Stephen Horenstein
Music, Arts and Society

Some Random Thoughts and Advice from Stevie Wonder

Here are some random thoughts and advice from yours truly:

  • The problem with freezing your body for longevity’s sake is that you may wind up as an ice cube in someone’s drink.
  • And what if the cleaner trips over the cord and knocks out all the power? What a sad sight for loved ones!
  • The problem with walking in the woods on a snowy evening is the lone hunter who sees your new funny duck cap for what it is: a duck.
  • The problem with having a life-threatening illness is that one walks a tight rope with no net, hoping that one gets to the other side
  • The problem with central heating is that you may not need it in every nook and cranny of the house.
  • The problem with cooking with olive oil is when it heats up too much and becomes carcinogenic.
  • The path of least resistance can get boring.  The path of greatest resistance can tire you out.
  • The problem with refrigerators is their constant crazy-making sound.
  • The problem with eating is that you have to wash the dishes.
  • The problem with old age is that there is no return.
  • Bach was the greatest.  No Mozart. No Coltrane. No Ives. Stupid argument.
  • There is nothing greater than being a grandparent (so I have been told).
  • The problem with rolling portable radiators is that they are very heavy.
  • The problem with fluorescent lights is that they suck.  Buy only the kind that are based on wave frequencies of sunshine (the lights are called “lumilux”)
  • The problem with full eclipses is that if you watch them without proper filters, you can burn your eyes out.
  • The problem with cats is that they can be sneaky.  Likewise, snakes.
  • The problem with most airports is the hysteria.
  • The problem with flying is the cramped space and poor food.
  • The problem with gasoline stations is the omnipresent smell of spilled gas.
  • The problem with Roladin sufganiot (doughnuts) is that they look incredible but taste, well, blah.
  • The problem with high rises is their lack of aesthetics–and their builders’ high profit motives.
  • Sometimes government offices are so crowded they are like gigantic petri dishes (beware)
  • The problem with the local tax office is that people rarely smile (also that you are guilty before being proved innocent)
  • Life is better with the sun out (duh), except when it’s 40 degrees centigrade.
  • Not all sunglasses are Polaroid, and hence give little protection against harmful sun rays.
  • Live every moment like it’s your last!
  • The problem with living every moment as if it’s your last is that you may trip on the cracks.
  • Watch the bones (especially the small ones!) when you eat fish.
  • Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT through wet wipes into the toilet (you will see!).
  • Smile all the time.
  • Avoid smiling all the time if you don’t want people to think you are crazy.
  • Smile anyways, who cares what people think.
  • Wear a comfy fluffy bathrobe one morning for as long as you want!
  • Go on a news fast.
  • When you tie your shoes, tie them twice.
  • Don’t walk on the street. You never know what’s been flowing in the gutters.
  • Go to Paris.  Close your eyes!  Open your eyes!
  • Listen to great music, undisturbed: Bach B-minor Mass, Mozart Requiem, Fauré Requiem, Coltrane Expression, Ives 4th Symphony, etc.
  • Walk and jog where the air is fresh and clean (ever tried jogging in Delhi?  I did, and lived to tell the tale).
  • Do NOT dive in fresh water lakes or streams.  There may be brain-eating amoeba.
  • Be kind to our web-footed friend, ’cause a duck may be somebody’s mother.
  • Laughing is, without a doubt, therapeutic.  Do it often!
  • Read out loud to yourself (after all, we are all children at heart).
  • Call a friend you haven’t spoken to for thirty years.
  • Wash your feet! (as much as your hands!)
  • Do not wear your street shoes in the house.  Have some toasty slippers by the door.
  • Keep on smiling, ’cause the whole world smiles with you!
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About the Author
Stephen Horenstein is a composer, researcher and educator. His repertoire of musical works has been performed and recorded worldwide. He has been a recipient of the Israel Prime Minister's Prize for Composers and the National Endowment of the Arts (USA). His teaching has included Bennington College, Brandeis University, Tel Aviv University, Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance; residencies at Stanford University, York University, California Institute of the Arts, and others. He is Founder and Director of the Jerusalem Institute of Contemporary Music, established in 1988 to bring the music of our time to a wider audience.
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