No one ever promised life would be easy, but a recent online survey by Mayfield Village insurance giant Progressive Corp. aimed at identifying what's a breeze and what's a bother in our modern world turned up some interesting responses. Fifty-eight percent of people replied that understanding the rules of Texas Hold 'Em is easier than deciphering a car insurance policy, while 65 percent say shopping for a new car is less stressful than finding insurance coverage for it. Other finds of the survey: Men are more likely than women to think life is getting easier (34 percent vs. 22 percent); more people say it's gotten easier to file taxes than to buy a new car insurance policy (68 percent vs. 51 percent); and men are two times more likely than women to say electronic organizers make life easier (24 percent vs. 12 percent).
Stop us if you've heard this one ... a guy walks into a bar and assumes his ability to make his family roll with laughter means he's a stand-up comedy natural. Cleveland's Dave Schwensen, who served as a talent coordinator for Improv clubs in New York and Los Angeles, knows better. His previous book, "How to Be a Working Comic," introduced would-be funny men and women to the trade. His newest book, "Comedy FAQs and Answers: How the Stand-up Biz Really Works" (Allworth Press, $19.95), goes beyond the laughs with real-world advice on how to turn funny into money. Schwensen, known around the city for his local comedy workshops, mines his industry connections — sprinkling advice from Ray Romano, George Carlin and many other successful comics throughout the book — and covers everything from doing your own publicity to getting on television to writing for other comics. For more information, visit www.davelaughs.com.