Monthly Archives: February 2010

Recording Journal, Vol. 32: “Signing Off”

Interesting times continue. I’m very glad I’ve kept up this journal. Without it, I’d never have been able to recall what had happened and when it took place. And I suspect that this will be one of those times I look back on and remember as a time of challenge and transition.

I’ve decided to hang up my radio microphone again, at least for now. My final weeknight show on BX 93 will be this Friday, February 23rd.

I’ve been a part of BX 93 (92.7 FM in London, ON) for over three years now. It’s funny that I’ve not ever stopped to consider that fact, as I would have died for the chance to work for BX 93 back when I was a young radio hopeful, full of fire and ready to make a name for myself. As it is, I fell into this most recent gig quite by accident and have stuck around all this time only because I so respect the people I’ve worked with and, for some strange reason, they haven’t seen fit to kick me out.

Departing BX 93 is bittersweet. It is sweet because I know it is time for me to move on to other pursuits closer to my heart, with my musical projects and ever-increasing responsibility as owner of a growing company (CPT Entertainment) near top of the list. The only things that come ahead of those pursuits are my health and my family, and I am committed to feeling better so that I may be a better husband, a better dad and a better person. Continuing with the radio work has required me to make each day longer, get into a different headspace and sound cheery at the end of every day regardless of how I really feel. It’s become too much, and so I will enjoy having some energy to apply to other things like, say, taking more than 15 minutes to cook dinner (which is mostly my responsibility in our house).

The bitter part of it is that I genuinely love and respect the people I’ve been working with at BX 93, most particularly Barry Smith (Operations Manager) and Chris Harding (afternoon host and Music Director). I will miss seeing them each weekday. The last year or so, I’ve made a point to stop and enjoy a chat with Chris. I have learned a great deal from him; some things about radio, and many more things about life, being a dad, husband and friend.

Barry is a man I’ve revered for years. To work with him has been a blessing and a wonderful learning experience. If there were more people like Barry Smith in the world, we’d be much more productive, we’d be kinder to each other while being more honest at the same time, we’d feel validated and we would smile. A lot.

It’s unfair of me to only mention Chris and Barry here, as everyone I’ve encountered in that building has been wonderful to work with. I can’t mention them all. But I hope they all know how much I love them. It’s just time for me to move on, that’s all.

Case in point: I spent this past weekend back at the Agriplex in London, working as the Custom (display) Bike manager. All that meant was 14 hours of work on Friday, 12 hours on Saturday and 8 hours on Sunday, along with the hours of thought and work prior to the event in getting everything set up. Come Monday, I did not feel much like putting on my smiley face and cheerily announcing over the air as if I’d not a care in the world, but I did.

As hard as weekends like the Motorcycle Expo are, they’re rewarding. And as difficult as it is to believe, this was my fourth year in helping with that event! On top of all that, I admit that I’m beginning to get the bug; I’m thinking about joining the motorcycle brethren for real and learning how to ride and, just maybe, getting a bike in the next year or two. I bought my first pair of Harley Davidson riding boots (gotta support the team!) and I drooled over a blacked-out Sportster in the Rocky’s Harley Davidson display. We’ll see what happens.

One of the best parts about the this past weekend was a text I received from my musical cohort, Kevin  Gorman. It said: “I am listening to ‘South Carolina’ in the new control room. I’m gonna’ cry, Kev!”

That’s great news, as you will know if you have been following this journal.  And it means we’re about set to finish off the “No Schedule Man” CD. My next blog will get into that.

Meantime, know that my “I Remember” CD is now available for digital download on CD Baby. Please go get it.

Tomorrow morning, the Kevin Bulmer Enterprises and CPT Entertainment logos go on my car. It’s all about that from here on out.

Good luck to my extended family at BX 93. I love you guys.

– Kevin

 

Recording Journal Vol. 31: “Of Mouse and Man”

This afternoon, I sang at another funeral. I later visited KG (Kevin Gorman) and we made a plan to resume and finish our music project. But I’ll get to that. First, some back story:

I returned to the welcome comforts of home just last night. Having been with my family at Disney World the last week, I was most pleased to find myself back on my own turf. One can only take so much “Disney Magic” when you know that while Mickey shakes with one hand, he pilfers your wallet with the other.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

I went away to Disney with two objectives: focus on my family and get my mind away from my work. The trip was a terrific success on both counts. The rides and the characters and all the other dressing were just a setting for me to marvel in how much I truly love being with my wife Tracey and two boys, Eddie and Jaden. I am embarrassingly fortunate.

My parents have often chuckled at telling the story of how I, as a young boy, exited an airplane in Orlando and was distraught not to find Mickey Mouse waiting for me. So I could only laugh when my three-year-old disembarked our aircraft only to enter the airport to ask, “Where is Disney World?” The next day, as we left the hotel room, he rubbed his hands together and said, “Okay – now where is that mouse?!”

Every morning of the stay, Jaden (the three-year-old) would take the long walk with me to the food court area so I could have company while I gathered coffee for Tracey and me. It meant the world to me. My other son, Eddie (now seven years old) did the same thing at the same place with me over three years ago. Now, he’s not interested. But at least I remember him trudging along with me in the morning mist, just wanting to see what his dad was up to. I didn’t want to miss my chance to make the same memories with Jaden. And now I have them.

It wasn’t all idyllic of course. Eddie arrived in Florida feeling sick, and Jaden picked up the bug about halfway through our time there. My back tightened up to the point where I could hardly move by the Monday night. None of that mattered. That’s just life. It could have happened at home. In fact, it has happened at home and will again. But when you’re away, there are (ironically) fewer natural distractions. When you’re all crammed into a small hotel room, there is no privacy, no escape and no reprieve from the minor irritations we run from when we’re at home. I call it “Guerrilla Parenting” because it sharpens your awareness of your own shortcomings. I had no work to hide behind. It was just us. And it was great.

Oh, there were times when my patience was stretched. Tracey’s too. But I went to bed each night feeling extraordinarily fortunate and awoke each morning feeling the same way. And as for Disney World? Well, I’m a great admirer of the life and spirit of Walt Disney and will continue to be, but I’ve little desire to return to the parks any time soon. After all, I took the best attractions home with me. Ultimately, you find that places like Disney World – while creative and fun – are just synthetic. They cannot create lasting happiness if you have not set that foundation for yourself already. In other words, if you’re a miserable family at home, you’re going to be a miserable family at Disney World, and after you get home.

I have a happy family. But that is because we work hard at it. We all have shortcomings. We all work on them. We have our moments like everyone else. But we love each other. Happy.

While I was away, I was again reminded how fleeting life can be, as a good friend of mine emailed to let me know his wife was not well. This friend is the same good man who lost his father last summer and his son last fall. As it turned out, he lost his wife a couple of days after notifying me it might happen. We were still down south. So when Jaden cried and cried on our way back (because he wasn’t feeling well), I didn’t complain. In fact, the last night we were away, I didn’t even get to sleep in the same bed as my wife. My two sick little boys decided they wanted to be with their mom, so I slept on a pull-out couch. I didn’t complain. I knew I was just lucky to have them.

I am lucky to have my friends too. And my buddy who lost his wife asked me if I’d sing at her funeral, as I’d done for his son last November. My first concern was getting home in time, as weather wreaked havoc with much of the United States around that time. But that proved not to be an issue. My next concern was what to sing. But I soon thought of that too. And so, after arriving home last night, I spent the middle part of the day today at another funeral and sang as best I could, out of love and respect for a great friend and a wonderful family.

From there, I went to see KG at his studio. He and I had not seen each other in quite some time. After some chit-chat, we opened up the calendar to decide upon a time to get going again with our recording of the “No Schedule Man” recording project. As we were doing that, I told Kev that, “I want to be clear: once we get started again, I want this thing done. It’s time to finish it.” He understood. Time for another big push.

I don’t know why, but I feel a sense of purpose with this project. And as I sat in on the funeral service today, I thought of some of the words to one of the songs, “Hope over hurt” and thought to myself, ‘I’ve got to get this done.’

I will get it done.

February 22nd, the red light goes on again: Recording.

Until then, KG is working on the finishing touches of his studio, and I will be rehearsing. And when the time arrives, I will sing and play with all the hope, hurt, love and passion I’ve written about for weeks. I’ll sing for my family. I will sing for your family. I will sing for my friends. I will sing for anyone who cares to listen, and I will invite you to sing along.

If you don’t want to listen, don’t. No hard feelings. But I believe the world needs love now more than ever.

I’ve got a lot of that to sing about.

– Kevin

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