brunch and the lockpicking gospel

So this was definitely also Labor day, I think; or maybe the day before. It was just before my odd salon talk. MaryAlice hit us up and asked if we wanted to brunch, and I happened to be awake and said yes, and got Sophie up, and away we went to Oakland Grill.

After that we went to Merchants, as you do, because it’s the third day of a three day weekend, and what else is there? Certainly nothing responsible is happening.

So, what about that gospel the title promised? Well, I was at the gym, and my buddy was looking at one of the smaller locks on someone’s locker, and speculated that you would need an especially small tension wrench to open it, and I responded “Yeah, and a small half diamond rake and it’ll come right open, the way God intended.” We laughed, and then I started thinking, in that weird post-gym slighly hypoxic high on endorphins way, and thought, you know, you could make half a case for that. John chapter 8, You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (don’t ask me why I remembered what book that was in). God wants all their children to be free. So all the locks must be opened. Makes about as much sense as prosperity gospel or the quiver-full people.

Anyway, here’s today.

Posted by Matt on 2018-09-18 05:45:38 +0000

new baby fiadh flynn-curran

Last weekend? Last week sometime? no, I remember, it was labor day, and we went to the only open sushi joint in greater oakland to pick up a meal and take it to the folks with the weeks-old baby. They’re still in the thick of it, with the baby not sleeping through the night, or really for more than a couple hours at a stretch. Sounds miserable if you ask me.

Anyway, it was good to see them and catch up, at least for a couple hours. It’s the silly season, one of those times when everything happens all at once and all I can do is try to show up and do my thing as well as I can.

I’m way behind on posting photos; this is from almost two weeks ago and I have a pretty big backlog. The Leica (which might need a name, come to think of it) has really got me producing a lot of photos. I’m not sure why, except it feels like I’ve got some skin in the game again, out there in the world with this camera. Like it’s a big hunk of responsibility, and I need to be using it to make it worthwhile? I dunno. It helps that it’s so freakin’ awesome to work with, and the files that come out of it are so good. It’s the same size / number of pixels as my other cameras, but it just feels more refined.

Posted by Matt on 2018-09-14 07:26:33 +0000

andrew wk show at the fillmore

This was, as I said on the socials, an amazing show. For real one of the best live shows I’ve ever been to. The amazing part: I had a photo pass, so I was in the photo pit right by the stage for the first three songs; that’s why a lot of these are really close. The magic of the bird site, I suppose; I tweeted at him asking for a pass, and he (or more likely his social media person) replied within a few minutes in the partier direction.

One nice surprise is that his whole band is just as energetic as he was, and also all of them got some nice moments to shine too. Really nice touches.

We got home and I passed out, but I woke up at 4:30 and couldn’t sleep, so I got up to edit. My ears are still ringing, but I’m happy. A good way to spend a birthday.

Posted by Matt on 2018-09-07 14:49:12 +0000

volunteering at the food bank

This was a week ago, and some of you may have seen a couple of these on instagram, but here they are again, in the proper format and color-corrected to my liking (mostly). So, the company I work at does volunteering as part of an effort to give back to the community; we’re part of the Pledge 1% member companies; and we’re trying to do that with time.

In two hours, we moved about 12.5 tons of carrots out of those big bins (called macrobins) and into boxes for distribution to individual centers that provide food to those in need. We also moved about 3 tons of pears from macrobins to boxes, for the same reason. The food distribution is run like a farmers’ market, so people can pick and choose what they want to eat. They do it that way so people can have at least some agency in their choices. It’s amazing what giving people a little agency can do for how they feel.

The warehouse we were in serves about 40 (38 is the number I remember, but could be more or less) of smaller nutrition-based aid services in the San Francisco and Marin county areas. They move 48 million pounds of food, about 24,000 tons. Volunteers like us contribute 150,000 hours of labor per year, or the equivalent of 70 full time workers; the money they would spend on those workers goes to buying more food. This place is more like a regional warehouse for a grocery store chain than anything else. According to the warehouse manager (our supervisor, anyway), we helped feed 30,000 families.

Now, you might be thinking, ‘That’s a lot of people that need food!’ and you’re not wrong. 1 in 4 people in the Bay Area need some kind of assistance; which is wild and crazy and I can’t believe nobody is shouting it from the rooftops. How are we not moved by that? Twenty five fucking percent. For my friends not in the bay area, you’re probably not getting off any easier. Oklahoma, where I grew up, is about 18%, or one in five. Look up your local food bank, they’ll surely have stats for your area, and send ‘em some love in the form of hard currency or time. I give a few dollars here and there to charity, but going and doing work for a while feels a lot better. Also, start hassling your congresscritter about universal basic income (and if you’ve got someone on the phone, tell ‘em you’d also like to see single payer healthcare).

Posted by Matt on 2018-09-06 06:55:35 +0000