Friends and Business

I’ve hired friends for jobs before.  Best example, my wedding photographer was only a few hundred dollars. Our DJ was Beth’s friend and only a few hundred dollars. (These things often run in the thousands.)  I’ve had my brother design 2 book covers for me. I’ve had a buddy help me with car stuff for a big discount.  Currently, our bathroom is being redone by Beth’s friend for what I’m told is a large discount.

However, make sure you know that friend well.  Whenever money comes up it can really taint a friendship.  It’s hard to be honest when no one wants to hurt feelings or rip the other person off (I’ve had friends rip me off too).  What I’m getting at is this: My buddy who I’m not tight with hasn’t presented anymore book cover ideas.  I checked on his Facebook and he’s been out in Vegas getting married. So tomorrow, unless he miraculously comes up with some sketches, I need to call him and say, “Look, I see you’ve got a lot of stuff going on, and congratulations by the way, but I’ve got about a month to get this book to production if I’m going to make my deadlines. What do I owe you for the time you spent?”  In which case he better not charge for the time he spent reading my book, just the first cover idea that flopped.  He said $20/hr so that thing couldn’t have been more than 2 or 3 tops, right?  Aww well, it’s all tax write-offs.

In other expenses news, I’m visiting my sister the first weekend of May.  I’ll miss May 4 with you guys, but I’m sure you’re okay with that.  I haven’t seen her and her family since 2013, and the time before that was 2009.  We’re close too. I swear!  She’s just been in Hawaii (and now Florida) because her husband is a doctor in the Navy.

Is anyone else fretting about all the crap they gotta do this spring?  I know I’ve done it to myself, and it’s either making or spending extra money, but why am I stressed about it?  We confuse busy with anxiety I think.  It’ll all get done.  It’ll all get paid for.  It’ll all work out.  By the second week of June after my shows, I’ll be relaxed and focused on resuming my writing of Somebody Else’s Sky.  Until then I need to keep writing and learning on “how” to write better scenes and better internal conflicts.  Though I love my 70’s literary fiction, it’s not helping my writing style.  It’s kind of like if I was trying to learn guitar, but instead of practicing, I just listened to Slash rip through chords every night.  There’s no osmosis in skills like these.




A good trip

We got back yesterday on a fairly painless flight.  It’s nice being through our front door less than an hour after landing, even with customs, etc.  Unfortunately, our contractor isn’t even halfway done with our bathroom. There’s crap everywhere.  So no main bathroom, no garage, and no privacy for probably another week.

I jumped off a 7 meter cliff (almost 25 feet) into a river.  It was the highest I’d ever plummeted.  I got a shot from my Gopro on my wrist though I should’ve had my wife film it from the water (but they weren’t down there yet). I jumped off a smaller waterfall as well, maybe 6 feet or so.  It was scary though because the river wasn’t as deep as I’d preferred.

It was a relaxing trip though.  I woke up the first full morning ” slightly ill” because I overdid it the first day.  The rest of the trip I felt great though.  I read a mediocre YA novel titled The Possibility of Somewhere. I feel like all the YA novels have the same voice (i.e. professional editing). Speaking of, mine got a final dose of editing and I’m still waiting on the cover artist to give me ANYTHING.  He has until Monday, then I’m calling and either firing him or hearing a really good reason why not to.

Wow, my fingers are rusty from not typing all week.  And yeah, looks like I had an idea for a YA novel late the other night.  It’s a weird one that I don’t count on following up.  Just a whim of an idea.  I hope I’m not this rusty at comedy.  Open mic is Tuesday.

I got 2 ridiculous emails from students during my trip (sophomores).  Pretty sure one was the parent yet again.

Sometimes I see past students on Facebook and think: “You learned nothing.”  Oh well, I’ll get to see them learn on their own.

I went and bough non-diet food today.  I got a few healthy things–I’ll still eat salad at lunch, but I’m very excited for cereal and chips. I guess I should clean up my messes and finish unpacking.  See you Monday!

Well, here are a few pics where I’m empty-handed and not in my swim trunks…


Well this figures

I graded over 140 things today…now after school with several hours to kill (a little over 2), I have nothing to work on.  I could build my website more (blah!), or write comedy, but that doesn’t work well on the spot.  It has to come organically.  I forgot to bring my book that I was reading.

My cold seems to be finally relenting and not bothering me as much.  I think it’ll be gone by day two of vacation.  I already printed out the documents we need to bring along.  I could go get my back adjusted at my chiropractor, but another $35 co-pay hurts too, so I’ll see how it is tomorrow instead.

Ryan offered to help me set stuff up so we’re going to meet over at 6 North around 5:00.  I’ll make a sign reserving the section for us for 6:30–that should fill some time.

I worked on a few slides for upcoming prompts.  After your round of them, I think overall they were, I’d say, a 7/10 on average?  Yeah, 7 we’ll say.  Most of them looked pretty good, but still kinda flat.  I’ll keep some for future classes on that same slideshow and build.  Oh, get this–I get two classes of freshmen again next year!  I haven’t had them since my first 2 years here. I don’t mind it.  It’ll probably be a lot more crying, but they haven’t figured out all of the tricks of the trade yet, so there’s still an innocence with them.  My bells and whistles work well.  I’ll have to remind myself that they are indeed children of 14 years old at time, but it’ll be better than having 120 sophomores.  In other words, I’ll never have to grade more than 64 of the same thing.  A lot of my stuff repeats though from freshmen to sophomores, so I feel sorry for those who get the encore, although I guess they probably don’t remember everything like I would.


OK, I’ll make those reserved signs and wonder down to the library.  See you soon.

Stupid weather

Golf practice still happened.  Remember that blizzard that came in at 4:05?  We got off the driving range at 4:03.  I could see across the field where the boundary of snow was starting.  It was pretty neat (like when you see a rain storm coming in the ocean).  It was pretty funny as the team tried to hit balls straight in a 30+ mph side-wind.

So I take my camera out to open mic hoping to get a good demo/promo tape to share for my shows this spring–and no show.  Only 8 in the crowd.  I did talk a waitress though, and she’s got some good connections and said she can get me on Fox 2.  She used to do promo stuff.  Plus she mentioned she’s good friends with DK (If I can get my book announced on his Twitter, that couldn’t hurt).

I guess the good news is that the shows will be attended well enough provided there aren’t any natural disasters, national disasters, or other weird variables (knocking on wood).  The book will get attention and if it’s worthy of it, it’ll sell some copies.  If it’s not, then back to writing which is what I planned on doing the entire summer anyway.

I would kill for a sandwich right now.  2 more days.

As far as continuing our conversation on why we’re dressing up (which is a strong term), you want the audience to feel like you didn’t just “swing by.”  Showing them that you cared enough to look nice gives it a different vibe.  It’s the same with our book release parties.  Just trust me–it’s one of those adult-ing lessons I guess.

Ahh, I just remembered that whole incident of the kid and the banana this morning.  2 more days until a much-needed break.

6 eggs

I had 6 eggs (only 3 yolks) for dinner. Also, nearly a pound of broccoli. That was 2 hours ago and I’m hungry again.  I didn’t buy many groceries because we leave Friday.  Why do this to myself?  Well, I’ve held off this long, may as well see the week through.  I took some Nyquil so I’ll feel cold-free at least until bed (and to knock myself out of course).

I found out my cover artist has been in Vegas for his wedding anniversary.  Oops.  He emailed me (FB messenger) by mistake the other night I think, so I emailed back wondering what he wanted.  Never did find out.

I’m using epigraph #3 because it fits perfectly.

Random people keep following my blog.  I don’t think they read it, I think they’re just trying to get follows.  Why would you want followers if no one is reading?  To get more followers? …who don’t read?

Speaking of, guys (males in class currently), resume blogging any time.  Should anytime be anytime or an time there?  I don’t care.

I let my sophomores “teach” each other today which went as well poorly as expected.  I’m giving 2 of the classes a quiz because they need to learn lessons bigger than what assonance is.  And that lesson is this: It’s frustrating when no one listens/learns. A few of them said, “I don’t envy your job, Mr. Durham.  This sucks when they don’t shut up.”  And it’s Monday…imagine how wound up they’ll be as the days go on this week.

We couldn’t have golf practice outside today.  So tomorrow I’ll be freezing in the 42 degree windy weather until sundown.  Good luck hitting it, fellas.

I’m assigning the poetry slam to the sophomores tomorrow too which will allow me to practice my poem for an audience 4 more times.  Keep working on those…with oomph please. …cause I may have sent an all-staff email this afternoon (don’t worry, I always do and hardly any come out).

I can’t get into my new book.  I keep falling asleep.  The Maggot by John Fowles was his last book published.  OK, I’m going to try again.


I’m putting an epigraph in the beginning of my book (Modest Mouse lyrics of course).  As much as I love the song the first two are from, I’m going with the third I think. It’s the most relate-able to the character. Also, I’m about to tell my whole “team” to eff off, I’ll everything.  Good news though, I have 800 passes to give away for my week.  You’re 18?  You’re getting some.


The nominees:

  1. The days get longer and the nights smell green.

I guess it’s not surprising but it’s spring and I should leave.


2. Walked on off to another spot.

I still haven’t gotten anywhere that I want.

Did I want love? Did I need to know?

Why does it always feel like I’m caught in an undertow?


3. Well I took off running at the greatest speed

I didn’t bother looking to either side of me

Oh, I didn’t see, I just didn’t see what was really going on

105.7 The Point

I got my haircut yesterday and my hair lady (Kelly) told me that Rizzuto of The Point lost a bet and had to try stand-up last week.  Sooooo, I’m mailing him a copy of my book, signed, etc.  I attached a note as well that said if he’s interested, I can get him a guest set when I headline the Funnybone at the end of May.  He would plug the hell out of that and definitely let me on for an interview, so that would be a tremendous help for filling seats.

I can’t get my cover artist and designed..and throw in my editor, to respond back to me about their progress (or lack of).  I can’t exactly assign academic detentions to them either.  I’m about to say eff-it and go with the original guy I considered on for only $170.  It’s very frustrating when people who you’re going to pay don’t get around to earning it.

Last night’s show was weird.  I went up 6th out of 6 comics in a full room of about 45 at the side stage of The Improv Shop.  The comics before me were so obscene that it was hard to get momentum back.  No one did all that well and they were tired by the time it was my turn.  Tired and probably a bit disgusted.  On top of that, I didn’t even get paid yet.  I have to open a Venmo account. Apparently Paypal isn’t enough.  That’ll be weird when cash goes extinct.  haha