|06.14.08 - Just because ...
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
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
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
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,
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,
|03.15.07 - like a dog
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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,
|05.28.06 - big ups
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.
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
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 ...
... 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
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 ...
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 ...
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
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?
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
08.26.05 - back on the horn
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
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.
07.14.05 - hit it with a skittle
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
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 …
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
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 ...
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?
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
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.
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.
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
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.
|04.10.05 - pottery barn and easter outfits
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.
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 ...
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 ...
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
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
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
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 ...
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 ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
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
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 ...
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
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
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.
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
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
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 …
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:
|01.09.05 - ringing it in
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,
|12.17.04 - a black belt in keeping it real
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 ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
|10.21.04 - sho'nough
time on my hands could be time spent with you ... laughing like
children, living like lovers, rolling like thunder under the covers ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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
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 ...
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
|07.19.04 - leader of the pack
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
|07.17.04 - choose your angle
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 …
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
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
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 ...
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
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
|06.01.04 - life is a firecracker
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 ...
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
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
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.
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
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 …
… 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
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
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