Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Rather than post a Facebook link with all my useless tagged pictures hosting the tagline, “Thanks for all of the memories” or something else cheesy like that, I’ll go classy on this year to remember business and bombard you with a sarcastic/sentimental recounting of the last year of my life. Go ahead and close this browser now if you don’t want to laugh and cry in a matter of four minutes.  

For full effect, download “Butcher’s Tale” by The Zombies, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

I’m actually kind of excited that 2015 is only a few hours away. Mainly because according to Robert Zemeckis and Michael J. Fox, this is the year we all get hoverboards. I’m sure every other kid born in the 80’s has been counting down the years until those glorious contraptions are invented. I know we all can’t wait to have self-drying clothes like the ones Marty Mcfly wears, but before we jump to what the world is going to look like through Back to the Future glasses, lets just take a second to soak in the last 525,600 minutes of my life.

2014 was…well, it was a year I couldn’t have planned any better. At times it almost felt like I was on repeat, cycling through the motions of calendars past, but there were other moments where I encountered paths I have never walked down before, and traveled to places that only existed in my dreams. 2014 had without question some of the best moments I have ever experienced in my 29-year, 9-month history. Moments that intoxicate people like dandelion wine on a hot summer afternoon. It was golden I tell you. Absolutely golden.

In 2014 I was a nomad. On the road and in the sky. On busses, jets, golf carts, L-trains, subways, 15-passenger vans, ski lifts, rental cars, taxis, and on foot. I racked up more miles than a Visa frequent flyer card can keep track of. Journeying to exotic lands such as Cabo San Lucas, Seattle, Chicago, and Duchesne. I traveled more this year than I have ever done before, surrounded by friends, family, audiobooks, and empty bottles of Mt. Dew to keep me company.  

We talk about the defining moments of our lives all the time. And there may have been a few dotting my pages in 2014. Saw my first professional baseball game, four of them for that matter. Took a three-day road trip with a pair of twins born three decades later than they should have been who in turn got me two speeding tickets in under 90 minutes. Slept next to a drug addict on a Greyhound overnight while holding $21,000 in a dufflebag. Ate Mexican tacos at 2 am from a street vendor who used her dog as the waitress. Said goodbye to the greatest sitcom that I’ve been subconsciously modeling my life after. Saw the Grand Canyon for the first time in my life. Yes, it was from the window of a 747, but either way that crevasse Paul Bunyan’s axe dug up sure is spectacular. 

2014 was, well it was incredible. That’s all I can say. Watched my little sister exchange vows on the beaches of Mexico. Went on a Brocation with some fellers and toured the Pacific Northwest, Brooksby’s bowels and all. Ran, swam, and biked like a half-iron lunatic for the second year in a row. Became unintentionally intoxicated and performed the best version of Bohemian Rhapsody a karaoke party has ever witnessed. And I sang “Carmen Ohio” with 108,000 other screaming nutcases in the most decorated football arena I have ever had the privilege of visiting.

Who knows, maybe next year when I’m writing my annual year of remembrance blogpost, I’ll be back there again. Surrounded by a bunch of nuts.

2014 has been the best year of my life. There’s no question about that. Dined like a millionaire, ran like a Kenyan, laughed like a drunk, and cried like a stay at home Mother of four. 2014 was simply, beautiful. That’s the best way to put it.

And I can’t wait to see what happens next… 

Monday, December 29, 2014


You'll have to forgive me for my absence on this blog. Go ahead and blame the egg nog, frosting-smeared sugar cookies, and packages of socks for that. 

Christmas season sure does have its effect on all of us. In fact, that's what I'll write about this afternoon. I...wait....something's off here...I uh...oh yeah...For full effect download "Tradition" from the soundtrack to Fiddler On The Roof and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. There we go, that feels better. 

We all have traditions this time of year, that is a certainty. Some people give out pajamas on Christmas Eve and take pictures in order of their birthing. Others have extravagant parties in trailers involving alcohol and the game Twister. Krystle Bailey's Father once told me he takes their family out for cheap Mexican food and goes out to a movie every year, which honestly I find to be a quirky yet honorable holiday tradition itself. Whatever it is, we've got them. Annual things we do on cue that trigger moments of reminiscing the years past of all the good times we shared with each other. Weird Jell-o recipes, ugly sweater contests, diverse members of your family standing up and singing a horrendous yet beautiful rendition of Feliz Navidad. Traditions are what keep us alive these holidays.They are the moments we look forward to with a cringing eye. They are memories that we shudder over, yet appreciate all in the same sentence. 

My family sure has traditions I'll tell you. Every year we go up to my Uncle's house in Logan, gorge ourselves on some of the finest dining my family can concoct, sit in a giant circle and exchange a bunch of random white elephant gifts to one another, and at the end of the night we all hand over a set of pajamas to the same old fart pretending to be Santa Claus. For the record, don't you dare comment on this blog with the sarcastic question, "There's no such thing as Santa?!" If you do, I will hunt you down and punch you right in the coccyx. That joke stopped being funny back in 1991. At this point we all look around the room and have what most people would misconstrue as a half-empty version of AA, confessing our sins and revelations to each other while the MC of the party makes us feel rather uncomfortable with his chopped up rendition of "The Giving Tree."

Swamp Thing: "Hi, my name is Brock, and I have a problem."

My family: "Merry Christmas Brock! Show us your pajamas!"

From here the night concludes with a Grandmother and her girls singing "The Aaaah Song", my sisters, my mother and yours truly doing our own Partridge Family impersonation, and a random Asian person that no one has ever met before bearing witness to us that Communism is the true light of Christmas. At least that's what I interpret his gibberish to mean every year. After that there are awkward gift exchanges and side hugs aplenty as we all share our love for one another with monetary objects. This year I got a blanket that feels like sex. Sure beats the broken nosehair trimmer from a few years back. 

These are my traditions. Every. Single. Year. And yes, I did just use the formerly popular sequence of periods in between individual words to drive the point home. Don't tell my cousin Alicia about this, she still thinks that punctuation is trending. This is my Christmas festivity on cue the last week of every December of my life thus far. A living room full of bold personalities taking pictures, forgetting names, shedding tears, all while a group of lovely ladies sing their song about vowels, creepy couples dressed in snow suits ask little kids in a semi-pedophiliac tone to come sit on their laps, and random Chinese people bump their faces on barstools. These are my traditions, and this is my family. 

And as odd as they all sound. I sure love 'em.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What Happens In Vegas

Kids, some of the best moments of my life have happened in Vegas.

For full effect, download “Tribute” by Tenacious D, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

Please don’t misinterpret my hook line, because I’m not trying to impose in your minds any type of sexual or alcoholic innuendo whatsoever. All I’m saying is that I have been to Sin City many a time in my 10-plus year history in the small town 110 miles north, and some of the best stories I can tell open with the line, “So we all jump in my car and head down to Vegas...”

For the record, I’m not here to tell you that the modern day Sodom has some kind of special place in my heart. Because it doesn’t. I don’t get a warm, fuzzy feeling in my soul when I think about the disgusting amount of life savings that are littered into slot machines and craps tables. That butterfly effect in my stomach doesn’t show up when a taxi drives by broadcasting a topless woman. Seriously, this is a filthy place where good things go away to die, where STD’s are handed out like watermelon Jolly Ranchers. When your motto is don’t tell people what we do here, there has to be something wrong.

With that being said, I have truly had some glorious moments in this city of smut, glorious moments I tell you. I’ve been attacked by a drunk Russian Ambassador, watched the best athletes on the Earth duke it out at the Thomas & Mack, wandered the drunk-laden streets as a sober 21-year old on New Years Eve, sold worthless software in an economy soaked with a depression, and soaked myself in world-class saunas. None of these moments mean anything to you, because none of you were with me, therefore they’re not really part of your stories. But that’s okay. Vegas is a cornucopia of sin and stability. A place where choices are made that instantaneously trigger regret. A place the devil hangs his hat. 

And so here I sit. In a white suburban with five of the finest people in the world, somewhere in the middle of the Nevada desert listening to the most confusing Spotify playlist ranging from “Bone Thugs” to “The Proclaimers”, all of us getting ready to cheer our faces off and convert a room full of people to the gospel of Dixie State University. Seriously kids, some of the best stories of my life have happened in this metropolis of muck, and the reality is that what ever does happen in Vegas doesn’t really stay in Vegas.

And it shouldn’t.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Give Me...

“A broken nose hair trimmer? Uh…thank you Grandma, I think? That sure is the nicest thing you’ve ever given me.”

A broken nose hair trimmer kids. Yes, I legitimately got that for Christmas. And you wonder why I think she’s an escaped convict from a mental institution.

For full effect, download “Presents” by Randy Newman, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

I’ve told you that story before, I know I have. The one year my Grandma thought it would be funny to compare me to an incompetent 93-year old man with braids coming out of his nostrils. The year before that I was an ornithological guru who loved to have cardinals chime every hour on the hour. Before that I was a seven-year old dyslexic child who needed the comfort of a coloring book and a nine-foot puppy. I’ll just say it, my Grandma sucks at giving gifts.

“What do you want for Christmas this year Brock?”

“Nothing. Give me nothing lady, and I’ll be happy.”

Gift giving is a tough art to master, I will admit. You want to give something that shows your true feelings for someone and has somewhat of an emotional impact on them, but at the same time not come off as a weirdo who took a quirk to a whole new level with your infatuation for an inside joke. You want to show that your relationships means more to them than just a $15 gift certificate to Chilis, that the two of you have a bond that can be exemplified through a pretty package with a bow on it. The funny part is that those connections over material things, are rarely made. 

My family doesn’t really do a good job of giving gifts. In fact they’re more than awful. Take last year for instance as I sat in a hotel room with my extended family and was handed an XXXL Charlie Brown T-shirt by an Uncle who is almost literally two of me. Wait, did you just re-gift your own pajamas to me for the sake of just being able to give out a gift to someone? I appreciate the gesture good man, but we both know you L-word cartoon character T-shirts a heck of a lot more than I do. Out of the five love languages, gifts just aren’t our thing.

Heck, I myself am lousy at giving gifts. Go ahead and jump back two Christmases when I decided to show my fellow co-workers how much I appreciated their companionship by giving them tokens of my L-word. I scoured the ends of the earth and delivered some of the most memorable gifts I could imagine: BYU-shaded hoodies from Costco, Nike Shorts for Crossfit workouts, boxes of cereal and silk ties, things that I thought connected us and would fortify the bond that we had. Now these tokens mean nothing to you, because you don’t get all of the inside jokes that we shared. But the pathetic thing is that these tokens also meant nothing to them as I worked my way through a cycle of uncomfortable plastic faces wondering what in the name of Neptune was wrong inside my head.

It’s a tough art, that’s for sure. And here I sit two weeks before the most praised holidays in the history of gift-giving and I have no stinking clue what to give to the people I care about. I could overdo it with a case of 20 half-gallon Blue Bell ice cream tubs (yes, there’s a story behind that), or I could come off as a shallow rip-off and hand out a homemade coupon book good for free back massages instead. I’m dumbfounded kids, absolutely dumbfounded.

At the rate I’m going, maybe a bird clock and a broken nosehair trimmer is the route I’m going to take.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Those Weren't My Plans!

When I was 17 years old I stood in the doorway of a girl’s apartment at Dixie State College and pulled the best chick-getting move I knew at that point in my life.

17-year old Swamp Thing in gym shorts and a dirty Ohio State shirt: "You doing anything later?"

Bold, yet subtle at the same time. Brilliant, I know.

Petite girl with curls named Fiona: “Umm...let me check my planner."

Sorry, let me go ahead and interrupt this story to tell you that for full effect, download “Wires” by The Neighborhood, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

Back to the doorway of Raintree apartments where a befuddled 17-year old punk was trying to understand the concept of a day planner.

Petite girl with curls named Fiona: “Well let's see, tomorrow I have dance practice, and then Thursday I have class. Friday I'm going to dinner with my roommates. Saturday I'll be in Mesquite. Sunday is, well you know...Umm...I am jam packed all next week and into the beginning of the week after. How about Thursday the 17th. Does that work? I can go...let's say...7:30?"

Cut back to me nodding my head in a glazed stupor responding to one of the most organized rejections I had received in my young dating career at this point.

Flash forward to 7:51 on Thursday, the 17th, where that same bum in the same gym shorts was sitting on his couch engulfing a mixing bowl of Cap'n Crunch and watching Jeopardy reruns, when out of nowhere a knock banged upon my door, and standing there with a detested look on her face stood the very organized Princess Fiona. Curls all decked out like they should be.

Princess Fiona: "So...are we going to dinner or what?"

Swamp Thing with a mixing bowl: "Umm...who are you again?"

Princess Fiona: "It's me! Remember two weeks ago when we stood in the doorway of my apartment and made plans to go to dinner tonight? You were there, I was there, we wrote it down together. What? Don't you remember any of this? You're joking right?"

Swamp Thing: "Oh...Umm...yeah...I didn't really put that on my schedule. Sorry."

And with that, Princess Fiona twirled her cape behind her in a fit of disgust and stormed off into the Thursday night darkness, thus beginning one of the most hilarious, on-again/off-again/what-the-curse-word-are-we-doing relationships I would ever have over the course of nearly seven years. And it all started the night when my plans and this cute girl with curls plans didn't align.

You see that's the thing kids, one of the reasons that Princess Fiona and I had one of the most rocky starts imaginable is that she had to have everything in order. All her dates, all her times, all her lunch appointments, her study sessions in the library, her recreational activities, her naps, her self-beautification, her meals, her classes, her everything was all jot and tittled down to the last second she could find. And it drove her to madness when the plans she made with some punk 17-year old kid did not follow through like she had envisioned. But that’s the funny thing/life lesson embedded in this opening story kids, things never go according to plan. No matter how badly we want them to.

Now lets jump ahead almost ten years from this point to see that same punk kid in gym shorts now standing at the pulpit in the church of his childhood, toasting a life lesson to a crowd dressed in black, all holding back bulges of tears over the lost friend they were grieving over. Different scenario, same words of wisdom. Words that had now finally come full circle and had sunk into his thick, semi-cracked skull.

“Things change. They always do. The things we count as constants in our lives, never remain. The paths we think will unfold, never do. The one certainty in our lives seems to be uncertainty. For example, three months ago I thought I had met the girl of my dreams, was going to be given the job of a lifetime, and that my Grandpa was going to pull through his latest battle with heart surgery. The expectations in my mind and the reality that came to pass, ironically did not coincide at all. I never got the girl. They picked another guy for the job. And well, last time I checked, this old man didn’t do so well after his surgery. That is the blunt truth of life. Our expectations almost never coincide with reality.”

The crowd laughed, the crowd cried, and the truth hit both them and myself that this point of Brocktrine was correct. What we think will happen, and what actually does happen, almost never seem to line up.  

But you know what, that’s okay.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Best Gift

I think I found the lamest, most shallow, most pointless present available for splurging sessions this holiday season.

And I'm going to get one for every single member of my family younger than 14, because they will devour this like Candy Crush.