It’s April 30, 2013. How the heck did this happen? The year is a third over, the hordes of tourists and summer visitors are starting. And while we’re still seven weeks away from the summer solstice, Pepperdine held graduation ceremonies this past weekend!

I left Santa Monica at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday to join some friends for breakfast in Oxnard and to attend the Mullin Automotive Museum, which, if you are a car fanatic, or know of one, I highly recommend. It’s an astonishing collection of rare automobiles that are stunning in their design. These beautiful cars are the result of lifetimes of dedicated effort and many mistakes made and learned from.

As I was driving up the coast listening to Chuck Cecil on K-JAZZ 88.1 playing 1940s swing music, I came upon Pepperdine. There on the hill was the signature white tent and classic rented stadium seating for parents to watch their children graduate and then return home.

Graduation in April just seems wrong. It’s too early in the year for me. Graduates and brides are supposed to be in May and June in my mind. It’s bad enough that the year is flying by without the need to increase the speed with early graduations.

Though I suppose this staggering of the many “schools” within the university is good for the local businesses. As I was relaxing in the Loews Hotel hot tub on Saturday night, a crowd of fresh faced, slightly intoxicated and very intoxicating new graduates were celebrating with their parents. All of them were guests of the hotel so I presume that this is a good thing for the hotel industry in town.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Loews Hotel after this latest facelift they’ve done, I’d suggest it for a sunset cocktail or a morning brunch. The outside of the building has been redone and freshened, and the interior is due for an update, but is still a gorgeous place to enjoy the views and watch the sun set against the Santa Monica Pier while sipping on something.

The longer days of summer approach, thankfully, and soon it will be time to break out the bicycle and head to the bike path before the full press of the summer tourists make that a difficult proposal. I am looking forward to getting back on the path in the mornings and heading down to Redondo Beach for breakfast and then back before 8:30 a.m. court.

Congratulations and thanks are due to the Pepperdine graduates for taking me back to the day I graduated college. A warm late spring day in Annapolis, Md. It was a rite of passage for me, for my family and for my friends. I haven’t thought much about that day since. But driving up the coast on Saturday brought back memories of how fun filled it was. I was so full of expectation and enthusiasm. The world was a brand new place for me then. I had no plans, but was sure I was going to change the world.

These days I have lots of plans and am not at all sure about changing the world, except for one person at a time, starting with myself —the hardest one to change of all. I want to slow it all down. It’s all happening too fast for me. I want to enjoy today more deeply and completely. I want to create memories, not calendar entries.

I have changed over the years. Slowly. My vices have become more healthy, relative to what they were. Today I see a bigger picture in most situations. I have a well trod path of experience to look back on, which informs me of what future paths might appear and present themselves. Like the designers of those fabulous cars, I’ve made many mistakes and hopefully I learn something from each one, just like they did.

I’ve learned many different lessons since graduation, lessons that could never be taught in the halls of academia, lessons that come only with time, and experience. Experience, of course, comes from bad judgment.


David Pisarra is a Los Angeles divorce and child custody lawyer specializing in father’s and men’s rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at or (310) 664-9969. You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra



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