This is getting out of hand. I've created another distraction monster. It's one of my skills. I'm a regular Dr. Frankenstein when it comes to creating distraction monsters. Time to reel it in. One more Out of the Shoebox, and then I'll try to succumb to its siren's song less frequently (Adam, Homer, the rest of time - always blaming that feminine guile). We'll chalk this post up to welcoming December.

Dr. Jekyll: Dr. Frankenstein, meet Nurse Ratched, specializes in rationalizing.

Dr. Frankenstein: Hello, Nurse Ratched, welcome to our little house of horrors.

Nurse Ratched: Thank you, Drs. But you overestimate the place. I can help you make it so much...more.

Joe Bar Capitol Hill Seattle
A favorite photo of a favorite place. Terrible composition. I don't care. I had tunnel vision while shooting this. Another photographer sneaked right up on me while I was taking this and snapped a photo of me. Scared the bejeezus out of me. Fair's fair, but personal space is important, too! Joe Bar, Capitol Hill, Seattle, Spring 2017.
Harry's Fine Foods Capitol Hill Seattle
I really miss Harry's Fine Foods. I hope they're doing ok. They opened right around the time I moved to Capitol Hill. They were experimenting with their hours, and for a time, they served breakfast. Man that oatmeal was good. Also a bit of a selfie. Capitol Hill, Seattle, Spring 2017.
Ikina Sushi Capitol Hill Seattle
The five people who visit this blog might remember me lamenting the shots I wish I'd taken outside Ikina Sushi. Well, lo and behold, I think I have one. I'm not 100% sure. But I'm pretty sure. It pays to look through the shoebox of photos. Capitol Hill, Seattle, Spring 2017.

Paralysis by analysis. I struggled to choose a single image from a bunch of shots I took of that wonderful powerhouse Hot Mama's Pizza. My blog, my rules. Ghost isn't charging me per upload. So much for ruthless editing!

I can't look at these or walk by Hot Mama's without thinking of my friend Victoria. Amazing photographer and DJ with a passion for pizza. It's not easy looking at these photos. Friends chatting over a slice, a pizza maestro bringing pizza goodness to the masses and emptying the tip jar, two people (maybe a date!) walking along Pine. I hope that tip jar was stuffed with bills. There's a slice of pizza in my future, I can guaran-damn-tee it.

Hot Mama's Pizza Capitol Hill Seattle
Hot Mama's Pizza, Capitol Hill, Seattle, Spring 2017.
Hot Mama's Pizza Capitol Hill Seattle
Hot Mama's Pizza, Capitol Hill, Seattle, Spring 2017.
Hot Mama's Pizza Capitol Hill Seattle
Hot Mama's Pizza, Capitol Hill, Seattle, Spring 2017.
Hot Mama's Pizza Capitol Hill Seattle
Hot Mama's Pizza, Capitol Hill, Seattle, Spring 2017.

Hang in there everyone. Don't let up yet. Darkest before the dawn and all.

I think December's going to get pretty darn dark. People are understandably tired, anxious, lonely...the list of negative adjectives could go on and on. Vaccines are on the way. While not a silver bullet, they are going to help. A lot more of us are going to catch this damn bug, but we can keep doing the things that better our odds and help out those amazing healthcare/grocery store/retirement home/restaurant/education/anyone-in-a-closed-space workers.

I can't imagine what it's like having kids or caring for someone during these times. Cut yourself some slack. You're doing a great job. The kids are going to be ok. The next time you make that 8 year old a lunch, chuck in some apple slices and tell them they're doing just fine and that things are going to get better. If you want to step it up a notch, chuck in some slices of cheese to go with that apple.

Try to carve out a little time for you in December. Is there a show you want to watch or a book you want to read? Make that happen.

I worked for an awful boss once. Just terrible to everyone around him. My dad gave me some advice I've never forgotten. You're going to be in that job for a while. You're in a position to make things better for the people your boss interacts with. Focus on that. It was great advice.

Everyone is struggling. Look for little things you can do to brighten the days of people you're in touch with. And we need to apply that to a national level. The COVID Hammer has struck unevenly. Some people are getting hit from all sides.