Brock's Journal Archive >

06.14.08 - Just because ...
It's very late tonight, but I feel compelled to write something and give a little update on music and on life. When I started this journal a few years ago, I thought I would write in it more often. I like to share what's happening with folks and give people something new to read when they stop by. I also like to read over the old entries and remember the things I was excited about or working through.

It is with that in mind that I am writing something now, as crazy tired as I am. I've been working many hours and juggling the different facets of my life. But I'm really satisfied. I am thankful for my friends and my family and my job and every chance I get to play music. And for chocolate. And for my apartment complex lifting the ban on dogs (we've wanted a pup for such a long time). And for my 27th birthday a couple of days ago. Life is good. Not because it's easy, but because it is full of wonderful people and little, great things.

I've played a couple of last-minute, poorly advertised shows in the last two months - one in Chicago, one in Ohio. For those who made it out, it was great to see you. I have another one this weekend. It was just added to my schedule, and I've been super distracted with my life facets (see paragraph two), so I apologize for the lack of communication. The show this weekend is at the Westfield Mall in Century City. I am playing in the summer concert series. One perk: the Borders book/music store will be selling my album, along with other artists from the summer series, in this one location and rotating songs from the album into the playlist at the store. Good stuff! Look for more shows in LA this summer and fall.

Keep checking back for updates. Thank you for all of your support and encouragement. I hope to see you soon. In the meantime, blessings to you and yours.
01.02.08 - Thoughts on the year past
I am very happy with my life's "state of affairs" at the start of this year. 2007 was a tough year (see Exhibit 1), but a good year, packed with many laughs, many successes, and many hard lessons.

Concerning laughter, I don't recall a day from this year where I didn't laugh at least once. I consider myself blessed with great family and friends that love me and support me and laugh at/with me, both when I'm trying to be funny and when I'm not.

Concerning success, I completed my first studio album and had my first song on televsion. I read more books this year than any other year of my life. I emptied the trash and cleaned the house without being asked at least twice. I learned how to bake like a champion. I came closer to my goal of taking life one day at a time, not living in the past and not worrying about the future.

Concerning hard lessons, I learned that life is not supposed to be easy. I learned that loving people is more important than chasing dreams. I learned that not every problem has a good solution. I learned that sleep is critical. I learned that you should not pursue happiness, you should create it.

Exhibit 1 - Brock's year in a pie chart

09.25.07 - Back on the hog

It has been a very eventful few months. Having my music on MTV was definitely a highlight (see blog entry below). We also rocked a couple solid shows in the Hollywood area – thanks to all for coming out! Apart from that, my involvement in the music scene this summer took a back seat so that I could attend to some family matters and keep first things first.

That said, things are looking up and I'm looking forward to jumping back on the hog this fall/winter. I'm putting together some shows in SoCal, as well as Ohio and West Virginia. In the spring, I'm looking to hit the Midwest like a drunken sailor. What?

 

I hope that life is treating you all fairly and that I get around to see you soon. Thanks for your continued support!

07.30.07 - Television debut !

What's up, People?!

This coming Monday night, Where I've Always Been makes its debut appearance on TV sets everywhere. MTV has chosen the title track from my debut album for the wedding scene of an episode of their reality show Engaged and Underage. Turn on the tube at 11:30pm (EST/PST) on Monday, July 30th, to catch the episode, and keep your eyes and ears peeled for my rock n' roll! 

Be sure to spread the word. Big love,

Brock

Show details: Ah, to be young and in love -- holding hands, passing notes in class, sharing a first kiss and planning a wedding. Who cares if people think it's too soon to get married! Find out what it's like to be Engaged and Underage. All across the country, tons of young adults are engaged and underage and think they're ready to take the plunge and start their life together. Their wedding day is going to be the biggest and best day of their lives, right? MTV.com

03.15.07 - like a dog

Hey, folks. Just hanging out at the crib tonight trying to relax a bit and get centered. I’ve been working like a dog lately. Not one of those lazy dogs who spends his day eating veal and sitting on pillows, but one of those really hardcore dogs with the little barrel around his neck who saves people all day out in the snow. Wikipedia says those dogs weigh between 150 and 220 lbs. Guess what? So do I. Coincidence? I think not.

Over the last several months, when not saving people, I’ve been working on my album, Where I’ve Always Been, which releases on March 27 th on BrockHillman.com, iTunes, MySpace, and CDBaby. I’m super-excited about it. Many good people have poured their hearts into this album and the result is sweet sweetness. I’m excited for you to hear it.

Over the coming months, I’ll be putting together as many shows as I can and traveling as much as possible. Keep checking back for show updates – hopefully I’ll make it to a town near you and we can high-five or go fight bad guys together. Be sure to sign up for the mailing list to stay in the know.

Alright, people – I’m going to “hit the sack”. Does anyone know the origin of that? It sounds cool, but what the H?

11.24.06 - updates on the album and life

hey, good people ... so, i just woke up from a three-hour nap, and i have nap everything - nap breath, nap hair, nap face ... anywho, i am hoping that you all had a wonderful thanksgiving surrounded by the people you love ... i was grafted into another family this year, as i was unable to make it back to ohio for the holidays ... made it feel a little more like home.

i've been in the studio sweating it out over 12 songs, trying to bring you all the happiness i can ... but my efforts leave me with more ground to cover and a deadline missed ... i'm sorry that i couldn't get it released in 2006 ... i can hear you chomping at the bit, believe me ... right now, we are looking at releasing the album in late january/early february ... we are in the final stages, but need to make sure things are done right ... why have one scoop now, when you can have two scoops tomorrow? right? right.

i'm really looking forward to getting this thing to you ... the songs are coming together and they're going to melt your face ... seriously ...

so, that's me in a nutshell ... more to come ... check out the pictures page for photos from the studio sessions ...

- b hizzle

07.23.06 - crazy busyness and crazy business

i'm hanging in my apartment today, avoiding the big brick oven that is los angeles in july ... i know that once i step foot out my door i'll be sweating like mad, then the laundry pile gets even taller ... not a good thing - trust me ... so, i'm staying in and getting some things done (wink).

crazy busyness: sorry it's been a while since i've updated you good folks ... i've been crazy busy lately ... don't feel bad about us; i'm not even sure what's going on with myself right now ... today is really the first time i've stopped to take in a deep breath and start to ask the questions i should be asking every day ... how are you feeling? how are your people? how's life going? honestly, i can't answer these questions very well right now ... but today has been a good start down that road :)

crazy business: if you're in the midwest, i'd love to see you in late august ... i'll be playing three dates - check out the shows page for more details ... also, i began work on my new studio album due out in november ... keep checking for details ... i'm excited to share it all with you ...

be well, people,

- brock

05.28.06 - big ups

it’s been a long time since i sat down to chat about life – sorry i’ve been out of touch. things have been about as crazy as a rabid donkey around here. i’ve been busy writing and playing show-and-tell with my tunes all around los angeles. it’s been a great time, though. i’ve recorded the last two live shows … i’m preparing those tunes for you on a special download page - along with all of my studio material - that will be ready within the next week or so. ‘bTunes’, if you will.

outside of music, i’ve been reading a lot and hosting a lot of visitors through this city. after all, it is a port city. as of this summer, i will have lived in los angeles for three years now … i’ve been told that after three years you can officially say that you’re from LA … i will take pride in that.

i’m getting ready to head out to a memorial day weekend bbq … i’m supposed to bring desserts.

02.19.06 - life like tetris

i'm just hanging back trying to relax and rebuild on a lazy sunday ... life has been moving at warp speed since the turn of the new year, but i guess that's to be expected ... when i was just a little nacho, my padre told me that each year of life goes faster than the last ... not unlike tetris ... he was right ... that's mi papa ...

anywho ... i've been working on some new material, and sharpening up my live show ... going to play my first gig with a full band this week ... i've been flying solo for nearly three years, and i thought it might be nice to spice things up ... if you're in the area, i hope you can make it out ... more details are on the shows page ...

well, i hope things are well in your part of the world ...

12.22.05 - use that complex brain

i suppose i consider myself to be in a state of rebuilding ... "rebuilding what?", you may ask ... well, many things, really ... i think the greatest challenge of life is, perhaps, fixing the damage we incur - reconstructing the beautiful castles we were born with ... every child starts out happy - every child begins as a dreamer ... but very few adults are either ... have you ever seen an adult look at a child and say, "i remember when i was like that" or "i remember when i used to dream" or "just wait, one day you'll see the world for how it really is" ... i've heard all those things ... and i can't blame the quoters, because i've felt them all in my adult life ... life sags and the castles crumble ... no arguments there ...

sometimes it seems wasteful to attempt to rebuild ... what's the use, right? it's just going to get knocked over again ... maybe that's the biggest challenge of life - finding value in setting ourselves straight and cleaning up the messes ...

i think we can learn a great lesson from the ant community regarding this notion ... have you ever stepped on an anthill or knocked it over on purpose (all you redheads)? what happens immediately afterwards? they start to rebuild ... they don't wait, they don't wallow, they don't walk away from it and give up ... granted, they don't have complex brains, but they find value in rebuilding the mess ... i think we can find value in doing the same with our lives, with our notions of truth and perspectives on love ... maybe it's the holiday spirit talking ... maybe it's the egg nog ... whatever the case, it seems worthwhile to me ...

happy holidays to you and yours ... i love you all ... thanks for checking in.

11.16.05 - catching waves

Maintaining a positive perspective in this life is a daily challenge. Each morning seems to start with a blank slate for me ... nothing seems to carry over to the next day - positive or negative. It's like some days I wake up and I hit the waves, and some days I wake up and the waves hit me. Could be just me ... maybe I'm more emotionally charged than the average person. Who knows?

But today I'm feeling neutral. Lately, I've been feeling neutral. I'm not sure what that means for my analogy. Maybe there are no waves today? Maybe I'm too far from the shore? Maybe there's a beached whale blocking the surf? Whatever the case, I much prefer waves over nothing - even the waves that knock me around a bit. I hate looking back on life and seeing entire days or weeks where I just decided to 'sit this one out,' you know? I really want to experience everything. The problem, though, is that it makes you vulnerable - and I don't like that - because you get hurt when you open yourself to experience, when you open yourself to life. So, there it is - the dilemma: in order to experience joy, you have to be willing to experience pain. It's the old, " ... better to have loved and lost than never loved at all" idea.

So, I guess it all starts when your head leaves the pillow. It's a choice that you get to make each day - within the first five minutes of each day. Life - will you embrace it or will you ignore it? That's the big question for me these days.

Damien Rice once said, "For me, success is ... getting up in the morning and going, 'Yes! Another day!' " I like that.

Best of all things to you, friends.

10.06.05 - open the hatch

Some days I feel overwhelmed by life. Most days, actually. The day I left the well-worn path of the American education system and ventured off on my own, my sense of 'being on the right track' stayed behind. Since then I've been wandering around, giving life my best shot, and hoping that no one thinks I'm a dufus. More recently, though, I'm starting to realize that I've been wishing for the wrong thing. See, most people are unhappy in their own lives even though they believe they are on the 'right track'. So, if these are the people that think I'm a dufus, then maybe I'm OK. It's kind of backwards logic, but I think it works.

I do find it pretty unsettling, though, that I'm so concerned with public perception, image, and persona. Back in my early high-school days, I used to consider myself a rebel of sorts, but if I sit back now and take a hard look, I think I've been forced into the mold – in more ways than I am comfortable admitting. I do desire the status symbols of our time – a sporty car, spacious house in a good neighborhood, a great dog – and I do desire the admiration of those around me. I think that I once had pure desires – you know, the kind where you just wanted to be great because you believed you could be and you couldn't even conceptualize another motivation for life. But those sweet thoughts all rusted over now, by years of wear and tear on my soul's exterior.

Anywho, I'm currently chasing my dream of creating music. I moved to California in June of 2003 to pursue a career in the industry while my lady-friend pursued acting. We were just a couple of kids with no good leads and extremely raw talent. And not a whole lot has changed since. So, recently we decided to take the dive and invest in recording a couple of full-band tracks to promote my tunes. But here I am making music, doing what I love best, the very thing that brings me pure joy, and I haven't allowed myself to fully enjoy the process. The recordings are turning out above and beyond what I had originally hoped for, but the only emotions that I have felt are fear, wariness, and self-doubt. I burn and I burn and as soon as I get the thing I think I want … I still burn.

Now, I think a simple and natural conclusion in this circumstance is to say that I was wrong about my passion for music. That seems logical, right? Here I am doing it and I don't enjoy it. Well, then, why not switch paths and see if something else lights me up. Here's the problem: I know I love music, and I can't imagine enjoying anything as much. I'm starting to believe that maybe the problem is not in the object of my desire, but in my capacity to experience joy.

Just thinking out loud here .... I don't believe I'm alone, though. I'm not experiencing all that life brings my way because I refuse to let it into my heart. I'm going to have to change those protective habits. I'm going to have to open the hatch. I hope you're living life to the full. I hope you feel each moment..

Big love, friends

BH

08.26.05 - back on the horn

hey, friends ... sorry it's been a while since i've wrapped at ya. a lot has been happening in the last couple of months .... i spent 10 days in new york city - it was my first trip ... there is a lot to see in nyc, but i think i got around to most of what i was hoping to see, at least ... while i was kicking it, i was able to secure a show at the rockwood music hall in the lower east side ... great venue - great people ... i also hung with my man, victor ... great to see him (check the pictures page to view his purdy mug) ... overall, i had a great time, as did my lady friend.

in other big news, i am heading back into the studio in the coming weeks to work on my first full-band recordings since the days of russell's burden. i'm pretty thrilled about it ... i've connected with a producer i believe in - graham ward - and have some great musician friends collaborating ... i'll keep you up to date as the details unfold.

other than that ... i've been reading a lot, and listening to a lot of new music ... i've been trying my best to keep it real ... breaking down the barricades ... well, much love you all.

brocker

07.14.05 - hit it with a skittle

i don't recall one quiet moment throughout the month of june. i knew it was coming, too. from the airplanes to the birthday to the new job to the houseguests to the new season of real world … it just wouldn't stop … so, my 4th of july resolution is to have some moments to breathe and make some sense of all the goings on that have been going on … i did have a few moments to write again, and that was really nice … to feel my heart pounding to the rhythm of the wood and the strings and the tired hands … it gets me back to why i moved to this city in the first place … to follow my heart – to make my own path through this thick forest …

i recently read a quote from will smith that summed up what i'm
learning in the pursuit of my dreams (i never thought i would quote the fresh prince of bel air): "i'm an entertainer. i make it and close my eyes," he said. "sometimes it sells 14 million, sometimes it sells 300,000. for me it's about just doing what i do and hoping that my artistry makes a difference." … that's harder to accomplish than one might believe … i don't know – maybe you have it down, but i struggle with that one … i want people to look at what i'm doing and applaud – validate my efforts and my talent and my heart on the line … but that's just going to water me down … brock mixed with the approval of others – not the best thing you'll ever taste … like trying to flavor a tall glass of water with a skittle … it's no good …

i've seen people go at life both ways, you know … some living it hard and free and some living for comfort and ease and the silent nod from onlookers …and when our paths would cross, i would always prefer the life, not to mention the company, of the one traveling the unbeaten path … that other style is just not worth it … it's predictable, unchallenging …numbing … life was meant to be lived … when i reach fifty – if i haven't done anything with all of this so-called potential – sneer at me … make that funny lip-curl and toss a bad word my way … cause i'm more than aware of these things at this point – and i know that my life can be something unusual and worthwhile … life's too short and there are far too many people to please … go big or go home …

i love you all … keep living big …

06.15.05 - another year older

so, life continues to amaze me with its pace and constant motion ... i turned 24 a few days ago and it's really blowing my mind ... i remember when i thought 24 year olds all had houses and could grow sweet beards ... i sure was wrong about that ...

i spent the last week at home with my family and closest friends in attendance for the wedding of a high school buddy and her main squeeze - her only squeeze, i suppose ... what a beauty it was to see my history of friends under one roof again, scuffing the wood paneling into the night ... man, we rocked it out with four hours of dancing and some good eats ... those folks know how to party ...

my birth-anniversary always seems like a good time to reflect on the past year and inventory the changes ... think of how much has happened, and how much hasn't happened ... how most of the songs that i'm playing didn't exist a year ago ... how i was living with a dude instead of a girl ... how my favorite pants aren't so favorite anymore ... i was so wet behind the ears. what does that mean, anyway?

this year has taught me a lot, though ... most importantly, i believe, my definition of success has shifted quite a bit ... i have decided that success has nothing to do with financial security or job performance or recognition or accolades or popularity ... if i had all those things tomorrow, i know that my head would still spin on the pillow when i lay down ... i would just want more ... what i thought would be enough just wouldn't cut it ...

"so, what does cut it?" you ask: relationships ... living, growing, loving, fighting, learning with other people ... sharing our time and our gifts and our love ... giving, giving, giving ... till it hurts and it's uncomfortable ... what better reason is there to live? what better way is there to live? go ahead with the prada and gucci bags and neiman marcus suit - and turn those heads - let 'em admire you till the sun goes down ... but "you can't take it with you," as they say ... heck, you can't even sleep in it ... but you can sleep in love ... and nobody's poor when the currency is love ... today you can just decide to give away all the love in your pockets and there will be more tomorrow ... guaranteed ... and life will continue to amaze you ...

keep living and loving ...

05.21.05 - buckle up, son

it's saturday and i'm eating breakfast in the living room ... it's 2pm. i love weekends. my friend mike sense just flew in from a year in china and he is getting reacquainted to the united states. it's been great to welcome him back to the country and watch him experience each meal and television show and nugget of pop culture … he's a funny guy anyway, but this has been grand. welcome back, friend.

things have been going pretty well in my world … of course, i am still working hard and playing hard and enjoying the journey of life. it has taken me a long time to appreciate the drive - but i am getting there … i mostly just want to get where i'm going … but i'm starting to realize that i'll be spending more time on the journey than i ever will at the destination, so i better buckle up and love the ride.

well, i'm going to go out to the beach with mike and we're going to re-enact the rocky/appollo creed beach scene ... i'll be rocky ...

every day can be a weekend if you make it one.

05.02.05 - feel the heat

not much fuel in the old tank right now ... life has been a bit on the hectic end ... but i think life can be hectic and good. it's good to feel that heat ... keep the fires burning ... i'll write more soon, friends. i'm one tired boy.

love,
b

04.10.05 - pottery barn and easter outfits

it's a sunday afternoon in beautiful southern california, and i'm hanging out in the living room with the windows open - feeling the breeze and sipping on some dixie peach juice blend ... life is good ... life has been really good for a while - outside of minor annoyances like eating too much and paying taxes ... i have so much for which to be thankful - people that love me madly, enough cash to pay the bills, and dreams warming up in the bullpen. talk about nice.

so, now i'm just waiting for something bad ... it sounds awful, i know, but it just kind of nags at me ... it taps me on the shoulder and whispers, "hey, boy... don't get comfortable" ... and i can't just shrug it off, because i've experienced it before ... we live in a broken world with some realities that can't be ignored ... people get sick, relationships end, tragedies occur ... to tell you the truth, they happen every day and yet we build our own little bubbles to keep most of it out ...

i have spent much of my energy over the past years organizing my life so that it is fun, convenient, and stress-free ... so that i'm admired by my peers ... so that i come out on top ... yet, as my life progresses, and i see more pain in the world around me - battered bodies and souls - my energies seem so wasted ... i have such advantage and position to help people - to do something meaningful with my life ... even if all i can do is sit and listen or cook a meal ... i mean, i don't know anyone who doesn't get to eat every day ... i don't really know anyone who's losing a loved one to aids or cancer ... my friends are healthy and financially secure and acne-free ...

and here i am, in my living room, waiting for something bad to come into my world ... something to disrupt my ease ... to slap me on the face and let me know that life is not all pottery barn and easter outfits ... the way i see it, we all have a choice of what to do with our lives ... each morning, the sun rises again and washes off all the dust and gives us a new start ... the question is - how will i spend my life today?

03.22.05 - nashville's life lessons

i spent the last few days in nashville, tn., catching up with friends from elementary school through college - a fantastic whirlwind of a reunion. it's unbeatable to be surrounded by people who know you so well - that have lived out your history with you. thank you good friends ...

nashville is a wise old man ... well, actually it's a city, but it showered me with wisdom over the last 4 days ... it lead me to see the value of community - to find love and friendship and encouragement and nourish it ... build towers around these friendship-geysers that spring out of the soil and gather everything you can ... this whole city seems to be built on this premise (slanted view, i understand) ... and now, as i'm returning to LA, a city with 10 million people and 36 true relationships, i come with a new-found appreciation of and commitment to relationship ... thank you, Nashville, you old fart...

love to you all ... b

03.14.05 - the dork-life

i'll be the first to admit that i'm kind of a dork ... ok, maybe not the first, but one of the first ... there's a line actually, but i'm near the front ... i gave up on trying to be cool several years ago, it just wasn't going to work out for me ... i had to try too hard ... if you have to put that much work into it, you're definitely not cool - it has to come more naturally ... so i have settled into the dork-life and i'm actually quite happy ... i mean, i have more time to think about life now that i gave up on outfoxxing brad pitt ...

my giving up on being cool actually came in stages ... first there was the "i don't even want to be cool and that makes me cool" stage - the unavoidable default for the uncool ... this stage went well for me for about 2 months, until i realized that i would never be rebel-cool ... then there was the "i decide what's cool" stage ... this lasted a noteworthy 25 seconds, as i didn't have a free thought in my body ... this was followed by the "i'm ok with being pretty cool" stage ... 2 years ... finally, i hit a wall ... i was addicted to the acceptance of my peers - a jury of sorts ... i was on trial for being a derelict, and i was guilty until proven innocent ... these people controlled my destiny ... in their hands was the power to decide who i would become, how i would spend my time, what would drive my being ... i knew i had no choice - so i plead guilty and accepted the inevitable ... life without the possibility of parole ... life without the watchful eye of those who could redeem me and give me value ...

and i began to realize that life is quite complex in this way ... that mabye i was not meant to be defined through the admiration and respect of my peers ... i was not meant to find redemptive value for my soul by the jocks or the pretty girls, or even the punk kids ... it seemed like there was something larger than this 'blink-of-an-eye' life ... an undercurrent that flowed without end from the beginning of time that we could jump into ... like a cosmic merry-go-round ... and i began to imagine the possiblity that maybe our souls demand more than the restrictions of the social ladder ... maybe our lives are meant to be bigger than pleasing and admirable and pretty and acceptable ... i haven't figured it all out yet ... but i sure don't miss trying to attain an illusion, a distraction ... trying to find a way to be cool ... i love this dork-life.

02.12.05 - just keep on burning

it's a lazy saturday morning here on the ranch ... a nice reward for a long, hard week ... i just polished off a bowl of honey bunches of oats and spent some time with my nose in a good book ... nothing better than waking up easy ... 6 days out of the week i wake to an alarm, but not saturday ... saturday, i ease right in ...

i would say that things have been going well lately - although life is not perfect ... i would hate to mislead you and make you believe that i'm on top of the world every day with all the other winners ... some days i am, some days i'm not ... it seems like the idea of image has been a theme in my life lately ... the books i read, the struggles of the friends i love ... for some crazy reason, people can't stop comparing themselves to other people ... financial status, popularity, sexiness... i do it, too: "man, that guy looks like he's doing well ... nice clothes, nice audi A4 ... wow, he's got friends packed in his car and they're all laughing at his jokes ... man! .......... well, you know i, i'm fine ... i'm more than fine - yeah! ... uhm ... yeah ...." i truly believe that if you're reading this and you feel great about who you are in the scheme of this big world, then, sadly, i think you're one of the few ... i think the rest of us are all trying to figure out why we burn inside and i think we've all walked a thousand roads to cease the fire ... and from my vantage point, i can tell you that mass-acceptance won't make a difference ... impressing people won't change a thing ... you just keep on burning ...

but i would say don't ignore the burning ... throw some logs on it and be honest about the fact that it's there ... if everyone's burning for something, then it's there for a reason and you have but one life to figure it all out ... i'm figuring it out - slowly but surely ... and it's hard ... you realize that most of the things you pursued were nothing but illusions and distractions ... but it's when you start to pursue truth and beauty that life begins to happen ... genuine living ... and love begins to happen ... don't let this world numb you ... don't become another half-life waiting for your mid-life ... live ... live ... live ...

01.29.05 - it's happening in cheyenne

i'm still pretty new to california ...i've been here for nearly 2 years - i work here, pay rent here, vote here - though, i'm still learning a lot about the place ... i know that california was first sighted by spanish navigator juan rodriguez cabrillo in 1542, it became a u.s. territory in 1847 when mexico surrendered it to john c. fremont, and a lot of people think it will fall into the ocean sometime soon ...

today, as i began contemplating life - as i often do before sitting to write - my eyes wandered northward. i noticed something that i had never seen before - cracks in the ceiling ... no doubt, the result of an earthquake - or many earthquakes. quite crazy when you think about it. this apartment was built in the mid-forties - soon after the end of world war II and a few years before the birth of my parents ... that allows for sixty some-odd years of life in this space where i sit now ... i wonder who was here for the shake that caused this painful stretchmark ...

for many years, i never thought about the history of the places i lived ... i just put my stuff in the apartment and made a life ... it's strange to think that sixty different people, or small clans, have lived in what i now call my home ... or stranger yet, maybe only one or two ... but 60 years of history, none-the-less ... sometimes, i think we only allow for life to exist in its current state - with no reflection on the past or the folks involved ...

follow me for a moment: i've never been to cheyenne, wyoming and i've never met dave freudenthal or any other folks that live in cheyenne ... nor was i previously aware that the state dinosaur is the triceratops ... ??? ... but let's say i actually reach cheyenne one day, perhaps to make a home with my family, i think it would be a positive step to learn the past and understand what has come before me - the triumphs, the pain, the guts - because that place is happening, right now - lives are happening ... maybe that's what we're supposed to do with life - find a way to understand & appreciate the things - and the people - that have come before us and do our best to keep moving things forward with that light on our path ... and maybe we should all move to cheyenne - that place is happening.

but for now, i'll be living it up in california, learning my history, and keeping my eye on that ceiling ... all my love to you ...

01.16.05 - beauty in bulk

it's a calm sunday morning here in the miracle mile district of los angeles … i woke up with no alarm - one of my favorite things … outside of raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, of course … of course … lately i have discovered that one of my favorite things is to have a back up when you run out of something … example: the other day, we ran out of body soap for the shower … i said to myself, "dang" - knowing that a trip to the grocery was in order (one of my least favorite things) … but, upon further investigation, i found 3 bottles of soap hanging out in the hallway closet - like soldiers at attention … i felt so safe and warm inside - so protected …i felt like royalty and beamed for hours after … please don't laugh at me, i'm pretty vulnerable right now …

so, with this new discovery, i prefer buying in bulk … like last night, we ordered take-out from the Wok Master … not only have they mastered the wok, they have cornered the market on the big and hungry … buy one meal today - eat for weeks … i must now declare January "orange chicken month" … and that's just what i'm talking about … if any of you pirates understand the beauty of bulk, please send me your suggestions … goodness …

thank you for all of your support with the site and cd launch … ya'll keep me going … i'm going to go live up my Sunday … have a great day … out: b-rocker

01.09.05 - ringing it in

well, ladies and gentlemen, 2004 has slipped out the back door quietly and 2005 has p-diddied into the front with all of its glamour and hype - entourage in tow … some are awestruck in its presence, some are cynical of its claims … some just keep on clubbin' and don't even glance its way … i'm that guy … trying my best to see each new day as an opportunity for change - to guide my life into something bigger and better … looking at a whole year is too intimidating, too out of grasp … day by day is good for me ... so, mr. DJ, put a record on, I wanna dance with my baby …

I hope you all have a great new year … outtie,
hillman

12.17.04 - a black belt in keeping it real

life seems to fade in and out of grasp for me - sometimes true and real, sometimes distant ... i feel like i'm twenty-three one moment and fourteen the next ... constantly shifting from living out my world to wondering why i'm standing in this space at this time and how i got here ... but tonight was real ... tonight became real ... i spent the evening with a friend strolling the outdoor mall accross the street from my apartment complex ... it was buzzing with smiles and strollers, mochas and visas ... hopeful faces with gifting on the mind ... what a great time of year - time to think of others and to focus on giving rather than receiving ... beautiful ...

the reality of it all snuck up on me and gave me the old karate chop ... shifting me from the toils of my head to the lives of those i love ... it brought me back to the things that matter ... not the senseless stuff that clogs the pipes, the real stuff that fuels the soul ... the love, the relationship ... the mess of past and present that forms the beauty that exists all around me ... oh, to live a life full of moments like tonight ... it's a nice break to stop worrying and scurrying about - to give the Selfs a break - self-indulgence, self-service, self-gratification, self-sufficiency ... those mothers wear me out ...

i guess it gave a fresh new meaning to "keepin' it real"...

11.07.04 - mountain weekend

hello, friends ... well, i hope things are going well in your neck of the woods ... i hope that you have a little neck of the woods where you live ... i just spent the weekend at a cabin in lake arrowhead, california ... who knew that something like this existed just 2 hours from LA? ok, well apparently a lot of people did ... but why didn't you tell me? it was pretty amazing ... it 'took me home' with its pines and birds and crisp, chilly air, and its rustic scent ... it was great to spend time with friends as well ... people who know my heart - fellow buskers who move to the similar rhythms and harmonies ... thanks, ya'll for giving me your love ...

it's great to spend a weekend away from your home every now and then ... it's like cold water in the morning ... it gets you going ... it wakes up senses dulled by routine ... it also helps you to be grateful for what you have when you come back to it ... i am learning that if you can keep your mind on what you have - your family, your friends, your passions - rather than what you do not have, you're moving in the right direction ... you won't have to fake a smile or try hard to think of someone else ... it will just start to happen ... it's kind of crazy that the less you worry about yourself, the better you start to feel - but i think it's true ...in the wise words of 'frou frou' - "there's beauty in the breakdown" ...

all my love to you ... keep dreaming, dreamers ...

brock

10.21.04 - sho'nough

ah, time on my hands could be time spent with you ... laughing like children, living like lovers, rolling like thunder under the covers ... nice ...

i hope that things are going well for you and yours ... me and mine are more than fine ... doing our darndest to live the life we imagine ... spending our love like pesos to the dollar ...

the recording is going well ... we actually made some forward progress last week and will be making more in the upcoming week ... soon this bad boy will boy on it's way to the printers ... sho' nough ... i look forward to sharing it with you and filling your ears and your little hearts ...

keep living it right ... do right by your parents, stay away from the rumor pool, and keep choosing 'the purple stuff' ...

all my love - b

09.24.04 - life is goooood ...

things are kicking ... i am back in la-la land and back at 'the grind' ... i had a beautiful month of September - relaxing and living like royalty, with friends and family ... as the sun sets on this fabulous month, i find myself living with a beautiful woman, whom i call my wife ... wow ...

starting today, i am putting the pedal to the medal and making it my life's goal to finish my demo by the end of october ... keep hanging on ... don't give up on me now, San Francisco ... what?  but seriously, things are rolling ... this giant conglomerate of rhythm, melody, and love will soon be available to rock in your cars, in your rooms, or in your high school cafeterias ...

keep living it up ... and remember this:  life really begins to find purpose when you jump into something bigger than yourself...

09.06.04 - bringing down the bull

howdy, friends ... i apologize for leaving you out in the cold for so long, though i hope that i am not your only source of warmth ... i really do care for ya'll and it's been great to see that people are visiting the site ... i hope things are smoking for you in life and love and all those goodies ...

things are going well for team B ... i have been learning a ton about life and relationship lately ... normally this would lead to great songwriting material, but i feel like i can't put anything down ... i think i'm exhausted ... i've been working hard lately - "bringing down the bull" - as it were ... what? ... but the light draws near ... i am getting married in two weeks!  i know - it's nuts ... even as i type this, my stomach is having it's very own fourth of July celebration ... i've never been this excited, nor experienced this much emotion ... think of us on September 18, wherever you may be ...

we will be taking some time after to visit some beautiful sites and rest ourselves ... we are both in need of some time to replenish ... upon return, i'm turning up the knob on the music oven ... so, if you can't stand the heat ...

i hope to see you all real soon and have a demo disc in your hand before you can say, "man, it seems like that Brock guy was supposed to have a disc out about 6 months ago" ... i love you all ... hillman:  out.

08.02.04 - familiarity

tonight i took a walk in my neighborhood ... i ventured accross the street to a nearby park with my fiancee, brandelyn ... i have been living here for over a year and have never set shoe upon the grassy knolls of these few acres ... it was a serene experience of escape from the zip of the city - with the exception of the 'boot camp l.a." group (a journal entry in itself) ... it's crazy how such intense beauty can exist just around the corner from our familiarity and we can dodge it for years ...

it is late here ... way past bedtime ... i know that i will pay for this as i struggle to concentrate on my work tomorrow, but i am restless ... i want so badly for dreams to take shape, for the future to unravel ... it makes me anxious - and my mind races like lance armstrong ... but i know that the pace of this process has purpose ... i am learning to enjoy the journey of life ... to live in the moment and seize the joy in each day ... i hope you dream and find the purpose of today ...

07.19.04 - leader of the pack

i have noticed a recent trend in rock - young bands finding huge success by slowly working their way backwards through the eras of music to repopularize old styles with new twists and turns ... 'the sounds' and 'velvet revolver' bringing back the blissful vibrations of the 80s and 90s ... 'the white stripes' and a myriad of others that start their name with the word "the" bringing back the unchained rip-fest of the 70s ... trust me, i ain't no fool - i know when the boat leaves the station ... so, with this incredible wisdom and insight, i will take it to the next level ... i will be the first to slick my hair, roll my jeans, and break out the varsity sweater ... that's right baby, buddy holly ain't got nothing on me ... elvis (... pause to shake head back and forth ...) amateur ... i'm on the cutting edge of this one ... the trend-setter ... all the kids'll say, "golly mister, you sure do rock my face off" ... all i need is 3 chords, a microphone, and a grease-helmet ...

07.17.04 - choose your angle

the california sky is growing dark this evening, and the air is still and smooth – like an undisturbed cup of yogurt … it’s the perfect evening to let the grasshoppers entertain … to sit in the quiet of your neighborhood and purposely shift your focus to the things in your life that are beautiful and fresh and real … to flip through some pictures and laugh … to stop the chirring and buzzing of your mind for just a few moments of your life and breathe the world into your lungs …

it’s a beautiful place if you can settle into the right angle … but you have to fight for it and you must stop and think on it … otherwise you’ll only see the hard things – the confusing and frustrating things in this life … one man wakes to find the world covered in a dreary downpour and another dances naked in the storm … it’s all about angle … the world will be to you what you expect to find … keep dream

06.30.04 - puppy love

it is amazing to me that time used to seem so sluggish ... i remember wishing my early teen life away, begging for the next stage - like a child in want of a puppy to accompany his days without the capacity to understand the responsibility involved ... there are days now that make me wish i hadn't asked for the puppy in the first place ...

but, like the boy, i am thankful for the dog - the life - the gift of love and beauty and freedom, despite the challenge and effort that it involves ... loving and giving with the foreknowledge of the messes that will need my attention and the stains that will imbed the carpet.  though the promise of love brings the promise of hurt, i consider it worth the trade ...

06.21.04 - three cheers for the men in black

it's not every day that one is blessed enough to witness a full mariachi band wiggle out of a weathered honda accord and gear up for a show ... not just gear up, but rock that house ... it was beautiful, it was real ... it was almost sensual ... almost ... sitting in the comfort and slight distance of my car, waiting for a friend at the appointed rend-e-viz, i witnessed it all ... i watched as they ascended the grassy knoll toward their engagement, and i thought, " ... well ... this is different." but then they began to strum and trumpet and satisfy my rhythm-jones ... i was spellbound ... i watched the first of their set - phenomenal ... inspiration hit - "i must incorporate mariachi into my live show." oh, and how about those charros!? if i had pants like that, there's no telling what walls i would climb and what adventures would ensue ... yet, i really don't think i could pull it off ... i don't have the confidence ... the machismo, if you will ... anyway, it was awesome ...

after, i went for some burritos in westwood with my amigo .. we ate strong and lifted cup for the men in black ...

concerning the rest of my life: things are well ... i am mostly adjusted to life in california and am being grafted into some great friendships. i recently saw patty griffin perform live ... it was honestly the most profound experience i have had in a long time ... she was unbelievable ... if you can see her - do it ... other than that, i've been looking forward to rocking some live shows soon, and seeing some of my peoples ... until then, keep fighting for the life you dream possible ... it is.

06.13.04 - learning the ropes

i've been learning the ropes my whole life - mostly through falling and getting back up ... but recently, it's been taken to a whole new level ... oh, the struggles of the past seem like kiddie-stuff ... but life is a beautiful thing - regardless ... not 'ir-regardless', because that doesn't make sense ... savvy? i recently turned 23 years old ... 'twas a good year - i always become very introspective in the week surrounding my birthday - maybe a little too introspective ... but i like to look back upon the past year and think about the victories and the flops and everything in between ... it's a good time to check yourself ... see if you're really living the way you want to be living, rather than just moving through life wrecklessly ... it's all part of the process - you know what i'm saying ... anyways, that's all i've got for now ... i hope that you are all doing well in your neck o' the woods ...

06.01.04 - life is a firecracker

oh, man ... life is a firecracker sometimes, eh? ... it comes at you in waves, like a good day at the beach ... one moment you're just hanging out, eating cheetos and relaxing - all cool - and the next, you're struggling to see to the end of it all ... today was one of the latter days ... i felt like i had spent the whole day on a mechanical bull ... it's a beautiful mess, though ... after work, i had the chance to take a casual stroll around my neighborhood and relax for a minute ... after just a few ticks of taking in the air and feeling the soft summer breeze rock my face, things began to calm back down ...

i think life can take you up or down based entirely on the level of appreciation in your heart - your thankfulness for your life and the people in it ... that is the most difficult lesson i have been learning over the last year ... i was always trying to discover that thing that would make me happy and keep me there ... in the meantime, i was focusing entirely on things that i did not have, and that - right there - was a selfish waste of life ...

i heard it best from erwin r. mcmanus: "it is when we are grateful that we are most fully alive. gratitude allows us to absorb every possible pleasure from a moment. it is the grateful who suck the marrow out of life."

give someone a big-rig hug today - really get in there, under the ribs ... or a high-five, if you have a manhood to protect ... call your mom and let her know you love her ... i hope you all are doing well and that the summer breeze is blowing in your town tonight ...

05.15.04 - california morning

i've never been much of a morning person. but sitting here in my car on Angelina Avenue at 7:45am on a quiet saturday morning, i'm beginning to wonder why. there's so much peace in the morning, so much freshness. a new day has begun, the earth has slept off the night before - all the mess that was created on its surface, all the noise, now quiet. it's the perfect time to think - to let peace sweep over your restless heart, refreshing the soul, before the carnival opens, and the hooligans hit the streets again.

it's amazing how much time can pass without ever knowing how you're feeling and what's really going on in your heart. for the last hour i've been trying to figure out all the new feelings that i've been experiencing, but nothing is clear. if G.I. Joe was right, and knowing is half the battle, then i'm not doing so well in the battle for my heart. yet, i do feel a unique peace this morning - a promising air of freedom and love that i don't quite comprehend. i find strength this morning, here in the quiet, on Angelina Avenue.

05.02.04 - back at chuck's bakery

it’s one of those days where you sweat sitting … needless to say, i’m trying not to move much … just thinking about life … i’ve been a little restless lately - like a 15 year-old waiting for his driver’s license. but I couldn’t say why, for sure … i see beauty every day – in where I am and what I am doing, the people around me … but there’s something deep inside that’s scratching around under the surface … i want so badly to live a big life, with purpose … to love beyond my own walls …

anyway … it’s a difficult emotion to express … but i know i’m not alone … i asked my friend nic if he ever felt that way before i put it up here for ya’ll to read … i ain’t no fool

04.09.04 - sitting in the airport

i’m sitting in the airport, my first time setting foot in kansas city. to be honest, i’m not sure whether i am on the kansas side or the missouri side – but i guess it’s all the same to me. if you ever find yourself in the k.c. airport, stop and look up for a while … you will begin to feel like you’re trapped in a giant egg crate. the sky here is a mixture of subtle grays, strangely missed after nearly a year in so-cal. i love the green here in kansas … just open fields and swarms of trees.

well, time and miles have passed … our new plane just lifted from the ground in chicago – the city that opened a world of adventure for me … the host to a gauntlet of love and faith … a launching pad for truth and experience and beauty … an indescribable nostalgia has overwhelmed my little heart … seeing the skyscrapers, the navy pier, soldier field … the lights of that old, windy, wagon-trail lakeshore drive … the road that taught me to conquer challenge and stand firm, with a tender heart to the world, against the denial of love … and to begin to live the life that, in my heart, i truly believe possible