New phone is the Apple of my i

The Apple iPhone 3G. (Apple Inc.)
The Apple iPhone 3G. (Apple Inc.)

Tom Petty was right.

The waiting was the hardest part.

After 384 days of waiting, wanting and whining, I finally got my iPhone. This news no doubt came to the great relief of loved ones, co-workers and assorted passers-by.

It is a story filled with agony and ecstasy, deceit and redemption, but let me reassure you right away that it has a happy ending.

So let's start at the beginning. You see, I've wanted one since they first went on sale June 29, 2007. Heck, I even wrote about it back then for The Bee.

I believe my exact words were: "iWant it all. And iWant it now."

But iWaited and iWaited and iWaited instead for version 2.0.

And then on June 11, the day of the new iPhone 3G launch, I waited some more, but this time in line. I went home three hours later and $300 lighter with nothing but a pamphlet and a promise that my iPhone would arrive in "within seven days."

I also went home with a repeated and emphatic promise from the customer-service rep that because we waited in line, we would have first priority when any shipment came in, before all the walk-in buyers.

This was, of course, a lie.

I called the next day to check on my "direct fulfillment order" and was told a shipment of iPhones had come in but those were given out to walk-in buyers "first-come, first-served," per company policy.

Now iAngry. Phone calls were made, voices were raised. And then, alas, iWaited some more.

The irony of this wait was not lost on me, since one of the raisons d'être of the iPhone seems to be the elimination of waiting. It's all about instant gratification.

Instant e-mail. Instant Internet. Instant music. Instant video. Instant settlement of bar disputes about what year Devo's "Whip It" came out.

Four more days of waiting and I got a call that my order had arrived. The wait was over and the heavens wept with joy.

OK, fine, the heavens didn't weep. But I am sure any day now, a developer will come up with an application for the iPhone to do just that.

Of course, at this point, you're wondering: All this talk about a dumb phone; how, exactly, is this entertaining?

Ah, well, this is where your patience pays off.

Sure, the magpie part of my brain that loves shiny, shiny things was pleased. But the entertainment reporter side of my brain was all atwitter, too.

Music, TV, movies and all the wonders of The Interwebs right in the palm of my hand. It's also a camera, a tiny video-game console and, any day now, should be able to toast my Pop Tarts for breakfast.

In fact, I believe it may be the end of boredom as we know it. Well, until your battery runs out, that is.

As the devices meant to entertain us grow smaller sleeker and stronger, it seems like only a matter of time before the inevitable chip implant directly into the brain makes the term "home entertainment" that much more personal.

And, knowing my luck, I'll probably be put on a waiting list for that, too.

But until then, iHappy.

Elsewhere around the Scene:

See Spinderella party like it's her birthday.

The Salt-N-Pepa DJ and hip-hop star will celebrate her birthday with back-to-back parties in Modesto and Stockton this weekend. The Spinderella Birthday Tour will feature Spinderella along with fellow female hip-hop artists Suga-T, Ms. Toi and Boszy.

The birthday celebrations also support the launch of the new The Be About It Project, an education and support community organization helmed by Suga-T.

Spinderella, who celebrates her 37th birthday Sunday, was part of the Grammy-winning 80s female rap group Salt-N-Pepa, known for hits like "Push It," "Shake Your Thang," "Whatta Man" and "Let's Talk About Sex."

The tour stops at Modesto's Fat Cat Music House & Lounge tonight and Stockton's Chativas Sports Bar & Grill on Saturday. Doors open at 9 p.m. both days. Tickets are $10. Call 524-1400. More at www.suga-t.net. ...

Power up with Powerman 5000 on Monday at the Fat Cat. The industrial metal group will be joined by God's Outlaw, Last Possession, Malcontent and 6 Ounce Gloves. Show's at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Call 524-1400. ...

Check out punk favorites MDC on Tuesday at Banana Joe's in Modesto. The GBA UnderGround show will include the Austin-based punk group on its U.S. tour with P.A.W.N.S. MDC gained cult fame in the '80s for its hard-core style and has been compared to Jello Biafra and the Dead Kennedys. Also on the bill are Modesto's Butterface and Urban Idiots. The all-ages show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 advance, $7 door. Call 549-2548...

And finally, get your groove on with The Cartel Band Wednesday at Sidelines in Modesto. The Modesto group will play a smooth-jazz set. Show's at 7:30 p.m.

Bee entertainment writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at mrowland@modbee.com or 578-2284. Read her blog SceneIt at thehive.modbee.com/sceneit.