45 life lessons from a 90-year-old

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short not to enjoy it.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
5. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for things that matter.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye… But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words, ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27. Always choose Life.
28. Forgive but don’t forget.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give Time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d
grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you think you need.
42. The best is yet to come…
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.


Spring Guitar Recital Review

Sexuality is something that isn’t touched on that frequently in arts journalism for fear that to speak freely of sex tarnishes and cheapens one’s writing. Truth is, sexuality exists in our art and is often what drives it. Our humanistic confusions and inclinations are very much present in art and music, so much as that it would be foolish not to acknowledge them every once and awhile. One of these comparisons is in the female form and a guitar. The acoustic instrument has measurements that are congruent with the measurements of the female form. They are labeled so; the back, the ribs, the neck, the body. The guitar evokes sexuality in the artists, adolescent boys and romantics who pick it up and are fascinated by its beautiful sound just as they are fascinated by the natural curvature of the woman’s body that it resembles.

The first time I truly witnessed this connection between the guitar and sexuality was a few weeks ago when I attended the Spring Guitar Recital for the College of Communication and Fine Arts Department of Music at LMU. The performances I heard consisted of classical guitar pieces performed by LMU guitar majors and minors. It isn’t every day that one gets the privilege of sitting for an hour and a half and simply watching and taking in a classical guitar performance – and it was during this time that I truly began to notice the capacity of the guitar. It is not just an object to be ‘shredded on’ while attached to a six-foot amplifier on some dirty stage at Coachella and then smashed into fragments that will later be swept up next to a filthy orange extension cord after the band leaves. The guitar is intricate and delicate, much like people.

When you watch a person play the guitar, the true complexity of the instrument is not always apparent. Watching a live electric guitar performance is much different from a classical acoustic method, in which the guitarist props the instrument up on his knee with use of a footstool so it is to be played at a more upright angle. His fingers weave in and out between the strings as he visually selects which ones to pluck, and in what order. Such care can be evidenced by Andrew York’s performance of “Marley’s Ghost.”

The overall repertoire selection at the LMU concert displayed range of theory; it was what one might expect when in attendance of a student concert. The songs held energy complexity and melody, but also at times were peaceful, subtle and intangible in the way that most classical music becomes when your brain gives up attempting to find a melody and starts to accept the sound that is entering the ears. It was clear that the performers were growing in talent and had put a lot of time into mastering their instrument as well as selecting songs that showcased those talents.

The most memorable solo was that of Brian Rodriguez. It consisted of what seemed impossibly fast picking and melodic strumming patterns. He cradled the instrument’s curves as he carefully chose which strings to engage and in what order. The melody was in the bass notes and the piece seemed as though it was constantly changing rhythmically, but then returning to the melody.

What stood out to me was something rarely seen in live music, and that is patience with the piece. Rodriguez did not rush in efforts to accomplish his performance. He was not hesitant to play quietly and slowly, as some musicians are in fear that they will lose the audience’s attention if the dynamic of their music is not in accordance with the rest of the program. Rodriguez appreciated the pauses, pianissimos and rests that the music indicated. At some points, I could tell that he was playing solely for himself, struck by the subtle and beautiful noise alluding his golden, complex instrument, rather than for the audience’s approval. It is those performances, in which the artist is clearly in awe of the beauty of what his instrument is capable of and simultaneously lost in his talent, that are the most moving to witness.