Is Now A Good Time?



An Audio Survey in Process


  • Bill Ehrlich - Born Lucky

    21/06/2018 Duration: 42min

    This is a conversation with my Dad (Bill Ehrlich) on the eve of his retirement at 65. He had a 35-year career as a sales professional in the commercial printing business. Photo: On the front steps of our house in Minnesota with his two grandsons. musical notes: Neil Young "Ohio" [1:14] Simon & Garfunkel "Punky's Dilemma" [8:40] The Beatles "Getting Better" [21:20] Norman GreenBaum "Spirit in the Sky" [31:35] Crosby Stills Nash & Young "Carry On" [outro]

  • January Coleman-Jones - Being There

    30/05/2018 Duration: 55min

    January is currently studying to become a psychosomatic therapist. musical notes: Rostam - "Thatch Snow" [intro] Yo Yo Ma & Kathryn Stott - "The Swan (From _Carnival of the Animals, R. 125_)" @ [18:50] Thelonious Monk - "I'm Confessin' (That I Love You)" @ [29:45] Colleen - "Soul Alphabet" [outro]

  • Wesaam Al-Badry - I Don't Want To Give It A Name

    17/05/2018 Duration: 51min

    Wesaam Al-Badry is a photojournalist living in San Francisco. He was born in 1984 in Nasiriyah, Iraq. website: musical notes: Charlie Parr - "Jaybird" [intro] The Cannonball Adderly Quintet - "Mercy Mercy Mercy (Live) (Remix)" [outro]

  • Lorna Simpson - Oh No, Here It Comes

    11/11/2017 Duration: 39min

    Lorna Simpson is a stylist and art director currently living and working in San Francisco. website: instagram: musical notes: Spoon - "Inside Out" [intro] Wilco - "I am trying to break your heart" @ [5:35] Wild Nothing - "Shadow" @ [15:34] Oddnesse - "Somewhere Somehow" @ [19:43] M. Ward - "Epistemology" @ [32:18] Flo Morrissey & Matthew E. White - "Look At What The Light Did Now" [outro]

  • Simone Stolzoff - Don't Overthink It

    01/09/2017 Duration: 24min

    Simone wrote a piece about how he "solved his quarter life crisis" -- link provided below. Topically the piece has overlap with a number of the conversations I've had for this show and it displayed an admirable candor: "I’ve been out of college for four years, and while my med school friends inch closer to their white coats and my finance friends inch closer to their white board meetings, I feel about as lost as ever. I’m in my third industry in as many years, my love life fluctuates between The Matterhorn and It’s A Small World, and the only time I really feel at peace is when I have 10 minutes to poop and for some reason forgot my phone in the other room. But I have found something I do care about—choosing how to orient my attention. It’s the common thread with most of the things I unconditionally love ... ... Not only is uni-tasking incredibly empowering, but it also might just be the answer to my quarter life crisis." Focusing and reorienting our attention is easier said than done. In our conversatio

  • Darrell Williams - Under Pressure

    18/11/2016 Duration: 47min

    Darrell Williams is an excellent barber and lends a nonjudgmental ear to his clients, I know because I'm one of them. Darrell's mixture of serene wisdom and humor come through in our conversation reflecting on his life. He's been through a lot but has made it through without bitterness. "Their responsibility is to show me support, not to support me . . . There's a difference." "If you put in effort you're going to get something out of it." Show Notes: Massive: -713 Washington St, Oakland, CA 94607 Instagram: @williams714_barber Delivery Service: Musical Notes: Jacques Renault, "Norman's Fire" [8:30] Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, "Baby What You Want Me To Do" [21:30] Erykah Badu, "Penitentiary Philosophy" [31:00] The Isley Brothers, "It's Your Thing" [39:00] Outro: Trus'me, "Working Nights" [45:30] Music Selection & Episode Mix by Mike Benz -

  • Nick Carrel - Up Until Now

    13/09/2016 Duration: 44min

    Nick Carrel - corporate sales turned dog walking entrepreneur . . . Nick went from corporate sales to dog walking via a failed attempt at "following his passion" for Yerba Mate tea. His story highlights the difficulty of career navigation in uncharted waters and how the vehicle to achieve work satisfaction can be totally unexpected. Show Notes: Website: Facebook: Instagram: @barking_buddhas Musical Notes: Intro: Spoon, "The Underdog" Blood Orange, "Uncle ACE" Vampire Weekend, "M79" Rolling Stones, "Street Fighting Man" Outro: Led Zeppelin, "Black Dog" Episode Mixed by Mike Benz -

  • Martina & Britney Abrahams - You Had Me At Black

    15/08/2016 Duration: 52min

    Martina and Britney Abrahams are the sisters behind the podcast You Had Me At Black. They grew up in Bridgewater, New Jersey and despite growing up in the same environment had starkly different experiences. After high school Martina majored in Marketing at Georgetown University while Britney studied theater and creative writing at Spelman College. Currently Martina (founder/host) lives in Oakland, California and Britney (co-founder/producer) is based in New York City. This is our conversation about their lives and how they came to start their podcast You Had Me At Black. Show Notes: Website – Soundcloud - Also on iTunes, Google Play, Podcast Addict and Stitcher Instagram - @youhadme.atblack Musical Notes: Chance The Rapper - "Angels" Kendrick Lamar - "These Walls" Lauryn Hill - "Doo Wop (That Thing)" Wicked - "Defying Gravity" Marvin Gaye - "Ain't No Mountain High" Photo Credit: @bklynbikesupply Episode Mixed by Mike Benz -

  • Io Kleiser - That's A Lot Of Pressure

    20/07/2016 Duration: 42min

    Io Kleiser is an astronomy and astrophysics PhD student at Caltech and is currently a visiting student at Berkeley. In our conversation we discuss how Io decided to go into the sciences and some of the challenges that have come with that path – among them building a foundation of subject matter knowledge in order to pursue the career she wanted as well as the reality of being a female in a male dominated field. Io’s current work focuses on supernovae (which I learned is the plural of supernova) and the phenomena associated with exploding stars. “We can’t stand for this, it’s not just because we want to have warm fuzzy feelings about diversity -- it harms the field, you could be getting rid of some of your best talent if you’re providing women with these extra challenges that have nothing to do with science.” "It really takes a conscious effort to try to put down all that "I need to be successful," "I need to be smarter than other people," "I need to be better than other people," it's hard to put that mindse

  • Dolly Li - Beyond Paper

    13/06/2016 Duration: 47min

    Dolly Li is a visual journalist at AJ+ - - Dolly's grandfather was persecuted during the cultural revolution in China before her parents eventually immigrated to Brooklyn, New York. Dolly's story explores how in two generations you can go from cultural persecution to professionally practicing free speech. Her father, who is also an artist, taught her how to draw but didn't always see art or journalism as a viable career path. "I know I'm here because my parents dreamed a bigger dream for me . . . My ability to practice free press here is something that my grandparents could only dream of." "Everything can be learned through practice and if you want to be a good artist you do it every day. You do it until you get it and you will get it if you commit to it." "Things move faster than our imaginations sometimes." Episode Mixed by Mike Benz -

  • Kalin Freeman - Live

    23/05/2016 Duration: 58min

    I met Kalin while he was drawing a crowd outside of the Downtown Berkeley BART stop. He was playing the saxophone with a soul and depth that stopped me in my tracks and I had to find out more. He studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and is a graduate of the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts. If you'd like to see him and his band live, Soul Progressions, check out upcoming dates on Facebook here:

  • Willie Roberts - The River is Current

    09/05/2016 Duration: 47min

    Willee's path brought him from California to South America and back to California via New Orleans. Over the past few years he worked for the ACLU, Goorin Bros Hat Co. and studied under San Francisco milliner Wayne Wichern before beginning to make his own hats. Willee is now a hatmaker based in Berkeley, California. He combines the practice of plant medicine with the craft of millinery to provide people with spirit helmets, his company is Hampui Medicine Hats - "I had a vision to make medicine hats, to make hats that would be tools of transformation." Podcast mixed by Mike Benz Caps for Sale (1994):

  • Siggy Bilstein & Joey Yang - Big Dada

    26/04/2016 Duration: 01h01min

    Siggy and Joey are the instigators of DadaConf (, a conference built around the idea of “Big Dada” -- think Big Data meets Dadaism. Siggy and Joey work in the tech industry but maintain a sense of both the promise and absurdity of technology. They started DadaConf in order to bring people from all different backgrounds together to learn new skills from each other and subsequently use their newfound skills to make something really DUMB. “It was really freeing to see some things that can be construed as progress as not really progress, but more just as motion . . . It’s like a light hearted non- or anti-hackathon.” ~ Siggy “Creation is an act of joy in a lot of ways . . . You have to start by sucking at something. You have to start as a beginner and that’s the thing that people don’t tell you.” ~ Joey Podcast mixed by Mike Benz. Photo by Chloe List. DadaConf is May 6-8, 2016 at NIMBY in Oakland (8410 Amelia St). Buy your ticket here:

  • Michelle Cho - The What & The Why

    11/04/2016 Duration: 39min

    Michelle recently received admission to London Film School and moved to London at the beginning of April to begin her program at LFS in May. Michelle was a Digital Marketing Coordinator at Levi's in San Francisco for the past year and a half. Before San Francisco, she worked at Kinfolk Magazine and Sea Chant in Portland. "It's like shedding skin as a snake . . . that's the way you grow." "You have to continue looking at the unrealistic places you want to go to." To see some of Michelle's work you can go to her website: or find her on instagram @mkmicho ( Podcast mixed by Mike Benz.

  • Joel Gil Leon - So Many Things

    28/03/2016 Duration: 59min

    Joel is a QA Software Engineer from southern Mexico (Villhermosa, Tabasco). He currently works at Endless Mobile in San Francisco and in June will be leaving to travel the world starting with a one-way ticket to India. “I’m not sold on this idea that I should be careful about every step I take to have the planned perfect life . . . why wouldn’t I try this.” "I want to make decisions that the future me is going to be proud of." Podcast mixed by Mike Benz.

  • Allison Vicenzi - Love It or Fix It

    15/03/2016 Duration: 01h04min

    Allison is Head of Education at 3Doodler and currently lives and works in Hong Kong. "You can do anything that you want but you can't do everything . . . at least not all at once." "It's a lot of shiny objects out there." "Nobody tells you what to do after you've turned in all your homework." Her current side hustle is a clothing line most easily described as "Patagonia for bizwear." -- Podcast mixed by Mike Benz.

  • Jenna Kauppi - What's the Worst That Could Happen

    01/03/2016 Duration: 01h16min

    Jenna is a copywriter at Goodby Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. "It's very sad but also very empowering. The worst thing that could possibly happen to me has already happened . So in a way it kind of released me to this, that I realized I could take more risks . . . because what's the worst that could happen . . . there is none anymore." Podcast mixed by Mike Benz.

  • Shane Callahan - Whatever It Is

    16/02/2016 Duration: 42min

    Shane moved to California after spending time in China and South America post-college. "Go with your gut, whatever that tells you . . . whether it's the safe route, whatever it is. Your gut is going to get you where you are supposed to be." Podcast mixed by Mike Benz.

  • Mike Benz - Write Now

    05/02/2016 Duration: 39min

    Mike is an aspiring writer who felt he needed more time to write. In his mid-twenties, he quit his day job and took a multi-year sabbatical only to find himself less productive than expected and yearning for some of the small things we take for granted as part of the daily grind. He currently lives in Oakland, works a day job, and is still writing.

  • Lauren Argo - inDesign

    24/01/2016 Duration: 38min

    Lauren is an industrial designer focusing on user experience and user interface. What makes something well designed? "The fact that when you're using the product or service you don't actually think about the design, you don't even notice it was designed . . . it's when the design actually disappears and it's just so intuitive, that means it's a good design." ~ Lauren Argo If Lauren had to choose a title for her autobiography, what would the title be? Short & Sweet Link to The Biomimicry Institute:

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