Our family used to have a dog that did this: If she didn't want to acknowledge the presence of something she was afraid of, like a cat or something she'd chewed up and knew she'd get in trouble for, she wouldn't look directly at whatever it was but would turn away and look at it out of the corner of her eye.
I am that dog, looking slantendicular when I think about (1) the upcoming semester, which is coming up at the speed of light; (2) an upcoming research trip that I would normally look forward to but am not prepared for; (3) serious academic controversies as reported by diligent bloggers; and (4) a ton of writing that is not going well at all. You would think it impossible to avoid looking at everything on your desk directly, including the computer monitor, but you would be wrong, although I can safely report that a day spent trying and failing to write is much more exhausting than actually getting the thing written.
Fortunately, The New Yorker's article "The Rise of the Tiny House" let me escape into my writing house fantasy again for a little while. I'm pretty sure that will help. That and getting the writing done.
(I will write a real post soon.)