Posts Tagged With: Journal

(from this morning’s session, 7/27/14…)

But, anyway, from my tangent, re-focusing on today’s mission: objects and dialogue; the guests, anything.

Coffee, ready to be made.  I’ll start combing through old entries this week, possibly tomorrow, after Mendo.  And the students, my ‘100’ group, in their final 8 sessions.  And Santa Barbara approaches… Already looking forward to my runs on the beach with Alice, writing about it afterward, or to some ocean frame, just sitting and enjoying the sounds. and I won’t write full paragraphs–  object here at home, empty beer bottle by sink last night, just one, rare for me.  Wasn’t in the mood for beer or wine last night, what happens after a boring day in vindictive heat.  And the phone here, the house line, hardly ever used, it just sits over there under Jackie’s play table, bored like me behind the bar yesterday.  But I carry a phone with me everywhere, like everyone else; I feel like a cutout character, no voice, no distinction.  What if I left my phone in the car today, in the parking lot?  Only wrote– a different character today, me, one only writing, not talking as much, and no sips.  Short phrases and if I was to practice now:  ‘Jackie’s humming, song snippets he’ll maybe put together but indicative of contentment, peace, his ever-smiling bursts/This new couch: already seen enough of me, read enough of my prose–’  This will be the practice today.  EVERY OBJECT.  The stapler, the pen container, the water bottles in the fridge, wine bottles empty with DNC written on them, meaning ‘do not count’.

Cup two, and Jackie and Ms. Alice go for a walk with one of her friends, the more consistent of the aggregate, Lorielle, with Addie the daughter.  Already after looking at these pictures of SB and the resort at which we’ll be lodged, I want to change my story, the surroundings for Jack.. Santa Barbara, my next chapter, I’ve officially targeted it, and this will be my logging of the journey there.  Why there?  Well, I’m an ocean lad, don’t forget, having being born in Santa Cruz.  And the runs along the beach the writing in water-bordered cafés and the dolphins my sister used to tell me about…  And UC Santa Barbara.  I will write my way onto their grounds.  The motivations buzzing in me this morning like some opaque haze of mutant bees, just out to sting.  Now on the website of UCSB, English Dept.  This will happen before 2014’s end, or I’ll all but give up.. Alice, Jack and I will move to UCSB, my writing will have me on the Road and I will have lectured at enough arenas and multi-purpose rooms to afford the relocation.  Down there I will finish my second novel which will lure me invitation onto staff.  And I have no problem leaving this, all these vines and tasting rooms and over-exaggeration of something I fucking sip behind.

8:15.. need in shower soon be.  I have a vision, a target like I haven’t before.  And all because of Nick’s wedding.  Can’t believe he’s getting married, and I even more disavow acceptance that I haven’t met his artful bride-to-become.  Everyone tells me how sweet she is, and I very much trust their words, but I need to meet this character.  Guess I’ll have to wait for the day of wed.  Should be hot again today, and if I were on the beach, in my new home, SB, I’d go for a family walk, with little Kerouac and Ms. Alice.  They’d stay at home afterwards while I go to my on-campus office to get a few things done– well, that’s what I told Alice.  I really went in to finish a chapter for the second novel.. I do that every then and once more.

A bird outside the condo, here, singing in repeating rolls, like I’m not listening but I am.  And he’s not recording himself, he’s just singing to sing.  Maybe it’s a blackbird, or a Jay of some kind, or who knows what.  I have to keep writing, all day, log everything.. another aspect of Mike Madigan which makes him marketable is his obsessive qualities as a penner, always logging, capturing, unconcerned with form… Good.  Then that’s how I’ll be today.  So…  NO.  SIPPING.  Wine is what I want I want, NEED, distance from.  So coffee only.  OR, those new sodas that Jillian ordered– the root beer, Stewart’s, so far is my preferred.  Have yet to sip the Izzy sodas, have my eye on the blackberry or black cherry– can’t remember which flavor she ordered.

8:21AM, and Time rushes, like the flood Kerouac wrote about.  But I don’t care, the priority is thought, and my lack of vulnerability now.  I’m a bull, a bullfighter…  Hem would be so proud.  Declaring mySelf the best writer this zone has ever known.  And it seems that these “wine writers” or “wine bloggers” really do think of themselves as people of the pen.  How?  You write about the same thing, time and time again.  Yes, there’ll be a different bottle or ‘terroir’ or producer or winemaker, but it’s still wine.  But, let’s be honest, how often do I write about writing or teaching or struggles of being a writer, or…  wine.  There, I lose.  But I was honest, true with my thoughts here in this morning nook/coffee session.  Not sure if I’ll have time to edit.  So maybe I should just have the Kerouac attitude, “There will be no editing this MS”.  My wallet, right, only with a few bucks in it.  Should take one out, restart the dollar a day habit.  Will need as much cash as capable for the SB move, 14’s end or 15’s liftoff.  Can’t wait to see that water, hear the waves, smell them, close eyes while painted terrestrial mist lightly brushes my face like a lover from one of my forgotten notebooks.  And the clock reminds me again…  So the rush is hushes, but I’m still ablaze, buzzing.

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7/21/14.  And I’m in the adjunct cell.  Wrote my words for the day, 3 full fictive pages, and I’m ready for class, for the most part.  Have to print some papers for Mendocino, so they can have all my materials by Wednesday (I’ll probably drive up, early).  Did my fingerprints and TB fax-over earlier today, along with getting a couple new pairs of bootcut jeans and some black shoes, only to be worn to class.  My old black ones were just that– old.  And beaten.  And bitter.  I’m very easily over 2,000 words for the day.  And I have this bizarre rare species of ease about me.  Don’t know what it is.  And it’s even more peculiar as I’m sipping a mocha, one of my 3-shots.  I may be too relaxed to write, even.  I also blame this jazz, this particular song, “The Folks Who Live on the Hill” by Brad Mehldau.  Walking away from this sitting, going to class, hoping to wake tomorrow, early.  Didn’t go for a run today.  I have no excuse to submit to you, reader.  But tomorrow’s A.M., before that bloody winery, I’ll be scurrying about Bennett’s Valley.

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Next day, I’m up around 6:40-something. Sipping coffee, watching little Kerouac play, on this toy drum that talks back to him and encourages him to hit harder, make his own music which I like.  Last night, sleeping better than I have in some nights.. deep, composed, still and mentoring.  Jackie doesn’t like me typing, so this session has to be postposed.



Didn’t want to come in early.  And I’m not.  I’m just in the parking lot, the “overflow” as they call it.  Part of me was afraid to come to the estate early– “the estate”, makes it sound so exalted, so mighty, but it’s not, it’s an ordinary workplace, just much prettier.  I look out at the Merlot and Chard blocks, see the tree to my immediate left, nearly touching the roof of this Passat.  It moves with the wind’s orders.  And I listen to my music, pretend I’m not here, or fully embrace it.  Have to apply to that job, the distance learning assignment through Klamath.  OH– and I need to call Solano.  Should do that now, or do it on their dime, while I should be working or setting up or counting some bloody register.  This novel will reveal everything, showing all the industry that writers won’t be quiet– and I mean REAL writers, not dim-witted and dopy-brained bloggers or wine journalists, or wine writers– yes, I know I titled my latest blog, which I started over 2 years ago, “another Literary wine blog by Mike Madigan”, but that’s just it.. ‘another’, meant to be sarcastic, satirical and spiteful, and ‘Literary’ meaning that it’s more important than the wine component, and not just from being capitalized.  The jazz, telling me to go to San Francisco, walk where the Beats did, live like them, continue the revolution, or social movement.. move, you have to move and be in constant movement to be part of a movement, don’t you?  The mocha, in fact all the coffee I’ve sipped this morning, making me uneasy, a bit touchy, or “punchy” as Dwight says of me when I’ve had too much, but I’m rolling with it.. this fiction, about the characters based in the TR and the ones visiting, sure to change it all, strip this guised industry of the fantasy, show how most Rooms are merely revolving doors, only interesting in the “bottom line”.  You could call it justified in the capitalist net, but I call it carnivorous opportunism.  And I’ve had it.  Now the coffee feel’s beginning to balance.  Much better.  Miles Davis with me, and the image of a dark room, trumpets, saxophones, drums, a young female vocalist riling me.  On a trip, to Manhattan, for my book, then down to Missouri to see my brother, Dav.. check in on his photojournalism, his studies, his latest works.  Now Sonny Rollins, I’m on the Road, visiting people I never thought I’d meet.  So I continue with the logging of everything I see, each corner, light, building, smell, concrete stain, bookstore, auto repair joint and tavern.  But I don’t drink, not a single thing, which is hard to believe for one formerly in wine’s wicked industry.  I have only the little pages in my back pocket…


See a young lady, sipping her coffee at the bus stop.  Part of me wants to go up to her, see her coy red lips, not too bright, up close, and examine the pattern of her white shirt, sleeves only going down to where shoulder meets bicep and tri, how her hairs like a thick caramel path to her upper back, partially exposed; I wonder what she does, she’s probably a singer, or maybe a student, why is she taking the bus?  Maybe that’s what they do in New York, no one has a car– I’ve heard that actually.


Alley.  I want to go down, but something tells me know– I mean ‘no’.  See?  Too much coffee…  I only see a lone dumpster, no litter on ground which is curious to me.  No people, no cars, just quiet, and the dead-end, like an atmospheric message saying ‘don’t bother, you won’t get far’.


9:11AM.  Should go in soon, or not.  Maybe I should leave early.  That would help me, and that’s all I’m concerned with at the moment; the page, the characters, the story, my novel.  A former student, ‘A’, experiencing fiery betrayal from a loved one; I tell her it’ll get better, but I understand pain, the two-faced reptiles that hive and enter our lives.  And I think about what I wrote her, mostly questions– she, a grad student; me, envious.  But I’ll be on the Road soon, maybe visiting her, in Portland, or wherever in Oregon she is.  A little hot in this car so I roll down both windows, but no crossing breeze greets me– there it is.  How will I look back at my position here, at the winery?  Will I wish for it one day, regretting my resentment?  I don’t think so.  I’m 35 and know what I want– or more, I know who and WHAT I am.  Novelist, poet.. with maybe a short-short and/or vignette in between.  I heard a weed whacker, or lawn mowers, and it intrudes on Arturo Sandoval’s playing.  Goddamnit.  “Shut up!” I want to scream, and hope someone hears me.  Maybe I’d be fired.  Huh…

9:17.  And the fucking countdown.  One of my coworkers just pulled in; Karen, in her red mini.  She has the same expression on her face that I held driving in, before I started writing: “And again…” I don’t blame her.  Why else would I be writing, wishing for a Road, wishing for visits, those Manhattan sights, the Portland micro-breweries.  Don’t think I’ll make a thousand or maybe I will, but I can’t edit a single thing– this does this to me, the schedule, the clock and how it’s always threatening; you don’t clock in you’ll be written up, you won’t make enough, you.. you.. you…..  How is that a Life?  Well, plainly, it’s not.  Certainly not Art.  I want more coffee, the most jurassic I can find; I want seismic coffee, that makes me rattle and results in internal tsunami.  Love.  that’s art– the push of Self.  Oh, jazz…  Kerouac…. poetry and Life and escape and Big Sur and the Bay Area, where I grew up.  I see my whole life and I’m not dying.  I’m just coming alive in a way that was drawn, that Grandma promised.


9:25PM.  Sipping the 2012 Malbec.  I know, I should have waited, but I didn’t want to, and I have no regrets.  Yes, it’s muffled, but I don’t want to think, I want to enjoy what I drink.  Nice class tonight– oh, need to post to blog, almost forgot.  I’ll do that after this little paragraph.  In full teacher mode, especially with the possibility of landing a Comp section at Mendocino, for Fall.  Couldn’t be more excited.  This weekend, my writer’s retreat, and I’ll write the whole time.  No Gatsby nights, as I used to.  Total isolation.. printing.. wine.. relaxing…  Jazz.  I want it to be one of those sittings where I remove all clutter from this kitchen nook table, maybe setting it on floor or on one of these teetering wooden cheap chairs, then having one of my favorite bands or artists play what gives them life, then giving me life, finishing my novel.. and the wine, only an additive.  Not really needed at all, just pleasant to sip in quiet, my peace, my place, my night.  Little Kerouac asleep upstairs, and I envy his peace, his optimism and joy and movement, how does he do that?  My notes from tonight’s class, just ruin, and what do I do tomorrow night to keep them interested?  How do I keep it “fresh”, whatever that means?  There has to be some teacher magic or resource, or “method” (hate that word when talking of teaching, sounding so clinical)–  But who knows.  And if I was traveling, how would I have time to teach?  It’s just what I’d rather do.  I do love it, but not as much as the reality of living by pen–  PEN, not laptop, which is what I now touch, these fucking keys and the noises they make, like little plastic giggles reminding me of what a bloody hypocrite I am.. no, I’m not a man of consistency, but one of layered pattern and myriad mess, failed test, just more unrest.

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note, 7/5/14

Coffee, now shower.  Thinking about that measly check from yesterday.  I’m going there today with a predator mood.  I want blood.  I need it.  I’m the orangutan.  They, my rue.  Making it known today, I’m moving on– mentally at first, then tangibly second.  What is that wage going to do for my family?  It’s not my Beat, that’s for sure.  So much time of my life, and for what?  My hangover, not tearing at me too tyrannically at the moment.  Glad I switched over to water last night before bed.  Mocha, now, just at right, reassuring me it’ll be a good day.  Hope it’s right.  Keep saying to myself, ‘my Beat, my Beat’…  And what it is.  Thought I figured it out at the end of Spring semester.  Think now– or realize now that I’m just starting to put pieces together.

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Readying for dinner.  Pulled a Lancaster to sip when back.  One standalone for day, done, on East West.  Love how that place has the most eased pace of nearly any eatery in Santa Rosa.  Haven’t touched one of the ‘100’ papers.  But today’s to celebrate– MY independence from the wine world, from any rule it thinks it can throw at me, or code it wants to comb through the shapes of my days.


9:47PM.  Loud shakes in air, firecrackers they call it, celebrating the sounds themselves and drunkenness, so I join, adjoin, in such a celebratory coin.  Sipping Lagunitas, and I go stumbling into my session, after a day quite long, and no nap for the writer.  But I’m relaxed, in a way I’ve never been, after such an episode with Ms. Alice– race, relax, brunch, rest, walk, dinner, movie, and now.. Now.  This new Now.  I’m off to watch the ‘Big Sur’ movie, from Kerouac’s novel.  Should order those books, already, have them sent.  My check today, from the winery, turning me into that snake that begs to strike.  And I hope they’re reading this, those indenturing overseeing tyrant bubbles.  And I realize, the one I thought my writer friend, on I thought a serious writer, once, I now realize is only one posing, one acting, and she acts quite well– well, I’m not impressed, I may have been once, but no longer…  Either you’re a writer, or you want to be one.  That’s very much all–

And I’m struck by strangeness of explosive modes in what I thought was past but now present.  It’s everything I thought I learned in grad school but now cut, reshaped, repasted, and now disseminated.  Interesting how that happens.  The fireworks, done, and I lose myself in a mist fog and moon pudding, indecisive but yet coagulated in jest.  Funny how that happens.



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Written to Many

Just back from a 5.17 mile run, my last before the Foot Race.  Not bad time, 8:01/mile average…  Started typing the short story, this morning, to my three-shot mocha.. not sure how I want it to end, but I will cap it at 1,000 words.  Then, send it wherever I can.. maybe even to the New Yorker– but I’ve said that before.  Felt a bit of a scratchy throat this morning, but I’m ignoring it.  Warm outside, but not hot, just perfect for my run, clearing the writer’s head before class.  Tomorrow, back at winery.  Meant to go in today for some Cabernet blending, but the time just wasn’t there.  And I wanted to start writing this story, this short about the journalist, David.. how he keeps the camera close to him at all times while out, then writes to what he captures with his lens.

Quiet down here, condo’s first floor, with Jackie and Alice napping upstairs.  Both have a bit of a cold, but I refuse to let any bug, even the briefest of stays, stay with me.  No class tomorrow night, so I’ll have chances to collect Self, rest before Lawndale and I go at it for the second straight year.

Maybe I should rest my eyes, be horizontal and still for a moment or two..


tonight in class: about writers, how they are…

Walls… her siblings in book

Essay topic

Groups, object of meaning (symbols, metaphors)

What she’s saying in certain parts of the book.. or what she could be saying

journals, maintenance…


4:56PM, and I’m in the adjunct cell.. prepared for class..  Think I’ll get another Racer 5 at the Hilton, think about this new short story.  No class tomorrow night, and while at work, I’ll be sure to bring this new story with me, contributing only notes, short sentences.. nothing full.  Dad sent me a video of a thunder storm in Sunriver, right over the house.  Wish I was there, badly, writing as the flashes encouraged me.  These teaching assignments, the winery.. what is it doing?  What is it REALLY doing for me?  Yes, I get the whole bills notion, reality, but beyond that?  How long am I, are we, supposed to be living like this?  I’ll tell you.. I’m changing.. all of it.. with this new short story.. I’ll ride the short story wave, then put together a book, or I’ll ride it while I put together some MS.. I don’t know.  I’ll just do it.  The winery will be the first to go– then the classes.  THEN, I’ll be living by my pen, like my character, David, or “Dov”.  5:01PM.. feels nice having this time to collect Self.  Sipping a 3-shot mocha, yes again, and I have a bottle of water waiting in the freezer, in the mailroom.  My checking account, right where I want it.. and I have a budget for Saturday night’s dinner.. have to have everything perfect that night.. as I will both finish my short story, AND put together, somehow, a sellable MS.  I will.  This is it.  This will be a bold, vicious, and truthful work that will show everyone I’m the writer to read.. and that I’m not in any way mirrored in wine’s floppy industry.

Feel the run, definitely.  And I can’t wait for Friday morning.  Wonder how well I’ll do.. pretty sure I’ll beat last year’s time.  I will.  Don’t even know why my mind’s going there.  Funny, usually I don’t care for this office, but tonight it very much suits.. need to find a word and quote for tonight’s meeting…  Done.  And with more than enough time.  Rest of night?  Well, I’ll now write it–  class, beer, home, put Kerouac (little) to bed, dinner, early bed…  but not before I have 1,000 rough words in short story’s body.. two objects: one character’s lamp, not used, and on desk, then Dov’s camera…  And I’m here, I realize I’m here, a teacher, what am I teach, why.. Self, or at least passionately promoting it, I guess.  I have the visions, the visions, of me on the road, and how I’ll get there, what I’ll do when there, how it’ll benefit my son, how he’ll have a more equalled father– one happy, not ashamed, not questioning.. I’ll live in my words, the words of others, I’ll drive over the Golden Gate, back from the airport, SFO, thinking about what I saw, did I write everything I should have, or that I could have?  It’s imagination feeding, not necessarily lying, but certainly conveniently creating.  Eight minutes to class, and I know the students will have questions, questions, so many questions.. good for them, my studying Human forts, with their journals filling, filling, page addition, I see it in so many of them!  This does something for me, believe!  IT does so much, something the fucking wine world could never do.. there’s no Beat there, only here, with thought, freedom, no chains or restriction or signs saying ‘go another way’.

Poetry, what if I just spoke in it, all the time, what if I always wrote before I spoke?  What if I just drew my language, and told people this was the only way I could think, talk, walk, breath, be, see?  That could do something for me, make me “successful” maybe?  How about that, I’ll look at everyone around me knowing they know, who I am, that I put my envelopes in the mailbox differently than anyone else, because they’re manuscripts most of the time, not bills.  I sold my TV, I don’t want distractions, none at all, only my little boy, Jack, little Kerouac, how he plays and makes new sentences and just IS.  Why can’t I do that?  I don’t know, but I can write it, I’m pretty sure.  I’ll have fun though, and I’ll have this thought tonight, just as I take the first IPA sip, to its last sudsy stroll down the glass’ side, to my professed purpose.

Scrambling to realize where I am.  At work.  I have to go to work, go teach.  But not for much longer.  Thinking about my beer, precipitously, with a Zen’d pen.


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Working on a short for the ‘Tasting the Room’ sequence.  Done with cup one, now I need to get ready for work.  Yesterday’s mood has pretty much left.  Treating myself to lunch today.. think I was paid, haven’t checked account yet.  Jackie doesn’t like that I’m typing right now.. “Dada…” he groans.  He’s right.  I’ll write later.  On the clock, of course.  Into shower…


10:25PM, and I’m under Lancaster’s lip.  Through much of the SB, ’13, and now a cap of the ’11 Sophia’s.  So many of my friends moving onto other opportunities, and I need to tighten my practice, with everything.. EVERYTHING.  Run tomorrow morning, and I’ll be “chow”.  And tomorrow during day, who knows what plainness will continue to prove plain.  I don’t know what I’m saying but I again envision my own label, what I could do in this industry to prove I’m smarter than ‘it’.  I need to do a tasting, at some point, of everything I can, of the varietals I feel most passionate about.. SB, for sure, Merlot, Cab, maybe Pinot.  And I think that might be it.  I know everyone love Malbec right now, but I don’t– I mean, I like it, but don’t LOVE it like so many claim they do.. “I like Malbecs.” Oh, really, why?  And they never have an answer.  It’s fashionable, it’s the new Pinot, Malbec.

Jackie, asleep.  And me, only thinking of opportunity.  More money in wine than teaching, but I’ll always teach.. wine must remain my thematic wave, suggestive shrug.  Wine paints whatever it wants, and I think it’s fascinating even though sometimes I hate it, or its industry.


6/21, and after two groups, watching the crowd just invade the tasting room, I’m set on enjoying the remainder of this Viognier.  Waking early tomorrow morning for a run, hopefully no fail.  Then, to winery where I’ll deconstruct every wine we pour, both reserve and distributed.  I’m intent on my own label, and writing about the whole process, product, all the responses.  Actually, I might even bring a bottle of my Cuvée and Merlot, just to see what my coworkers have to say.  And after reading about another winemaker’s background, story and inspiration for producing bottles, I’m in the winemaker role.. and my character, C——, and how she gets off the ground with her bottles, enough to put my through any kind of ceiling.

My alarm, set for 5AM, I think.  My running gear, down here, right in the entryway, by the workbag and small assortment of bottles by the nook window.  This wine, white, with the force of a red.  I’ll be running in dark, which I haven’t done in some time.  What should I shoot for, time or distance?–  OH, need to charge the device, so I can see how far I go, actually.  I’m hoping for a nice 5 miles, but a 10k would make the day before it even starts.  Should email a student that noted me earlier, but I’m in  a mood of rich disconnection, with intention for sentences.  Another sip of the Viog’…  Not something I’d produce, or want to make, tussle with.  I’m drawn only to SB, for whites, then Pinot, Syrah– no, Merlot, Syrah, then Cab for reds.  But I’m not sure how to start.. I guess save every penny I can, and stop with going out to lunch, dinner with Alice (should really be cooking for her, like any admirable husband would or should do).  And no more mochas– yes, I have to say.  What’s in the account?…  Everything stable, just put some funds into stash.. for either winemaking or publishing, or both.. what if I linked the two?  Each release has a story, or character description.. true vinoLit approach, as I always used to boast.  These “professional” winemakers aren’t so smart, certainly not Literary, or cunning with ink as I now pounce, so away I fray with my oeno’d blade…

10:09.  And I’m done with the white Rhône.  Not another drop of wine for night’s remainder, which is a boon, for my run and early writing.  Monday, while Alice is in her ‘Common Core’ class, I’ll be in the library, or at 4th & D, writing away, and EDITING!!!  Not sure why I avoid that as I do.  Maybe I should just do a quick read-through, then print.  And why not?  You can’t second guess yourself as a winemaker, my sister told me in late ’11, so why do it now?


Jackie’s friend Luna, very much asleep upstairs, in our room.  Time, flying past me with eagerness that stings.  But I’ll write with it, keep pace with it if I don’t catch it.  And the music that I wish I had now on, I hear in my head, what I’d be listening to at a bar, overseas, or in another state, when on the Road like these winemakers.  I’m waking more than early tomorrow, for the run and also writing.  Can I get my thousand in before the Room?  More than likely.  But I want my run to surprise me.. I want, if I truly had my intertwined and intimate druthers, TEN miles.  Come home, shower– no, write then shower, then go to winery to taste, take notes on EVERYTHING.. from how the cork smells, to an olfactory curve from bottle’s neck, to palate and finish, if I feel anything on palate over a minute after sip.  And I won’t spit, discard even a eyelash’s tip of a drop.  I can’t, not with what I want to do with wine, with my life, with how I want my son to see his writing father– and note that, reader.. wine is only a theme, a certain convenient consistency in my writing, not what defines me.  The only thing defining a writing would be his own writing, and “What happens the next day is only known when it happens.”, as I wrote in line at Starbucks this morning, waiting behind the guy who I think is a construction worker of some kind– impatient, dirty even before his day starts, and obviously ordering a straight black blend, with no room for cream, those characters don’t like cream, especially if they have to work on weekends, they want the coffee to hurt, to be bold, to be honest.

What other monies can I gather and set aside for my winemaking, writing.. have to have a certain budget, I guess.. but I never want to be in the position of having to make wine for someone else, conform to someone else’s budget.  How is that creative– don’t get me started.  Yes, I’ll do a tasting tomorrow morning for everyone, on the ’12 NDC and MMFM Merlot.  I won’t be interested in response so much as merely the act of seeing people taste and think about what I poured them, what I made.  It’ll be a success, a growing moment for me either way.

And when little Kerouac is enough of age, I’m thinking nine or ten, he’ll be working in my tasting Room, and in the publishing office, doing whatever he wants, whatever curiosity he finds, wants to chase.  I read to his friend Luna and him tonight, just before bed, after bath.  One of the most memorable moments of fatherness thus far.  But who knows what’s ahead, how my little Artist will challenge me.  Am I up to the challenge, whatever he conspires?  How smart is this little Beat?  Can’t worry mySelf.  In fact, I need to take a break, immediately, before my baronial day tomorrow.  Should have some water, and maybe a sweet of some sort.  Focus on the run, the run.. 5 miles, at least!  Up before anyone, moving!  That’s victory!  And it’ll be all mine!  Flounce to the end of this page, or screen with vulture stream.  Need a glass of water, hydrate, before the next date.

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Kerouac down for his nap, and I’m tempted to take one myself…  Class in a little under four hours, nearly all grading done.  Admirable progress today, I guess.  I mean, I’ve shocked myself a bit with it, if you should know.  Quiet in here, peace.. think I will rest my eyes for a bit.  And when I’m back up, ready for class, this semester that has so far proven to be arguably the most rewarding since my first classroom in ’06, at Chabot.


10:25PM.  Readying for bed.  Couldn’t just sit here, watch the news.  Another lighted session with ‘100’ group.  And now, back to that bloody tasting room.  It’s fine, I make it work for me.  No days off.  Have to plan everything.  Going to charge this device overnight.. write lesson while in Room, go to class, come home and enjoy one of the Lancasters that was delivered to the winery the other day.  Need to get to the Road, break this curse of regularity that’s lasted far too long.


6/19:  In classroom, 5:26p, students’ll be arriving momentarily.  Today was painful, not motivated to pour a single one-once hint of wine, nor did I want to give any tours, information.. nothing.  There was a mood there with me, one sharp, dark, and it’s still somewhat about my character but this mocha’s assisting in its removal.  Tonight I’m most certainly opening wine, some kind, more than likely Lancaster as I said in the last entry.  More poetry, more poetry…  Have to think in rhyme, and finish editing the book.  This semester’s taking all the surplus time I thought I had.  But it’s fine.. I’m teaching, writing, having incredible discussions on Gatsby, and I’m sure the books we address from here forward will be equally electric with reaction.  Could use a beer right now.. Sophie and I shared the same thought, driving around the estate, around 2 this afternoon.


9:07PM, back home, exhausted, not wanting to go back to the winery tomorrow, sipping this Lancaster SB, 2013.  Finally a moment to Self.  But not many.. so tired of this cramped schedule.  If you removed “the industry”, I’d have more time to write than I’d probably know what to do with.  But that’s how it always goes.  The mood from the winery today still crawls around my thoughts, motions, and unseen makeup.  I’m a wreck I feel, but that means I’m more of a writer, right?

First longer reaction paper assigned.  Will post to the teaching blog tonight– Have to check on the pizza, in oven, and get another sip of this SB…


10:18.. now to that Cuvée they do, the Sophia’s.  Running tomorrow, hopefully, right after work.  Ah… this is the type of wine I see mySelf sipping while on the Road, in a hotel.  My focus, straying, but I stay typing, just again reiterating my intention for the Road.. with my fiction, the stories I see all around me, but I’m not in many places.. only two, now: the tasting room and the classroom.. two rooms that dominate my swoon.  Not letting mySelf go much beyond this line, but I still thinking of what I’d write if I were in that hotel room.  I’ll be there soon.  What if tomorrow’s the day, the day I have that singularly and definitively rearranging day, the one that changes everything, the one for which I’ve been hoping since 2011, the days at ‘the box’?  We’ll see, all I can to Self say.. we’ll see…

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Second cup, ready for this first day of summer.  Everything kept simple, from assignments to assessing them to the grade book itself.  Bringing in two poems, one from Plath the other from Kerouac, of course.  I’ll post to maddenedread and talk to the students about the blog and for what it’s intended, at some point in tonight’s introductory meeting.  Jackie over on the couch, watching his Mickey Mouse show, and I hear the alerts on my phone, either people “liking” or responding to a poem I just posted…  And I was right.  The phone situates atop the TV cabinet, and I’m back over here on the couch, watching Jackie wag and shake his feet with a large careless smile, extending his cheeks outward like a famished animal enjoying its first meal in weeks.

First summer semester since 2009.  Five years.  Just my recognition of such scores another victory for Time.  This is the term that will free me, I promise mySELF.  Write everyday, check the grade book everyday, and always be writing for the blog and lectures.. especially if you want to be on the Road with your thoughts.


9:53PM.  Posted to teaching blog.  Great first night…  Now I sip the beer Mindy brought me for Father’s Day, relax a bit before sleep.  I need to wake early, get my writing in before going to winery, as I have to head straight to class after shift.  I am certainly going to have to change my character for this semester if I hope for it to change my character.  I want this term to free me, in the way that Spring didn’t.. namely, get me out of the wine industry.  The quiet right now, a loud slice of peace, just what the writer needs, really.  So, my plan, simple for this summer semester: wake early, everyday, just after 5, write, go There, then to class, then home to write, grade a bit.  Lunches at work, M-Th, spent doing something for this class.  I will have this semester separate me, have me be noticed as that passionate advocate educator, truly for student empowerment.

Getting a little tired now, but I have to keep typing.  How am I going to focus on work, tomorrow, on wine, and repeating that same script, over, over, when tonight I was endorsing individualism?  Am I a hypocrite?  Can let mySelf fall into the humdrum.  This class drives me.. this is the class that will free me, from everything pressing me into any type of mood mud.

Had a wonderful run earlier today, about 6.2 miles.  Can’t remember my time.. I think 48:57, if I remember right.  Not bad, but I still wish to bring that down dramatically.  At this point, 35.. I will have no objectives unmet.  And I will let not one of Them into my armor.  I’m done.  And the students tonight affirmed what I should do.  Not sure I’ve had a first session have this forceful a forward on me, before.  The grip it exudes designs me, a new ME.  In love.  -6/16/14

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9:36PM, 6/15/14

And the day’s over.  My mood, different.  All developments, smooth, without bump or bubble.  I sip my night’s cap, the remainder of last night’s SB bottle– well, some of the leftover.  I dumped the rest.  Tasted from barrel today, both PS and PV, and tasted from two tanks: for a ’12 Zin, one before addition, the other after.  Showed me a lot about construction of a wine– or not so much construction but massaging of wine, communication with it, so it can deliver and boast itself most artfully.  Also did one blending trial of ’11 Cab and Merlot with Sam, for a potential project this coming vintage, yield willing.  Doesn’t look like yield will be any kind of problem, as every cluster I inspected today looked like it was painted on the cordon.  The leaves were more lively with their color than a lion jittering to leap out at a passing piece of prey.  Today wine spoke to me, not its industry.  And it told me to just explore, have fun, and do whatever I want.  I like that, frankly.  Don’t want this glass to end, but I do, I want to get to my sparkling berry water, so I can wake early tomorrow morning, and write as I did this A.M.  Walked into the the tasting room feeling like a journalist/diarist/novelist monster.

Tasted some nice wines at Mom and Dad’s this eve.. a french blend, an ’06 Keenan CF, and nice SB which I can’t recall from name.  Wine was all around me today, and wouldn’t leave me alone; wouldn’t let me ignore it.  Wine wanted me to see its shade, shape, sensual suggestion in its skip–  It was telling me to calm down, follow my own composition: it’s not that serious; and those that take it so seriously, and that pester, just bloody ignore them…  So now I think about the wines I bought the other day, from that tasting room on 12 & Adobe…  When should I pop them?  I need a night where I open at least three to five bottles, taste through them and note every hint/suggestion/story/voice/octave/song/layer/taste I bump into; I want to know wine better than any winemaker on the planet; and you know what.. I don’t care how many chemistry words and chapters and formulas they can regurgitate and/or recite.  So many people that come into the tasting room ask me, “So are you a sommelier?” And one person the other day, I think even yesterday, asked me “So are you going for your Advanced Sommelier?” Why would I want to do that?  And that documentary, only shows those people reducing wines to oddly adjective’d archs, certain slouches of self-blessing bulbs.. they’re ridiculous.  I want to love wine for WINE itself.  I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone, at all.  I just want to connect with Humans that love wine like I love wine.  And that’s it.  Now, my glass empty.  Good.  I need to even out.

Sparkling water… and thoughts of today.  Pairing perfectly.  See?  There.  I’m a “Somm”…

Tomorrow night, first session of Summer ’14.  Watch what I do…  I’ll write you in morrow, reader, and we’ll empower from there, and not a cosmos’ comet will stop us, as I told an old friend earlier this evening, in a brief letter.

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