Procrastination Nation

Man, I thought I’d learned everything about procrastination from college and then working at EA, but that was strictly amateur class. Now that I’m working from home, I’ve gone professional in my time-wasting.

Before, it was The Sims 2, where I’d do stupid stuff like see an interesting house in the city and then go into the game to try and build that and then put a family in it and then try to get them hooked up with one of my other Sims or have a baby and then before I knew it three or four hours had passed.

That was nothing compared to Civilization IV. That game is pure evil. I always made fun of the people who claimed they had an “internet addiction” or were addicted to games like Everquest and World of Warcraft, and I still do, because they deserve it. The idea of being addicted to a videogame is absurd. But this game is just weird. When I picked it up on Thursday, I was resigned to waste a whole day on it, and that’s exactly what happened. I got it home around 4pm, and the next thing I knew it was 2am and dark outside and I just felt gross. Really stupid, but I saw it coming so whatever.

But it’s worse than that. Yesterday I was reading a review of the game that mentioned this opening sequence (narrated by Leonard Nimoy) that I didn’t remember seeing. So I started up a game just to check that out. And the next thing I knew, it was 4 hours later. Not even my usual “I know I shouldn’t be doing this now, but I’ll make up for it later” thinking; I genuinely didn’t realize that much time had passed. So, I’ve decided to put that game aside until after I finished my work. Seeing as how I’m not a damn twelve-year-old.

So that’s left all the other stuff to creep in and take over my attention. Like how I became convinced that I wanted to add my AudioScrobbler recently-played tracks to my website like all the cool kids do. Even though I don’t listen to iTunes all that much, and nobody who reads this thing is all that interested in my music — that’s not the point. The point is that it could all track this data that nobody’s interested in, automatically. That’s Web 2.0! The future of the internets! And what’s more, I got it working perfectly, writing the code to get the data and parse it out and put it in a nice little list on the sidebar, rationalizing that I was learning about web programming as I went. But for whatever reason, it doesn’t work from my webserver, and AudioScrobbler’s service is only up intermittently. So scratch that.

But hey, check this out! Some guy made a bunch of Flickr Toys to make calendars, mosaics, Magic cards, magazine covers, and such from your Flickr photos. And what impresses me is that Flickr has complete documentation for their API, so you can write your own toys and galleries and stuff using your photo collections. That means I’ve got to write a new gallery for all my travel photos, right?

Maybe later. After I get past the outline stage and writer’s block I’ve been having with work.

For now, there’s another SFist column up. I’m only supposed to do one a week, but again: it lets me get distracted from what I’m supposed to be doing.

And finally: Happy birthday, Mac! Welcome to your 30s. It’s not as horrifying as I make it out to be.