The Dog Days

Even the dogs can't get into it.

Even the dogs can’t get into it.

We’ve all heard of the Dog Days… those hot and nasty days of the North American midsummer that only beach freaks and camels could possibly love.  The expression is hardly new… dating back to the ancient Greeks and even the Egyptian civilization before them.  Long before The Weather Channel existed to explain complicated phenomena to us like why a passing snow shower requires an entire team of local news reporters to cover, these early peoples associated weather patterns with the same thing they used to explain everything else that went on in life before Wikipedia, the stars.  Because the bright star Sirius rose near sunrise during these unbearably hot summer nights, the Dog Star lent its name that period of time when cutoff togas and loincloths were the recommended attire…

Surely you can't be Sirius!

Surely you can’t be Sirius!

The Dog Days of summer aren’t just associated with the heat, but the overall miserableness and lack of activity that can plague society when it’s too damn hot and muggy to do anything.  According to the ever reliable Old Farmer’s Almanac, these Dog Days fall between the forty day period from July 3rd to August 11th inclusive each year.  This is extremely fitting, because I believe that for the last month and a half The Nest has been firmly entrenched in its own Dog Days.  No, that’s not just me being cheerfully self-depreciating again… the facts bear this out.  My blog has become a blahg.

The only thing that could make it worse was if I was trying to sell you something... unless you believe I'm subliminally trying to advertise NoDoze...

The only thing that could make The Nest worse was if I was trying to sell you something… unless you believe I’m subliminally trying to advertise No Doz.

As those of you who come here every day may be aware of, The Nest has five weekly features that I post here… and they’ve been the entirety of my content dating all the way back to… yep, the start of July!  In fact, July 2016 was the first month in the history of my blog that I relied entirely on expected weekly posts to get by.  Which seems fine… five posts a week is plenty.  This isn’t a contest to see who can make the most posts and annoy their readers by jamming their inboxes so full of their prolific shit that you feel claustrophobic just following them.

20 fucking posts in one day!?!? Here, let me hammer the Unfollow button!

20 fucking posts in one day!?!? Here, let me hammer the Unfollow button!

No, the problem is that The Nest has become to formulaic, and many of those formulas have seemed as stale and tired as a fast food combo meal.  You can start with my Thursday comic, which can still come up with the occasional fucked up yet whimsical funny… but has relied far too much on running gags to get by lately.  I seem to have lost my ability to come up with a funny situation and then insert the characters around it to pull it off.  Instead, a lot of times I’m thinking “Hmmm, how can I maim Buster this week?” and then trying to work a comic plot around it.  That’s just not how it should be done…

Are you happy, possum!?!? You're ruining the comic for all of us!

Are you happy, possum!?!? You’re ruining the comic for all of us!

Well, at least I had the Prompt the Squirrel series to bring variety and outside inspiration to Fridays!  Yeah, but the last six entries going back to…. you guessed it, the beginning of July, were far from my best.  Some of them required more time and preparation to pull of than I was willing to provide, and the last three wound up practically running together with each other because they had two things in common… the need for me to churn out a LOT of artwork, and to wear out the blood red fill tool in Paint and Photoshop.  If it bleeds, it leads…

Fratricide in the name of humor isn't just wrong.... it's uncreative.

Fratricide in the name of humor isn’t just wrong…. it’s uncreative.

Surely I’m not going to grouse about how my long-running, beloved Saturday Squirrel feature is going to hell as well, am I?  Oh yeah, I’m totally going there.  One of the things that kept SS so fresh and entertaining was the massive quantity of squirrel photos I would take… no matter how long you photograph squirrels, they will always give you something you’ve never captured before if you are patient enough.  Yet I’m not sure I’ve taken a squirrel picture all summer… even from my own yard.  I can justifiably blame the weather, which has been either hot or rainy during almost the entire Dog Days period… but at some point, you just gotta chalk up your non-productivity to pure, unadulterated laziness…

This squirrel can haul a walnut up a tree with its bare jaws and I can't even pick up a fucking camera.

This squirrel can haul a walnut up a tree with its bare jaws and I can’t even pick up a fucking camera to take a picture of him.

Interestingly enough, the one series on my blog that some people love to hate is the one thing that has managed to stay fresh and fun this summer, and that’s the Dusty Vinyl Archive.  I have so many ideas for lesser remembered songs to include in the DVA feature that I can probably go for another year or two before that well starts to run dry.  And of course it eventually will… just like the seemingly limitless ideas I had for my defunct Flashback Friday and barely recurring Retro TV Ad series all eventually tapped out, which is sad because they were often the best platform for my unique brand of wit on my blog.  And what will I do when I run out of muzak and have to give DJ Scratchy the pink slip?

The day the muzak died.

The day the muzak died.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that making the Dog Days of The Nest even more unbearable has been the large number of my longtime regulars who have been scarce or completely absent this summer.  The handful of new followers I’ve picked up this year don’t even begin to account for the number of my old faithfuls who have had life and/or burnout keep them away lately as well.  Though given how I’ve just trashed my content from the last forty days, maybe it’s a good thing many of them weren’t around to see it…

What they don't know can't haunt them.

What they don’t know can’t haunt them (unless I drop a gratuitous link).

I need to get back to my usual high level of fucked up humor that so many of you have come to count on from The Nest… and hopefully now that those pesky Dog Days are over, the creative cloud that has hampered me for the last month and a half will allow me to post more than just shitty pictures of baseball stadium scoreboards, blurry squirrel photos and awkward comics about unicorn sex.  I’d like to say I’ll try harder, but that may be part of the problem itself… I’m trying too hard to break out of my bloggy funk.  Like a good dump, I just need to sit back, relax and let the inspiration all come out when I least expect it to…

Do they make something for constipation of the brain?

Do they make something for constipation of the brain?

Hopefully the next time I work one of my trademark self-depreciating comments into a blog post, I’ll really just be poking fun at myself again….


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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27 Responses to The Dog Days

  1. I really do share your pain. It’s been an awful summer. Between the fierce attack of the caterpillars and the ensuing thermal overload, we have gone outside only when absolutely necessary and sometimes, not even then. ALL my pictures have been taken inside the house or on the property. It’s too damned hot to go anywhere or do anything. And the humidity is about 350%. Whatever they are passing off as air out there, isn’t.

    And the Red Sox suck.

    The only thing I have been able to do to counteract the malaise is (1) if I get an idea, I INSTANTLY write it because I know it will be gone if I wait long enough to get a coke from the fridge, and (2) find other stuff (like yours) to post because my stuff puts ME to sleep.

    It will cool down. I’m counting on it. Because if this heat doesn’t break, I will break.

    • We’ve had hotter summers…. in 2012, the AVERAGE high temp was over 100 degrees in July AND August. But at least it was dry. In July, it was either too hot or too wet to go outside… and even though it’s been a bit more bearable in August (at least the rain’s stayed away), I can’t break out of July mode. Of course, I was still posting to myself in the summer of 2012, so I didn’t have to be brilliant or prolifically creative…

  2. Arlene says:

    Have you watched the video for that Unicorn potty photo? It is hilarious, yet disturbing!

  3. Trisha says:

    I love dogs and everything that relates to the stars…except for the fucking Dog Days, which sound fun but, to me, are the worst time of the year. They should have been named Hell Days or the Unending Days of Eternal Misery or something that describes them better than Dog Days.

    I think the guy with the hammer best represents my feelings about the blogging world this summer. I’ve found it easier to avoid it altogether than to try to wade through the posts in my reader. Posting five times a week is good. Two, three or four posts from the same person in one day becomes a bit overwhelming to me, especially when the posts are unnecessarily long.

    • I like those terms for Dog Days better… the Greeks must’ve had an aversion to cussing.

      True story, I unfollowed a blogger once who, when they really got going, would literally post 10-20 times A DAY! I couldn’t even get through my Reader to check out everyone else, so I had to pull the plug even though I liked their blog.

      • Trisha says:

        10-20 X a day? Holy cow! I’m feeling enough overwhelm over the 4-5 people in my reader who post 3-4 times a day. Photo blogs are pretty quick to get through but it still makes it hard to find people that post with less frequency.

  4. ody N biskit…thanx for de post coz we all thinked we had died N went ta hell… we noe
    itz ree al a tee….N we R just livin in hells heet ….we R seerin perch on de side walk….guess it saves on coals N grill kleenin huh !

    fall canna get heer soon enuff ~~~~~~~~

    heerz two a sand knifefish kinda week oh end !! ☺☺☺ ♥♥♥

    • I totally hear you! The boys lay around my house like they’re roasting to death, and it’s a good 25 degrees cooler in the AC than it is outside! They may be a bit overdramatic, though…

  5. Oh I beg to differ……..I find your “material” (sounds like seersucker or linen) refreshing. Au contraire on the “schedule of weekly events” formatting too – readers like looking forward to the familiar although we’re also UP for spur of the moment changes to knock our socks off. I think you’re being too hard on yourself my friend. Just keep doing what you’re doing – I for one look forward to the familiar – – – besides, your “familiar” is unlike anyone else’s that we know of. So there.


    • I actually thought of you when I considered whether my weekly features were getting stale, because you manage all seven days without getting tired. I’ve definitely been in a rut, though… it’s one of those things that readers may not notice, but its obvious to the creator. The regular features will continue to be regular, but I do hope to occasionally throw a little spice on things in the future (I need a new Friday feature for one!)

  6. It might not be entirely your fault. Courtesy of Psychologistmimi blog…

    There is apparently a whole lot of bad ju-ju this time of year. (hugs)

    • Ha! The funny thing is, August has been a robust month on my blog in past years… it just seems like I got off track this July and now it’s carrying over. Noticing I hadn’t strayed even once from my regular posting schedule kinda drove it home for me. I’m very habitual and predictable, but I like to throw in a little unexpected flair from time to time… and the posts I get the most “Thanks, I needed that laugh!” comments on are usually the ones that fall outside of the routine! It’ll work itself out… if that zombie apocalypse doesn’t strike…

  7. Quirky Girl says:

    I’ve noticed my traffic being slower the last few weeks, as well. So it’s definitely not just you… :/

    On a more positive note, I saw this funny video the other day about a squirrel who stole a gopro camera:

  8. Ah you might be needing a holiday. How about a trip down under? Imagine all the new material you would get. I will go and fire up the barby just in case! 😀

  9. Merbear74 says:

    Coming from one of your longtime regular readers, you still manage to make me laugh. This summer heat and mugginess sucks the fat one, I agree. It’s made me grumpy, unfunny, and how many times can I say “Wilson!” before you smack the shit out of me?
    Just keep on…creativity is like an Elvis turd…it floats, and sinks, then floats again.

    • It would be ungentlemanly of me to smack the shit out of you. I may talk about shit and unicorn sex, but I do have standards. I had no idea Elvis shit was so magical… can you buy any of it at the Graceland souvenir shop?

      • Merbear74 says:

        I’ll research that and let you know. I could use some magical Elvis turds myself.
        I know deep down you’re a gentleman! A preverted one.

  10. draliman says:

    Well, I hadn’t noticed anything wrong. Does that mean I haven’t been paying attention? 🙂 Maybe I get a bot to write these comments for me and I’m not actually here at all… dum dum DUM!

    And don’t you dare stop maiming Buster 🙂

  11. This line made my day: “Like a good dump, I just need to sit back, relax and let the inspiration all come out when I least expect it to…” Still loving your posts but I understand where you’re coming from. I haven’t been on a mid-life crisis adventure in a loooong time, unless you count riding the kiddie coaster and wearing an elf hat in a theme park when it’s 100 in the shade?

  12. I still owe you an email with a bunch of squirrel photos. And a photo of a rabbit called Buster.

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