Where there's a will, there's a blog.
Another Year, Another One Of These.

So much like I do every year around this time, I think, and I write.

As I grow a year older once more, I sit here and reflect on all of the things that make me whole. 

Every year brings its ups and downs, but none bigger than this year. 

This year truly brought me my greatest tests yet, and I could not be happier. 

The battles fought were anywhere from the bubbly green evilness of a Scantron, to the dim lights, sweat, and dirt of a basketball court, to that fist-like organ in the middle of our chest that dictates most major moves within our lifetime.

I have been lucky to have experienced each and every one of these events even though they did not always go as I originally planned. Because in the end they, oddly, somehow went my way. 

Experience is the greatest teacher for the fact that you cannot plan, study, or prepare for these events. One must read and react, and in doing so, you are in your most real form. You are raw. You are pure. You are you.

You have no choice but to allow the pain of defeat and the pleasure of victory to consume you. And though you have experienced both more than your fair share, it never gets old, and it never should. 

That’s life, Baby.

This year I have experienced some of my highest highs, and my lowest lows, and I would not trade that for the world.

Cliche? Maybe. True? Absolutely.

Here is to many more. 

I want to thank everyone who has affected in my life in any way. Yes, I mean it, in any way. 

Whether you have been a sweetheart, or the opposite, you have affected me in a positive manner. The former, a bundle of joy that showed me what to strive to be, the latter, a ball of ruckus that warned me of what I could become if I do not use life lessons accordingly.

The love and the hate, welcome it and make it your foundation

In the end, I could not have made it here without both of you. 

I thank you and am forever grateful to have run into all of you

I repeat, all of you.

You shall be in my memories, from here until eternity.

As the clock ticks away to my next birthday, I come before you a humble man.

I know what I have been through, and I look forward to the new pains and pleasures that await me

I know that I am not perfect, and while experience continues to keep me grounded, I continue to strive for perfection and convince myself that it is possible.

At times I believe that I just need to work harder to achieve perfection and to become the best man this world has ever seen. 

But experience teaches me to simply be better than I was yesterday.

And I am. 

And I am happy

Without all of you, experience is nonexistent.

Without experience, I am empty.

Without all of you, there is no me. 

According to DVDA:

"What makes a man, is it the power in his hands? Is it his quest for glory? Give it all you’ve got, to fight to the top. So we can know your story."

Well, if I never make it, than you have this blog. 

And then you will know, that you were my story. 

Happy birthday to me.

Sincerely,

Eric Duardo

Halloween In September

Facebook has tons of chain letters and games that are passed around on a daily basis. Most of them I browse, and in doing so I might have a chuckle or two. However, this particular chain letter-game-status thing caught my attention. It just really called out to my soul, and my soul really felt the need to share it with all of my Facebook friends. Whether you are constantly pleasing yourself with posting endless amounts of chain letter-game-status things and embarrassing your friends, or maybe you’ve just been an innocent victim of far too many of these, I really feel that there is something for everyone with the newest status game. Take a look and see. Feel free to use it as you please and remember, there are very dangerous Star Wars fans out there so please choose wisely.

I completed mine below for your viewing pleasure/displeasure.

It’s Halloween and everyone is dressing up! Look at your friends on the left side of your profile and match them with their costume for this Halloween season. You can add them in any order, but that probably won’t help. Enjoy!

1) A car - Chris Cabrera. Chris chooses not to obey the laws of the road when I am with him, so maybe now that the shoe is on the other foot he will learn some compassion for the four-wheelers. I recommend a Honda Fit to save on gas.

2) The opposite sex - Sol Olmos. A tough mother of three that would look even tougher in a “wife beater”, Nike Cortez’, high socks, and khaki shorts. Note: Knife sold separately.

3) Tom Green - Jeredd Ortiz. Not sure if Tom Green is still alive, but this should be safe. If he isn’t, this could also be replaced with Owen Wilson or Andy Dick. Note: As a precaution, check availability on the later two as well.

4) “Scream” mask and jeans - Paulina Chavez Botello. Only the coolest cool guys wear this. Paulina is too busy living in a newly rented mansion with the love of her life to plan out a Halloween costume. Enter: the old “Scream” mask from ‘04, ‘05, and ‘06 to the rescue. 

5) Snake charmer with fake (or real) snake sticking out of groin region - Daisy Dukes Gamboa. While she presumably does not have her own snake (fake or real), Daisy is a fan of pranks and biting. She once bit a snake as a prank. Which makes her snake dangerous, and possibly fake.

6) Chewbacca and/or Yoda - Karen Uribe. She’s the biggest Harry Potter fan there is, which made this pick easy for me.

7) Ghost (7 years and running…) - Hamlet Khachaturyan.Tall and light-skinned. Exactly the way the media portrays our ghastly friends. If this is stereotyping, then I think it’s time I get myself involved in the underground ghost scene.

8) Lil’ Hitler (kids, preferably) - Zenaida Lara. Since this costume works best with children, and I don’t KNOWINGLY have any child Facebook friends, I went with the shortest (coolest) friend on my friends list. That doesn’t mean she can’t give one hell of a speech though. And most likely one hell of a beat-down once she reads this. P.S. Zenaida, I have a collection of short mustaches if you need a loan. So, are we cool?  

9) Any costume that could lead to poor voice impressions - Estefania Llamas. Constantly uses her voice to impersonate herself, I think it’s time she mixed it up for a change. 

10) Heath Ledger (too soon) - Richard Cruz. Sometimes known as Chief, other times known as the Joker for his ability to look dashing in purple and green clothes. Other likes of Richard’s include tacos and explosions. I’m pretty sure the Joker liked explosions. I’m certain he liked tacos.

I Wanna Know (Kinda)

So, Girl, I heard that you’re sick.

But, Baby, I’m the kind of man who shows concern.

Yes I do.

Oh.

Any cough drops that can please you, let me learn.

Cause I only wanna make you healthy, from the bottom of my heart, it’s true.

I wish that I could take a journey back in time.

Alright.

And fight bacteria that made your health un-sublime.

Oh!

I do believe that there’s a germ that makes you tear.

Oh. Oh. Oh.

But I’ve got Theraflu, Lady, have no fear.

I wanna know, what soup your heart yearns.

So I can buy all that, and more.

I’d like to know, what makes your nose dry.

So I can be the one to tell your virus “goodbye”.

Sincerely,

Eric “Joe” Duardo

25 Useless Facts About Eric The Rojo

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you. (To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I play the alto saxophone.

2. I look 14, but I’m actually 22.

3. I attend the University of East Los Angeles, AKA ELAC.

4. Orange soda is my favorite soda, but I rarely drink soda anymore.

5. I have not eaten chicken since I was 13. Going on 10 years strong this October 20. This is due to a nasty food poisoning I received 3 times in a row from chicken. I suppose my chicken gland doesn’t exist.

6. I am left-handed.

7. My favorite colors are red, gray, and brown. White is cool too.

8. I have 3 brothers, 0 sisters.

9. I love sports and my favorite sport is basketball.

10. I love fantasy sports as well. Addicted. I know, I know. Say what you will.

11. My favorite teams are the Dodgers, Lakers, and RAIDERS. Raider Nation baby!

12. I love skateboarding. I used to skate all the time but gave it up for many years. I plan to make a return. Hopefully very soon.

13. I have been in 2 bands, “Jimothy’s Cover-Up” and “Rooster Cruiser.” Currently, a 3rd project is in the works…stay tuned!

14. I was in the Montebello High School Mighty Oiler Band for 4 years and capped it off by being awarded the coveted “John Philip Sousa Award”. Amazing.

15. I own 1 cat named “Abbey” and 1 kitty named “Sandy”.

16. I used to work for S.O.B. AKA Surfin’ On The Banks in Montebello.

17. I also used to work for DHL. (It’s a company like UPS and Fed-Ex for those who don’t know of the legend.)

18. I love all types of music, but I have a special interest in oldies.

19. I love seafood. I really love sushi.

20. I love to write. I hope to become a writer for a living and use all of my life experiences to fuel me, whether that’s good, bad, happy, or sad. I love to share ideas, opinions, thoughts, and emotions with people, and through the “right” words I believe we can all relate to one thing or another. I hope I will touch as many people as possible one day, and not literally. You perverts.   

21. I used to be in Karate. I should have never gave it up, I’d  be making some cash in the UFC right now.

22. I used to be a swimmer. I should have never gave it up, I might have had some Olympic gold medals right now.

23. I busted my eye open in an accident when I was a little kid. My eye was glued together because stitches weren’t the answer. The culprit? A Nintendo.

24. I almost died on a hiking trip when I slipped off the side of a hill and started rolling down before I was able to grab onto a branch.

25. My heart stopped beating when I was born. What a way to finish, eh?

Since that was kind of a grim way to end things, here’s a super bonus fact.

*SUPER BONUS FACT - I am often kindly offered weed, and booze, but I don’t smoke or drink. It’s just not my cup of tea.

That’s better. Your turn, friends.

Eye on the Prize

There are a few moments in life that will happen to all of us that stand out far and above the rest. While it is true that hundreds and thousands of incidents will occur throughout the entirety of our lifetime, these “key moments” are the ones that define who we are, were, or will be. I see these moments in life as tests. Just like a school semester that has many days and hours, there are only a handful of tests. And just like those key moments in life, only those handful of tests really matter in the end.

I failed.

I come here before you all today a humbled person.

As much as I’d like to think that I’m better, smarter, tougher, more honorable, different, etc. etc., than those that have also failed life’s toughest tests, I am not. I dropped the ball in the worst kind of way. And in doing so, I might have destroyed the greatest thing I’ve ever had. I don’t throw “ever” around often, but in this case, it’s very necessary. All because of my selfishness. Because I once again felt that I was something that I am not. I continued to live in a delusion, until I became one. A walking, talking, breathing delusion. Running wild with reckless abandon in search for all the things I didn’t have, and overlooking all the things I did have.

Why do we always believe that the grass is greener on the other side? We fail to realize that we could have the greenest grass on the block, if we would just water it.

I let my grass wither and now I stare at the debacle that I created with a surprising feeling of hope.

Why?

Because although I sabotaged everything I had, a special person showed me a lot more than failure that night.

This special person never stopped believing in me. This person was loyal to me beyond words, which is why I will stop here and not even attempt to explain her loyalty.  

This person is brave and courageous and hit me where nobody else ever has.

Because she cared enough to do so.

This person was not afraid to “go there”. And taught me what I needed to see about myself, although it was very painful and scary.

Because she cared enough to do so.

And this person, in the end, proved herself to be the best friend I’ve ever known.

Because she is more than enough.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have many many lovely, amazing, great, honest people in my life. And if you’re reading this, you’re probably one of them. I look up to and learn many things from all of you, whether you know it or not. You might never know it, but you all influence me and affect the person that I am today and I am truly blessed to have all of you in my life. But this special person just does it a little more.

This person has a heart bigger than mine and a drive more intense than mine. This person is a dreamer like me, but she dreams bigger. She is sweet. She is tough. She is funny. She is smart. She is beautiful. She wears her heart on her sleeve, just like I used to.

I let her down and I couldn’t be sorrier.

But even through all of that pain, she still somehow managed to show me that I could be so much more, and do so much more if I just find it and grab it and use it.

Because she truly believes I have it.

And now, so do I.

This is a turning point in my life, and I will become the best me I can be. I have had my guard up. I have got away from myself. I have been fearful for a long time. I have not broke down the walls in years since the “Great Invasion”, and my true feelings have been hiding away for too long. I’ve missed out on too much and haven’t “left it all out there” like I do in other aspects of my life.

As much as I wanted to believe that these things couldn’t be me, they are. Correction, they were.

I’m sorry to everyone I have ever hurt that has believed in me. I’m sorry to everyone that I have hurt that has trusted me. I’m sorry to those that I have hurt that have had faith in me.

I’m not perfect.

I’ve been a hypocrite. I’ve been a liar. I’ve been an underachiever.

I’m sorry to those that I have proved wrong when they said all of the above was not true about me.

I never meant to hurt you all. I never wanted to hurt you all.

I’m sorry.

And while it is true that I cannot go in the past and change anything, I can be the best Eric Duardo that I can from here till the future, and change everything.

I’ve made the wrong decision more than once.

Now thanks to her, I can admit defeat.

Now thanks to her, I can accept that I am not invincible.

Now thanks to her, I realize that I’ve got to let go.

Thanks to her, I can finally see the me I was meant to be.

Sometimes the best thing to do, is the hardest thing to do. And I truly believe this path will be a very painful one, but I couldn’t be any more excited to travel down its familiar pavement.

I’ve made mistakes. But none bigger than this one.

She forgives my mistakes every single time, because she knows there is more to me than that.

This person showed me that it is never too late. There is such a thing as second chances. And third chances. And fourth chances…  

This person of mine is more than just “lip service”. She is real. She is genuine. She is not a liar, or a cheat, or a hypocrite. She is all those beautiful things that I used to be.

But in her true fashion, she has faith in me when no one else has, and I can never thank her enough.

And I have faith in her. I believe in her. She could have the world if she wanted to.

And she will.

She is amazing and I’m so so happy to have met her by chance (fate) on that random spring day May 12, 2009. I walked in being upset about schoolwork and some other useless nonsense and walked out meeting one of the best people I have ever been lucky enough to have in my life.

I am so grateful for her.

She is not perfect. But she never claims to be. That makes her perfect for me. And she is.

I will be back.

I will be better.

I have grown up a lot this past year or so, and that is no accident. Again, this wonderful person had a ton to do with it. She never stops giving.

Thanks to her selflessness, this epiphany in my life will become a reality.

Hopefully she never gets too far, because as long as I could see her, I’ve got my eye on the prize. 

Thank you Angela Gomez.

-Eric Duardo

Happy Birthday to Me.

I sit here, eight days after my twenty third birthday, and I do not feel any older. I have to tell you all, twenty three isn’t what they make it out to be in television and in movies, it is actually pretty cool. So far, so good. Anyway, that is neither here, nor there. The point of this blog is actually to thank all of you that went out of your way to wish me a “happy birthday” on October 20, 2010. Last Wednesday was a very good day. Everyone showed me lots of love, and I couldn’t be more thankful for all of the beautiful people in my life! Which means, YOU. And you, and you. Thank you all. You made my special day, that much more special-er. You’re all sweethearts and your positive vibes go a long way, I can assure you of this. If I could have shared my birthday cake with all of you, I would have. But since some people don’t like chocolate, I had no other choice then to eat it all myself. It was delicious. And yes, it went straight to my hips. I am truly humbled and honored for all the things I have, and especially for those things I do not have. They have made me who I am today, and I hope twenty three brings me that much more growth. I consider myself lucky in many regards, and I’m happy that you are all involved in my life in some way, it simply means that you have affected my growth. Whether it’s for better or for worse, I thank you. I couldn’t have got here without you. :)

-Eric Duardo

Peace.

Fight, fight.

When you feel fright…

Fight, fight.

Don’t bark. Bite.

Fight, fight.

Out of spite?

Fight, fight.

Wait.

This ain’t right.

What happens in August, stays on Tumblr.

"On this last day of August, I shall write you a little somethin’.

Do you think acting is for me?

Is it really meant to be?

Or should I write happily?

Maybe start a family?

Have a daughter? Or 2? Or 3?

I’m not sure what this has to do with anything.

I’m not sure why I’m going into writing.

None of this even means a damn thing.

The words, I mean.

Not the emotions, you see?

I need to stop rambling on and on.

I need to stop rambling before you’re gone.

So, I guess I’ll start wrapping this up.

Buh-bye, Tea-cup.”

-Eric The Rojo

He and Her

Her: You’ve been disappearing on me lately.

He: I’m slowly disappearing, period.

Her: What’s wrong?

He: …

Her: Don’t play games with me. If you really wanna disappear please just tell me. Talk to me about it…about something.

He: I’m not playing games with you. I’m just disappearing slowly. Just a lot of work. Focusing. Writing. Thinking. Ideas. Reminiscing. Questioning. Curiosity. Experience. Pain. Hurt. Doubt. Confusion. Disappointment. Purpose. Reason. Affect. Meaning. Karma. Time. Intent. Goals. Love. Hate. Lust. Regret. Hope. Promise. Life.

Her: That’s a lot for any man to handle alone…I wish I could help. But I can only do as much as you allow me to. You’ve always been a great friend to me, my best friend actually. I’m here for you.

He: Money. Desire. Loyalty. Dedication. Heart. Fear. Nerves. Anxiety. Excitement. Failure. Lose. Injury. Leadership. Tragedy. Triumph. Victory. Lost. Empty. Solo. Alone. Distant. Fading. Echo. Darkness. Wind. Moonlight. Footsteps. Breathing. Trail. Trees. Infinite. Cold. Dead. Run.

Her: No one is alone. And neither are you.

He: There is no way to tell you how I feel. I can only show you. I hope you’re following along.

Her: I am. You can talk to me, I hope you know that.

He: I can only show you. If you care to follow along. Nothing is clear. I have only feelings. Images. Escapes. Words. Nothing more. I have never been able to say how I feel. I have been accused of never completely coming clean with my true feelings. I have been accused of beating around the bush. I have been put down for not being truthful with my feelings. My weakness is decision making. One of many. My dedication has been questioned. My heart doubted. My loyalties tested. Bridges burned along the way. Friendships ended. New ties created. Betrayal. Revenge. War. Peace. Truces. Arguments. Debates. Anger. Sin.

Her: I’m not here to accuse you, put you down, and never have I doubted you. Show me whatever it is you want to. I wanna understand and possibly help.

He: Lies. Cheating. Surprises. Happiness. Motivation. Drive. Inspiration. Sorrow. Traps. Resiliency. Adversity. Strength. Dreams.

Her: Let your dreams motivate you.

He: I question myself a thousand times a day. I accept. I decline. I accuse. I refuse. I am my own biggest critic. Never satisfied. Raising my own bar to unreachable heights. Constantly chasing an always moving invisible force that keeps me on my feet.

Her: You’re stronger for it.

He: Constantly wishing. Constantly wondering. Continuously dreaming. Pushing the immovable object with unstoppable force. Stalemate. And when the dust settles. The loud and chaotic whirling sounds that engulf my mere existence fade slowly. It is then that I find myself standing here. Standing here. No one is in sight. No sky. No floor. Just white. No sound. No walls. No color. No temperature. No nature. No water. No height. No furniture. No wind. Endless. I’m dressing in all black. Running. Reaching out. Looking for signs of life. But knowing truthfully that it will never come.

Her: The things you’ve been waiting to find are waiting to be found.

He: Knowing that my search is futile. So, I slow down. Breathe hard, and stop in place. I sit down. Then I lay down. No time. No clocks. No responsibilities. No jobs. No school. No food. No money. No cars. No music. No technology. No sports. I lay and close my eyes on the only thing I have, infinite white.

Her: There’s always something more.

He: Goodnight.

Hiatus

Haven’t been here awhile. I’ve been out and about. Learning. Unintentionally. Intentionally. And everything that lies in between, around, and within. Not much makes sense. Too much makes sense. Currently, I make no cents. I find myself with less answers, and more questions the further I venture. I find myself with multiple maps. Various ways to get where I need to go. Yet, my transportation is nowhere to be found. No cars, planes, buses, or bikes are present. Only two fully functioning legs. But there’s a catch, of course. These legs are covered in stone from the skin to the bone. “X” marks the spot. I’m on the floor. I’m on my stomach. My arms get to work. I drag along. Relying solely on my will. My arms can only do so much. My eyes are limited. My stamina pouring out by the second. Sweat. Determination. Frustration. Anxiety. Hope. I hear only a breeze. I feel the breeze whispering softly upon my cheeks. I don’t know where the breeze is coming from. I don’t see the breeze. I wish on the breeze for a helping hand. All the while, I know the breeze has done all it can. I’m dragging along. I see no one. I see no buildings. No cars. No computers. No phones. No trees. No animals. I know there’s an escape. I do not see an exit. I do not see a door. No bright light to welcome me in. The breeze continues to assist and taunt me all the same. I’m thirsty. No lakes. No rivers. No oceans. I see a few clouds in the distance. I take a deep breath. I begin to drag once again.