Posts Tagged With: Diary

Printed first poem in collection. But the novel’s first page.. not sure if I want it to be something I’ve written this semester, or something from the past. I don’t want those writings to die, or be forgotten, collecting dust in the closet to my left.. or somewhere in this bloody laptop. I very much want to resurrect the old writings, have them speak louder than they did when I first wrote them.

Departing for a bit, to watch a documentary on photography. Yes, for/from National Geographic.. I feel something about and within my proscribed animate edifice coming alive. Ready for rebellion. Leaving the lasso of regularity behind. Bringing Death to their devilish clock. Giving my son a father of which to be immeasurably proud.

$424 in publishing state, to note…..

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Mountain Letter [draft]

3/30. Not 5AM, but not after seven either. 6:32AM. Was going to go back into the morning’s sleep, but suddenly I was jolted. And I’m not sure by what. As if something said, “Don’t you dare. You need to be writing.” So here I am. Still very much feel the run from yesterday– And like that, I hear Jackiie upstairs calling for me. He’s not crying, nor seeming upset, just light calls to “Dada.. dada…” No rain this morning, but there are clouds. Not sure if we’re in for a day as busy as yesterday or not, but I need to be noting wherever I am, wherever they have me. Yesterday, I wasn’t a writer at all. No notes. Just overly concerned with my bloody phone, where I could charge it as I didn’t the night before. That’s not Literature. And not writing. Won’t be the case or set of affairs today. Need coffee. None in the house, shame. So very glad I didn’t have any wine last night. I already feel like a monster writer, someone who would be in the café with Hemingway. And on the note of cafés, I met another writer a couple days ago. ‘Faye’, her name. From D.C., a writer, ballet dancer, and one of the more memorable, sweet, and enriching characters I’ve lately met. She messaged me yesterday, with a sample from a writing project of hers– a blog, with her friend I believe. I loved the tone and vision of her prose, and the almost immediately disclosed backstory and impetus to the effort. She sent me honest writing, which as you know is my obsession, very much these days. And she also reminded me, through the narrative of her piece that life is hauntingly curt, and that we need jail our dreams, keep them captive, put them into action, join the dream itself in blossom. 6:41AM. This room quiet. And no more calls from little Kerouac, upstairs. The fridge, not humming as it was a bit earlier, when I first woke. So the sound circulating this room from these writing fingers spiking the keys hopefully doesn’t travel upstairs, through little K’s door. I think it’s so pride-dousing when he recognizes me as a writer, seeing a pen on the couch or ottoman, so floor, kitchen nook table, and saying “Dada.” “Dada? Is that Dada’s?” I’ll say. “Yyyyeah!” he yells back, smiling, so confident and proud of his answer. And I say ‘pride-dousing’ not because I’m proud of mySelf, that my son already knows me to write, but I feel such pride in him, how vocal and almost academically analytical he is, this little Artist. Still feel the Lawndale run, very much. Both in knees, back, thighs.. strange, for when the run was finished, I didn’t feel quite as damaged. If anything, I felt very much as I do now: championed, in control of everything in this writer’s way. Class tomorrow. I’ll prep FULLY tonight. And I’m quite settled on Life & Death.. how the semester became with the latter, and ends with the former. Writers need to acknowledge death, yes, but be charmed by it as some ‘marketable topic’. The focus needs to be Life, and how it can belong fully to you. But, then I think of Faye’s writing, and how it sharply carves the reminder that Life is short, and that you won’t be here forever. The heater comes on, Jackie calls. Of course…. 7:17, downstairs with the little Artist. His waffle cooks while my coffee brews, and he watches his usual fish movie. Which is “Nemo”, if need you note. C sat in her office, which was really more of a glorified cubicle. “No, this is a cubicle,” she declared. She started with answering emails from people on the call list, then club members. She had an interesting relationship with the club members, as she didn’t deal with them often. But when she had a campaign with many of them on the call list, she had to deal with them. And may times the needle swam to hate, far away from love. Once that was done, she had a new campaign to design, then pitch to the owner at some point today, or tomorrow, or in the middle of next week. It was never really made clear. Shocker. Right before lunch, she decided to look at her wine/winemaking notes. She looked over what she wrote about the Sauvignon Blanc, night before last. Her writing more took the form of the wine speaking for itself, she thought. C—— didn’t really think of herself as a writer, nor did she really like to write since most of the writing she did was for work, for those campaigns, advertisements, the “tone of voice” as the owner said. She read, seeing the sentence “In the wild, herbal, electric, gripping your attention. I want to put you somewhere else, somewhere far from whatever stresses you…” It made sense, in more that a single stroke. She’d take her lunch early, go to one of the nearby tasting rooms on 12. Something small, though. Something with character, charm. No corporate maze or minefield. XDR Wines, at the edge of Kenwood, almost in Santa Rosa’s proper. She walked in with nothing. No purse, not notebook. Just her, her memory. Whatever made an impression she’d remember, put in her notes. Bar approach. “Hi, welcome,” the young lady said, with her light blue collared shirt, blonde hair tied back. “Wanna taste a little wine?” “Yeah, that’d be great. This is a beautiful tasting room,” C said, looking around, admiring the rich wooden walls, bottles placed on shelves, pictures of the vineyards, both estate and sourced. C didn’t want to say she was “industry”. She wanted to be guised in silence, in the tourist role. And she wanted to feel like she were on vacation. Just once. She looked forward to forfeiting the tasting fee, which, here, was only $5. “Have you had our wines before?” “No, I haven’t. But I’m excited to try them. You do just Pinot, Chard, and Syrah?” “And a Reserve Grenache.” “Really? And who’s your winemaker? Is he here?” “Oh.. actually, I’m the winemaker, I’m him,” she said with a little laugh, for comfort’s sake, making C feel welcome, unashamed of her statement. “We’re just short here in the room, so I thought I’d get out of my chemistry dungeon.” Hmmm, C said to herself.

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3.22.14.  And I wake to allergy onslaught.

 

3.23.14.  Same.  As if the once-deflective sphere surrounding me had left.  The allergies and I are certainly engaged in an angry tussle, this season.  Just made a cup of coffee.  Tried to get some more sleep, but my thoughts demand immediacy.  Yesterday was maniacal at the winery, only incensing me, pushing me deeper into writer thought.  I WILL lock myself in library tomorrow, between classes…  And there, 3 pages will be written.  All fiction.. pushing characters towards final chapters.  And I have to ask myself, as I urged my students ask themselves:  What do I want, at this book’s close?  What is the intrinsic intention behind this semester?

Another goal for library:  Push more poems, any you can find, into chapbook.  It’s time  my label finally launches.  The waiter last night asked me what my label was, after disclosing I’ve made wine in the past.  I politely, but firmly, stopped him, told him I only make wine for fun.  That I’m a writer.  But, I also thought, putting foils on my friends bottles the other day, as he has his own “label”.. My brand needs a shove.  And it starts with tomorrow, tomorrow’s library session, the writing.. and anything else I can bring into momentary standalone.

Time to get ready for work.  But I need to finish this coffee.  I need energy.  And I need today to be much less cyclonic than yesterday.  And I also need to hold myself to the standard of writing more at work, then transferring those notes into the fiction.

 

The morning was gaining, he had to rise.  But the scene demanded defiance.  He couldn’t, he thought.  Mary would be there today, Sunday, her Monday, and he wanted to help.. But he knew he needed to help himself, more.  If he was to ever get out.

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3/16/14.  5:37AM.  Everything about me’s asleep, but I can’t sleep.  Crumby feeling as a writer.  But I’m up.  Typing.  About what I have no idea– no plan, aim, nor vision.  Warm in this house.  I’m uncomfortable, and with dry mouth.  Probably an effect of last night’s Chardonnay nightcap.  I’ll say.. I’m quite pleased with these new glasses.  Should have bought more than just four.  And I should have took home some cooking equipment.  Of some kind.  I need to cook more.  Not just for saving money’s sake, but for the creative act, or the new direction in my story.  Or, simply, to do it.  For no other reason than to cook.

Hear my son calling..  Have to cut the session short, I’m afraid.

 

Now, he’s with his mother, in our bed.  Seems he too is stricken with these allergies.  My left eye, the small corner stretching to the forehead’s center, rumbles an intense itch.  That’s usually how the allergy season starts for me.  And it’s maddening.

Two emails to answer.  From students, that is.  Odd not having class tomorrow.  I’m certainly not complaining, but that’s what I’m racking, returning, sitting down here on this couch.  I’m also thinking I need to spend more time in the library between classes, collect more “scholarly articles”, as they call them.. read more.. study…  Be a student again.  And I mean TRULY live as a student.  All day taking notes, reading, formulating my own papers for submission.. these papers will be my lectures, new lectures to be read, submitted to journals, establishing a new turn in my story…  In fact…  Let me look for those Plath articles I found a few weeks ago.

Found all of it.  But I need to add to it, this bay of articles, significantly.

And another author of very recent interest, one with whom I struggled significantly in graduate school: Joyce.  The documentary I watched on him weeks ago, where his prose was called “impenetrable”, frustrated me, made me want to be a stronger reader, frankly.  Battle Joyce again, as he very much defeated me in grad school.  And I will be, living in that library.

Coffee.  The writer needs his coffee.  But I don’t want to wake Jackie.  And there, I hear something from him.  Think he said “froggy”.  Meaning, his stuffed froggy that my sister gifted him a while back is near him.  Everyday, this little Artist of mine develops, offers some new detail in sentence or expression’s form.  This, too, motivates my own character to that library.

 

Wednesday, we’ll be in Napa.  My friends/co-worker characters, that is.  So far, no idea where we’re going.  And as much as I like that, we do need some itinerary, or direction.  What I want to “take away” from the mission: writing material, obviously, but that’s easy [as, my new understanding cements.. ‘if I’m living, I’m writing’]…  Pictures.  Vineyard stills that tell some kind of story, or offer thought provocation.  Something.  I just want pictures.. visuals.

 

In the reserve room today.  I remember some telling me yesterday, right as we clocked out, and I thought they were just joking with me, teasing as it’s well known I despise the reserve room.  But I’ll make it mine, today.  Pocket as many tips as I can, put that into the Self-publishing swamp of crumbled bills upstairs, in that Philosophy Encyclopedia.  Where did I buy that?  I think at Borders on Santa Rosa Ave, right before it closed.

 

Quiet upstairs.  Think they’re both asleep.  Which is interesting considering how hyper little Kerouac was when flew up the stairs to him.

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1,000 words in thirty minutes to start the day. And away…

Jack’s attitude this morning, so happy, carefree, fun-loving, curious.. careless, and with enviable degree.  So I mimic.  All day.  Only thing truly planned: to SSU, try to spend some time with Kim, my tenured professor friend, the one who wrote the more than luminous recommendation for me, for sakes of a FT post (wherever will take me..).  Be patient, as Mom said in her text this morning, while I was in line to get this mocha, this croissant.  Currently, I’m in the kitchen’s nook.  Haven’t yet bitten the French breakfast, but I listen to Parisian jazz tunes that put me back in my city.. need to return to my studies.. Et je dois le faire bientôt!  Today’s question:  What would Hemingway do?  Well, he most assuredly wouldn’t be stuck to his mobile phone– I swear, more than half the people in the coffee spot, on my block, next to Safeway, and my once-again beloved Chinese eatery, were on their phone.. texting, Facebook-ing, some type of “social” media-ing.  One lady walking in, speedily, rushed, with her eyes into that bloody screen.  And yes, she bumped into me, the ditzy harpy, while I waited by the New York Times stand.

Love mornings like this.  I feel more free than I have in some time.  And I credit little Kerouac.  I surely hope I hear from at least one school next week.  And if I don’t, then I keep on.  Getting the chapbook today to 41 pages, filling the remaining spaces with older works, will help.  I’ll be selling it by the end of the month, definitely.  This song, putting me on the river, with a view of Notre Dame.  People walk by, and I record–  Oh no, reader.. I’m not writing.  Just living.  And whatever I remember deserves a page.  Much like this semester’s novel.  Whatever I forget wasn’t worthy of note, deserving of page space.  One of my students this semester, “BW”, commented on how Tobias Wolff is the only living author we’re reading this semester, he then asked, “Is that intentional?” I reacted, “You’ll find there’s motive behind all of my gallop.” Which there is, but more that I thought, more than I initially saw.  In English 5, we begin with Death, and end with Life.  A lecture born.  A new thought stream to offer the students.  I again credit little Kerouac.

 

Oh this mocha…  I’m not here.  I’m in my city, in my apartment, with my family.  Alice and I take Jack to the gardens for a walk, then to lunch at a near by lunch spot, quite popular…  “Au Polidor”.  Never been to this place before.  Love the cozy layout.  Even Jack takes a second to acknowledge the precise architecture, the mood it creates.  I ordered some type of ham sandwich, Alice had a salad, and little Jack snacked on a couple cheeses, breads.. oh my city, I love you, and I love all your people.  Don’t let me cross the Atlantic.

Haven’t taken a bite yet, and I’m only with just less than 10 minutes left.  I was distracted by my bloody phone, and someone messaging me.  I will plan nothing today…  NOTHING!  All I have other than the SSU trip: deliver a sandwich from Boudin to Ms. Alice.  I drove by her school on the way to get my mocha, croissant.  I took the long way–down 12, left on Farmers, left on Montgomery, then right on Yulupa–because some blithering airhead cut me off while looking at their phone.  I swear!  You see?  EH never had to deal with this.  And I won’t either.  Not today.  In fact, I’ll only bring with my to campus the semester’s comp book, where much of the novel rests.  Beginning week after next, I start printing what I’ve written of this semester’s novel.  And the poems I vend in the wait will subsidize its dissemination.  Perfect plan.. more than cinematic.  It’s definitive.  Romantically bizarre.. perfectly ME.

Oh this morning, and this nook.. my son, with how he’s motivated his wandering writer father.. what more could this penner ask?  No rain today.  Good.  I could use the rest.  And I love when I miss the rain.  I love the longing.

My artist friend, Becky, out from New Jersey.  Having trouble getting to wine country because “I’m broke”, she wrote in a text.  How?  Isn’t she selling her work?  I’m not judging, by any hurl, but I do realize that I will never be the broke Artist.  Ever.

Going to need more time.  Less than 3 minutes.  What would I do if students needed more time for their writing?  Give it to them, of course.  I like to consider my instructional approach quite fair, inviting, and encouraging.  In fact, I’m sure that’s what it is.  I’ve demonstrated that since my first section in 2006.

 

What else COULD I do, today?  Something in-house.  Don’t want to be driving around too much.  There’s writing organization I could get done here in the condo castle–  TIMER UP.  Ten minutes more, then edit, then shower, then departure for campus.  I’m actually quite excited to return to my old grounds.  I almost forgot that I taught 4 sections of 101 in.. ’08, I think.  Wow.  How did I land that?  Maybe I can set something up for Fall, maybe.  Just a couple sections.  At night.  Haven’t committed to anything at SRJC, yet– but I don’t want to endanger possibilities there as an adjunct.  That’s my base.  I’ll wait, I guess.  But I bloody hate waiting.  And I hate even more damningly when I write of how much I hate it.  Topic next.

En fin, the croissant and I meet.  It’s quite hot, though.  So, yes, I’m forced to wait.  Time, 9:24AM.  Do enjoy this start, and I once more think of my little boy– his laughs, his speech, this morning even saying, “Waffle please dada…” How is it he learns so fast, grows at even more a vicious speed?  My little friend, when you read this.. know that Life is short, and you need maintain that same contentment, that same peace.. smile, everything that troubles you is never deserving of your frowns, or your stress.  Smile, and walk away.

 

Ambrosial encounter…  Back in my city, on my favorite rues.

 

(3/7/14)

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Bugger

Not sure how I feel, not sure what I want to say.  But someone today told me, after I asked him what his “apex aspiration” was, during our brief encounter in the break room [should have just eaten outside, as it didn’t rain all day as they said it would, but I’m glad I didn’t]: “I have this delusion that I’m a writer.”

“You are,” I said.

“Eh…  But I have to prove it,” he slouched.

Haven’t been able to let go of his words.. I feel nearly angry.  I’m convinced the world will have to accept me as a writer.  This I’ll no longer have to write in this cluttered kitchen nook, that I’ll soon have my office, that I’ll be on the Road.  [took out garbage, which was in a plastic bag, just to left, leaning against one of the wooden chairs, placed there by Alice..]

Went into the lab today, at lunch, tasted through some 13’s, research for C——’s character.  The only one that directly to me spoke was that Syrah– the oak integration, caramelized consistency.  It was nice to consider these wines as she would.  What I was doing, she’s never done.  She’s been in a cubicle for 6, nearly 7, years, and only now want to venture out.  What kept her in?  Not even she knows.  Well.. the money.  Obviously.  That drowns all dreams.

Sipping a ’10 Cab that Zach made.  My favorite wine at the winery, by far.  And how I’ll prove my writerdom.. through verse.  The poems.  Destroying other penners.  So I need a reading appointment.  How?  Where?  Investigate…

Well, if I wanted to.. this Sunday, March 2nd, at Hop Monk in Sebastopol.  It’s an open mic..  Think I can handle that.. but I need to designate pieces for a “set”.  I’ll gather tomorrow, or start.  I’m proving that I’m a poet that needs to be loved, studied, respected.. feared.

 

(2/27/14)

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oenobellion, 2014

So I’ve reached it.  My end.  Tomorrow, the full transition, ideologically, into writing, the Literary, teaching.  Wine, tomorrow, greeted by its execution.  And then, me free.  I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be getting from this, any of this in wine’s world.  Yes, I know, the steady check (which is bloody insulting, in its best stature) and benefits.  But what else, for ME?  Not even worth talking about.  No more.

Tomorrow afternoon, going to adjunct cell.  Working till 5-something.  Finishing the Marin app, then doing some grading, then writing of Wednesday’s meetings.  Or lectures.  Hate that word, to be honest [“lectures”].  I’m looking to bend my consciousness a bit, tonight, with Blair’s wine, the SB.  Or what remains of it.  May open that below-average Cab I took home tonight, from work.  My act of its consumption, with such indifference, punctuates my plight; wine is consumed, then gone.  How is it as significant as they boast?

 

11:06PM.  Intentionally trivializing this wine.  Drinking it for the pleasure of so.  So what do I mean?  These wine rods always seek to overanalyze, over-explain.  But tonight, I’m letting go.  Of everything except my students, my writings.  Met a woman today, in the Res Room, where I was stationed, that used to be a teacher.  She spoke of all the passion she had for her position; how proud she was to tell people what she did.  But devilish management drove her away, of course.  Now, she holds the same degree of self-regard, for her holistic/massage practice.  Was quite reviving, talking with her.

So interesting, how when I tell people I teach at the college level, they nearly immediately ask me if ‘this is my part-time job’.  I have to be honest, forward that it’s just the opposite.  But that’s changing.  This year.  Before I’m 35.

Right now, Mom & Dad enjoy our home in Sunriver.  Tomorrow morning, there, looking out at that snow, past the deck, I’d write as I did in ’09.  But in vignette.  From the random birds, eagles, squirrels, bears, dear; snow falling from branches; how the wind always makes a point of pushing the white dust from roofs; trees, plants, the few cars that pass.  I’m set, when my publication liftoff, to stay a night or three there, if doing readings in OR; waking in the morning to coffee, lots of, writing, napping, waking again to write, then to that lodge, where I could write to a nice bulbous glass of Cabernet [as I now be], setting self in a profitable session, waking the next morning to re-read, minimally edit, print, sell…  It has to be that simple for this writer.  And that’s what winemakers, wine obsessives, can’t grasp.  Our succinct strokes bother them.  They want to complicate, always.  And I’ll never get it–  How free we are as writers, educators, thinkers, bothers them so seismically.  I love it.  I’m so separated from their rants; They amuse me, especially the manager types, how seriously they take their jobs– clownish, stage for us, material, pages.. thank you, toiling toad.  This wine, the one I’m sipping: meaningless.  My reflection is minimal, if at all placed.  Only evidence would be this defamation, within which I’m in control.  And I know that’d bother “managers”, or ownership.  Now I just want to read, study, prepare for Wednesday’s presentation, especially after the way Nadav, “Dav”, described my teaching style; how engaging, passionate, demanding it is.  I felt honored– no, humbled– no, motived– I don’t know what, by what he said.  I know where my heart is.  And it’s obvious that some in wine’s industry resent that my love is outside its world.  Wine’s “industry” is a needled edge of a cult, targeting the freethinkers, anyone gauling to question a single cent of its scaffolding.  Well, I won’t stop.  Wine’s world is humorous, at best.  And I’m drinking tonight for freethinkers; for the Emerson’s, for the Poe’s, for the Dan Madigan’s.  Enough, enough.  Where’s my glass, devil?

(2/16/14)

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8:51PM.  Posted a poem earlier, which I’m quite sure I’ll use for the first poetry collection.  Two Irishmen coming into tasting room today, reminding me that I have an ‘old country’ to visit.  My sister has, recently, on a business trip, which makes me all the more envious of her travels.  So many thoughts going through my head today, while behind that bar– oh, which reminds me.. I need to get some progress logged on the next FT app [Marin]– which also reminds me, that I need inform you, reader, that I landed my first summer assignment in 5 years!  A ‘100‘ section, from 6-8:15p.  I’m again getting deeper into this professor/Literary Life.  And I hope it consumes me.  I hope it ransacks any hope of “advance” in the wine world, if there is such a thing–  And if there was, what would I care?  That world could NEVER give me the career/Life I want.  So I’m moving on.  I already have.

Feel sorry for my brother, Blair, with those mislabeled bottles, his SB.  I don’t even know how I’d react.  He’s much more a poised person than me, the crazy writer.

 

Need a break.  Blocked.  The clouds, teasing me with rain thoughts, but I know that’s all they were doing.  Foolish moisture plots…

Haven’t heard from my writer friend in a while.  Not sure I need to, anymore.  She’s hardly dependable, and her style’s underdeveloped, age-reflective, situationally-scattered.  And she’s a student–  Need to be more isolationist with these sentence trysts.  Like this morning, with all the spoken words flying through my vision’s vortexes.  The instrumentals, speaking to me in ways they never have, as I drove little Kerouac to his grandparents‘ home.

Ugh, if only I could remember all the inner voices from earlier today, from when I was behind the bar, tasting the Meritage for the eighth time, counting down day with that bloody clock.  Well, one: the Dry Creek Disaster of ’10/’11.  Why did I leave teaching for that?  It’s alright.  I’ve learned.  And I’m so thankful for that mistake, frankly.  That was the first step in truly exposing the industry’s ailments, and why I should be no part of it; how muddleheaded management is.

 

9:56PM.  With night’s cap.  Yes, another beer.  And I find myself quite tired.  Bringing my camera tomorrow, the little one if I remember.  Want to take more pictures, use them for the entries as I used to.  Something about photography that today so riled me.  Must have been that group of 4 that Jay had in the res room; the one guy with that bazooka device, snapping everything from merchandise to his friends’ lifting of glass.

The still I shot in the tank room, swirling whatever red I had spouted.. making me think of my label, my own bottles, with my name– winemaker.  Should I?  Could be an experience, a story, like today in those caves, watching that barrel fall.  And that’s really my push behind winemaking, or why I wanted to start making wine– decoding it all.  IT’s not the majesty that everyone awards, really.  This winemaker worship has to stop, as it’s us, the consumer, that decides the bottle’s fate.

(2/13/14)

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Home a bit late this evening as I had some silly tasting to host.  And now that I’m here, on couch, after second Racer, I only think of the completed book.. this semester.  What shape it’ll take.  But I still have those other pages to edit through.  And the poetry collection, behind which I’m scarred quite far.  If I can leave just a touch early tomorrow, I’d be so very much helped, in so many manners.  Have to write letter of recommendation of student from English 5, TONIGHT, which I already noted somewhere.. think in that new notebook I carry, the one I bought for $3.01 [one cent over budget, for that overhead’d item].

Remembering one of my English instructors from Foothill, Denny, how he taught American Lit, introduced me to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, Poe.  And even the letters between Emerson and Whitman…  With as much as I write, and how passionate I am in these lines, I should be somewhere else in Life, frankly.  But I’m waging a war, against the current conundrum.  Which is?  The clock, what need be every day punched.  Or swiped, in my case.

Behind on the verse.  And I can’t afford to be.  Like Shakur, right out of jail, I need record to stay alive, Free.  Now I need a glass of my Merlot, opened last night.  But I think I logged that as well, earlier, in Annadel.  Love writing where I do, there, in those unpaved lots.  The morning, those trees, the bullying sun, always does something to me.

 

Envy Mr. Hemingway, not distracted or even slightly pulled by tech the way we today-writers prance.  It’s maddening.

 

Constantly thinking of what to do next in class.  What I can offer the students.  Have to post to their blog tonight, at some point.  Invite them to more dialogue on the paper topics, keep the conversation in collusion.  (1/31/14)

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journal– 1/28/14

And I’m home.  Switched ResRoom for Mountain, with Dwight.  Relieved, as I had a chance to enjoy views, air, quiet.  Tomorrow, back in classRooms.  Feel like doing nothing associated to material.  In other words, only touching on themes, not necessarily analyzing texts.  Announcing first formal paper, in both sections.  After 100, I’ll be at a café.  No nap tomorrow, no ma’am.  I plan on fully enveloping mySelf in a Lost Generation’s habit, pretending I’m in Paris; with no bills, obligations, appointments, responsibilities.  Oh no, I won’t be drinking.. just writing.  Not grading, planning, and certainly not thinking about wine’s industry’s tightening noose.

Past entries, from recent days, posted below…  Love the short story I wrote this morning in Annadel Park.  Takes me back to graduate school, that one presentation I gave in Dr. Fuch’s class, on Postmodernism.  My partner, Robert I think his name was, a newly-converted and very proud Buddhist, had the most ambiguous non-specific, and confusing, definitions for the theory itself that I was lost, even when giving the presentation.  Fuchs was an interesting guy.. pulled from retirement to teach this class, a fiction writer, poet, in love with Alexander Pope.. had a great time in his class.  Think I took three classes total with him, if you count the independent study credit, where I wrote several papers on Pope.

Sipping my night’s cap, already [8:11PM].  Want to get coffee tomorrow, for my 5-ers, so they can sip it while we watch “Midnight in Paris”, getting a sense of what Hemingway’s in love with, while he writes ‘Feast’.

 

Started a vignette today, writing when I could, mostly before the two mountain tours.  where’s my wallet?  Oh yeah.. the kitchen.  That’s where it is, in my wallet, those stapled pieces of scratch paper.. the makeshift notebook that I always make.  Mostly dialogue, inspired by slow days like today, in the tasting Room, where all you can do is sample wine, repeatedly.  But, just so you know.. IT’S FICTION!

More compliments on my wines from co-workers.  Today, on the Merlot.  Maybe I should do another, for ’14.  Why not?  No.. dedicate your entire life to the page.  If you want to write about winemaking, follow a winemaker.. use him/her as subject.  Anything pulling me from page might as well be death.

You know.. the image of me at the delicatessen, eating my chicken salad, sipping a Racer (as I am now) sounds beauteous.  And no, I won’t be inviting any writer friends, or anyone claiming to be a writer when in fact they only write little dialogue snippets and do nothing with them, to join this REAL writer.  And I’ll stay there.  No need for location change, as I did that first day of class.

And my little son, losing his littleness.  Nearly 2.  Was just looking at a photo album with him, of when he was only months old.  His reaction was interesting.  We’ve done so before, but tonight he seemed more pensive, realized.  That that’s him, that he’s aging.  And it’s documented.

Finally transferring all the pictures from this devil phone to computer.  So many old stills of little Kerouac.  I have to say, for as much criticism as I throw at visual expression, it proves legitimately valuable.  I can’t believe what time has done to us all.  But that’s what has been documented, I guess.  Sipping what remains of the ’08 Syrah I opened night before last.  Tastes more like a Pinot, frankly, now… Has to be the oxygen.  Just received another compliment on my blend.  But it’s from a friend.  Does that count?  IT’s wine.  How hard is it to observe, critique?  With writing, you have to be acute, precise, poignant.  All these pictures I’ve taken, the computer now shuffles through…  Makes me think about observation, as a concept.  Need another sip of the red, this tired, tumbling red…

Should go to bed soon, actually, and change patterns, as I’m set to run again with Carmen on Monday.  Will definitely be obstacle-laden, as that’s a teaching day, and I haven’t sprinted since 1/1.  Changing habits, now.  Tonight, my last of a bottle brush, please note.

These pictures, still “downloading”.

 

1/26/14.  Interesting day.. only 1 mountain tour.  Class tomorrow.  Bought another notebook, as I accidentally left my mini Comp Book in pants pocket, along with some notes, so it could have a nice stormy challenge in the wash.  Angry at Self, or was, now I let go.  Sipping the only glass I’ll have tonight, the ’13 SB I last night opened.

Hemingway tomorrow morning.  Setting alarm for 4:45AM, like mother-in-law.  Getting grading very much done.  Have to put Self in runner’s mindset tomorrow, as Carmen and I again go out for a 5+.  Not nervous, as I was earlier in day.

Book, thoughts over and over, all throughout day.  So much material, especially since ’09, when I started the first blog.. I can only bind something.  And all those cubeNOTES, while at the box.. what am I doing?  What am I waiting for?  I think it’s so funny, that it took them so long to let me go, those office bunions.  I wrote so much, on their dime, on the stationary that THEY provided.  They had this little area, for supplies, a medium-sized, waist-level cupboard, or “office closet”, I used to call it.  And I would absolutely pillage it, rob it for goods, for what the writer could use.. pens, paper, notebooks, highlighters, even paperclips.  Then, on lunch, I’d go to the roasting company, write for 50-60 minutes.  Oh, that bloody office.  Their obsession with sales–  Yes, I know that’s their gig, or what be, but I don’t have to like nor agree with their tonality, tenure, track.  I find them repulsive, with how they bastardize wine’s innate intention, which is enjoyment, fun, familiarity, the ‘ease’ of it all, far as I, and many with whom I now closely roam, feel.  And I know, they’ll say it’s ‘so Sonoma’, how I’m talking.  And of course.  That’s what Napa people always say.  So I’ll topic shift, take another sip, of this SONOMA VALLEY Sauvignon Blanc…

 

Tomorrow morning’s class, or classes, may be a bit curt, as I’m going to put them in essay mode.  And with English 5, the ones reading EH.. I want them continuing their research, finding out more about Mr. Hemingway, his habits, ways, beliefs.

Nearly bought a copy of the NYT.  Would love to have a piece published in their borders.  Much as I slander publishing, its world, and “being” published.. there are a few houses into which I’d like to be invited.

 

In kitchen’s nook.  And sitting at a different side than usual.  My back, not to front door.  I see it.  Wish there was a rain storm on the other side.  My friend, ‘N.S.’, working for the JC newspaper, against a deadline tonight.  He came out for one beer, but made it quite clear that he’d be in his office, in the pressroom or whatever, working towards final draft.  I want deadlines, I want the rush.  There’s so much I want, as a writer.  And now it’s time I take.

Have another bottle of this ’13 SB in freezer, chilling.  Please don’t let me be as hungover as I was this morning– wait, I don’t think I was so much hungover as I was fatigued, slow, not at all interested in giving petty repetitive tours.  But I did.  Only one, thankfully.  When I’m back in Paris, I’ll use the journal I today bought.. I don’t see much of a long wait for my next visit to my city.  So funny…  Only one cent over budget for that notebook, $3.01.  Hilarious.

Mom and Dad, back from SEA, today, or tonight.  Think there in home, now [8:46PM].  The only way for a writer like me to revolve is to travel.  I want to go to Mali, like Dad, and Egypt, like my distanced cousin, Nick.  Nick.. so sad, his story.  Once an Artist, now a mere mechanized commercial goon.  Yes, oh yes, he’s paid well.  But his soul’s  a lost goat, looking for suckling, for Life.  I don’t have any time to help, be some sort of savior.

 

Centering.  Tomorrow morning, being a shepherd of sorts, bringing students coffee, as I did on that first day.  But we’re only going to be there for an hour.  Yeah, I know.  IT’s part of the plan.  I’ll put the “traveler” in the lounge, or copy room, let the other instructors have at…

The SB, still in freezer.  And the pasta, still on burner.  So paranoid about time.. am I going to get enough sleep, am I going to be ready for tomorrow…  Will I have everything ready, perfect…  Just relax!  IS this any way to live, this obsession with time?  No!  Thinking the best way to defeat Time, my ever-enemy, is to ignore it, deny it significance.

 

Four years ago, I was adjuncting.  And that’s all.  I may have been in the wine world, but on my terms.  4.  YEARS.  Ago.  So I guess me acknowledging this would calculate another win for time, right?

 

My friend, J.M., been with the estate for over 20 years, a true connection with terroir; all its conditions, fiddles, respites, wanders, contradictions.  I admire him in a number of quarries; first, work ethic; second, knowledge and encompassing familiarity with the vineyards, all the blocks, micro-blocks, microclimates…  And, frankly, wine as an element, before it reaches the bottle.

Tonight, just as interesting as today.  How, in that I sit in a different seat in this nook, with an empty glass, waiting for this dinner to cook.  Ideally, I should be asleep, now.  But ideal is never the real.  So here the write reels.  And, I just checked on the SB, in the freezer…  Nowhere near what I’d deem “ready”.

Want to post one more note on the teaching blog before I resign to rest for night.  But I’m unsure.  Only one more glass for the writer.  With dinner.

 

If I were in a café on some hidden Paris street, I’d probably, in this current Literary shape, not write.  I’d just observe.  Have my wine.  Relax.  And OBSERVE.  Like the Hemingway depiction in ‘Midnight in Paris’.

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