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Good To Be Back On My Own Ground

People always e-mail me wondering what it's like to write for a living. Well, that's what it's like: a constant hole in the pit in your stomach. - Bill Simmons.

It was a fun sabbatical, fans, if much too brief and only marginally productive. Part of the young phenomenon of blogging - part of writing, in general - is countering the moments of complete bankness, neurotic self-doubt, desperate incompetence, all exacerbatd by the sense of daily obligation, and to ensure that his readers never, ever have to stumble across navel-gazing crises of that sort in this space, SMQ wanted to use the week to get in front of editorial content for a change, to get around to a few long-neglected maintenance chores. To demonstrate some semblance of successful, independent management skills, plan for the proverbial rainy day, to engage in activities, exercises, or regimens that develop or improve efficiency, that which is known in more laconic circles as discipline. On this front, essentially, failure.

At least the lazy procrastination of the week was only a matter of degree, rather than total frustration. He did manage the extremely minimal feat of getting the final segments of the Stats Relevance Watch along with Jonathan Tu's mysteriously-titled but otherwise sharp satire at 82 Sluggo Win onto the sidebar, both long overdue additions. Newspaper links were organized for personal use, and SMQ spent a good deal of time formatting some aesthetic elements of a series of posts to be unveiled directly. A local public radio host began issuing weather reports for something known as the "Golden Triangle," which usually refers to Southeast Asia, and SMQ looked up that new term as it relates to largely unfamiliar areas of his own state. But where actual writing was on the agenda, the heavy lifting, he can hardly account for the hours lost to video games and e-mail and staring and The Elephant Man and the like. The one bit seriously undertaken remains unfinished.

This is a trend he cannot break, or a compulsion or something, the inability to complete any work before the rush to the deadline, no matter how earnest  or early the attempt. Those readers who also happen to be editors waiting on periodical submissions should remember - as parents, teachers, professors, friends and bosses of SMQ all have learned before - that his work habits are inevitably described best, as is just about everything else worth describing, by Calvin and Hobbes:

Calvin: we ought to be half done now.

Hobbes: You haven't even started.

Calvin: Yeah, but I work better under pressure.

Hobbes: Actually, you work ONLY under pressure.

Calvin: That way, the work time is more miserable, but there's less of it.

The non-work time also becomes more miserable, but there's more of it.
- - -

In the meantime, diligent people like Kyle King forge ahead. The Mayor has wrapped up the playoff debate he and SMQ began two weeks ago, with the conclusion he's fundamentally against a postseason tournament that "skews" the regular season results, prefering to rely on the discerning mental faculties and tradition of whatever admittedly flawed poll system is in its place. SMQ is fundamentally opposed to the notion of a champion by opinion in any sport, regardless the "cognitive dissonance" between the final month of results and the preceding three (which he believes is minimal in a sport with the sample size of college football, to the extent it exists at all, but the prosecution rests already). So that's a tidy philosophical logjam. The jury may deliberate on these irreconcilable differences.

Good to be back.