I'm baaaaaack: Finally re-joining the ranks of working people after three glorious weeks of microdosing, taking disco naps, binging movies, and gossiping with my friends. Let's see if I remember how to do all this...

Starbucks is closing their unionized Broadway and Denny location over "safety concerns": A representative for the coffee behemoth said in a statement that "despite several mitigating efforts, safety and security incidents" at this location "have continued to escalate" forcing them to close on December 11. Sure. Workers have called bullshit on the closure, pointing out that the Broadway and Denny store was one of the first Starbucks locations in the country to unionize during this latest wave. Corporate and Starbucks Workers United will hash out an agreement on how the closure will impact workers.

In other asshole-ish Seattle corporate news: Amazon will start locking out some workers and snatching laptops today as part of their massive layoff scheme, reports the Seattle Times. In this particular round, the Alexa virtual assistant team is being told to pack up belongings, download emails and chats to personal devices, and sashay away.

About that Snohomish County plane crash from last week that killed four: National Transportation Safety Board investigators said yesterday that the crash was likely due to "the right wing separating midair," reports KOMO. They'll continue to go through maintenance records, pilot certifications, and plane reconstruction over the next couple of weeks for a definitive report.

My worst fear: I'm not a war reporter, nor do any of my articles warrant a push alert that goes out to thousands of news organizations, but this story about an AP journalist erroneously reporting that Russia had consequentially hit NATO member Poland with a missile is stuff I lose sleep over. And, yes, AP has since fired the reporter after doing a "brief investigation" into the matter. 

Rain hath returned: I refuse to open my blinds because I'm a vampire, but I can hear that certain swoooooosh of cars on the road, which means it's wet, which means RAIN. The drops end a record-breaking 14-day streak of rainless days, all thanks to a high pressure system that was hanging out in the region, reports Axios. We could get up to half an inch of rain, and temperatures are expected to drop. Stay warm and dry, folks. 

Merger no more: Paramount ditched its $2.2 billion deal to sell Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House, reports The Guardian. The decision came after a judge ruled last month that the merger would "substantially lessen competition." If the deal went through, Penguin Random House-Simon & Schuster would have controlled over 50% of the market. Mr. Monopoly rightfully loses yet again ...

Speaking of monopolies: Reps. Pramila Jayapal, Adam Smith, Jerry Nadler, and David Cicilline have called on the Federal Trade Commission to look into Kroger's $24.6 billion proposed acquisition of Albertsons. Like state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Jayapal says that the merger would negatively affect consumers, smaller businesses, and workers. Plus, the maximum security surveillance at QFC combined with the chronic understaffing issues at Safeway sounds like a grocery shopper's worst nightmare. 

South Seattleites will have to wait quite a bit longer for a protected bike lane on MLK Way: Originally slated for construction this fall, construction on the project—which would stretch from S Judkins Street to Rainier Ave—has been pushed back to June 2023, reports The Urbanist. On the project's website, Seattle Department of Transportation said the delay was due to design review and coordination between federal and state agencies. Classic!

Felt sad yesterday: But looking at this image of a protostar from the NASA Webb Telescope set me right. My little organs that keep me breathing, thinking, writing, and feeling are so small compared to the forces of the universe. Sadness is not a cosmic feeling, but wonder is.

More information is coming out about the tragic Club Q shooting: Authorities have released the names of the five victims of the queer nightclub shooting: Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh, and Raymond Green Vance. The suspected shooter, Anderson Lee Aldrich, is being held on five murder charges and five hate crime charges, AP reports.

The heroic efforts of a trans woman and an Army veteran stopped the suspect from killing more people. The veteran, Richard Fierro, gave a harrowing interview to the New York Times, wherein he described being handcuffed by the cops and left in the back of a police car for an hour after tackling the shooter. There are a couple of verified GoFundMes that are going toward the families of victims and survivors.  

Down in Oregon: Gov. Kate Brown pardoned 45,000 people with low-level cannabis convictions and forgave $14 million in fines, reports the Willamette Week. About time! "No one deserves to be forever saddled with the impacts of a conviction for simple possession of marijuana—a crime that is no longer on the books in Oregon," said Brown. Oregonians who have been saddled with a simple possession conviction can check this here website to see if that conviction has been overturned. Doobs up!

Didn't we just have Record Store Day? I guess RSD comes twice a year, once in April (punk) and once on Black Friday (absolutely not punk, the opposite of punk). But if supporting independently run record stores is your jam, then here's the full list of special vinyls you can cop. Just remember, RSD is a mindset and a lifestyle, not some one-day gimmick!

I miss when Nathalie would slip in a crossword at the end of her Slog AMs: So here's one in her honor. I'll tell you my time if you tell me yours.

For your listening pleasure: Kelela's "On the Run."