Dedicated readers have realized that it’s been a while since I’ve written here. Now it’s true that no one’s actually said anything about my absence—there have been no Bring Aaron Back hashtags or comparable social media drives—but on such matters I possess dog-like, extra-human senses: I can feel the disruptive concern my silence causes.

(I may also have some ego-absorption issues, but that’s not the focus of this essay.)

Largely this absence is because I’ve been working too much. Some would say that I’ve been working like a dog, but other than the odd TV show about cowboys or shepherds I’ve never actually seen a dog work. I’ve owned dogs throughout my life and am 100% certain that none of them has ever earned a paycheck, paid the rent or done the laundry, which leaves me wondering if this phrase about dogs and work isn’t a bit of a stretch.

Perhaps it’s an aspirational thing, this phrase about working like a dog. As if we’re hoping that one day our dogs will pick up their doggie-sized yokes and join us in our labors. I wouldn’t hold my breath on that—they’re not the smartest animals, dogs, but they’re also not stupid. For now, I can get behind calling dogs great animals, pets, friends, companions, etc.; but workers??—not that I’ve seen.

I can, however, relate to what I think would be the literal converse of this fictional term: “dog tired,” as that’s how I’ve been feeling lately.

Normally I’m a list guy, and each morning I jot down a bunch of To Do’s for the day: it keeps me focused and it also feels good to cross things off. I had the day off yesterday and in the morning dutifully wrote out my list: groceries, laundry, clean bathroom, write blog post, etc., etc., only to find myself, midway through the afternoon, too dog tired to do any of it.

Instead I crumpled the paper in my palm, threw it away, and took a nap. It wasn’t the most productive approach, but during these dog days of summer it seemed like the best way to pass my afternoon.

All of this to point toward the fact that more is coming down the way: this fall promises many new surprises and developments, including cars and books and reviews and travels and sundry other ephemera. In other words: patience, dear readers, more is on the way.