I was up early on Friday, reading the news on the internet, in semi-darkness, propped up in bed, when I felt the porky cat jump onto the headboard of the bed.

He really shook things up too and I had the rapid fire thoughts: I have got to get that guy on a diet. …he’s way too fat and he’s only one year old…maybe I’m overfeeding him….or maybe he’s just genetically fat…what the heck is he doing up there, anyway?….

And then I sat up & swung around to get him to stop marching around and shaking the headboard, I realized that there was no cat anywhere in the room.


It was.

4.2, with an epicenter out across Puget Sound on the peninsula.

Earthquakes are part of life out here and this week’s quake was an excellent reminder to me to take them seriously.

This was a little quake, not even enough to wake everyone up. The children slept through it.

In 2001, right after we moved to Seattle, there was a significant earthquake called the Nisqually Earthquake. It was a 6.4 quake and it caused very significant damage throughout the region, including…yes….the historical buildings in Pioneer Square.

These are pictures of the Square after the quake.

As we have been searching for the perfect place to put down our SitC roots, we’ve had many opportunities to buy historic apartments, lofts, or whole buildings. We even made an offer on an incredible old grocery warehouse but, you know, the place would have required hundreds of thousands of dollars in seismic upgrades and reinforcements. Even with loads of improvements, no one could guarantee safety and with the kids….if something terrible happened….well, I just couldn’t go there.

( Editorial note: This picture looks like looters jumping on cars after a natural disaster. No. The crushed van belonged to one of them and they have been moving off bricks to find his wife’s purse, which is the bag that the guy in the green hat is holding up.)

The good news is that our building is a modern building and built to very strict seismic standards. Even with a very strong earthquake, we’d be a bit rattled but not hurt.

However, as we’ve learned from Hurricane Katrina, if you live in a disaster-prone area, you should be prepared with a disaster kit and disaster plans.

We have neither.

I think that this week’s earthquake may be a gentle reminder to get my act together BEFORE the big one arrives.

I’m listening.

Sincerely, shaken..but not stirred,



Dear Mr. Stephen P. Reynolds,

I know you must be extremely busy this week, with t

You must be feeling so much stress right now, Mr. President, Chairman, and CEO, although the fact that you are going to keep your job probably takes some of the heat off. It’s not a great time for a President, Chairman, and CEO to be looking for work, is it?

Speaking of work, well, that reminds me of the reason for this letter, Mr. Stephen P. Reynolds.

I’m afraid I have bad news for you.

You may have already guessed but I’m afraid that I’m going to have to downgrade Puget Sound Energy’s customer service yet again.

First, the shockingly low level of

Next, a downgrade to

Now, Puget Sound Energy’s customer service under your leadership has reached an all-time low, a level of customer service so bad that I had to think up an entirely new category for you.

It’s Woman Seeking A Driver’s License In Taliban-Controlled Territory Customer Service.

Mr. Stephen P. Reynolds, I know this comes as a shock to you. I know to have the customer service of your organization evaluated as Woman Seeking Driver’s License In Taliban-Controlled Territory Customer Service is probably a body-blow to the morale of the entire organization.

It’s not something that I just hand out.

No, an organization has to really want to stand out with bad customer service to be compared to the Taliban.

You have to earn it.

I can tell that Puget Sound Energy really wants it, Mr. Stephen P. Reynolds.

You and the gas section of Puget Sound Energy have earned this designation with months and months of rude indifference, ignoring phone calls, refusing to take responsibility for earlier well-documented decisions, and generally passing the buck to other employees whenever possible. It was hard work but you and Puget Sound Energy, the whole team, really, have earned it.

Don’t let anyone ever take that away from you.

You might be asking yourself, Mr. President, Chairman, and CEO, how an organization gets to this point.

The answer is simple.

Puget Sound Energy’s Customer Service started off as indifferent and disinterested, hence the Soviet-Style Customer Service award.

We had 5, 6 months until we moved in and your team was just incredibly slow to respond and wouldn’t respond to phone calls.

it was annoying and pathetic, Mr. Stephen P. Reynolds, but not catastrophic.

As we have gotten closer to moving in, the situation with Puget Sound Energy has gotten more dire.

There were vague reports that the gas meter was in the wrong place, even though PSE had signed off on the location of the meter in April of 2008 , and various scenarios about not being able to turn on gas to the condo at all, despite the fact that we’d spent 5K running a huge gas line to the condo and invested tens of thousands of dollars on gas appliances based on the approval for a gas line from Puget Sound Energy.

We thought maybe it was just getting in touch with the right people, Mr, Stephen P. Reynolds, which is why I made the generous offer that I did in my letter regarding your Rural African Warlord Customer Service.

I felt sure that we were going to make some progress, Mr. President, Chairman, and CEO.

However, as the days dragged on, cold and dark in the condo, and my email box remained empty of timely responses from you or a representative of Puget Sound Energy, my hope faded that we’d be able to come to an acceptable agreement.

I sold most of the goats and let Jeff pick out the porn DVDs he wanted and gave the rest away. Well, okay..I kept one. For carpool.

I let your new wives go home.

I’m driving the new Mercedes SUV with the bullet proof windows and smoking the cigars. Only when I’m not around the baby, of course.

As I drove around town in what was to be your car, Mr. Stephen P. Reynolds, smoking what were to be your cigars and watching what were to be your porn videos, I had time for deep contemplation and I realized that only one thing would keep a man from accepting such a generous financial offer.


You, Mr. President, Chairman, and CEO, must be a man of deep convictions, a man who will not allow his organization’s customer service be dictated to him by the outside world.

I have to ask myself, Mr. Stephen P. Reynolds, what could possibly be triggering such hostility towards me and my condo? Why would your organization just refuse to turn on my gas, ignore our phone calls, stall on making decisions, and then, once finally cornered on the phone, waffle about the reasons for months and months?

And, then…like a thunder bolt of non-Pugent Sound Energy to the head, I realize… t his must be personal. It must be about me, not my condo.

Stephen P. Reynolds must hate women.

Is that was this is, Mr. President, Chairman, and CEO? Are you trying to exercise some kind of alpha-male shit with me by not turning on my gas?

Because if that’s the case, you’re about to mess with the wrong un-Burkaed gal, Mr. Stephen P. Reynolds.

That’s right.

You’ve got 5 days to reverse your Woman Seeking Driver’s License in Taliban-Controlled Territory Customer Service and tun on my gas, or I am about to unleash a big can of feminist whoop-ass on you and your organization, right as you attempt to close your merger, this very week.

I’m not going to tell you what I’m going to do if I don’t get my gas service pronto but don’t be at all surprised if you head out to your car one morning and find me chained to the steering wheel of your Lexus in protest of your misogynist ways of doing business, wearing nothing but Birkenstocks and a pair of NOW stickers for pasties.

It can happen.


5 days until my move-in date, Mr. Reynolds…5 days.



Edit From Annie: Jeff, it means nothing that I have ruined his Google cache. I just want my gas service!