Now is NOT the Time to Panic, Seattle.

This is definitely not the month you want to be living in Seattle.

Because of our geography, pinned in between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, with mountain ranges on either side of us for added complexity, we are already too many people in too small an area. We only have three major north/south traffic arteries, and one of them, the viaduct, is going to be closed for the rest of this month, until the tunnel that is replacing it opens up.

They’re calling it the Seattle Squeeze. Others are calling it Viadoom. Think about that for a second. 90,000 commuters use that viaduct every single day. Now they’re going to have to find other routes. And their options are going to be extremely limited.

Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen, and prepare for a cluster of epic proportions. It reminds me of that scene in Monsters Inc. in which the reporter says, “It is my professional opinion that now is the time to PANIC!!!!”

And as a Seattle Department of Transportation employee, I’ve seen a lot of panicking going on, indeed. I think if the general public really had any idea just how much the City is freaking out, they’d be a lot more hysterical themselves. You’d think the apocalypse was nigh.

Yeah, it’s going to suck. People will be late. Road rage will skyrocket. Everything is going to be a lot harder than usual.

But you know what? Breathe. We’ll survive. The world will keep right on spinning. February will come. We’ll all look back at this and laugh the laugh of survivors.

I really don’t think panic will do us any good. Yes, I’m glad people are doing their best to prepare for worst case scenarios. I’m thrilled that many companies are making an effort to adjust their schedules and will be allowing their employees to telecommute when possible.

I think we just all have to hunker down, gird our loins, and try not to lose our tempers. If you know anyone in the Seattle area, give them a virtual hug. Maybe send them some cookies. But for heaven’s sake, don’t come to visit until at least mid-February. We have enough problems at the moment. Please and thank you.

seattle map

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Making Room

So, nope, I still haven’t found romance in the Pacific Northwest. How I feel about that depends a great deal on which day you ask me. Most of the time, to be honest, I’m too busy to worry about it. My world seems to revolve around my upcoming anthology.

But yeah, sometimes I’m painfully lonely. Other times I’m resigned to my fate or frustrated beyond words. Still other times, I’m optimistic. But mostly I’m surprised. I think I’m a catch. This is the longest time I’ve been single in decades.

But the other day a friend of mine altered my perspective a bit. She asked me if I had made room for someone to be in my life. Could someone share my living space with me? Is there room in the closet? Places for his stuff? Frankly, no. And it makes me tired just thinking about accommodating someone at this point. I haven’t even finished unpacking, and I’ve been here for nearly two years.

My lifestyle is such that it would be hard to make time for another person. My schedule is weird. Sometimes I work day shift, sometimes I work swing shift, and I work every weekend. That isn’t likely to change any time soon.

All of this means that I basically sleep when I want to and/or can, and sometimes wake up, quite happily, at 3 a.m. Other times I’m only just going to bed at that hour. It would take a special person to adjust to that. And then there’s the fact that I still grieve for Chuck more often than I care to admit.

I think all of this tells me that now is not the time. And oddly enough, I’m okay with that. Mostly.