Matrix Magic Menus

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Matrix Magic Menus

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December 13, 2015
By Michael Erlewine (

I became a full-time astrologer in August of 1972, not long after I found out that we were pregnant with our first child. I was thrilled to have a child in the works, but also scared out of my wits as to how I could support a family. Margaret and I had been living on fumes since we met, and I had lived on lesser fumettes when I was single. “What Me Worry?”

After I learned Margaret was pregnant, the very next day, to prove to myself that I would do anything to support my family, I went out and took a job on a city garbage truck, you know, hanging off the back of the thing as it rumbled down the street, tossing in garbage and getting stinky.

Well; I showed myself that I could do it, came home after work that day smelling like god-knows-what, and immediately told myself that there must be something else I could do than ride a garbage truck. And that is when I decided to hang out my shingle and become a professional astrologer. I had been an astrologer for years, teaching it, etc., but I had not taken the plunge.

Now that I plunged into marriage and had a child coming, I figured I might as well plunge into astrology full-time and give it a go. Well, Margaret and I worked hard to make a very meager living, with me doing readings, giving lectures, and teaching classes, and Margaret helping me with our mail-order astrology business and doing the books… AND caring for the kids! I was always at home, but my mind was, well, you know: in astrology land sometimes.

And before we know it, we had a couple kids and about zero room in our tiny house out on North Main Street in Ann Arbor, Michigan, right across from the junkyard, the train tracks, and the Huron River. We had one bedroom for all four of us, oddly enough called the “bed” room. In it we had (literally) wall-to-wall beds; the room was that small. Our two kids (at the time) loved it and treated it like a trampoline, running from wall to wall and throwing themselves down onto it.

When the kids got old enough to need a room to themselves, Margaret and I slept on the fold-out couch in the Living room. Many a night, after an evening astrology class, no sooner would the last student leave than we would fold out the couch and hop in it.
Embarrassing were the times when a student would come back for something they forgot and show up at our door. I would open the door and anyone outside could plainly see our couch-now-bed right behind me. What could I say? Anyway, I digress.

What I started to write about was when I began to program astrology on the new home computers in 1977 and share my programs with astrologers all over the world. I was the

first to do this. Not the first programmer of astrology, but the first to share programs openly with others. And so it went. However, I need to stop telling stories and get to the point of this blog.

When Matrix Software, my astrology-software company, grew a little bit and had a bunch of employees, I wanted to loosen up the workweek by celebrating every Friday after work. So we decided to have a dinner together (for anyone on staff who wanted to come) each Friday night after work. There was no charge, and we would often invite non-work friends or members of the community. And so we did. And these dinners went on for a long time, and mostly thanks to two people, which I want to call out right now.

One was my brother Tom Erlewine, who headed up our art department and Tom is a GREAT graphic artist. He volunteered to make up a little illustrated menu sign-up sheet each week, so that we could get an idea of how many folks to cook for. Actually, some signed up, some just came anyway, and so on. Tom’s menus are included at the link at the end of this blog, probably more than you want to see, but shuffle through at least a few of them to see how talented Tom is and how much fun it was to see a new menu each week. Tom also did all of the artwork for Matrix Software for many years, as well as a lot of dharma art for our center. Tom and his wife Sue now are the heads of Athens KTC (Karma Thegsum Chöling) Dharma Center in Athens, Ohio.

The other person that we could never have done this without is my friend Martin Wolf, a professional chef, poet, and serious dharma practitioner. We had a full kitchen in one of the Matrix buildings and Marty (as we called him then) would cook the best damn food around. He was just magic in the kitchen. He literally could take almost any ingredients, move them around a bit, and quite magically there was this incredibly delicious food.
Cooking whole and organic foods was just second nature to him.

So, I want to thank both Tom Erlewine and Marty Wolf for making a wonderful end to each work week. And now, here are many scores of menus for those of you have both the time and inclination. Here is the link to the menus: ... x-software

menu.jpg (137.07 KiB) Viewed 995 times
[Artwork by Tom Erlewine, menu by Martin Wolf.]
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