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Entry date: 7-30-2022 - The first week - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

You’re dying to read how the first week of school went, aren’t you? I know you are. I can feel it all the way from up here in Maine. The anticipation is on par with waiting to go into Wonka’s.

I can’t believe how lucky I am. The kids have been amazing so far. I know it was the first week and I will see and hear things that aren’t awesome this year, but wow. I am so impressed with the culture that has been created at my school. It is the third year for the online school, and it is great.

I had so much fun talking to the kids this week. Because a lot of these kids are used to doing online school by now, they are used to going out and finding cool stuff on the interwebs. I don’t even know off the top of my head how many kids were interested in learning more about jazz.

Sadly, this means that for the coming year, many of you who I interact with in real life will have to listen to me going on and on about jazz. I apologize in advance for what it to come. I’m going to dig deep and find the coolest stuff to share with them. What will their parents think when they walk into their 11-year old’s room and they jamming out to Thelonious Monk?

It’s been a little weird, if I’m being candid, to be three hours ahead this week. It’s been fucking with my head. It’s closing in on 7pm here when I finish my day and it seems like I should have had dinner and, in many cases while sitting on Doug’s deck, a few beers in by the time work is done. I won’t be bummed to be getting done when it is 4pm, I can tell you that.

But I will be bummed that I’ll be getting done and my wife will be 2900 miles away.


I am not happy about our pending separation. It is what it is, and, in several ways, I think it has strengthened our bond and helped us appreciate each other more, but still. On one hand, I am a person who takes great comfort in being near the people I love.

For my friends out there, your presence gives me strength. It improves the quality of my life. There are a few of you who I really count on, either through our text messages or by just seeing your face regularly. When it comes to my wife, though, nothing compares.

I know it’s for the best and I understand why we are doing what we are doing, but it is hard. It hurts. I am lost, in a way, without her. This is why, though, for most of August, all of September, and the first twelve days of October, I will devote myself to a few things: the kids, work, writing, and the gym.

I will also be spending a lot of time with Michael, Tom (and fam), Rick, and whoever else wants to hang out. I’d like to make time to making some music, too, but Michael will be gone until the end of September, I think. Looks like something new will have to take The Father Figures place for a while.

Or maybe not. I’m at a place know where writing is fulfilling my creative urges big time. I used to really like the creative balance that making music and word sculptures allowed me, but when it comes to music right now, if I am really going to devote myself to it, it has to be something new. That could be new FF songs or a new project.

I’m babbling.


Check out the review section when you get a chance. I have added a review of Severance recently. Wow! What a show. It’s not so much of a review as an “Oh my God, that was fucking great” piece, but still. It was fucking great.


Speaking of my buddy, Rick, I am so glad he has found a niche for himself. We worked together last year, and I don’t really think he was very happy for any long stretch of time. Where we work is a hard place to find your happiness, but it is possible for certain personality types (as well as intelligence levels). Rick is too smart to not see through the bullshit and feels too much to sit back and accept what he cannot change.

I like to think I fall into the category of being very lucky to have the job I have and also being a little more inclined to roll with the punches and still make my day-to-day as much of my own thing as possible. I’ve been very lucky, professionally, to be able to make my day happen the way I want it to happen for a long time now.

It really goes back to the kids, though.

The kids at Rick’s soon to be “Former” school are going to miss him. He’s got a really great presence with them and even though he’s a sarcastic son of a bitch and fantastic about seeing the bullshit through the silver clouds, he always does what’s best for them. I admire that a lot. I also subscribe to that, too. No matter how stupid some policy is, or a new change is at a school, it is the teacher’s job and responsibility to insulate the kids from feeling the pinch of shortsighted ignorance or cost-cutting bullshit.

It's what we do.

It sucks when good people get driven away from a job because management don’t see the forest through the trees. It feels like the American way. They, being the leadership at many places, don’t seem to understand that it’s the people who make things work. Leadership, in America, rarely makes things go. It’s the people who propel us into new areas and brighter days. It’s the people on the ground, making shit happen, that deserve the kudos.

If you are one of those making shit happen kind of folks, this Bud’s for you.

See you tomorrow.

Bailey, on Thursday, looking at me like, "Why are you taking my picture?" She had maneuvered herself into being in the sun and also watching me eating my lunch on the deck.

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