Posts Tagged With: Philosophy


Again, no early wake to run, so my proximal alluring election would be to challenge Self, and I mean declaratively institute a challenge to mine own character.  Not one of the banal new year’s challenges or short-lived cascades of updates you see on social media, but an actual order, a decree, an urgent edict to Self.

6 day workout weeks, waking at 4AM days I don’t teach.

Which means, the morrow would be “Day 1 of fitness challenge”, as someone on soc’ media would post.  Sounds annoying, that’s where I am.

Meditations, running out.  Time to run.

Walk agog.

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Week 2 Starts

And I have the same positive invincible attitude I had last week that only met once, Wednesday.  This has to be the semester, I tell myself, the semester that I use two classes, just these two, a ‘Critical Theory’ and ‘Composition’ to build what someone, most pertinently ME, would consider a career.  Should get to the library but I’m quite cozy in this shared adjunct cell after having to leave the peace and isolated boon of the conference room.  Felt like I was in one of those balloons over Dry Creek, just enjoying the view and the placement up there, the moment which was all mine.  Would love a nap right now but I can’t afford a pause, or such halt.  What I should do, is leave my bag here and head to the library with my Composition Book and scribble some ideas for the PhD sample (shooting for 20 pages, not an inked character more).  Pleased with myself for already having a thesis in what I’ve written for the sample, Kerouac and music as his savior, his “religion”, how he gets his “truth fix”… you’ll see.

The other adjunct leaves, and I’m quite out of coffee.. shit.  Well, perfect time to get some at the coffee shop in the library.  Brilliant!  Done!  Leaving!  (9:38AM)

Back from the library and I wound not getting a coffee (no cash and didn’t want to use debit).  Emailed self article for PhD research.  Should stop calling it that and just “my own research,” a lecture I can use this semester or later, or whenever.  It’s my writing, I’m merely sharing it with those reviewing the applications.  A student from last term, ’T’, applied to Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, and I think even too Yale.  And she’s the level of student that would be admitted into schools of that magnitude, I have no doubt.  And it’s funny that this term I seek to be more like students of her form and habits than the English “professor” I’ve been all these years.  This semester I’m more a student than a professor.

10AM.  Office hour starts now— oh shit!  Forgot to include in the email my office room number.  I blame the exhaustion, this fading coffee.  There… sent it.  Now to focus on the 1A class.  First meeting on Sylvia Plath.  Should print some poems for them, which I will.  Talk about ideas addressed in the text without getting too into the text itself… just scribbled a couple ideas.  Will do the rest at home.  This semester reinvents me as an educator but as well as one knowing what he wants from life, in his life and how he wants his children to see him.  Professor— or teacher— educator…  Just happy.  Me as a brand, that has to be part of it, seen as someone who LOVES and is obsessed with what he does.  Words.. literature.. pages and expression on the pages.

A student again.  With aims, and end-game, one I can see, finally.  And yes, I garrulously keep the invincible sense about me.


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a writer

12:29, and I think about tomorrow’s classes, this new adjunct blog I started, and the PhD possibility.  More singularity and simplicity in my days and with everything I do.. huh, I think, “simplicity, singularity, why do we always tell ourselves we need more?” And I look out at the alley across the street that takes you to Bravas, how I wish I were a tourist somewhere, or on a “business trip” with my teaching and writing.  Soon, I tell myself, “soon”.  A lot sooner than I think, I think.


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Project A

Over 1,300 words.  Lecturing notes and pieces for my book, the MS due in March.. to be sent away, for sakes of teaching and student empowerment, making literature your own and being more of an active participatory reader and.. don’t wan’t to bore you, just note I’m very much alive this morning.  Cup two, Jackie awake, Alice and Emma upstairs feeding, and me ready for the day and this new singularized path I’ve decided.  Again revisiting the PhD idea, and BELIEVING I can do it.  But what’s my doctorate to be in?  Lit?  Education?  Philosophy?  How ‘bout a coalescing of all?  Loving this feeling this morning and the motivation I’m greeted by in my own home, this Autumn Walk Studio..



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Project A

Alice out running an errand, giving me a bit of time to collect while my little Emma-saur’ upstairs sleeps. Smooth drop-off for little Kerouac, bag packed for workday, easily over a thousand words.. should start drafting writing schedule, just one BIG thing a day if I can.
Balanced all my budgets, and I’m probably in the best place financially that I’ve ever been, that I can remember recently. But I need to bridge these payday gaps with selling a physical piece of writing.. my ‘Wild Wine Journalism’, self-publish and distribute however I can and don’t let it, EVER, be reduced to some piece of merchandise on a shelf in some store or in a tasting room somewhere (like at the last winery, those books, one of them I think called ‘vit lit’ or something, just there on the merch table, doing nothing, not being read, making me sad, saying to myself “that’ll never be me nor my work). They have to pay, provide currency. So the newsletter idea I had yesterday, that I would pay for to set up and not generate any funds from, now deadened. At least for a minute…
Two minutes past ten. Going to check on Emma..
Wishing I could sleep like her.
I go back up to snap a quick pic with my phone. Want to capture as much I can of this time, her being a baby before she’s a walking, talking, arguing child like Jack. And with him, my little beat prince, the time literally transported me into the future, four years next month. How. So unfair but I know it’s part of the equation, what we sign up for being Human Beings.
Am I ready for work. No.. shower, more coffee, put this laptop in bag. And pens. Do I have any pens?

I go on ‘wine jobs’, the website, for comedy’s relief, and the descriptions of the jobs and how lazily they’re written, demonstrating no proficiency or ability to communicate in written form which many require of candidates, does just that; provide comedy. A blizzard of it.

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Project A

The semester starts today, but I don’t teach till tomorrow.  7:30AM.  They won’t know what hit them, these English 5 students.  And with all positive intents.. my enthusiasm, elevated.  My ownership of my pages and position as a professor, ascended and more emphatic…

This is the semester that sends me to the Road.  I’m sure of it.

All these other professors and teachers and whomever is a writer, but not like me.  This is where I show them and the world and light their world in a resplendently grandiloquent blaze.

Cup 2 for me this A.M., and I’m prepared for the next 18 weeks.  Finishing my new book by

Week 9’s end.  And send the bloody thing out.  I’ll be blending that memoir I wrote in ’14/’15 with the novel I wrote in 11-2015, and some other works.. this memoir is meant to be a rejection of my own limiting patterns.. writing something and letting it sit in this laptop or the blog, when I should be selling every goddamn thing I write and type.

So no more.  By the end of term, I’ll be on a flight, somewhere to speak.


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Note 1/18/16

Man tried talking to me in line

Something about the coffee

Some chat quite small

Nice man

And I tried answering 


Much I could

And didn’t want to

But I did

So was I wrong

Or he

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0647, and

the writing starts.  48 hours from now in class sharing ideas as I always have but different, feeling more aeonian this morning than I usually do and I’m certain that’s the proximity of the semester speaking to me, telling me “put all your words here”— then the thought interrupted by my daughter looking up at the room’s light intentionally dimmed as I hate when it’s too beaming and blaring but she looks up at it as if some divine eye flirts with her, instructs her what to do with her day as the semester does me.  The semester will have started, two days from where I now sit.  I’ll be getting ready for class and on my who-knows-what-th cup of medium roast.  This morning is one of those mornings and I’ve been wading in them quite a bit, of late, those telling me to not care and to just write, stick to what gives me the thrills, or ‘kicks’, the teaching, the pages, turning them… lecturing from them.

First couple sips and I already senses that precipitating inferno.  More than one foot in front of the other.  A singularized stampede of ideas.  Not idealism, or the idyllic portrait everyone has in their head.  But, ideas.  Those fiery and revealing notions and possibles that anyone can attain, frankly.  They simple have to acknowledge the level of truth in their conviction, and follow-through.  Like Emerson noted, I’m ‘giving this the arrangement of my own mind, and uttering it again.’ This semester will be one explosive, on several dimensional levels.  And looking at my daughter I know I have to staple markers in the semester, points at which certain realities must be accomplished, not just say “this is going to be my best semester ever and I’m going to be traveling as a result of it.”

NOTE TO STUDENTS:  Gift yourself elevated goals, ones challenging and inwardly vocal.  And don’t be afraid of not reaching them.  Don’t entertain not reaching them.  That’s not a possibility in this new mind.  What is possible, and wildly likely, is holding what you sought upon the term’s close.

Can’t tell if Ms. Austen becomes agitated or she’s having a time to herself in the bassinet, staring up at that light.  Her eyes seem to be getting heavy…  And she cries, or starts, accompanied quicker breathing…

I hold her for about 25 minutes or so and can’t wait to return to the coffee and lines imbued in the semester’s already-seraphic hue.  Former students messaging me at the end of last semester saying how my teaching style is the most exciting they’ve ever seen, and how it’s their best English class ever…  Which I appreciate.  BUT, I have to feel that way, about my own teaching, about the semester itself, and about my empiricism.  It has to impact me, I as well need to instruct ME alongside the student body.

Ms. Emma, my petit professeur, may be waking up, hip to the placement of her wee vessel in the bassinet while she slept.  I tried to pull one fast and I may be getting caught.

Need to read more.  I’ll start with the books I was recently sent from Amazon (one for semester, the other two on teaching at the college level).  I’ll start today, after this entry.  Or later in day when little Kerouac naps.

Coffee a bit cooler but I don’t mind.  Sometimes I prefer cold coffee.  Something occurs with the texture that I quite enjoy.  Thicker, or slower moving.  More connection and intimacy, more touch—  Emma stops moving, she sleeps, head turned slightly to her left in that rocking open oval, with blanket that’s so sedating in its texture that I want it in my rest place.  But I can’t do that to her.  It’s hers.  She’s already taught me so much about my character and goals, and what I see from myself, from her father, what I want her father to be doing.  WRITING.  TEACHING.  Which he already is.  But he has to build.  And he has 18 weeks.


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1/1, Un début

2016.  Started.  First meal, a vegetarian omelette from the Skillet Café in Windsor.  Jackie and Alice watch a movie, all of us in from the surprising cold this morning, 36-37’.   Not many “resolutions” if that’s what you’d them call, just more consistency in my writing, and not stopping, getting up earlier and transferring what I handwrite in the “holstered journal” as I just wrote in the English 5 syllabus, scribble and type later.. just because I’m not at the laptop is NO excuse not to write.  I can write while rocking Emma to sleep, while giving Jackie a bath, while walking to get the mail, while doing a grocery run like last night (insanely)… always the writer should be writing, and at the very least taking notes.

Finished my 3rd story of the 100 stretch, last night.  Have to edit then I’ll post.  In fact, I’ll do so now…

Done.  Only made a few adjustments to the original prose, dialogue, and this story very dialogue-centered, in the two characters Molly and Paula.  The semester starts on the 20th, and I’m committed to this term being perfect.  And yes, perfect.  In all respects, dimensions and attributes.  I’ll be in class in 19 days.. so I have more than enough time to prep and plan and get myself in the position I need be in.

Tomorrow back in Arista tasting room.  Should be busy, should be an opportunity to sell wine and make quite a bit of money.. learn more for my wine business.. which I’ve decided should probably be a wine shop rather than a winery, but I’ll have my wine sold there..  All it takes is money.  And I’ll acquire such capital by selling wines I believe in, stories with which I deeply identify.  And selling my words, which will require a bit of capital, but not much.

Could use a nap.. 11:44.  Should I have another coffee?  Or take notes, on this legal pad right in front of me.  Where did this come from?  I remember someone in Napa years ago telling me the story of this bigshot wine merchant starting his business one night by writing a biz plan on a single yellow sheet.  He was in pharmaceutical sales, though, and they make far more than adjuncts that pour wine on the side.  But my —

Lost my thought’s train or strain so I sit back down after Alice and Emma for a nap go down, and I see the semester taking shape; me lecturing and blogging everything, grading quick and having an evermore elevated rating from students.  And it’s not so much the “rating” I’m after, but the connection, that they’re listening, that they car about their stories and their writings.

Wrote a thought, something quick, for the teaching blog.  Now need to write the first lecture.. on what.  Poetry, of course.. the argumentative quality and magically confusing and lovingly problematic rhetoric of poetry.  The students will love it, I’m sure.. and each lecture, each meeting, will be a piece of writing, for both the 5 and 1A sections.. something typed, printed.. no more than 2 pages (doub spaced).  This first day of ’16..

Writing my 2-page piece later, right now watching Emma by myself as Jackie and Alice go for coffee, and he for one of his treats, usually a petite vanilla scone..  Et , la paix dans toute la maison (and, peace throughout the house).  Have to stick with my French.. listen to podcasts and read French blogs and newspapers..  updated 1 page biz/life plan doc.  So far 2016 is about family, and me doing everything for them so my writings and everything must be as truthful as I can have it— right now Emma in her swing in front of me, me in desk chair but a foot or so away from desk and swiveled toward my little beat empress— she makes her sounds and I can’t understand but that’s very much the joy of this part of parenting, this stage, the infancy arena where you say how old they are either by days or weeks.

3:04— and I will very much continue with the timestamping as that’s my stylistic stamp, or part of it I think.  Jackie and I leave for Mom and Dad’s in a bit, and I’ll bring my holstered journal.. write words as they come to me, like now with wine on mind, “regions”.. I’ve always been one who sought more the region and vintage over varietal or producer.. but that’s another paper, another topic of address and quite another thing for the writer to write about later.

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a writer: post 011

Home from gym a little over an hour ago, Jack awake and waiting for me to come home, knowing I have treats from the coffee shop, little vanilla scones he loves.  In the tasting room later, and every moment will be in words.  Written.  Recorded.  Sipping coffee brewed here in home, and I think I forgot to log last night’s writing, in the standalone list.  Oh well, crying over spilt wine won’t put it back in the glass.

The alarm did go off at 4:15, put I shut it up evilly quick.  But later, I knew I had to start running again or I may never will, with Emma on her way.  So I went, refused to leave till I had 7 miles logged.  And the number of the treadmill, 7.  Something meaningful I have no idea but I now write freely straight to blog and not logged in some grave word processor document, on this devil laptop.  And you know, as a writer, I hate that phrase, “word processor”.  Words, those worth reading and those personal, can NEVER be processed.

9:33, and on with my day I go, watching Jackie play with his cars and after we ate breakfast together, he his scones and me some dry cereal (two cups, first some honey bunches whatever and the second Special K).  Rambling I know, but it’s the mood I’m in; relaxed and determined, stubborn and open, receptive and rejectionist.

You should see my little Beat, now, playing with his cars and trying to position them in new manners and ways every minute; not at all boring or getting irritated like an adult.  He, little Jack, is real life, how life should be lived.

Easily my favorite professor.

“Dada,” he says, “look at that crack,” pointing to the part of this first floor where the wood meets the kitchen tiles.  “Somebody broke it,” he adds.

I go over there and see nothing, but agree with him as to not revoke his confidence and pride.  “I need to turn the lights on,” he says, turning on the bright one I can’t stand, too much light for this writer.  “There we go,” he says, only to nearly immediately walk over to me and state, “This is too bright, right Dada?  Right, DADA?!  We turn it off, okay?”

I smile and thank him as he does.  And I smile again, as it’s not even 10.


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