playing for keeps

the blog of g.a. matiasz


  • Downloads of END TIME can be purchased from SMASHWORDS.
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1% Free Book Launch & Reading

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on August 4, 2016

1%CoverYou are invited to the

1% FREE
book launch
for my near-future science fiction novel
Thursday, November 3
6 pm
Book Passage Bookstore
Ferry Building, San Francisco

I will read from my second novel, a near-future science fiction political thriller. Books will be available for purchase.

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Je suis Marxiste, tendance Groucho

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 9, 2016

“I AM A MARXIST OF THE GROUCHO VARIETY”

grafitto, Paris 1968

marxism-groucho-marx1groucho-marxistharpo marxist1030

MARXISM-LENNONISM
howcanyoube_cover_smMarx-Lennon_Abkhazia_stamp

THE SECTARIAN TENDENCIES
Groucho-Marxism-T-Shirtsvs.harpo_marx_harpo_marxism_ohp_poster-r48ab382691f540558d89ea82a4f0b472_iw5_8byvr_1024

Chico, Zeppo, and Gummo were purged during the “Moscow on the Hudson” show trials.

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Home Decor

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 5, 2016

I’m a flâneur for enjoyment, a stroller of my city and other cities for pleasure. Both of these houses are in the Castro. This one is on 20th Street. These stylized mural geese remind me of Walter Van Der Heyden or Tom Killion in style.
Geese 1Geese 2Geese 3Geese 4

While this one is on 19th Street. The characters on these two steel strips are rendered in a turn-of-the-20th-century art nouveau style and represent various professionals of the day.
Steel 1Steel 2Steel 3Steel 4Steel 5Steel 6Steel 7Steel 8Steel 9

Posted in art, Castro Street, life, San Francisco, The Castro | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Media Empire

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 19, 2016

empire-state-building-digital-photo-contesty-NYDailyNewsBelow are links to my websites, blogs, facebook pages, instagram, and twitter for my personal, political, writer/author, promotional, and publishing posts.

My writer/author website G.A. Matiasz.
My personal blog Playing For Keeps.
My political blog What’s Left?.
My Facebook page GAMatiasz.
My writer Facebook page G.A. Matiasz.
My Instagram @gamatiasz.
My Goodreads GAMatiasz.
My Twitter GAMatiasz.
My publishing website 62 Mile Press.
My publishing Facebook page 62 Mile Press.
My publishing blog 62 Miles.

Some I use extensively, others I don’t use at all. Many are still under construction.

Posted in blog, blogger, blogging, life, media monopolies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

GoodReads reviews

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 11, 2016

BG-evil-google2
GoodReads Reviews

Jim Beckmann rated it it was amazing

Planning on re-reading this as all I really remember was that I really liked it. It will be interesting this time around to read a future history set in 2007. 9/12/13 Just finished it. Even better than I remember. So much going on in this story but it never gets confusing. What I liked most were the political commentaries of the main character. He was a peripheral member of the anti war movement till a chance encounter puts him in the middle of the action. Though this book comes from a left perspective, there is extensive critique of all manner of leftist ideologies and actions. He dissects the good from the bad in Marxist/Leninism, Anarchism, violence, non violence, consensus, etc. This book is so many things, a detective story, a future history, science fiction, and a commentary on politics, and relationships. Refreshing and rare to see an author so thoroughly take apart his side of the political fence. highly recommend this book.

Smiley McGrouchpants rated it it was amazing

G. A. Matiasz’s mini-opus covers an awful lot of ground in just over 200 pages; considering the ideological (as in: the thought patterns people subscribe to, and the divergences that occur when they try to put them into practice) and mechanics (who knew this much about computers who was writing fiction in ’97 — except Gibson, Sterling, and Shirley?) apparati which drive the people in this high-caliber work of speculative fiction, you wonder why so much other acclaimed stuff is, by comparison, so half-awake and lazy.

AK Press brought out a winner! Try and catch up. Be as surprised as I was.

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Amazon reviews

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 10, 2016

amazonempire
Amazon Reviews

Well-thought Out, Anarchist, Sci-Fi
By Britt A. Green on July 3, 2000
Format: Paperback

This author writes under the name of Lefty Hooligan for the stalwart punk zine, Maximum Rock-and-Roll. Enjoying his column, I eagerly bought this book when I found it in the catalogue of AK Press.

My money was really well spent. Make no mistake about this: “Lefty” gets his nickname because he is far to the left of Ralph Nader. Fans of Tom Clancy will probably not enjoy this. His politics are intertwined with an amazing story of a student uprising in the near future Bay Area.

Unlike a lot of far left literature, all of his characters are very human. The author never falls into the easy trap of using caricatures of people. Everyone is very believable, and even the government agents can be sympathetic.
Furthermore, Lefty is an incredibly intelligent and rational writer. His reasoning is very well thought out (both in terms of politics and story progression.) As hinted at above, this book is very pragmatic and realistic. It avoids the typical extremist idealism that permeates many other books of the genre.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good piece of anarchist literature. The fact that its somewhat sci-fi is a definate plus, as well! ….

A great piece of agit-prop
By Randall Barnhart on April 6, 2001
Format: Paperback

Yup, this is the greatest piece of anarchist agit-prop since…well, since forever. There is nothing better.

Having said that, let’s look at the book from the science fiction angle. Matiasz knows and effectively uses every tropism of modern SF to very good effect. The use of “other sources” to push the exposition, the plot devices (missing atomic weapons, a Hidden Hero, the idealistic young protagonist who, by learning, reveals all). Wonderful.

And even if Matiasz uses trops, he never, ever sinks to stereotypes. There are cops that, while trapped in the System, are also caring and real. And a lot of the comrades are also idiots and buttheads. Every character is real.

This book is nothing like the stuff so-called Libertarian SF. It is profoundly and wonderfully great.

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Q zine & Iven Lourie

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 9, 2016

qzine5_clear
“The plot is straight forward thriller-cum-cyberpunk … (I)t’s fast-paced and fun in the way only a fervent anarchist rant can be.”

Q zine

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“End Time presents as an apocalyptic future-fiction, but exhibits all the characteristics of a realistic psychological novel… (Matiasz) extends current trends ingeniously to provide a context for characters winning their individual illuminations and liberations. … (H)is novel (as Marge Piercy did for my 60’s…) will bring the reader up to speed (or some approximation thereof) on contemporary anarchist ideas.”

Iven LourieInner Journeys

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TapRoot Reviews and Gene Splice

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 8, 2016

taproot
“Solidly-crafted thriller… Provocative political discussion and ‘what if’s’ raise the book’s intellectual value without spoiling it as a good read.”

TapRoot Reviews

Gene Splice

“End Time: Notes On The Apocalypse is a very good book of future fiction, bordering on science fiction. … (It’s) a fun book to read … Thick, chunky and tasty… Well done, and well worth reading.”

“Cookie” MahoneyGene Splice

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In solidarity with Illma Gore

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 7, 2016

In solidarity with the artist Illma Gore.

4070

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Profane Existence & Cyberpsychos AOD

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 7, 2016

pe-dove-for-records-2
“While dealing with future events that may not be, enough of the action takes place in a believable world to call this a 90’s version of M. Gilliland’s classic The Free . Over-all, well-written, near future science fiction novel brimming with believable characters in an all-too-familiar setting. Pick this one up and you probably won’t be able to put it down “til it’s over!”

DanProfane Existence

CPAOD10-Cover

“Do ya like subversion? How about nuclear terrorism? Good good, glad to see your priorities are set straight. £od Time Is packed full of goodies like this & much more. … A highly entertaining & interesting read, with chapters that may soon be headlines.”

Bruce YoungCyber-Psycho’s AOD

End Time: Notes on the Apocalypse can be purchased for download from Smashwords.

Posted in End Time, life, punk | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Small Press Review & Left Bank Distro

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 6, 2016

spr_head
“Ackerman showed up, and Bennett – and some guy named G.A. Matiasz whose SF/Oakland-based early 21st-century thriller called End Time I’m currently in the middle of and finding not only highly professional but intelligent, a rare combination in fiction. It’s fun reading, too!”

Bob GrummanSmall Press Review

logobig

“Although supposedly set in 2007, this intense new novel from a Maximum Rock’n’Roll columnist reads frighteningly real today.”

Left Bank Distribution

End Time: Notes on the Apocalypse can be purchased for download from Smashwords.

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Popular Reality & Pirate Writings

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 5, 2016

scan0018
“This is, at the very least, the novel of the year. The characters really take you along with them. So realistic, it ought to give all sorts of saboteurs inspiration on possibilities for what can be done.”

Irreverend David Crowbar, Editor, Popular Reality

pirate_writings_1994fal_n5

End Time is an engaging, thoroughly realistic novel that might very well frighten you into studying the political agenda of our leaders a bit more closely come November.”

Pirate Writings

End Time: Notes on the Apocalypse can be purchased for download from Smashwords.

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JG Eccarius and Lumpen Times

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 4, 2016

51jFtUbO9TL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
“End Time … is scarily realistic, fast paced, and detailed in vision. … I don’t know of any future fiction this chillingly real published since the debut of Gibson’s Neuromancer …. If Gibson preceded Matiasz, it must be admitted that Matiasz has topped him.”

J.G. EccariusThe Stake

lumpen126cover.jpg

“Matiasz constructs a fascinating and believable technoBaroque California in End Time …. (He) has woven a zeitgeistish thread into the web of futurology…. It’s a compelling read once you get started. AK Press couldn’t have sent a better book at the right time.”

EdMar, the Lumpen Times

End Time: Notes on the Apocalypse can be purchased for download from Smashwords.

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Factsheet Five and Maximum Rocknroll

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 3, 2016

FactsheetFiveCover
“G.A. Matiasz has created a charged, political, and very readable novel in End Time, jump-cutting P.O.V. from character to character, pulling the reader into the plot as each character, quick as a Polaroid, develops into a fascinating persona.”

Factsheet Five

MRR

“This is not a happy vision of ourselves and the world we maintain. But it is an honest and compelling one. End Time. Notes On The Apocalypse is excellent speculative fiction. Full of heart and horror. Get it. Read it.”

Pickles McGurckMaximum Rock’n’Roll

End Time: Notes on the Apocalypse can be purchased for download from Smashwords.

Posted in End Time, life, Maximum Rocknroll | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Eluki bes Shahar and Hakim Bey

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 2, 2016

639873
“End Time is a kick-ass thriller of the near-future political edge; fast-paced and always surprising. This hardball trip to Looking Glass Land is reminiscent of the books of Neil Shulman and Shea/Wilson, and should find an enthusiastic audience.”

eluki bes shahar, author of the Hellflower trilogy

bey-site

“A compulsively readable thriller combined with a very smart meditation on the near-future of anarchism. End Time proves once again that Sci-Fi is our only literature of ideas.”

Hakim Bey, author of T.A.Z.

End Time: Notes on the Apocalypse can be purchased for download from Smashwords.

Posted in End Time, life | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

END TIME reprint

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 1, 2016

2nd printing cover of END TIME built by JOHN YATES at STEALWORKS.

2nd printing cover of END TIME built by JOHN YATES at STEALWORKS.


I am reprinting my prescient, near-future thriller END TIME: NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE through my publishing business 62 MILE PRESS. Written in a slashing, evocative style, END TIME received rave reviews in underground and small press circles in 1994.

END TIME: NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE

Greg Kovinski, the novel’s protagonist, lives in interesting times. War and civil war rage across the former Soviet Union and much of the globe. The United States is fighting a sophisticated high tech counterinsurgency war in southern Mexico, against a popular revolution claiming the tradition of Zapata, in order to preserve the North American free trade zone. In Alabaster, a small town north of San Francisco, a draft-aged Greg, and a group of anti-war college students, gain possession of enough bomb grade riemanium to build a nuclear weapon several times more powerful than the one detonated over Nagasaki. As Greg struggles to “do the right thing” with his deadly power, friends turn out to be thieves, civil unrest rages, and the City of Oakland rises in revolution to become the 21st century’s Paris Commune.

George facebook pic
Born in 1952, I was a late hippie and an early punk. I began self-publishing at 17 with a high school underground newspaper, and burned my draft card at age 18. Essays from my publication Point-Blank/San Diego’s Daily Impulse have been reprinted in Semiotext[e] USA, the Utne Reader, and War Resisters’ League’s short-lived youth publication SPEW! I have also published essays in Against The Wall, the New Indicator, Draft NOtices, and the San Diego Newsline. My first science fiction novel END TIME: NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE was published in January, 1994 by AK Press when I lived in Oakland, California, with a second edition printed in September, 1996. End Time sold around 4,000 copies and was reprinted in Portuguese by a Brazilian publisher. Presently, I live in San Francisco, where I write a regular monthly column of news analysis and political commentary for Maximum Rocknroll under the name “Lefty” Hooligan. I am currently self-publishing my second novel, 1% FREE, through my business 62 MILE PRESS.

End Time: Notes on the Apocalypse can be purchased for download from Smashwords.

Posted in anarchism, anarchists, bookstores, life, Oakland, San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Near-Future Past

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on April 30, 2016

Black Bloc
California, 2007.

The storm black Hooligans took Van Ness, but never made the jog off to the park, Instead, they massed, some one hundred thousand strong, up to the hastily formed police blockade on Van Ness and Grove, then east back around on Market. They stopped in fact. March peace monitors, realizing what was happening, evaporated from around the autonomous columns to beat hasty retreats up Grove, Fell, Oak and Page with the march’s stragglers. People pulled on masks, bandanas, ski masks and balaklavas. Sunglasses hid eyes. Adrenaline once more raced through Greg, somewhere in the middle of that black mass, as he pulled up his own ‘kerchief. He watched a gauntly beautiful girl, a rare, anti-war Null, put her large black scarf over her gold electroplated cheek plates, before putting on shades in synch with hers…

Noble Eagle
It’s not just sex, drugs and rock’n’roll!

A wing of fighter jets, low over Nimitz Field, shrieked toward Oakland. Toward Jack London Square and the dual battle laser positions on Oakland’s inner harbor. People were running around the tower then, running away from the Harbor as fast as was humanly possible. A second roar, and surface-to-air missile batteries leapt into action to lay up a defensive curtain of heat seeking rockets. The jets broke into evasive action. Battle laser auroras danced up ultraviolet into the descending sun as the weapons primed. Two jets looped back tightly and managed to let loose their own rockets before having to dodge again. The harbor erupted under the jet strike, counterpointed quickly by one jet taking a direct hit and another spinning off, minus one wing. The battle laser fired. The precise x-ray beam could not be seen. But it produced a sharp fold in the air as it pierced across the bay and stripped the top off San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid…

laser-weapons-soldiers-670x333
Armageddon’s been in effect!

For a brief moment Marcus witnessed a phantasm, bathed in the smoky light of its own making. The creature was humanoid, dressed in a form fitting, single-piece, eel-gray body suit. The hands were gloved, with thick seams running up the arms and shoulders. And the head was entirely, strangely helmeted. It was a type of skull-tight ski mask, fitted with shear goggles and headphones, and crested with a soft, gun-metal colored apparatus. The goggles pulsed with that on-edge-of-sight light Marcus had observed seconds before, from under the door.

“Freeze,” Joe yelled, crouched and aimed.

An invisible light, apprehendable by a sense more visceral than sight and tailored minutely to Joe’s shape,streaked with precision from the refractive goggles, cookie cutting Joe perfectly. Joe exploded backwards…

End Time: Notes on the Apocalypse can be purchased for download starting May 1, 2016 from Smashwords.

Posted in black bloc, California, class war, direct action, life, Oakland, police, punk, San Francisco, US military | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

DRAFT: END TIME reprinted by 62 MILE PRESS

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on March 24, 2016

1st printing cover of END TIME drawn by TIM GONZALES

1st printing cover of END TIME drawn by TIM GONZALES

2nd printing cover of END TIME built by JOHN YATES at STEALWORKS.

2nd printing cover of END TIME built by JOHN YATES at STEALWORKS.

FOR FACEBOOK PAGES:

I am reprinting my prescient, near-future thriller END TIME: NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE through my publishing business 62 MILE PRESS. Written in a slashing, evocative style, END TIME received rave reviews in underground and small press circles in 1994. (for facebook writer page)

62 MILE PRESS is reprinting the prescient, near-future thriller END TIME: NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE by G.A. MATIASZ. Written in a slashing, evocative style, END TIME received rave reviews in underground and small press circles in 1994. (for facebook business page)

Reprint Date: May 5, 2016

California, 2007.

“The storm black Hooligans took Van Ness, but never made the jog off to the park, Instead, they massed, some one hundred thousand strong, up to the hastily formed police blockade on Van Ness and Grove, then east back around on Market. They stopped in fact. March peace monitors, realizing what was happening, evaporated from around the autonomous columns to beat hasty retreats up Grove, Fell, Oak and Page with the march’s stragglers. People pulled on masks, bandanas, ski masks and balaklavas. Sunglasses hid eyes. Adrenaline once more raced through Greg, somewhere in the middle of that black mass, as he pulled up his own ‘kerchief. He watched a gauntly beautiful girl, a rare, anti-war Null, put her large black scarf over her gold electroplated cheek plates, before putting on shades in synch with hers…”

It’s not just sex, drugs and rock’n’roll!

“A wing of fighter jets, low over Nimitz Field, shrieked toward Oakland. Toward Jack London Square and the dual battle laser positions on Oakland’s inner harbor. People were running around the tower then, running away from the Harbor as fast as was humanly possible. A second roar, and surface-to-air missile batteries leapt into action to lay up a defensive curtain of heat seeking rockets. The jets broke into evasive action. Battle laser auroras danced up ultraviolet into the descending sun as the weapons primed. Two jets looped back tightly and managed to let loose their own rockets before having to dodge again. The harbor erupted under the jet strike, counterpointed quickly by one jet taking a direct hit and another spinning off, minus one wing. The battle laser fired. The precise x-ray beam could not be seen. But it produced a sharp fold in the air as it pierced across the bay and stripped the top off San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid…”

Armageddon’s been in effect!

“For a brief moment Marcus witnessed a phantasm, bathed in the smoky light of its own making. The creature was humanoid, dressed in a form fitting, single-piece, eel-gray body suit. The hands were gloved, with thick seams running up the arms and shoulders. And the head was entirely, strangely helmeted. It was a type of skull-tight ski mask, fitted with shear goggles and headphones, and crested with a soft, gun-metal colored apparatus. The goggles pulsed with that on-edge-of-sight light Marcus had observed seconds before, from under the door.

“‘Freeze,’ Joe yelled, crouched and aimed.

“An invisible light, apprehendable by a sense more visceral than sight and tailored minutely to Joe’s shape,streaked with precision from the refractive goggles, cookie cutting Joe perfectly. Joe exploded backwards…”

END TIME: NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE:

Greg Kovinski, the novel’s protagonist, lives in interesting times. War and civil war rage across the former Soviet Union and much of the globe. The United States is fighting a sophisticated high tech counterinsurgency war in southern Mexico, against a popular revolution claiming the tradition of Zapata, in order to preserve the North American free trade zone. In Alabaster, a small town north of San Francisco, a draft-aged Greg, and a group of anti-war college students, gain possession of enough bomb grade riemanium to build a nuclear weapon several times more powerful than the one detonated over Nagasaki. As Greg struggles to “do the right thing” with his deadly power, friends turn out to be thieves, civil unrest rages, and the City of Oakland rises in revolution to become the 21st century’s Paris Commune.

FOR WEBSITES/BLOGS:

I am reprinting my prescient, near-future thriller END TIME: NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE through my publishing business 62 MILE PRESS. Written in a slashing, evocative style, END TIME received rave reviews in underground and small press circles in 1994. (for personal blog and author website)

62 MILE PRESS is reprinting the prescient, near-future thriller END TIME: NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE by G.A. MATIASZ. Written in a slashing, evocative style, END TIME received rave reviews in underground and small press circles in 1994. (for publishing website)

Reprint Date: May 5, 2016

California, 2007.

The storm black Hooligans took Van Ness, but never made the jog off to the park, Instead, they massed, some one hundred thousand strong, up to the hastily formed police blockade on Van Ness and Grove, then east back around on Market. They stopped in fact. March peace monitors, realizing what was happening, evaporated from around the autonomous columns to beat hasty retreats up Grove, Fell, Oak and Page with the march’s stragglers. People pulled on masks, bandanas, ski masks and balaklavas. Sunglasses hid eyes. Adrenaline once more raced through Greg, somewhere in the middle of that black mass, as he pulled up his own ‘kerchief. He watched a gauntly beautiful girl, a rare, anti-war Null, put her large black scarf over her gold electroplated cheek plates, before putting on shades in synch with hers…

It’s not just sex, drugs and rock’n’roll!

A wing of fighter jets, low over Nimitz Field, shrieked toward Oakland. Toward Jack London Square and the dual battle laser positions on Oakland’s inner harbor. People were running around the tower then, running away from the Harbor as fast as was humanly possible. A second roar, and surface-to-air missile batteries leapt into action to lay up a defensive curtain of heat seeking rockets. The jets broke into evasive action. Battle laser auroras danced up ultraviolet into the descending sun as the weapons primed. Two jets looped back tightly and managed to let loose their own rockets before having to dodge again. The harbor erupted under the jet strike, counterpointed quickly by one jet taking a direct hit and another spinning off, minus one wing. The battle laser fired. The precise x-ray beam could not be seen. But it produced a sharp fold in the air as it pierced across the bay and stripped the top off San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid…

Armageddon’s been in effect!

For a brief moment Marcus witnessed a phantasm, bathed in the smoky light of its own making. The creature was humanoid, dressed in a form fitting, single-piece, eel-gray body suit. The hands were gloved, with thick seams running up the arms and shoulders. And the head was entirely, strangely helmeted. It was a type of skull-tight ski mask, fitted with shear goggles and headphones, and crested with a soft, gun-metal colored apparatus. The goggles pulsed with that on-edge-of-sight light Marcus had observed seconds before, from under the door.

“Freeze,” Joe yelled, crouched and aimed.

An invisible light, apprehendable by a sense more visceral than sight and tailored minutely to Joe’s shape,streaked with precision from the refractive goggles, cookie cutting Joe perfectly. Joe exploded backwards…

END TIME: NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE:

Greg Kovinski, the novel’s protagonist, lives in interesting times. War and civil war rage across the former Soviet Union and much of the globe. The United States is fighting a sophisticated high tech counterinsurgency war in southern Mexico, against a popular revolution claiming the tradition of Zapata, in order to preserve the North American free trade zone. In Alabaster, a small town north of San Francisco, a draft-aged Greg, and a group of anti-war college students, gain possession of enough bomb grade riemanium to build a nuclear weapon several times more powerful than the one detonated over Nagasaki. As Greg struggles to “do the right thing” with his deadly power, friends turn out to be thieves, civil unrest rages, and the City of Oakland rises in revolution to become the 21st century’s Paris Commune.

Posted in life, writing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

NASA Space Travel Posters

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on February 21, 2016

NASA is offering something very cool, 14 mint space travel posters for the solar system and near Milky Way galaxy.GrandTour I converted the original, extremely large TIFFs into equally large JPEGs and set them up for display on this page so as not to slow down the main page’s loading to a crawl.

This “tour” begins with Earth and travels out to Venus, Mars, Ceres, a grand tour of the gas giants, Jupiter, Europa, Titan, Enceladus, various newly discovered exoplanets, HD40307g, PSOJ318.5-22, Kepler 16b, and Kepler 186f. Enjoy this trippy (in more ways than one) poster art.

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Neighborhood hangout

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on February 13, 2016

NeighborsCorner#6
In New York City, its a bodega on every corner. In LA, its corner liquor stores. Here in San Francisco, its the corner grocery store which, unfortunately, is being threatened by rampant gentrification.

NeighborsCorner#5
We live in an already upscale part of the City, between Noe and Eureka Valleys. Two blocks down from our house, an old funky grocery store (no fresh fruits or vegetables, just canned or packaged food items, often with expired dates, plus the usual alcohol) gave up the ghost several years ago. This allowed four local entrepreneurs to take over the empty space and do a soft-story earthquake retrofit in addition to overall improvements.

NeighborsCorner#2
The resulting business is part coffee shop/ice cream bar/prepared food store/event and class location/commercial popup/neighborhood hangout. And its been successful from the start. They’ve scheduled a class on the “Art & Science of Saving Bees, Birds & Trees,” and host boutique flower arranging by the FloraCultural Society on weekends.

NeighborsCorner#4
Ryan and Laurel can often be found preparing gourmet coffees and teas or serving Laurel’s sweet and savory pastries. And people do what they usually do in San Francisco coffee shops, set up their laptops for long sessions of work and play online. Neighbor’s Corner is bright and airy, with a modern bathroom to boot.

NeighborsCorner#3
The previous store owner left quite mysteriously and was unable to pass on the location’s liquor licenses to the new owners. Now the new owners are working through the lengthy city permit process to allow for regular coffee shop occupancy and patronage during business hours. Given the enthusiastic response from the residents, Neighbor’s Corner looks like it’s here to stay.

UPDATED 2-14-16:
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Posted in Eureka Valley, gentrification, life, Noe Valley, Paris of the West, San Francisco, San Francisco neighborhoods | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fuck the Super Bowl!

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on February 5, 2016

Huffpost Impact article:

Protestors Want San Francisco To ‘Tackle Homelessness’ Before Super Bowl
“You can spend $5 million on a big half time party. You can spend $5 million on a big show. But you can’t feed homeless people?”

Krithika Varagur
Associate Editor, What’s Working, The Huffington Post

A woman holds up a pair of signs as police look on during a protest to demand city officials do more to help homeless people outside Super Bowl City, a pro-football's weeklong theme park near the famed Ferry Building in San Francisco on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016. Dozens protested what they say is San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee's plan to push homeless people out of the scenic bay-front Embarcadero, where Super Bowl festivities are being held. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

A woman holds up a pair of signs as police look on during a protest to demand city officials do more to help homeless people outside Super Bowl City, a pro-football’s weeklong theme park near the famed Ferry Building in San Francisco on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016. Dozens protested what they say is San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s plan to push homeless people out of the scenic bay-front Embarcadero, where Super Bowl festivities are being held. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

As the host of this weekend’s Super Bowl, San Francisco has spared no expense, erecting a huge “Super Bowl City” compound for the event.

This perceived excess angered homeless advocates in the Bay Area, a few hundred of whom protested at the compound on Wednesday afternoon, according to KTVU. They asked the city to spend more money on its thousands of homeless residents.

“You can spend $5 million on a big half time party. You can spend $5 million on a big show. But you can’t feed homeless people?” asked a protestor named Joshua Shrader, according to Time.

The protesters set up a “tent city” outside the Super Bowl City compound and were fairly orderly. The organizers, led by the Coalition on Homelessness, met with police to set its parameters beforehand, according to SF Gate. They called for San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to invest $5 million, the approximate cost of the Super Bowl, in housing and social services for homeless people.

Lee has become unpopular among homeless advocates for saying, with regards to homeless people during the Super Bowl, “They are going to have to leave.”

The city has been accused of moving homeless people out of sight to keep up appearances before the Super Bowl. In response, city officials say they are only trying to help the homeless during severe El Niño rains.

“Our only goal is to help people in out of the rain, and it has nothing to do with the Super Bowl,” Trent Rhorer, head of the city’s Human Services Agency, told SF Gate.

But Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness, told Time that homeless people are being illegally searched, cleared from encampments, and ticketed for arbitrary offenses like “sitting or lying.”

By the protest’s end, many homeless people left to find places to sleep for the night, according to SF Gate. One 61-year-old homeless woman, Cynthia Lee, told the news outlet, “I think if San Francisco has money to throw at the Super Bowl — even if it brings in tax money — they should give us places to live.”

INDEPTH SUPER BOWL ARTICLE
from 48Hills by Tim Redmond

Posted in Bay Area, homeless, life, poverty, San Francisco, San Francisco Bay Area, SFGate | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Aroma Tea Shop, San Francisco

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on February 3, 2016

Aroma Tea 6th Ave

I can’t imagine how I missed this place until now.

Aroma Tea Shop inside

Aroma Tea is a quirky—inside and out—tea shop on 6th Avenue in the Inner Richmond. The owners are eccentric yet extremely knowledgeable, traveling often to China to select and buy the teas they sell.

Colorful Teas Multiple Varieties

It’s “all tea all the time” here, with the varieties of tea in wildly packaged tins. The selection is outstanding; black/red, oolong, jasmine, green, white, pu-erh, even herbal. They have daily tea tasting during business hours where you can sample the teas you wish to buy, which also means looking over and smelling the leaves.

Aroma Tea owner

They have two locations:

302 6th Ave @ Clement St.
San Francisco, CA 94118
415.668.3788
Everyday 11am—7pm

845 Washington St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
415.362.6588
Everyday 10:30am—6pm

Tea Tasting

The first time I visited yesterday I purchased 2 ounces of premium white tea. I’ll be back for more.

Posted in Bay Area, life, Paris of the West, San Francisco, San Francisco Bay Area | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How to live longer

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on February 2, 2016

Appropriated from lollydaskal.com.

Appropriated from lollydaskal.com.


Tom and Ray Magliozzi of Car Talk fame did a bit where they bemoaned having to exercise regularly. If exercising a half hour every day adds up to a year of exercise in your life, one or the other of the Magliozzi brothers quipped, you’ll live just one year extra plus a day before you “buy the farm.”

So what if I said you could live longer with or without exercising more, without actually doing anything different than you’re doing now?

I drank alcohol regularly for 30 odd years prior to stopping completely on January 1, 2010. I wasn’t a fall down drunk, nor did I actually get wasted drunk, but I was a daily maintenance drinker. I drank until I got my buzz on. For that 30 years, when I wasn’t forced to go to work, I woke routinely around 9, 10 in the morning. After I stopped drinking I was depressed for another 9 months and so I continued to rise late in the morning, even though I retired and no longer had to work. That means I was sleeping 9 to 10 hours a night.

When I finally got on top of my depression, I resolved to curtail my sleep to a more normal 7-8 hours a night, meaning that I now wake at 7 or earlier most mornings. That’s 1 to 2 hours extra of wakefulness a day on average, which adds up to 15 to 30 more days of being awake each year.

No one knows the time of one’s death. Waking earlier doesn’t actually extend the date of one’s dying, but it does give one more time to be awake, and hence consciously alive. Plus, I wake up at a calmer, more peaceful time of my day. I feel like a get more done these days as well. That’s something.

Besides, I get to catch a sunrise now and then on my new schedule.

Posted in alcoholism, life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

An extremely brief history of the universe

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on December 6, 2015

A time map by Martin Vargic, covering the 13.8 billion years of the universe’s existence through the death of Earth and the demise of the sun 8 billion years in the future:
TimeLine

Posted in life | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

What Joann Sfar drew: Charlie Hebdo cartoonist in translation

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on November 14, 2015

France is an old country where lovers embrace freely.

France is an old country where lovers embrace freely.


Paris is our capital. We love music, drunkenness, joy.

Paris is our capital. We love music, drunkenness, joy.


For centuries lovers of death have tried to make us lose life's flavour.

For centuries lovers of death have tried to make us lose life’s flavour.


They never succeed.

They never succeed.


Those who love. Those who love life. In the end, they're always the ones who are rewarded.

Those who love. Those who love life. In the end, they’re always the ones who are rewarded.


The motto of Paris is beautiful.

The motto of Paris is beautiful.


It is beaten by the waves but does not sink'

‘It is beaten by the waves but does not sink’


8
Terrorism is not the enemy. Terrorism is a mode of operation. Repeating 'we are at war' without finding the courage to name our enemies leads nowhere. Our enemies are those that love death. In various guises, they have always existed. History forgets quickly.

Terrorism is not the enemy. Terrorism is a mode of operation. Repeating ‘we are at war’ without finding the courage to name our enemies leads nowhere. Our enemies are those that love death. In various guises, they have always existed. History forgets quickly.


The people who died tonight were out living, drinking, singing. They didn't know they had declared war.

The people who died tonight were out living, drinking, singing. They didn’t know they had declared war.


Instead of dividing, we should remember what is precious: our way of life.

Instead of dividing, we should remember what is precious: our way of life.


Lovers of death, if God exists, he hated you. And you have already lost, both on earth and in heaven.

Lovers of death, if God exists, he hated you. And you have already lost, both on earth and in heaven.


It means, 'Fuck death.'

It means, ‘Fuck death.’


The cartoon, in translation, available here

Posted in Paris, terrorism | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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