19 November 2006

You know you're from the Pacific Northwest if ...

Here is a quick primer for those of you not familiar with the habits & culture of those of us fortunate to live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest ... my commentary is in green.

  • You know the state flower (mildew).
  • You feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash.
    I haven’t thrown away any kind of metal in years!! Why isn’t the rest of the country recycling like this?
  • You use the statement "sun break" and know what it means.
  • You know more than 10 ways to order coffee.
    and you knew the scriptwriter who called it a "mochalatte" in Grey's Anatomy had never even been to Seattle. There are mochas (espresso, chocolate, & steamed milk), there are lattes (espresso & steamed milk), but “mochalatte” is not in the Pacific NW vocabulary. We’re very passionate about our coffee, can you tell?
  • You know more people who own boats than air conditioners.
  • You feel overdressed wearing a suit to a nice restaurant.
    This is so TRUE! Dressing up = wearing jeans with no holes in them & closed-toe shoes.
  • You stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the "Walk" signal.
  • You consider that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it is not a real mountain.
  • You can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle's Best, and Veneto's.
    Oh yeah. There is a difference!
  • You know the difference between Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye salmon.
  • You know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Issaquah, Oregon, Yakima, and Willamette (not to mention geoduck).
  • You consider swimming an indoor sport.
  • You can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese, and Thai food.
  • In winter, you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark—while only working eight-hour days.
  • You never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho.
  • You are not fazed by "Today's forecast: showers followed by rain," and "Tomorrow's forecast: rain followed by showers."
  • You have no concept of humidity without precipitation.
  • You know that Boring is a town in Oregon and not just a state of mind.
  • You can point to at least two volcanoes, even if you cannot see through the cloud cover.
  • You notice, "The mountain is out" when it is a pretty day and you can actually see it.
  • You put on your shorts when the temperature gets above 50, but still wear your hiking boots and parka.
  • You switch to your sandals when it gets about 60, but keep the socks on.
    This is CLASSIC northwest style!! :o)
  • You have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain.
  • You think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists. This is true! Umbrellas make out-of-towners stink out like a sore thumb.
  • You buy new sunglasses every year, because you cannot find the old ones after such a long time. I live this truth ... annually!
  • You measure distance in hours (e.g., it is an hour and a half from Bellingham to Seattle)
  • You often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day. And you have A/C in your car, but never in your house. You'd probably only use it 10-12 days a year anyway.
  • You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit under a raincoat.
  • You know all the important seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Raining (Spring), Road Construction (Summer), Deer & Elk season (Fall).

To these I would add:

  • You know at least 5 people that drive a Subaru Outback.
  • You have a "Buy Local" bumper sticker on your car
  • You pass at least 10 "Impeach Bush" yard signs or "Anti-W" car stickers on your way to work.


  1. Ran aceoss your post this a.m. when I googled "you know you're in the P.N.W. when"

    I think I've seen this somewhere before - that's why I was looking for it.

    Is it ok if I qoute this in my blog? I realizr this post may be old enough that you'll never read this ..... but there it. is.

    like your site, by the by.

    MY brother lives in Seattle, me in Portland

  2. p.s.

    I drive A subaru outback, work on boats, have about five rain coats(or parkas) & NO umbrellas....and I wasn't even born here....

    favorite coffee is a soy-mocha-vente - or a frence pressed ethiopian(at Multnomah Falls Lodge) with 2 sugars

  3. You add sugar to your french press?.......really?

  4. Dear Anonymous,

    I don't know how you figure that I "add sugar to [my] french press" from this post, or if you're being a little sneaky in responding here to something you read in another post elsewhere on this blog, but in any case, I have a few things to say in response:

    1. Strictly speaking, I do not add sugar to my French press. I put stevia in the mug into which I pour my French pressed coffee.

    2. I add vanilla-flavored soy creamer too.

    3. And then I stir.

    4. What's it to you? Really?

    P.S. Thanks for giving me a good laugh. If you have a problem with any of this, feel free to write about in a space where you identify yourself.