiled appropriately, lest I menace and humiliate them with the awesome might of the Curve. I am now a minor celebrity every time I pull out my Curve, which is constantly.

Even in private, my Curve has changed my life. As I cruised through Northern Minnesota last weekend, cruising by towns where the dive bar is a leaning shack, the upscale bar is a pre-fab house and the city hall is a log cabin, I was firing off emails, receiving calls and catching up on blog reading. I was so titillatingly productive and that I had to change my underwear when I got home.

So, for the record, my totally necessary, not at all indulgent, battery-driven tech tally now stands at nine:

• Laptop
• Palm Pilot Tungsten T5
• Digital camera
Wireless laser keyboard
• MP3 player
• Mobile alarms (2)
• Shaver
• Blackberry Curve that-I-own-and-you-don’t

All joking aside, I rule.

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