Thursday, August 23, 2007

School's Back

I'm sitting here on my computer procrastinating. I know what you're thinking: "Procrastinating? How? School hasn't even started yet!" Well here are the many ways that I am procrastinating right NOW:
1) a D.S. that I started during the second semester of last year is what I am supposed to be working on NOW...
2) I need to go to the gym sometime today...I'll go later
3) I need to do my laundry and pack for school cause I'm moving in tomorrow...

Man as I'm writing this list it's making me stressed. Gotta go.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Okay. Sorry. Jeez. I didn't know my Beatles obsession would disappoint so many of my readers (I know there are lots of you). So, because you guys don't share my interest in the most influential four musicians ever to walk to the planet, I'll move on. I'm sorry George and Ringo.

So, school is out. I'm done with finals, which means that my junior year in college is over, and all I have left is my senior year. Wow. That's insane. Just a little while ago I was a little skinny freshman who thought four years was an eternity. Well, that eternity is 3/4ths of the way over and all I have is ONE MORE YEAR. Insane. Unbelievable.

So next year, I'm hoping to be living in Cornerstone. I'm sorry Hotchkiss, I've had an great three years, but I think it's time to move off campus. I'll be around, don't worry.

I'll get into what my summer's gonna be like in future blogging. But as for now I have the world to save. Later.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Paul McCartney

Though John Lennon is often portrayed as the leader of the Beatles, Geoff Emerick, observant author of Here, There, and Everywhere: My Life Recording with the Beatles would suggest otherwise. Lennon was the outspoken "cheeky" rebel who stole the show whenever there was one to be stolen, but McCartney seemed to be the amiable, confident, kind leader who could calm Lennon down whenever he got out of control. Paul was the baby-faced Beatle that everyone loved because he had a good heart and a good voice.

Paul was very into drugs in his early years. It is said that when the band stayed up late to write and record their songs, they were given "prellies" (Preludin) to aid them in keeping their energy high. It is said that Paul took one and John would take five. Anyway, this led to Paul's heavy usage of cannabis (which was introduced to him and the Beatles by Bob Dylan). It can be noted that many of Paul's songs contain references to marijuana. His song "Got to Get You Into My Life" sounds like a song about a girl, but he's really singing about weed. In 1967 he and some other smokers paid for an ad in the Times Magazine that asked for the legalization of marijuana.
Paul had quite a strange marriage. He met Jane Asher in 1963 and convinced her to become his girlfriend later that same year. He and John practiced many of their songs at the Asher's household. In fact, the world's most covered song (Yesterday) was written there. They had a strong relationship for the next for years. Then things would become strained.
In May of 1967 Paul met photographer Linda Eastman while she was shooting a project on the bands of the "swinging sixties". After a date, she finished her project and went back to New York.
But things with Asher went on as planned. In December of '67 they were engaged. When the Beatles when on their trip to India in '68, Asher accompanied Paul. One day Asher came back from Bristol and found Paul in bed with another woman. She ended the relationship and though attempts were made later in the year to mend it, they parted for good.
May of that year Paul ran into Eastman again while he and Lennon were in New York. She flew back with him to London. They got married less than a year later in March of '69 when Eastman was four months pregnant with their first child.
When McCartney was at the top of the world during the Beatlemania years, he too had the realization that there was more to live for. As a musician, he realized that the music that he made, though great, couldn't really change the world. His success wasn't enough for him-- he felt the need to do something that he felt had purpose. Where did he turn? To an unlikely place.
Paul McCartney is an outspoken vegetarian and animal rights activist. Many of his concerts are for raising money to support animal rights groups. In fact, in the year 1999 McCartney paid around 3 million pounds to make sure that his wife's food was free from GM (Genetically Engineered) ingredients. Paul wants to do something to change the world for the better. So why is he choosing try to help animals??
I'll be honest, I like Paul McCartney. I'm still trying to decide whether I like him or Ringo more. The truth is, though, is that McCartney's values are all skewed. The truth is that whatever it is he accomplishes for the animal kingdom will burn. Everything that he has ever accomplished has no meaning unless in has in some way furthered God's kingdom. Sadly, it seems as though Paul has rejected the kingdom of the Almighty for a kingdom of animals.

Monday, April 9, 2007

John Lennon

This man was presumably the leader of the Beatles. At age five he was forced to choose between his father or his mother, and he ended up choosing his mother. Shortly after the split and John's decision, his decided that she didn't want to take care of John anymore so John had to move in with his Aunt Mimi.
This only caused John to rebel.
For a super interesting read on John Lennon's life click here. It's all about John's life and the legacy that he left us Americans.
When the Beatles reached the absolute top and they couldn't go any farther, they started searching for something else that could give them happiness. John's life, which happened to be one full of sin and rebellion, always gave him temporary pleasures: drugs, sex. Though in his rebellion he sought true freedom-- freedom from the restraints of society and the social norms that he was expected to live up to-- he only found bondage. He became a slave to the drugs that he took. He couldn't go a day without getting a fix because it was the only thing that could get him through the day.
After the Beatles broke up, John, as the time went on, increasingly became more reclusive. He would lock himself inside his apartment alone and watch TV. He didn't go outside very often because he hated the media following him around. For some reason, he liked to watch televangelists. During one Easter Sunday message, John found himself crying and wanting to be saved. He wrote Oral Roberts a letter refering to the lyrics of his song: Money can't buy me love. "It's true. The point is this, I want happiness. I don't want to keep on with drugs. Paul told me once, 'You made fun of me for taking drugs, but you will regret it in the end.' Explain to me what Christianity can do for me. Is it phoney? Can He [Jesus] love me? I want out of hell." Wow. Talk about bondage to sin. He couldn't take it anymore. And, after a series of letters back and forth to Oral Roberts, John Lennon became to call himself a born again Christian (a great article on this period of John's life)<-- seriously read that.
John, however, was the rocky soil, for when the seed landed in him, it began to grow but never developed roots, and when the trials came, he ditched it all.
He became an old, paranoid man. He felt alone and unhappy. Some people believe that in the last years of his life he went insane. This is an interesting look at the latter years of John's Life
LENNON’S NEAR INSANITY. There were many evidences of insanity during Lennon’s final years. In the early 1970s, Lennon and Yoko underwent psychological therapy at the Primal Institute in California. Dr. Janov testified: “John was simply not functioning. He really needed help” (Giuliano, p. 18). The therapy consisted of giving oneself over to hysterical outbursts in an attempt to purge the psyche. Lennon would scream and wail, weep, and roll on the floor. “John eventually confessed to several dark sexual impulses: he wanted to be spanked or whipped and he was drawn to the notion of having a spiked boot heel driven into him. . . . Later in his life, John gathered together a collection of S&M-inspired manikins, which he kept tucked away in the bowels of the Dakota. These dummies, adorned with whips and chains, also had their hands and feet manacled. John’s violent sexual impulses troubled Yoko” (Giuliano, Lennon in America, p. 19). Lennon was plagued by nightmares from which he awoke in terror (Giuliano, pp. 83, 137, 142). Though never really overweight, Lennon was obsessed with his weight and when he found himself overeating, he would hide in the master bedroom and force himself to vomit (Giuliano, p. 92). After the couple moved into the Dakota apartments in New York in 1973, Lennon spent most of the time locked indoors. He referred to himself as Greta Hughes, referring to Greta Garbo and Howard Hughes, famous recluses. “More and more, the increasingly reclusive Lennon began to shun his friends. . . . Lennon’s anxieties were rapidly getting the better of him. . . . Everybody’s working-class hero was sliding steadily into a morass of hopelessness and solemnity” (Giuliano, pp. 84, 97, 105). He “quietly slipped into a dark hibernation,” spending entire days in bed (Giuliano, p. 129). To help him conquer his $700 per day heroin habit, Yoko introduced him to a form of therapy involving self-hypnosis and “past-life regression.” He thought he was actually traveling back into his past lives. In one session he discovered that he had been a Neanderthal man. In another, he was involved in the Crusades during the Dark Ages. Lennon was so paranoid that when he visited Hong Kong in 1976, he did not leave his suite for three days. He thought he had multiple personalities, and he would lie down and imagine that his various personalities were in other parts of the room talking to him. “In doing so, Lennon was in such a state of mind that the slightest noise or shadow would terrify him” (Giuliano, p. 122). When he went out into the crowds he would hear “a cacophony of terrible voices in his head” which filled him with terror. When he returned to New York, he became a virtual hermit, “retreating to his room, sleeping his days away, mindlessly standing at the window watching the rain. Once Yoko found him staring off into space groaning that there was no place he could go where he didn’t feel abandoned and isolated…” (Giuliano, p. 142). In 1978, Lennon “locked himself into his pristine, white-bricked, white-carpeted Dakota bedroom. Lying on the bed, he chain-smoked Gitane cigarettes and stared blankly at his giant television, while the muted phone at his side was lit by calls he never took. . . . he stayed in a dark room with the curtains drawn…” (Giuliano, pp. 173, 174). By 1979, at age 39, “John Lennon was already an old man haunted by his past and frightened by the future” (Giuliano, p. 177). He swung radically “from snappy impatience to bouts of uncontrolled weeping” and could only sleep with the aid of narcotics. Yoko talked Lennon into visiting their Virginia farm in 1979, but he became so paranoid and shaken from the brief excursion into the public (they rode a train) that when they arrived back at their home in New York he “erupted violently, reducing the apartment to a shambles.” The man who is acclaimed as the towering genius behind the Beatles had “all but lost his creative drive and confessed he’d sunk so low he had even become terrified of composing” (Giuliano, p. 130).
It's amazing what sin can do to the life of an individual. Once again, we find that happiness is not found in all the pleasures of this life. The only real joy we can have is in the transcending hope that there is real meaning in this life and it is to know God and learn how to love him day in and day out. Without a God, nothing has a point-- Lennon realized that once he hit the top, and then again once he hit the low. Hopefully we won't all have to do that before we learn the truth.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Beatles

Because of my late obsession with the Beatles, I've decided to do a post on them. Yes, that's right, I'm going to scratch the surface of my knowledge of the Beatles and what they've done to the world.
We all know John, Paul, George, and Ringo. They've become icons over time because of their music and what they've contributed to rock & roll in general. Is that all they were? Did the extent of their influence end with their music?
No. The Beatles set off a movement that defined the 60's and the 70's and fueled the counterculture movement. They came into America with long hair (we look at their pictures now and think that was long?). The hair they had then was not the norm. The music they played was not your conventional music. The teenage generation (the babyboomers) fell head over heels in love with this band. Girls would faint at their concerts. Guys would scream like girls. For some reason, this generation was looking for someone to follow-- they looked to the Beatles and followed them right into rebellion against social norms.
Now every teenager wanted long hair. They didn't want to listen to classical music, they wanted music that rocked. When the Beatles got into drugs, their fans did too. When Lennon, in the first song ever meant to be listened to while high called Tomorrow Never Knows said "Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream" what do you think the fans did? Drugs, and history tells us, were rampant. Promiscuous sex was everywhere. McCartney's "Why Don't We Do it In the Road" may have had something to do with that.
The generation which was once founded on solid principles dissolved into a culture of self satisfaction. Before the Beatles, songs had meanings, told stories, or love songs. The Beatles changed all that. They began the shift from concrete to abstract. You can see this if you look at their early songs. Here is an early song called Eight Days a Week.

"Ooo I need your love, babe guess you know it's true Hope you need my love babe just like I need you".

And here is a later song called I am the Walrus.

"I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together /See how they run like pigs from a gun see how they fly /I'm crying "

The lyrics went from concrete to abstract. It is not the lyrics that changed culture, it's the idea behind the writing of the lyrics. The idea is this: there is nothing of true value; there are no absolutes; therefore, no one can say that one word is better or worse than the next; I can put any words together that I want to simply because I want to. One message is no more virtuous than the next.
The Beatles came to be an example of lives lived without absolutes. Each one came to their own conclusions of how life should be lived. In the next few blogs, I will be giving brief histories of the individual Beatles' lives, and their searches for meaning in a world with no absolutes.

Business these Days

I put a google ad on my blogsite so that when people visit my blog, if they click on it, I will get paid for it. Isn't that crazy how business works nowadays? All I have to do is create a blog or a website that gets a lot of hits and I can make money. Like I've said before, every thing can be done nowadays without leaving the computer.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Here are Some Pictures

On this blog I'm going to just post a few pictures for your enjoyment. I hope you enjoy them.

Here I'm holding Tae for the very first time. See how long my fingers are? Tae's are going to be bigger. I'm telling you, he's going to be palming a basketball by the time he's three.

Here are some good looking men. Nuff said.

Here's the one we took at the Laker's Game. No, we're not in a blimp above the court. We're just in really high seats.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Student Moons Teacher

This would never have happened 50 years ago.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Enjoy Mark Twain

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. "

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

"What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce. "

Mark Twain

Baby I'm Rock Star

Baby I'm a rock star.
That Alaskan cruise was so much fun.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Friday night Isaiah Kottke, Brandon Tussy, Ryan Zamroz, Andrew Penniman and I spent the night at the beach. Here's the story.
Ryan and I left Master's around 8 thinking that the other guys would already be there by then. It turned out that the other guys spent too much time at Tussy's school in Thousand Oaks and ended up leaving after Ryan and I had already been on the road for at least an hour. Knowing that It'd be a while until they caught up with us, we went to a convenient store to buy some snacks and look for a Ralphs. We got the snacks and found the Ralphs, but Penniman and his crew had just left. We chilled for a while until they got there. Even then, Penn wasn't sure where the place was; he had a perfect spot in mind but he didn't know how to get there. We drove back and forth for a while until we finally found the spot we had been searching for. To our dismay, it had been taken by a pack of high school girls. See, the place they had taken was perfect because it was between two big sand dunes and the wind didn't blow through there. Since we couldn't take the perfect spot we set up a few dunes down. We then realized that our spot sucked, and we wanted the perfect spot.
I tried to make a fire for a while but every time it'd get going the wind would pick up and snuff it out. All we were getting was smoke. I eventually came up with an ingenius idea to make a log-cabin looking design with the firewood. We had paper as the foundation. Penn made a firewood hotdog as he called it (a piece of wood wrapped in newspaper) and set it in the middle on fire. It worked! The wind could not blow that sucker out. Right when our fire had been built and was sustaining itself, the high school girls left. So everyone decided to go down to their spot. I was mad because I had just accomplished the fire creation.
So we set up down between the dunes, got out the iPod dock to put on some tunes, pulled out the towels and took a seat by our new, easily-made fire. We talked until 1:30, when we decided it was time for bed. This is when it got interesting.
I was on the left end, Zamroz was to my right, to Tussy was next to him, and Isaiah was the other book end. All we had was a couple thin blankets and towels and let me tell you: it was freezing. At first, we figured we could take it if we huddled close together for warmth and stayed close to the fire. This was true for a while. We talked even more after we began spooning until about 3:15 when we all fell asleep. It was freezing.
The fire went out. I couldn't feel my feet. The moon was so bright it was laughing in my face. I was shivering and trying to get comfortable on the sand. Eventually, I woke up and began thinking "When in the world is the sun going to come up." During all this I was tossing and turning. When I was rolling over Ryan woke up and said, "Dude, let's go to the car." And I said, "Okay." We ran to the car and it was 5:30. We turned on the heater. Oh man it was great.
Then, Ryan was like "you wanna just go?" I nodded, and we took off. We got back to school around 6:45. I went straight sleep, slept till 11, at brunch, went back to sleep at 12, and slept till 3.
See, you read this and think, why in the world would you want to put your self through all that crap? That doesn't even sound fun! We I got two words for you:

That phrase, by the way, has been deemed the phrase of the night.


Saturday, March 31, 2007


As you all should know, I am a huge Bruins fan. I had them winning in my bracket on facebook. Yeah, I know, my bracket's pretty bad. My girlfriend, though, got 7 out of the 8 elite 8 and all four of the Final Four right. Impressive right? She should be an ESPN analysist.

Anyway, the Bruins started out playing very well with solid defense, forcing 10 turnovers in the first half while they only gave up one. That's what kept them in the game. When Arron Afflalo got his third foul with 10 minutes left in the first half, I knew the Bruins were in for it. Darren Collison wasn't producing on offense, Lorenzo Mata is the ugliest person I've ever seen, and I think Luc Richard Mbah a Moute forgot what time the game started.
The Gators at least got to practice their tip jams all throughout the second half. Their size was too much for the Bruins. Horford misses a 7 foot jumper and Noah or Richard are there to finish. It was an altogether embarassing second half.

UCLA doesn't have a single senior on the team. They'll all be back again next year, ready to take on the gators. After Afflalo's performance tonight I think he'll be reconsidering entering the draft, so he should be back next year. Who knows. What I do know is that UCLA needs a big man, someone that they can get the ball into down low and have him go to work. They are overloaded with guards.

Okay. I'm over the game. Tomorrow I'll write about my long night last night. It was a lot of fun. Tune in tomorrow ans see. Later
eric durso

Friday, March 30, 2007

TMC Basketball 07-08

A lot of people are always asking me about what the basketball team's going to look like next year. We're losing Isaiah Kottke, our only senior, and Lucian Pesoli who has left to play professionally wherever he can. Along with them, we are losing guard Aaron Dickson.
All three of these players were starters on our team last year, and we'll miss them all in different ways. Despite these losses, I think we have a good chance to be a better basketball team this coming year than we were last year, judging by the recruits Coach Martin and Assistant Coach Chris Connolly have been bringing in. We've already signed big man Everett Bryson who will be a big plus. We have another small guard we're looking at who's supposed to be a very, very good point. I've played with him a few times and though he's small, he's lightning quick and has got a nice stroke. We'll have to see how he can run an offense. We also have two more big men that we're looking at that could be huge assets if they choose to sign. With Ryan Zamroz and I returning as the nucleus, we should have a great starting five with a solid bench.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

My Summer Reading List

I wondered if I'd ever run out of things to write about, and it seems that I may have done so. I'm sitting here trying to write a blog but I have no idea what I want to write about. There is no pressing social issue that is on my mind, nothing that's been bugging me lately. It's really just been school, working out for basketball, and friends. Not much else. So, because I have nothing else to say, I am going to make a list of the books I am going to try to read this summer:

1) Next, Michael Crichton. Daniel Beaty got me this book for Christmas, we've always liked Crichton's books. We'll see how this one goes.

2) Penrod and Sam, Booth Tarkington. I have no idea what this book is about or if it's even supposed to be good, but my advisor, Jack Simons suggested it once and my mom bought it for me for Christmas and I want to read it.

3) A Feast For Crows, George R. R. Martin. I started reading this over Christmas break but it's pretty slow, unlike the three other books in the series before this one. It seems Martin has stretched his story out way too thin and now he has too many characters and nowhere to go. We'll see what happens with this one.

4) The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis. I've read a couple Narnia books every summer since my freshman year in college and I'm finally on to the last one. I like them a lot, and am quite ashamed to admit I've never read them before.

5) The Seeing Eye, C.S. Lewis. I had never heard of this book when I saw it while I was in Borders a couple weeks ago. I LOVE C.S. Lewis, not only for his brilliance but for his writing style, his eloquence, and creativity. The back of the book reads: "C.S. Lewis presents and eloquent and colorful defense of Christianity for both devotees and a collection of essays composed over the last 20 years of his life." Sounds good to me!

6) Here, There, and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles. Geoff Emerick. It's an autobiography of one of the sound engineers who was at all the Beatles' recordings. He got to know them very well as people, not just as rock stars. I think this will be an interesting read, considering my obsession with the Beatles.

7) Total Money Makeover: A proven plan for financial fitness. Dave Ramsey. I hear this book is great for people who need to learn how manage their money. For the little amount of money that I have, I need to manage it well.

Anyway, that's the short list. As for now, I'll be reading schoolbooks and crap like that. I can't wait till summer. Alright. Off to dinner.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Life-not apathy

Every year our school does something called Spurgeon Fest which is a week where three different students from our school get to speak in chapel. It's called Spurgeon Fest because Charles Spurgeon, who was saved at age 15 and preached his first sermon one year later as a 16 year old. The whole purpose is to give an opportunity to godly young men who are aspiring preachers.
Anyway, it got me thinking about what I would talk about if I were asked to speak (this thought distracted me from Patrick Stickney's message for a little bit-- sorry Patrick). At first I wasn't sure if I would want to pick a passage and try to exposit it and I wasn't sure if I would want to do a topical sermon. I started trying to think about things that would apply to our school, our culture, and I came up with something that I think needs to be addressed because it is a growing epidemic in our society today. This problem is a cesspool from which all vices emerge; it is a hidden pandemic that permeates our minds without our consent-- striking us at all times, never letting us alone. What is this virus I am talking about? It's called apathy.
It's defined as the "absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement."
It's sad to see that people don't care about their world, their society-- they don't care about other people, they don't care about themselves! Instead, our culture immerses itself into whatever pleasures it desires-- it's so easy, anything that you want to do can be done without leaving your house. Instead of working toward something with future benefits, we live for the now. We will watch a TV show instead of read a good book. We will escape from the world with our ear phones instead of enjoying the smell of spring and the sound of the wind. We don't have to actually interact with people anymore because there is instant message, Myspace, and Facebook--and BLOGGING! If I could have one wish it would be that our culture would turn away from apathy and live with passion. At this point, I really don't care what for! Live with passion--do everything you can do foster it, because without passion, everything is nothing. Enjoy real things. Myspace, Facebook, and instant messanger aren't real-- they're subsitutes for the real things. Talk to people, listen to nature, learn about the real world (not the world of youtube or TV) through books. Know what's going on in our country. Know why you like President Bush when everyone else hates him! Live curiously. This is why:
When we acknowledge the real things in life, we are interacting directly with God's creation. Whether I know it or not, but when I see a beautiful sunset and remark how great it is, I am attributing worth to God's creation, thus, glorifying God. When show people that I care about them by interacting with them, I am glorifying God. When I take time to read a book, I am exercising my mind--showing that I care about my mind--glorifying God. If I am learning about my world, it shows I care about my world--God wants us to care about the world he's given over to us to have dominion over. When we love life, we are loving God's greatest gift. Here's my challenge to you: the next time you admire something, stop and remember who created it. Open up to a world of life

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Laker's Game Tonight!

Tonight I'm taking Ashley to a Laker's game. It's probably one of the most expensive dates I've ever taken her on, but we've decided that we are going to go to at least one Laker game every year. Last year I found two tickets for ten bucks apiece. We were at the highest level about two feet away from the huge band that plays the "DEFENSE...DENFENSE..." chant. It got old, and then it became kinda funny, and then later it got old again. Now, it's kind of endearing, and we both hope we get the same seats we had last year so we can sit next to our band friends. It'll be fun, I know it. Hopefully Kobe will drop 50 on those Grizzlies.

Last year we took a picture of ourselves with the basketball court in the background and we plan on taking another one with the same poses with the court behind us. It might become a tradition of ours. It looks like we're miles above the court. We pretty much are.

Monday, March 26, 2007

We Are Immortal Souls

So it's official, I am an Uncle. Sorry for the long wait, all you readers of mine, but I had a pretty busy weekend becoming an uncle and all. Tae David Simmons was born 6:19pm on March 23 in Simi Valley hospital across the street from our church. He's small little sucker; came out weighing 8lbs and 10 ounces, I think. He's quiet and doesn't cry much, but he does have the Durso fingers and toes. Oh boy they're long. I think he'll be palming a basketball by the 4th grade (I could palm one in the fifth grade).
But the whole thing about becoming an uncle is finally hitting me. It's just weird to think that he will never know of the last 21 years of my life. There are so many things that I have gone through, so many experiences that he will never know about simply because he wasn't around. And now there his brand new life is crossing paths with mine. He's entering my life on my 21st year, but I get to see him grow up from day one. I've never done that before-- not even with myself. This little human being-- who has my long fingers and long toes-- will grow up and watch me to see how I live my life; how I conduct myself. The creature conceived in my sister's stomach is now an immortal soul whose eternal destination could possibly be determined by the way we (his "elders") interact around him.
And this thought about Tae brings me a step further in my thinking. Isn't every person that we interact with an immortal? We aren't living among people who, when death comes, cease to exist. We are on a daily basis interacting with immortal human beings, all of which can be influenced toward a better eternal home or a worse one. To think that every action carries such weight is pressure. How are we acting to the people around us? Are our actions encouraging? Do they discourage people? How are you affecting these immortals you are crossing paths with?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Road to South - Part 3

So tomorrow I am officially an uncle. From now on, you will address me as Uncle Eric. And if you call me that, I will know that you are reading my blog. And that means you are part of my readership. After today's post, I am going to go back to my original blogging habits. I am periodically going to to a 3 part story like I've done the last three days, but for the next few weeks it's gonna be back to the natural blog. But, as for now, enjoy the last part of my epic adventure south.

When we reached the border we weren’t sure if we should enter Mexico. We didn’t have much food—our loaves were getting smaller and smaller. The ham that we bought smelled rotten when we opened it, so we didn’t go there anymore. Despite these harsh conditions, we decided to do the noble thing and keep on going south. We all noticed how no one cared who was going into Mexico. We didn’t have to stop at all. Justin, our driver, suddenly began to drive the speed limit. He had an acute paranoia of the cops in Mexico, and he was convince that if he broke the law his car would get impounded and we’d have to bribe their government to get our car back. “The American government should convince everyone that they’re corrupt,” he said, “that way everyone would obey the laws.”
We drove along the coastline. The beaches were beautiful and clean; not a single person could be found on them. We went straight through Tijuana and then through Rosarito. To give you an idea as to how hungry we were, that Subway sandwich that I mentioned in the beginning, remember? Justin ate it. I think at that point it was three days old.
We finally hit Ensenada and decided it was the right place to stop for the night. We parked his car by the beach and when out and watched the sun set. It was probably one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever seen. Straight above us was the sky blue of the night but as you went down closer to the ocean it gradually became more orange until it culminated in a big glorious yellow ball. The ocean was purple and shadowy and eternal. We enjoyed it for the time it lasted. It was so much more significant because we found it.
After the sun had gone down we went back into the city to walk around. It seemed like on every street corner was a gentleman’s club with promoters outside ready to give you a discount. One time we were walking by one and a promoter came up and was yelling “CHICKS, CHICKS! Here, I give you a discount.” To this Justin said, “No, we’re Christians.” The man paused and laughed, and then said, “We’re having a Bible study in there!”
Eventually we found a nice authentic Mexican restaurant. In the windows there were chickens spinning on a spit. Inside there was a three man ensemble that came around and played music for people. Me, Justin and Steven ordered Dos Equis beers (we were afraid to drink the water), while Dave ordered a coke. I had one or two sips of my beer and remembered how much I hate beer. I traded with Dave so I could have his coke. He finished my beer and I finished his coke. I was afraid that the ice would melt and that I could get sick from it.
After we ate we looked for the cheapest hotel we could find. We tinkered with the idea of sleeping in Justin’s car, but first of all, that would be impossible because we were all too big, and second of all, it’d be too dangerous. We ended up paying for a hotel.
The next morning we decided that we couldn’t go any farther south. So, having conquered everything between The Master's College and Ensenada, we decided to go back home.
Leaving Mexico proved to be another difficult task. Steven was filming our triumphant reentry into the states when we were crossing the international line. The guy in the post stopped us and started yelling at us: “Were you taking pictures? Were you taking pictures?” For some reason, Steven denied it so we had to get pulled over and searched. He took our video camera and looked back at what we had recorded while they opened our trunk and went through all our stuff. It was funny and nerve-racking at the same time.
We finally became free and drove back to The Master's College. It was long and tedious, filled with many stupid jokes and more uncomfortable positions, but we made it. Once we were there, we all went our separate ways. There were still three more days of Spring Break left.
This is a picture of all the relics we accrued on our trip to south and back.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Road to South - Part 2

I hope you didn't think my story was over-- there's much more to go. So here's part 2!

When we woke up, there were students walking all around us looking at the tent and wondering who in the world had pitched a tent in the middle of their campus. It was awkward to get out of the tent and see these people stare at you, especially when you are not expecting people to be there, and especially when you are not fully clothed.
Our next goal was to find a bathroom and a shower on the campus somewhere. This is a funny story. After we put the tent away, I went into their fitness center to see if I could use the showers but they wouldn’t let me. While I was doing this, Dave, Justin, and Steven were looking for a shower. They found (and showed me later) a room that had a paper taped to the middle of it so people could see. It read: “Temporary Woman’s Locker Room.” I figured I could go without a shower so I went up some stairs to a different gym and found some public restrooms where I could brush my teeth and wash my face. They all stayed downstairs. When I finished washing up, I came back down to find them but they were gone. And then I notice another thing was gone: the sign on the door that said “Temporary Woman’s Locker Room.” I thought to myself No they couldn’t have. I cracked open the door and heard a shower going. I yelled “Dave?” I saw his head peek out from behind the shower wall. I started laughing when I realized that Steven, Justin, and Dave were all showering in the room. I was envious, so I figured I’d join them.
When we were done we started to get dressed. I was clothed, but Steven, who was trying to dry off in with a hand towel, was not. We were inches from successfully pulling it off when the door opened. I prayed.
In walked to older men. One was a big black man. I think we were all scared of him because we didn’t say anything. They paused, as if they were surprised to see us in the room, and then said, “Is your water out too?”
I looked at Justin and then at Dave, then back at the man. “Yeah. It’s been out all morning.”
The man exhaled. “So has ours,” he paused and looked at Steven, who was awkwardly trying to stay decent with his hand towel. The look on the man’s face was priceless. It was a look of pity. Finally, he said, “You need a towel?”
Steven thanked the man for the towel and got dressed. We got out of there as soon as possible after that.
We packed up the tent quickly and got out of there before security could take us down. We needed to find the Road to South, and we did. We got back on the 5 and kept going.

The story is NOT over, there is still one last segment. Tune in tomorrow for the final piece!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Road to South

Friday my sister is going to be induced. That means that she is pregnant and ready to have the baby, and that if she doesn't have it before Friday, the doctors are going to do something to her to make her have it. I don't know what in the world she is going to do, but I'm going to be there for a little bit. After that, I will be Uncle Eric. Sweet.

My Last blog I wrote about how I want to keep my readership interested. I've come up with an idea. I'm going to post sections of previously written short stories and essays on here that I deem my best. I think you guys will enjoy them. Don't worry, I won't forget to write about myself and daily life.

This first essay that I'm going to put on here is going to be Spring Break related. It's a story of what me and my friends did last Spring Break. It was a great time, and I think you'll enjoy reading it. It's pretty funny. Here you go:

Dave Andrews, a small blond haired pessimist sat with his knees pressed against his chest behind the passenger side seat that I sat in. The old ripped Carl’s Jr. bag lying on the floor held a 48 hour-old Subway sandwich that we had been saving in case someone got hungry enough. To my right, in the drivers seat was the slouching, dark haired road scholar named Justin Lehtonen. He had a goatee with peanut butter in it, one hand on the wheel while the other twirled his hair. His half shut eyes caused him to look uninterested in the scenery around us. His left foot hung out of the window while his right foot pressed on the gas. Behind him was his roommate from USC, Steven something. I never got his last name, but he was pretty funny. He had thin long blond hair that whipped around as the air from the open window rushed through our undersized car. He laughed a lot and cared a little. I don’t blame him—it was spring break: the time when college students force away their homework cares and commit to saturating every last second with as many memories as possible.
We didn’t have a particular destination. All we knew was that we wanted to go as far south as we possibly could in the next three days and go home on the fourth. Going north was physically painful for us. Whenever we heard the word “north” we all cringed because it epitomized the nemesis of our hero, our freedom, and our salvation: south. We started using the word “south” in ways that would startle an English major, saying things like “we need to go souther,” or “we need more south.” By the end of the trip, the word south had an entirely new meaning than when we began. Anyway, we jammed ourselves into the small car as awkwardly as possible and got on the 5 South.

Our first stop was in San Diego. But first, before I get into what we did in San Diego, let me tell you about our diet. Before we left, we all went to Ralph’s to buy some food for the road so we wouldn’t end up eating fast food for the whole trip. We each bought two loaves of bread, some turkey/ham, and some cheese. I don’t know why we thought that that would supply our dietary needs for an entire four days, but we did. And we didn’t think twice about it.
So anyway here we are on our first night. Our food supply is running low so we begin to come up with a plan to get a free meal. We called several friends who were familiar with the San Diego area to see if they knew of any high price formal restaurants. One friends suggested “Mister A’s” or “Mister Hays”. I couldn’t ever really figure out what they were saying. We planned on going in, getting some water and some dinner rolls, and then one of us would go to the bathroom and call us and we’d act like the call was so important that we had to leave immediately. Free rolls, free water, no harm done. So we looked all around for this place and never found it. So, instead of mooching off the restaurant, I got out one of my loaves, broke of a piece and made a turkey sandwich and ate it in the car.
The search for food was over. We had lost; our plan had failed simply because we couldn’t find a restaurant to give us free food. We retreated to our loaves and hoped that Jesus would multiply them and feed the four of us. Needless to say, he didn’t. Now it was time to enjoy the city. Justin told me to get my guitar from the car and bring it out so we would play it in the streets. Steven found an old computer monitor sitting on a mailbox and he used it for a drum while I played my guitar. There we had it: a full band. I opened my guitar case and let Justin feel the music. He sang as people walked by and gave us weird stares. I have to say, it was really awkward, but hey, we made some money. We made approximately 33 cents.

Then a bum came up and started dancing to our music. It was really weird.
When we stopped playing, another guy wearing long robes, dark sunglasses (although it was night) and a lot of “bling” came up to us and started talking to us. He carried some more clothes over his shoulder in a bag. He told us about an Irish Pub called “The Field” just one block down from where we were. As we continued to talk to him, he eventually told us he was a very spiritual man, and that he believed that Jesus Christ had changed his life. When we were thinking, “Hmm…cool,” and were about to leave he proceeded to tell us where to find the best strip clubs in San Diego. It seemed like every time we were about to leave he’d say something outrageous. Next, he told us about a screenplay he had written that would be coming out in the next couple years. He said it’s kind of like Shrek. It was called “Pretty Evil.”
Finally, he left, and we headed over to “The Field” where we played some music in front of a whole crowd. When we finished, people cheered. I guess it’s just common courtesy to cheer for people who perform on stage, because we didn’t deserve it.
After our few songs we got back on the road, looking for a place to stay for the night. We found UCSD and drove around until we found a secluded area surrounded by trees. We set up a tent there and went to sleep. It was a cheap and easy place to sleep.

Monday, March 19, 2007


I haven 't figured out how to see if people are actually reading my blog, or if they have left a comment how to read it, but I've heard that I've got a reader. I got one, baby. I'm not sure if this is going to be a one time deal, where he was just surfing along and found my blog, but now that I've got someone that I can call my "readership" I feel somewhat established.
So, now that I have my readership I feel like I need to do something that will cause readers to want to come back for more. Like, I was thinking maybe I could write some continuing story and every time I sit down to write in my blog it could be a little thing about me and my day and then a little bit of a story. Or maybe I could make my blogs completely fiction, like a fictional journal entry that ends up being some sweet story. Anyway, the point is that I want to satisfy my readership. Yes, that's you Penn, as far as I know.

So sorry I missed a couple days. It was Spring Break and I was busy doing fun things. Hopefully now that I'm at school I will develop a more consistent blogging habit. I keep writing because I want this blog to kind of come into its own theme, but nothing is arising-- I have no pressing topic to discuss.

Perhaps therein is my solution. How come I rarely have something to talk about? Is it my lack of creativity or my inability to put my opinions into words? Whatever it is, I think that by writing daily I will engender in myself a higher ability to articulate my thoughts and opinions and write them with effective rhetoric value. Flannery O'Connor said she owes her desk 2 hours a day. That meant that every day of her adult life she wrote for at least two hours. Now, the stranger thing is to realize that they didn't have computers when she wrote her stories. She would sit down at her desk, get out a pen and start writing. Two hours of that! That's just too much man. My hand would start to hurt and I'd put down my pen and start thinking about how sick Amare's bash last night was. That's the darn problem with a society these days. We're bombarded by so much entertainment it becomes the center of all our meanderings. Where people of the 18th century would meander on the latest Shakespeare they read-- simply because it was what they had been entertaining themselves with it--we dwell on who was voted out on last week's American Idol. Entertainment of the 18th century is now homework for the modern college student. Now, we're getting to the point where we study movies (Film History I&II). Fifty years from now I can see one of my peers as a professor in college teaching the art of crashing weddings. I've heard it said before, and I'll say it now: WE'RE ENTERTAINING OURSELVES TO DEATH!

--two coins--ERIC DURSO

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Have I been forgetting to Put titles up here?

Today there was a little bit of a scare. My sister called me and I could tell by her voice that she was fighting off tears and she told me that something was wrong with baby Tae's heartbeat and she was scared and she was being transferred from the place where she does her usual checkup to an actual hospital. So, I went over to see her (which, by the way, was a huge hassel because I had no idea that she had been transferred. I felt like Woodward and Bernstein) and she was laying in a hospital bed with straps around her belly holding things that somehow meaured Tae's heartbeat. The nurse eventually came in and said that she was 99.9% sure that everything would be fine, and that this was just a precautionary procedure. I called my parents, who were out camping near Point Mugu, and they packed up and left to come home to see her. Natalia was embarrassed for making a big deal out of something that turned out to be very small, but it's normal for those kind of things to happen to first timers, I assume. I stayed there for about 45 minutes and Jessica came in and talked to her, and then finally my parents made it. Everything was fine when I left.

It kind of made me think of what kind of husband I'm going to be. If I'm around I'm going to be pretty on top of things. I'll be making sure nurses are around and that everything is under control. A couple of times when we were in the room, a beep would go off signaling that Tae's Beats Per Minute were very low. The beeping would keep going on and there would be no nurse or any one to do anything about it. If my wife were laying on that bed and my son's heart wasn't beating like it should, I wouldn't let anything go unnoticed, nor would I let a beeping go unchecked. I'd get that nurse in there to make sure that it's okay every time I felt like it. Who cares if I'm being irrational.

Anyway, that was the big event of the day. That and how I set up a couple arrangements to pick up fish tanks on Craigslist. I'm gonna be picking up a 55 gallon with a stand, 2 filters, a pump, a light, and with gravel. I was pretty pumped about that. All I did was put a post up saying: "i want a FISH TANK" and I got two phone calls and two emails from people ready to sell their tanks. Sweet, I know. I was supposed to go pick those aquariums up but I called the guy and he said that he couldn't do it now-- he lives on a Navy Base or something like that and it'd be a big hassle to get me on base. So I'm gonna wait till next weekend or something so I could do it with Ashley.

I'm very hungry now. I'm gonna go eat a beef pot pie. THey are GOOD.
signing off-- this is eric durso

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I've decided that I need to write something every day. That, and I need to read something every day. Not just textbooks or assigned reading for school, but something outside of my cirriculum. Reading strengthens the mind; it enables it to think because reading is a thinking task. Television is a passive activity-- one can actually not doing any amount of thinking. We are a culture that likes to "turn off your mind relax and float downstream."
I want to do things from now on that excerise the mind. Read. Write. Make music. Listen to classical music and actually study it.
This is why I am against i-pods. Our generation has discovered a new dimension: "i-pod land" is what I call it. It's a dimension that tunes out all natural sounds of beauty and isolates oneself from any normal kind of passerby communication. No more "Hello, what a beautiful day, huh?" Now, if you have any free time to walk from one class to another you have to do one of two things: talk on your cell phone or get lost in a magical world where you don't to acknowledge anyone else's existence and you can avoid having to think about the real world. I-pods are another contributing factor to this Isolationism Movement. Nowadays, you can do whatever you want without leaving your Mac.
Keep your mind turned on. Read a short story. Take those earbuds out of your ears.

Monday, March 12, 2007

I should make a rule that I am not alloud to delete what I've written in here. I sometimes write sentences or entire paragraphs or start new ideas and then delete them because I don't want to spend the time going into them. Okay, here's my new blogger rule: the only time I am allowed to press backspace is when I have misspelled a word and I need to fix it. Other than that I am not allowed to delete anything. So, there you have it: an entrance into the mind of Eric Durso--uncensored. Hope you enjoy.

I have a course that I'm taking as a directive studies course which means I pretty much do everything on my own time. That is probably never a good idea for me because I procrastinate like a mother. (Right there I wanted to delete the word "mother" and come up with a better, funnier thing to say, but kept the first law of my blog [listed above] and kept it). I always start things at the last minute, but, since it is spring break, I think I'm going to try and get ahead on this Rhetorical Criticism class. Sadly, the very fact that I'm writing this blog right now is because I am procrastinating. I got out my computer to start this thing and then I went to blogger and started writing. I suck at this, man. I need to get on top of things, I guess.

Anyway, I think I should go now. I really, really should start this D.S.
Holla at ya later

Sunday, March 11, 2007

My First Blog-An Introduction

I think if I understood the fact that everything I write doesn't need to be a masterpiece I would have started a blog a while ago. It's strange, I have this weird feeling that whenever I sit down to type something-- anything-- It needs to be a perfect, witty, flowing river of beautiful words so cleverly knitted together that it causes readers to smile or laugh or think or cringe.
I also didn't start a blog until now because I felt that whoever writes a blog should have something important to say. Well, I probably shouldn't tell you this if you are reading my blog, but I really don't have anything important to say. The title of my blog A Day in the Life is stolen from the most influential Beatles song ever written and I think it really sums up what this blog is going to be. I can't really say for sure, I guess, perhaps as I mature my blog will evolve into something different; I can't say what it will turn into, but perhaps it'll be more interesting than this one is.
I'd like to think that I'm an interesting person. I love my life, I love my family, I love my girlfriend. I have so many things in my life that I love. I like to enjoy things. I like to create things. I'm a pretty creative guy. I have a different sense of humor-- I love word humor. In the movie "Stranger than Fiction" I laughed out loud when Harold Crick said his favorite word was interger even though there's no inside joke there. That kind of stuff is just funny to me. My writing will probably operate in conjunction with my mood; sometimes I am a great writer with perfect and appropriate words flowing out of my fingertips onto the computer screen; other times I look for words in every corner in my brain and can only come up with "thing."
Anyway, I'm starting one simply because I love to write. It's a release, it's something to create. It's a way for me to feel like I have a voice in the world, even if no one wants to listen.
Hopefully I'll be doing this pretty frequently, maybe I'll even get someone to read this.

So. You want to know more about me? I guess I'm hard to know; at least that's what some people say. I'm a Christian first, and unfortunately I am going to have to clarify that statement because just about every middle class white American will call himself a Christian. I believe that this planet/solar system/galaxy/universe could not have come into existence without a higher being-- a God. All evidence points toward a creator. The Bible has proven itself to be a reliable foundation for living because it is that the creators truth given to his creation: us. The Bible is the most translated book in history; it has the most original manuscripts-- more than any other document of antiquity by thousands-- and it's principles have changed lives for thousands of years. The apostle who wrote the books died for their cause--why would they do this if they didn't really believe in Christ? They spent all their time with Jesus, you'd think they'd know if he was lying. But they were tortured for the sake of Christ and became the foundation of which the Church was built. I think I can trust that whatever message these guys were trying to send us is the truth. Afterall, has anyone found evidence that Christ didn't raise from the dead?

I'm kind of passionate about that subject, after all, it's the only thing that transcends this life. We all know this life is temporary; that's a given. That means whatever comes after this life is worth looking into. If you don't believe in anything, you'd better start figuring out what you believe about life after death. If there is an eternal life, there is nothing on this earth that should hold us back from finding out what it is and attaining it.

I go to The Master's College in Santa Clarita. I play basketball and write short stories. I've written only four so far, but I think some of them are okay. I think there should be a website similar to a blogging website that allows amatuer writers to post their short stories or poems or whatever to see what other people think of them. Maybe I should create something like that.
Okay, Now I have to go.