Thursday, April 17, 2008

You know you live in the Northwest if...

We're getting a new e-mail system at work, moving from Groupwise to Outlook (it's about dang time). To prepare for the move, we're supposed to prune our e-mail archives, so I've been going through lots of old messages to see what I can get rid of. It's been a bit like opening a time capsule. I've found loads of old messages documenting various life events, and today I hit the mother lode: the folder of jokes and other miscellaneous stuff people sent me that I thought was worth keeping. "Aha!" I thought. "Something to post to my blog when I have writer's block!"

So tonight, dear readers, you get the first installment in my new series, "12 years of inbox clutter." Here we go...

You know you live in the Pacific Northwest if you...
- feel overdressed wearing a suit to a nice restaurant.
- know at least eight people who work for companies that manufacture computer parts, airplanes, or athletic shoes.
- can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai food.
- return from a California vacation depressed because "all the grass was dead."
- know the vast difference between SBC, Torrefazone, Coffee People and Starbucks.
- take a half day every July 1 to find your sunglasses and sunscreen.
- remember the date, severity, time of day, where you were, and how long you were out of power and phone service for every winter-weather event in the last five years.
- feel guilty for days after throwing an aluminum can in the trash instead of recycling it.
- get very, very happy when the early morning weather forecast includes the term "sun breaks."
- are able to use 10 words to order a beverage the rest of the country calls "coffee."
- have ever called your insurance agent to ask if your homeowner's policy covers falling trees, flooding, or mud slides or if the number of your favorite roofing company is on your phone's speed-dial list.
- never go camping without waterproof matches, ponchos, and mattress pads that double as flotation devices.
- know more people who own boats than air conditioners.
- consider that if it doesn't have snow on it or has not recently erupted, regardless of elevation, it is not a real mountain
- complain about Californians until the day you sell your house to one for twice what you paid for it.
- find a wallet with $500 in it, return it all to the owner and refuse a reward.
- know the difference between Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye salmon.
- used to live somewhere else.
- believe swimming is not a sport but a survival skill to prevent boating deaths.
- believe swimming should only be done indoors, except in emergencies.
- own more than 10 articles of clothing that have the names of microbreweries/brewpubs printed on them. Bonus for embroidery.
- wave at people who drive Ford Explorer sport utility vehicles like yours. Basically, you just drive down the road waving.
- can point in the direction of two or more volcanoes even though you can't see them through the clouds.
- think downtown is "scary" because you were panhandled there once.
- go to work and return home in the dark in the winter, even though you only have an eight-hour work day.
- find that when the weather gets above 60 degrees, you replace your hiking boots with Birkenstock or Teva sandals.
- believe people who use umbrellas are wimps, Californians, or both.
- You are sitting at a downtown red light. The light turns green and the car in front of you does not move. You do not honk. After two more light changes, you approach the driver to ask if they need any assistance.
- you look in your closet to get dressed and you are stumped on whether to put on your fleece vest, fleece pants, or just go for the fleece jacket. Then you're stuck when you decide for the jacket and are confused about which of your six colors you should choose.

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