fullsizeoutput_643eIt’s time to discuss bucket list item number 78: Record an Album. The reason for this is because plans are already underway to accomplish this. Just know that I have no idea what I’m doing. I have been chatting with John Carter of Thirth/Eight Productions, up in Logan, Utah. He and his wife Karen are musical geniuses- I was blessed to record with them a few times while I was attending Utah State University, years ago. I love them and miss them!

So here’s my plan of action (if you’re musical and have spent time in a recording studio, I could use your advice):

  1. Find a studio- √ Done! See the first paragraph of this entry.
  2. Find an accompaniest- √ Done! My awesome buddy Robert Stephenson has agreed to ‘tickle the ivory’ for me. He has accompanied me a few times, years ago. He is amazingly talented! Bonus: He already lives in the same zip code as John’s studio, so I don’t feel quite as horrible for disrupting his family life.
  3. Pick out some songs- I’d like there to be about 10 songs on the finished product. I have about 12 song ideas at the moment, but we’ll have to see what vibe this project takes on. I’m sure some songs will be eliminated and other songs will be added throughout the whole process. I wish I had more original songs. Sadly, I may have only one original on there. I’m just not that talented.
  4. Find a board of directors- This will be a group of people who know my voice and I know will tell me honestly what songs belong or don’t belong on the album. Also, I’ll have them listen to the tracks and ask for feedback.
  5. Organize and prepare songs. I’ve found much of the sheet music already, but there are a couple songs I need to have lifted since the sheet music for those songs doesn’t exist or was never published.
  6. Practice time with Robert.
  7. Studio time with John and Robert.
  8. Ask John to produce the crap out of recorded tracks to make me sound better. 😀
  9. If recordings are good enough for an album, then figure out distribution method. Should we do a physical CD? Should we just do digital? Should we do both? If we do a CD, figure out the artwork and all that… I have a guy in mind but don’t want to ask him until we decide what we want to do.

I’m not really sure how long this will take, but I look forward to learning more about the process and seeing what happens.

Ireland 2: Day 22

05.01.18 | Belfast, Ireland | 09:48

I woke up at 06:00 and went downstairs and ate an overpriced breakfast buffet. Can I tell you- the absolute worst part of a breakfast buffet is the scrambled eggs. They always add milk to the eggs so they can stretch them further. Now the eggs don’t even taste like eggs. It’s more of a rubbery-textured egg-ish dish. Not good. Nothing against the hotel in particular, as the cooks do it all over the world.

So- I wasn’t sure I would tell this part of the story because I guess what happens in Belfast stays in Belfast, right? Last night, before I went to bed, I was scouring the internet to find a massage for this morning. I wanted to get something in the early morning because I would have time to get back to the hotel to get my things ready before leaving for the airport. I couldn’t find any massage businesses that were open that early. The one I did find was all booked up for the entire day. I decided to check Craigslist (what could possibly go wrong?).

Not to sound sexist, but when I look for a massage, I try to find a male therapist. This is because I really like deep pressure. Most of the massages I’ve gotten from female therapists felt good but were not as deep as I prefer. The ad I found on Craigslist was for a Doctor named David [I don’t recall his last name]. The ad said he was certified in Swedish, Thai… blah blah blah…. years of experience… great client reviews… blah blah blah. So it seemed legit to me.

I respond to the ad, asked him where he’s located, and ask about his availability. He said he was, quoted a price, and gave me the coordinates of his “office” and his cell phone number to text him when I got there… this seemed odd to me. I left the hotel to find his office at just after 08:30. Google maps told me that it was about a twenty-minute walk to arrive just a few minutes early.

I get to the coordinates, and there are no offices, just a bunch of houses. So I automatically think that the guy operates his business out of his home. No big deal. I text him, and he sends me the actual address of the house, which is just down the street from where I stood. I find the place, and as I approach, the front door is open. I ring the doorbell. He texts me saying he’ll be right there, I can just come inside.

By this point- I have all these red flags going off in my head- everything from I’m-going-to-robbed to I’m-going-to-be-raped-and-robbed to I’m-going-to-end-up-in-a-bathtub-full-of-ice-after-this-guy-harvests-my-liver. So I ignored the red flags and just figured that I’d keep the front door open until I can get a look at the place and see if this is all legit. The door opens into a hallway, and I’m standing there… it’s wide open. Then an entry into a room on my left opens up, and this middle-aged woman steps into the hall, wearing the black leather boots that lace up to her knees.

I look at her and say, “Oh, HELL NO!” and turned around and leave the house. So the moral of this story is this: Please be careful! I lucked out because I could have easily knocked her out if I’d have needed to. It was a smart move to leave that front door wide open. The other moral of this story: If you’re ever in Belfast, Ireland, and find yourself looking for a massage… I don’t know where you can find one, but a slightly plump African/Irish middle-aged S&M-looking prostitute is open for business at 35 Tates Avenue BT9 7BY Belfast.. bitch’s cell phone number is available upon request. You’re welcome.

18:27 | Warwick Hotel | 18:27

I am now back on American soil! Thank goodness I had the perfect flight from BFS to PVD. However, the best news is that my old crashpad roommate, Kyle, happened to be one of the flight attendants working it! To be honest, I didn’t know if I would ever see him again. Thank goodness that it’s a small world, after all.

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Once, Kyle was a flight attendant for Republic. After with them for a time, he decided it was time to find work with another airline. He was hired for the reincarnation of Eastern Airlines and based in Ft. Lauderdale (or maybe Miami) for a while. He didn’t like that experience and later got hired by Norwegian and is based somewhere in New York.

Tonight I booked a cheap hotel near the airport here in Warwick, Rhode Island. My flight from Belfast got in late enough that there wasn’t really an option of getting all the way to Salt Lake City. I could have either made it to Baltimore or Chicago, but hotels are cheaper in Rhode Island. It’s so good to be back, but I confess that I already miss Scotland. I obviously have a problem.

05.02.18 | Home | 14:41

It’s good to be sitting in my own home. I’m catching up on some stuff for work, replying to emails that I’ve been ignoring, and getting ready to unpack my bags.

I had a little bit of stupid drama when the Lyft driver dropped me off at my house. You see, I knew I didn’t bring my keys with me to Scotland. I remember explicitly telling myself to leave them hidden in my truck, under the floor mat. So, when I went to open my truck’s door, I realized that I had accidentally locked my truck doors. These keys are the only way I have of getting into my house.

After a few phone calls, I found one of my neighbors who owns a slim jim. He was able to come over, and after about 15 minutes of failed attempts, he could unlock my door. The first thing I did was check under the floor mat. No keys. I then check the center console and the glove box. Nope!

I was upset because I really don’t want to pay for someone to come out and get me into my house. Plus, I live out of town a bit, so I’m sure the guy would charge me extra for the drive. I wasn’t looking forward to that.

I used my garage door opener to get into my garage, and thank goodness I hadn’t locked the door from the garage to the laundry room. I was able to get into my house! There, sitting on my kitchen table, was my keys. I guess I was so excited to leave that I just didn’t bother grabbing them.

I look forward to the day when I start to remember things and possibly act like an adult. That day is probably way off.

For those who have followed this adventure, I hope you enjoyed it. I look forward to Scotland 7 (plans and preparation have already begun). I’m not sure when I’ll be back for Ireland 3, but perhaps that will happen on the same trip? We shall see!

The End

Ireland 2: Day 21

04.30.18 | Belfast Hotel | 19:36

When my train arrived in Belfast, the only thing I wanted to do was take a nap. I was exhausted from the club last night (I do not recommend clubbing on a Sunday). It’s not that I party hard or anything like that- I don’t even drink alcohol. I almost fell asleep on the train, but not really, because of all the people around me. Probably the same reason I’ve never been able to sleep on a plane.

So when I check in, I ask the desk clerk what I should do, if I had less than 24 hours. He gave me some good suggestions including a taxi-cab tour. The cab picks you up and drives you around for an hour or so, this way you get your own personal tour of Belfast. It wasn’t too expensive, so this sounded like a great idea. He also suggested that I go to some old prison- way back in “the day”, it was a law that if someone in the prison dies, you can’t bury them in the cemetery because that was holy ground. So, they would bury the prisoners right in the prison grounds. Years later, they have found many of the bodies, but there are still many that are unaccounted for. Plus people say the place is haunted.

I also wanted to go to the Titanic museum that they have here. The clerk suggested I don’t do that, unless I plan on spending at least three hours because they have so much to see there. Since I wanted to fit in other thing, Titanic will have to wait for a future visit, unfortunately.

First things first- I needed a nap. Three hours later, I pull myself out of bed. My sleep was so deep that when I woke up it was time to eat an early dinner. The food was really good here at the hotel, and I have decided that I’m just going to stay in tonight. Let’s make this, my last night in Ireland, a relaxing one. I just soaked in a hot bath for over an hour (a luxury after staying in so many hostels that only have showers).

Ireland 2: Day 20

04.29.18 | Dublin, Ireland | 21:56

Laundry day: When I got to the laundry room, there was a line of people waiting to use laundry facilities. It’s funny that this huge hostel that easily houses 150+ people only has two washers and two driers. I learned that these two washer and two driers were for hostel use as well. This meant that the line was going to last awhile.

Instead of washing clothes, I ran upstairs, got my iPad, and sat in the laundry line all morning. The WiFi was decent today, so I could stream some uplifting talks from the internet.

I found an Italian restaurant for dinner, then I found myself at a dance club playing bingo and dancing. Quit judging me- this was, after all, my very last day in Dublin. I wanted to have this experience while I was here. It was a fun evening, for sure. One dude actually won €1400 from bingo. I wish that had been me. Today rocks!