Posts Tagged With: Philosophy

MOCK SOMM:  Gundlach Bundschu Reaction; Sustainable Farming Boons

IMG_9604 Sipping some of the Merlot I bought yesterday at Gundlach Bundschu, the ’12, and I can see why so many are behind sustainable farming, and the stark and boldly beaming evidence that it translates to an increasingly truthful, more site and vintage representative wine.  The fruit is more rounded and robust, engaging and elemental in its palate gallop than other Merlots you’d pull from a store shelf, or even find at esteemed wineries in any valley.  And the Chardonnay I opened last night had a similar momentum, holistic and embracing in its flavor modes and moods, and a storyteller unto itself; naturalist and natural in its voicing.  A relief for a wine consumer like me, finding something forthright, a winery that respects its vineyards and the environments and enabling a candid couriering of terroir as other wineries merely aspire to.


As I now tilt the class toward my senses, it yields a riveting richness that you can only experience, I believe, from wineries that farm sustainably.  ‘Gun Bun’ as it’s amiably monikered, has been certified by Fish Friendly Farming since ’12, and you can appreciate and actuate in their adoration for the environment by tasting their wines, as I did yesterday after my draining workday, stopping in somewhat randomly (and I say ‘somewhat’ as I was thinking while earlier IMG_9605prepping for the day, “I should stop at Gun Bun’, haven’t tasted their in years), hosted by Ms. Danielle, a sweetly soft octave’d young woman whose familiarity and oeno-prowess was visible but not bragged.  Which I enjoyed.  Nothing more irking that being hosted by someone who tactlessly aims to perform what they think they know.  Nothing like that from Danielle.  And each wine, composed and coherent, convincing and wildly indicative of meticulous nearness from the farming and winemaking brigades.

IMG_9614Just a little bit of the Merlot left in glass, and I’m annoyed with self that I sipped it so swiftly, but I couldn’t help that self, and what can I do but follow the wine, wines like this, of this elevated character and deific loop.  My thoughts triangulate taking the next sip.  Showing me the rows, the temperatures and amalgamated atmosphere of 2012– This wine teaches from its acutely touched rows, and I sit here at the end of my day and sip, envision what happened that year on their property, and know I have to go back for a few more bottles.  Wish I could sip some more but this is all the warrant I need to put more on the shelves of my quasi-”cellar”.  Enough for me to get more than enough.  I think 6 bottles, then a case, then I don’t know what I’m thinking only I know I want more and I will get more, sooner than soon.  And who authors this entry, the Merlot.  So I’m sent to go.

And it’s more than clear, the sustainable treatment and relationship with IMG_9607vineyards bridges to a more appealing cluster.  The other wines I sipped in my quick visit, such as the Gerwurtztraminer, Rosé of Tempranillo, the Tempranillo, Pinot, and all the others Danielle politely place in the bowl cemented the validity and visibility of sustainable farming’s bounty.

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Professor NaNoWriMo (no edits)

…I’ll have coffee for the students as I did in Spring 2014– my hands type faster now than I’ve ever seen, a fiery adjunct with a determination to end this semester as a bold and meteoric victor, soon to see the Road and soon lecturing around the country and writing on my travels, sipping my red from a high floor in Florida, and coming home to my children with stories.  But I need to meet someone first I know.  But how?  How when I’m as busy as I am?  I thought about calling her, or messaging her, but why, we don’t talk that often and she’s busy with her studies, and I’m a mess most of the time with my writings and projects and moods, and disgusting grading.  I shove myself to a more Panglossian pose but it evaporates when I peer at the time in the upper corner, right, of this devilish laptop.  My teaching blog for the students, ‘maddenedread’, I’m thinking of expanding, maybe…  Making more into a brand and something the students follow rather than just a tired blog I instruct them to check out or follow–  The ideas precipitate faster than I can type or scribble or in any way log them.  Love this feeling.  If any negativity’s intent on finding me it’ll have to skirmish through this elevated and hortatory wall first.  And it won’t.

Another full-timer passes, says nothing, just walks to her office so assured she’ll have a job for life and what does our struggle matter?  Well I’m turning all this.  I’m going to make them all adjuncts, and with the brands and businesses I’m building I’ll be the full-timer, the comfortable one; the one not worrying ever and the one looking forward to work in ways they could envisage.

Have 40 more minutes to myself.  To write.

Ideas continue their swoops, landing on my thought’s block.

And what do I do but write faster.

The department secretary, or administrator, or clerk, or whatever her title is this month just was in view, in mailroom.  She saw me and said nothing and I laughed, maybe even loud enough for her to hear.  Not sure.

But I’m building the brand of maddenedread, to read madly and crazily and formulate a more creative opinion on Literature than an academic one– oh, topic for an essay…  Can’t wait till I’m on the Road and my reputation building and these full-timers will wish they were me.  The dept. chair just passed through, lightly, barely with audible quality and height said, I think, “Hello, Michael..”.  If he knew me, he’d know that I hate being called Michael.  If Mom calls me so, or my sister, fine.  But no one else.  This is more evidence of the disconnect between this department and me–

He passes through again after using restroom and doesn’t even look at me.  Good I don’t want to be distracted.  None of them could relate to what I’m doing right now, what I’m building…

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Beatifically Mad Again

This morning, oh this morning with my little technology skirmish and remembering last night with Mom and Dad and the wines we opened and surveyed, Dad speaking of the Devil Proof Malbec as one of if not the best wine I’ve ever put before him.  And those are the the caliber wines I hope to soon make for my admirers– or not even those admiring my writing or wines, just those lending me their time to taste and interact with my efforts.  Feel like I’ve already had too much coffee this morning but the Beat brews himself another cup.  This morning jotted some thoughts while Alice relaxed on the couch, stretching out her legs rubbing her stomach communicating gently but intently with little Emma, Jack running around with his lucky rock and a quarter– “Wine from removed objective, perspective; which includes no sipping, small or significant, nothing, taking a full step back and simply observing; the sippers and their questions, their trips and their planned tastings, how they talk to each other at the bar and how they wish they could stay out here just one more day, not go back to work and how if only they could win the lotto and move out here, just drink wine and eat wonderfully like that’s all the people of Healdsburg and Sonoma County do.” So many visions and entertainments cognitively and analytically yesterday in the Sanglier tasting room and more today to be sure, from talking about the wines or just watching people pass the tasting room, not wanting to come in for whatever reason.  Wine and my relationship with it, my “end game”, making my writings more “evergreen” as Sean the editor put it.  I’m changing I realize as a character, a precise beatific remolding of my mold and manuscript from day to day, questions and answers, submissions of assignments to myself and my readers, and one day my babies reading my work, like a student again me the writer professor whatever I’m calling my self this week.

Haven’t sipped the coffee yet, afraid to, don’t want to jitter with too much jolt to be sure, or unsure, who’s really sure of what they want and how they see themselves in 10 years.. me, 46, is that even possible?  Time will have its way and victory and I loathe it for that in so many tactical ways–  There, sip 1, small and polite, not too loud.  The mornings I’d spend in the Kenwood market parking lot or the overflow lot at the old winery, in my head now thinking of how that seems like a far forever ago but I’m here now in my home office listening to Hutcherson’s tunes as I do, like I did then before work, with one of those breakfast burritos and sparkling waters or Dr. Peppers, venomizing my words and thoughts toward that place and why I was there at 35, with a wife and son and still in a condo– “Why don’t I have my own business yet?” I remember so many times writing and blogging and saying to myself as I’d walk through those two tall doors to the tasting room, my peace broken having to leave the quiet concentration of my car writing to be a clock-controlled bot.  But no more.. with the Autumn Walk and mikemadigancrEATive shop I have too many new beginnings, new promises and stories.  I can only be Zen, wrapped in my anti-Nietzschean melodies and scales played on this neo-underwood.  I wish.. just another piece of technology I’m dependent upon.. so badly want to write like Kerouac, with complete and vocally blazing autonomy, no device doting, but I can’t I’m in this time and at this desk, but I see the class half full.  And half is as good or glorious and completion, a heaping wave of fortune and blessings [pardon the word, if you know me and my Agnostic folding)–

So lovely writing freely this morning, with this jazz and coffee, my little notebook and nothing else.  Found an old picture of Jack yesterday or the day before of him sitting up, less that a year old, holding one of my Composition books.  Three years ago, more, and here I am how did I get here and why doesn’t time just slow down for the writer/winemaker just a little bit.  Another note from this morning: “Disgusted by pop culture music its lazy ways and instant attention and fame and praise while real writers and thinkers hurt & hunger”.  It truly does make me sick.  I have to exercise more crEATivity.  Especially with my new hostility toward academia.  Solano being the prime evidential submission, how they boast they support adjunct faculty and promote all this activism but put such poster or quasi-banners in the most unnoticed and trafficked areas.  How is that support?  And not only that, stick us in that pen, that holding cell.  I won’t let it ruin my morning– I’ll write faster and with more creative craze than any of those sweatyhog full-timers.  And what can they do?  I mean, if you truly pose that question and dissect and explore hypotheticals, you notice ‘nothing’.  They can’t touch us.  As with me, we can leave the profession and more than likely be better off.  As some full-timers may have wine or something else as a hobby or sidejob, I do the same reversed.. winemaker and writer just teaching for fun.. truly for the love of students.

I stretch and breath and love my morning even more.  Another small tilt of my coffee cup and thinking about the day of content and material in front of me I smile, for me and Jack, Ms. Alice and Ms. Emma when she arrives, just over two months ahead of now.  My little girl, sure to be immensely proud of her writer/winemaker father, rising early like farmers and winemakers during harvest, never stopping for anything or anyone.. just working and building the story as winemakers build their brand and story and explore varietals, further specializing their tone and talk and grapetrot–  MY beat intensifies this morning and me along the keyboard, pretending it’s an underwood, that I’m Kerouac, the next morning after some party or some interaction with another beat–  I want to stay at this desk all day but I know I can’t I have to be out there gathering, hunting materials and characters, those tourists that step to the bar for the first time, saying how much they love the wine, how they can’t wait for their shipment to arrive at their house, sharing the wine at a table– new thesis for me as a consumer, keep exploring; keep with the questions; forever be a student of Life and wine and writing, Literature– bring the new Kerouac novel to the tasting room, be a Kerouac– or no: more a MADIGAN.

Stretching again and letting another jazz track play before stopping and getting in shower.  In this morning’s session, nothing can hurt me– nothing, no obligation or bill or deadline, no assignment or hostile student, no client or anything.  No weather no taxes no threats, no impending El Niño.  No. Thing.  A writing session at the Oakville grocery sounds sumptuous in its own angularity today but I won’t.  I will stay behind that Sanglier bar and pretend it’s my TR, my winemaking efforts being sold and disseminated.  And what a story of Glenn, a farmer once in the corporate world, rewriting his story and having everything go as he wanted it to, how he measured– “If I told you, I’d sound arrogant,” he once said when I asked him if this is how he saw it developing, how his business and move from Texas forwarded.  And just as he saw, and how could that be seen as arrogant, his response?  Only admirable.  What he did, the “re-write” if you will, is just what I’m doing, what’s been set in motion with mmc, and the new blog– the visual approach to wine and its scenes and shots.

And like that.. onto page 3 you find me.

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A Morning In Out (some of day’s 3 pages)

IMG_7396Finally find myself freewriting, writing freely, free in my morning writing, starting the types at 9:12– writing for clients later when in adjunct cell, and grading papers, meeting with students at 6; optional session for them but I hope several of them arrive.  Didn’t make it to class last night, stuck in that traffic, and I hate feeling behind, but it motivates me so I should do well with the current current and the ebb of my electric written impulse.  Have to leave this Yulupa base, the Starbucks of course, at 10 promptly to make the appointment where Ms. Alice and I have the engagement to see our little Ms. Austen on the screen, make sure all measurements are well, and that all is as anyone would want it.  But I type faster and whirl in my written novelizing of Self and my career and the meeting I had yesterday at the Ad office, Napa, still very much in the writer’s brain.  And I realize I’ve a break, one that will benefit me and my story greatly, expose me to more wines and wineries and the experience wine brings with it and all the characters, in the industry and out–  forlorn never, and my gravity and brio intensify with each word.  And the novel grows even more, more for me and my family– the day’s practice of three pages, a true write making a life for himself, one that will be read, rebelling against the adjunct ropes and bars, cells made to keep us complacent and now I speak up and tell them, the Them, those devils in their cozy little, or not so little if you’re a Chair (not sure why that should be capitalized), office.  I just make it my own, knowing that no full-timer will ever write about or speak to me as that one did, at that one removed garage-sale-college.  Ha.. look at my rattle, and me slither toward the aggressor rather than flee.  Fangs.. here… look closer…..

Wine, and all its educational potential, and the Human approach to wine, antithetical to what sommeliers think you want to hear..  Wine should be appreciated as Art is.  As it IS Art.  And that I mean to capitalize.  And in this day’s three, I only reflect and revel in wine, and not so much the “educational” facet or dimension, but the appreciative, as I told my new partners yesterday in the office, not wanting to leave, wanting to talk more about the wine, a Merlot, we opened and just appreciate the moment, share what we detected in the wine’s momentum and Beat.  I have to do more than just “immerse” myself in this, this stream of rich wine chapters at this point in the novel stream, or memoir stride– but I’m here recording and about my jazzy reaction and reflection, thinking of those Roads, the pourings I’ll do in hotels, the travel and the trips, the overnights in hotels and the resulting writing.  So what’s the end to this, this series of books?  I haven’t a clue, frankly.  And I don’t want one.  One rile I embraced yesterday was a reminder to just enjoy, enjoy wine and the characters with whom you sip, and go from their, form your life and write it all.  ALL.  Don’t omit a thing!  OH, and Mom reminds me just now by social media’s mount that I need business cards.  Shit!  How did I forget that?  Also need to upload some photography and copy to the bottledaux blog.  And.. officially put myself on the cards as a client of mmc, “Mike Madigan Author” I have it dubbed.  So that brings me to three clients.  And how do I market Mike Madigan?  Uh.. blogger, prose writer, poet, performing poet.. think that’s it.  What else does he write?  What do I think he should write, as his agent?  Arduous thinking of myself as a writer, objectively.  I’ll have to brainstorm, not in this freewrite.

9:26.  Time to write nearing an end already, but I won’t dismiss or let that free wind alone, not even for a second.. young lady in front of me going through her purse for something while she waits for her coffee.  Looks like she may have come from the gym or a walk, maybe.  But she looks tired and not wanting to start her day, flipping her hair and slightly rolling her eyes.  I hope not at me, the peering writer.  Now she gets her cup and leaves, about her day, looks at me again before putting some sugar in her, what I think is that passion iced tea my wife gets– rushes out, to the day, to errands and probably kids.  But I’m free, here with these characters and words and diarist accouterment, my mea culpa, theatricality in my gaze, my typings.  Looking and using what’s around me, so I’ll always be writing– this place, a place for people like that lady with her tea, me with this mocha and moment, then some that just come here to have a coffee and read the paper.  That’s their peace.  Just like wine, and in the vineyard, different intentions.  I realize, I can’t with all I have going on make wine– and I don’t want to really as I want to cover it; film it and write about it and photograph every facet as I did in ’12 at K—-.

No more distractions from email.  I know I always say that.  Had a call from client 2 this morning, that he had a busy weekend with company and didn’t have a chance to read the email and draft I sent him.  I know the feeling, I said, and didn’t mind at all.  He, with his business, everywhere and so centralized and focused, and beyond successful.  That’s mmc, soon, you’ll see, and my novels will capture everything, like a photograph but with the regimented discipline of writing and with the painted scene and plate– woman working here going around wiping off tables, the crumbs and coffee stains and used napkins.  I envy her speed and devotion to a task that most wouldn’t want to do.  That most are just too lazy to bring to any finished roundness.

Now in the morning I see what the day’s remainder looks like.  Just me at work and working toward my office which I know is closer than it’s ever been.  And wine education: I offer you don’t overthink it.  And if you want to look further into the wine you’re sipping, then enjoy.  But don’t steal the joy from the puddle in the bowl, what you sip and what contributes to the story and the occasion, the music created by conversation, like jazz in the moment and not reversed not edited and certainly not over-planned, or thought, or measured.  Just leap into the wine and explore its character like a book and see what speaks to you.  And I put an exclamation mark at the end of that sentence then deleted as the emphasis is obvious.  Just go forward into the wine and how you want to know it and don’t stop and don’t be swayed by anyone.  Certainly not some loppy-witted sommelier that recites book babble to sound versed.  That’s a facade– not with all of them, but many, even most I’d say.

9:47– the jazz slows, the trumpet and the highhat, snare, then in comes a piano like a trotting tiger, but gentle, some unseen dance, and I just want to stay here and write the characters around me and imagine this is my café, my jazz/wine bar, that my children visit when off school, go upstairs to the office and do their homework.  Something like that.  Wine should be family-placed, or as I see it– not sure where that thought was headed, but I don’t think corporations when I think of wine, or the vineyard.  I think of a house, a table, dinner, a bottle or two in the center, and people talking about what they choose, smiles and laughs and memories and new stories.  Nothing sour or downing.  Just an aloft mood and consistency…

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7/24/15– notes

Meeting with client, then what.  Writing, whole day to self.  May do short run, but the writer needs time to meditate think in the context of the novel.  6:54AM, and not much in a mood for writing.  So then what.  What am I doing?  Why force?  ‘Cause I can’t sit still.  Not with the words and the streamings of what’s synaptically snapping in my head.  the novel the novel the novel, just like when I was in grad school; go to the fiction seminar then come home to write, all jazzed up but then do nothing with the pages in fact I have now no idea where they are, were, or are, in the garage?  victims of the Autumn Walk move?  Who knows.  But I’m older, much, now, and with a family, with real deadlines.  Used to hate deadlines but I now I clear conceptualize their value and grow from that, the old Chinese wisdom, Lao Tzu, of calm overcoming heat.  The connection not sure but I know there is one and one that will establish the day’s mentality and attitude, my mood which has of late proven to be volatile somewhat.  Symptomatic of writers and their ways, my ways.. the one holding the pen and collecting the pages– if I’m to be a novelist all has to be simple and all has to be contained, have borders.. so…..

On the Road I’ll have–

Hours later, i resume with whatever I thought I had, after meeting and so many wine thoughts and sips I’m confused and convinced that the wine story will show me where to go, exactly and not.  I’m not editing this entry even a little, but writing freely, so freely I’m lawless and chaotic, and defying what there is in way of law.. two Chardonnays I tasted on Healdsburg’s square before my meeting with Glenn, where again I was prompted to futher submerege in the text and subtext of wine’s clefs and frets– but then what, the entanglement of my consciousness becomes even more oceanic in its momentum–  I’m cornering myself for reason;s sake and stabilization, the anchoring of wine’s candid thesis and direction, the papers and novels it wants me to write– so now I sip more of the Sanglier Blanc, a blend of every white varietal under a Sonoma County variable sky– my beat complete and replete with a street’s beat.  And me, the novelist under deadlines always just sipping the new wine that greets him, thinking he can be a winemaker and novelist and journal everything he can– he said, “One fast move, or I’m gone…” And so I feel the same way and drink more, listen to the music of the quiet on the bottom floor of this Autumn Walk spot– distractions that’s it, Emerosn would be mad at me and he should be, and so should Dad, as he once told me that distractions are “death to a goal”.  Those were his precisely realized words, the specified direness of everything, and as a writer it vocals even more, me with my students and my novel just haunts me and makes me drink more of this white blend of 53 varietals– I just use sarcasm as a way to cope, and with what, who knows, this narrative is directionless, and I am on my Road, in these studies and always jealous of the students and those that get to travel for work, you know the ones that say “Oh I just got back from a trip to North Carolina for a week, and then Florida after that…” Just heard someone say that to me, so placidly, and I was angered or envious I don’t know I just saw the Road for me and become hellish in my realization of accepted regularity–  staring at the wall, the wainscoting, the patterns have me distracted– nothing in this room wants me to write.  So I fight, for my sanctum, and my sanity, and the stabilized penning of my Now, the Newness and the Road’s varying light, what happened?  but I’m calm, not at all overheated, or understated, but what am I truly, that’s the novel’s goal determining that so I’m destined to be flat and failed– my beat piles on a cold floor.  This white blend, telling me to go further into wine’s heave, but for what I ask, what if I stopped–  I need sleep now, the adjunct, the tremens, that’s a career right? 

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from today’s 3 pages

…and one of them saying “I’ve been here fifteen years, you don’t need to tell me that,” speaking in mimicry of the moment, the exchange with this person.  I don’t know if ‘this person’ is a full-timer as well or an adjunct but I’d like to think he or she’s an adjunct, and that this is just more evidence I have of how they’re always there, talking about us and slighting us either to our faces, behind our backs, or in their heads.  But then the run starts to catch up with me, slowing everything I do, typing on this keyboard, and slowing my eyes in their movements, making the lids heavy, and me disinterested in everything I’m thinking and doing.  And what am I doing?  But writing a novel.  Or finishing one.  Or have I already finished one, in that string of 100 days, 3 pages a day.  Now, the 3-page mark is to be daily, and forever, all prose and reflective and truthful, and painful if I need it to be.  Tomorrow, wake when you should have today, around 4, or just before 5, and get the three pages started.  Enough of these affirmations, I think.. these writer thoughts.  No one wants to read that!  Wine!  People love wine!  And the wine fantasy!  And winemaking and the winemakers and the sight of some bottle on a table surrounded by opulent and visually antagonistic food.  One of my clients, one of the two, has a pervasive thesis of wine and food, which I love, and the link to the farming.. there’s something there for me, and what specifically I’m not sure but it’s something.  This man, self-made, a farmer and winemaker and overall whiz with so much, and how– self taught and some institutionalized order.  And I’m reminded, use what I already have, what I know, I don’t anything new, any more stress or clutter.

Outside for a break, I think.  Need something, and that’s air, the sight and feel of that parking lot air and the furtive gusts I remember to be out there presently.

Back from my walk, and returning a message, someone saying my writing is “fantastic”.  Want to look into something, something concerning wine brokering, or selling wine creatively.. after all, my company is called “mikemadigancrEATive”…  So I start brainstorming.. need an idea book for mmc, one quaint, not too large, and in one place.. selling wine but not in some cheesy scripted robotic, unidimensional utilitarian method.  3:03, the adjunct forces himself to look at the clock much as he doesn’t want to.. meeting on Thursday, 5PM, wine-related.. opening the Stewart Cellars Cab Blair gave me.  And it starts, brokering wine, a facet of mmc’s “Professional Blogging” division.  Good, so I’m consistent…

Still quite full from lunch, and tired from the run.  So I brainstorm, think.. write.. images… listen to the music I’d have playing in the mmc office.  This adjunct, shedding his initial intentions with teaching, and finding more about himself and his relationship with wine.  And that “perfect world”, the travel and the lecturing, showing the literary qualities of wine, and the voice and narrative, truest of stories disclosed in the sip sequences.

Needing another break, but I won’t let myself stop till I reach this page’s bottom and am onto the day’s 3rd.  Wine.. the character, the arranged nature on the palate and how the suggestions encase your perception and ability to react and reflect; when you find a wine that tells you what to think, and embraces what you already cognitively hold, accept.  A pleasant palate putsch.  I love those bottles.  They make me think and rethink everything about my knowledge of wine and how I speak of it.

Iced coffee.. gorgeous in all its dimensions, but I can only think of the wine I’ll drink tonight, and tomorrow at the winery how I’ll talk about the wines differently, and associate them with certain characters in Literature or maybe just laud them as their own individualized presences other than just recite basic and dumbing “facts” as so many do– the remedial approach to wine, the depreciative demeanor.  Wine deserves more, especially wines one’s passionate about.  Could use a glass of Sauvignon Blanc right now, here in this adjunct cell.  I should do that one time, bring in a split of something, have after class.. ha, then I’d really be making this cell my own space, my own Creative cave, my own slice of Newness.  Have to start prepping for class in 29 minutes, 1 hour.  But now one of my favored calming songs appears through the speakers delineating my senses in this cell.. or this office, depending on how you look at it all.

And more wine thoughts fly through my head; drinking it and thinking about the food I’d have with it.  Tonight Alice said she conspires to make a wonderful pasta plate with spicy meatballs, so perfect for that Stewart Cab and all the precipitating writing following, right?  Don’t want to think of all the calories I’ll be re-introducing into my circuitry after lunch, then this iced coffee, then the pasta and wine.  No matter, will run Thursday, early, but speed work on tread.  My tenacity is re-firing itself in my keystrokes, and in the rhythms I hear from the speakers, like bands on stage not taking anything back and no time to edit just let the thoughts fly to the screen, the page, and everywhere, finding their readers.. my beat comes from everywhere in this sitting, my the 36 y/o writer with his novel finally constructed.  Want to start assembling, and with noted officialness, my “wine qualifiers list”.  An amalgamation of words meant to describe wine but not like the simplistic and numbed-down words that these tasting notes sheet utilize, thinking they’re so brilliant and resourceful, helpful or entertaining.  Truthfully, I find a better 80% of them annoying.  And not worth a read.  But I learn from reading then, as like Faulkner said, “Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad…” They would land, if I were to conclude, majority of these lists and their illuminative wordings, under ‘trash’ and ‘bad’.  And if I could add one, ‘dead’.  The words are lifeless, doing practically nothing but taking up space on that page on the tasting bar, committing page robbery and having the guests, especially tourists who’ve never been to a single wine zone in CA, think the author is some handler of prose, imagery and voice…

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From Remain


My brother Kevin, inspecting the Pinot block…..

IMG_690710:04,  Mom and Dad left, and me here with the Pinot, the one a “friend” at work aside for me set.  Listening to classic rock tracks from dinner.  Dishwasher in full focal, and me here with this keyboard, indeed influenced, and more than likely not running in morrow.  And why should I when my wife was enough celestial to get my some coffee for rightafterwake.  MY wife, building her teaching career, and not settling, only advancing, having her progression ascend and never comfortably stabilize, she’s always moving and advancing–  I’ll use that as the model, her as idol, like the grapes of this vintage that continue their maturation, their storying.  This morning, walking the rows with a friend, I noticed, it came to me, the inevitability of a vintage.  It will happen.  Their will be grapes pulled and wine made.  The writer must develop as nature does: inevitably.  Tonight on the porch, sipping the Pride Syrah with Dad on the porch as little Kerouac played with his friends in minutes remaining before they were called away to bath and or bed.. he said, Dad, “It looks like something could come from these clouds,” meaning rain or some front.  That’s natural, that’s more than just simply predicted– it’s definitively systematic.  The writing need be the same, part of my climate and system and yes the wine to me codes but I entrench in my convictions and out carry my mission.  Again at the pictures, the onset of real pigment and life and visual– me lost in the night and my session, looking at bottles on counter, by kitchen– the SB and the Pinot, SRJC, that I opened a couple nights past.  And now this glass of barrel-borrowed Pinot, 2013, oh that amazing vintage– why are so many so quick to IMG_6922forget about 2012?  I’ll never get that.  And I’ll never get the innerworkings of the wine life and world and circle.  Tired, and bent from Pinot and not knowing where I’m going with this narrative– can’t wait for the novel to be done, what Mass’ does with his life and how he figures all into his story, what he wishes and what he sees, what he does wit his adjuncted reads.  My mind’s not the most sound it’s ever been, but I’m writing looking at pictures I shot this morning of Kevin and I walking that block and how the story correlates to my permanency here in this stage and moment– wish I were on travel, on some street and in some hotel unknown– is that not the life that we all want, the unknown and the unexplored?

IMG_6910Last sip–  Yes.  I know I’m one with wine and I can’t get away, not from the biological effect but from IMG_6909the character code it poses to my persona and Personhood.  I remember the first wine that really told me something, something– a 2000 Merlot, from a larger producer– An old song, Fleetwood Mac, “Dreams”, comes on, and I think and think and imagine me, the world and the time and whatever– confused and contorted– others talk but I don’t listen, at all, because they talk.  I want to feel and think and postivize, that’s me and my aim, disposition.

Can’t thank my wife enough for the coffee– can’t wait to wake and not run but just write and look at these pictures more.  But now, I drink this Pinot that my “friend” set aside for me in “her office”.


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And– Universal

Decided to come back home after Jackie to school and the Schwab transfer…  In house, I can leave at 10:05, 10:10 at latest.. had the thought of going to the estate early and writing there but there’s always the distraction of co-workers, one of them wanting to talk or simply saying hello and me spending the five or seven seconds responding and follow with some pass-chat.  But I’m here, in the Autumn Walk fort with my music and a mocha (4 shots) and the quiet, the words and the visions; lecture last night even riled me, has me thinking about my Road and my future and “career” I want to build with this blog and my writing and the Autonomy of it all.  ‘IT’ all.

Already warming outside.  Wonder what the temp feels like in other parts of the country, in Paris, and Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Russia…  I want to see everything and experience everything, see more than just the world; its stories and everything it wants to tell me.  It wants to meet me just as I it.  And that’s where I’ll find IT.  A bit stuck now, for some reason, unable to develop any kind of meaningful direction or thesis with this sitting, but the mocha tells me to focus on this new house, the Autumn Walk base, where I no domicile with my son, wife, where it all starts, the building and the collective and profuse story of Mike Madigan the writer– budget and build and conserve and just write everything.. should I call in sick to the winery, stay home and write all day?  No of course not, I have to live to write and observe what’s out there, and wine is a prominent consistency in my story, even if I don’t want it so some of the time.  In college, walking the halls of Nichols and Stevenson, thinking about me as a professor, and that was ’99-’01, and now here I am an adjunct, never seeing anything full-time, getting an interview here and there over the years (none recent), but I’m still the adjunct, embracing it and abhorring it as well.  So I have that.. and I have wine.. and running.. being a parent.. my rush for TOTAL Wellness….. and all put into the bottle, for this Ox.  And quite primary, these realities, not auxiliary.  This is me, this blogger and using everything, me writing here in this new study just off to the right as you walk into the A-Walk station– my novelist hotel…  Singularity, I then think.. not so many projects.. the Massamen novel.  That goddamn book I have to write, as it won’t let me ignore it, and I know answers wait in the 100 days of 3 pages project I did last year into the beginning of this 2015 chapter– so I think more, more, get what I want, thinking into space and believing it: me with my own office, soon having an even larger estate to ourselves.. a farm maybe, some vines, waking and walking the grounds just as Al and Janice do.. only living, and never worrying.  About anything.  That’s Wellness, especially in totality, when you believe it and its so immediate.

9:27, and I’m more than relaxed at this desk.  I’ll take pictures today on the property, new ones of the forming clusters (Pinot), and the way the sun ambiates through the light leaves in their hang from the empowered and confident singing canes.  I just want to walk, look at them.. yes take a couple stills but just enjoy the air and the leaves and the clusters and them looking back at me, laughing, bragging that they will finish their project, and I don’t feel violated or assaulted by that.  They’re encouraging me to finish the novel, sell it.  “Harvest the full manuscript, all 307 pages, Mike!” I look back at them like I’ve disappointed them, but I promise I will, and I will comb those 350-some pages of the 100 days project.  I know there’s something there, my days at the last winery and how miserable I was, I can learn from that, all the entries I wrote while in that!  The clusters will be most proud of the walking writer.  I’ll make them proud.. I’ll give them no choice BUT to be proud of me.


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A Breath, Please

IMG_6851Early, rushing and moving as quick as this non-caffeinated vessel will let.  Drop Kerouac off at school, then to Starbucks to finally kill these mind-deadening articles…  Then hopefully I can run.  Meeting Alice here in home at One for lunch.. then after that to grading, to campus.. if I can finish these articles quick I can just launch from Yulupa & Bethards as I used to.  And I plan to head to Howarth, a run as I used to– this morning I’ve only been thinking about the blogging, and the writing I’m doing for these sites.. not sure it’s quite what I’m looking for or at all what I enjoy, and it’s not– why, the formatting, the rules, the handbook they emailed me on how to write the way they want us to write .. AND, the articles aren’t credited, my name will be nowhere around the article.  Just a contracted word generation.. Kerouac would have never done something like that.  Nor Ginsburg, Hem, Faulkner.. I’m Literary, and I’m tired of seeing myself tempted by wine and food and tourism edges and the way you have to write to be paid by one of the pubs.  Which isn’t much.

Writing a MOCK SOMM piece today.  And no more delay–  clock screams 7:43.. should get the little Beat out the door.

Need a day.


Just one to live and do nothing.

Not even write.

But I’m not sure I’ll let myself do that.

Maybe I should.

In the SBUX on Yulupa & Beth.  Had to go back to A-Walk as I forgot little Kerouac’s blankets and changes of clothes.  So I arrive here ready for work, ready to make the adjustments and edits to those numbskull articles I “wrote”.  Go into WordPress, can’t find two of the drafts, and one has already been edited.  The rhythm of ‘things’ and the general pattern of communication isn’t conducive to anything Literary.  This morning my old friend, who now lives in Colorado, sent me an article of a guy who’s on some mission to write 100 novels.  And the act itself is some grand project he’s undertaking and sharing with the world.  And I read that and feel ashamed with this kind of writing, or the kind for the sites, I mean.  I should aim higher, and not settle for this assignment or ones like it– shouldn’t say that, I didn’t, I thought it would be something it’s clearly not.

Emailed editor, or contact to see what the status is and what the hell’s happening.  Nothing back yet.  This is just what I don’t want nor need for the day.  Still nothing.. why do I let myself get into these stressful pickles?  You know what, to hell with her.  I’m writing for me.  I will not have my day or my blog or my efforts revolve around her or her pigeon-brained website.  How’s that.

Still nothing.  Going to stop checking, shortly.  Had the idea of– don’t want to jinx it.  I know what it is, I don’t need to record it here for fears of losing the vision or measure for myself–  Back to the 3pagesperday ideology.  I’ll start in a minute– now that’s real writing, true expression and the only bloody thing I should be doing.  Why waste writing for someone else?  Especially if my name will be NOWHERE around the piece that they butchered, and that evokes no thought or emotion or trouble or trial; not thought, no interpretation, no dialogue, no character development.. nothing!  Just that a tourist goes to a winery or hotel and spends money, contributes to the economy, or the owner’s pocketbook.. evil editors and their knives, their minds and mouths– draconian slurs…

Wine.. more and more on my thinking platter, how to work with it and that I don’t want to take the SOMM courses I looked into yesterday.  And why did I capitalize that?  They don’t deserve the emphasis.. and frankly, even the somms I do like or don’t mind being around have that beat to them, the one that wants to outshine and oneup everything everyone else does.  And I don’t want to be part of that.. I just want to write about it, about the wine and how its made and the winemakers and the spells in a bottle, like the Pinot I finished last night; thick but still gentle and convivial, open and caring; communicative and colorful.  Nothing esoteric or elitist with its riffs; just inviting and playful, fun and entertaining, frankly.

Heard back from editor, told me “the ball is moving on” and that she’s going to do the edits.  So no work for me on that plain.  Part of me’s frustrated, the other quite relieved– if you could see me now reader: me smiling, listening to my music, drinking my mocha, and I have over 2 hours to write, finish my three pages.. sell them.  And I will.  I will send them by email from my vinolit address and charge $2 for a three page read.  And the focus will be fiction.  Each piece its own standalone, its own piece, I will be in control and not have to be edited or checked or conforming to some fucking manual.. and MANUAL!  On HOW to write!  Who the f……. ever heard of such a bloody trudge?

My students would be proud of me, here, now vicious and animalistic, a page predator, devouring editors, and leaving their carcasses for other writers.. or we’d just toss them to the side and look for the next manuscript mutilator to tear, consume, dispose.  Nothing outside Literature and the narrative I’m intent on writing.. nothing.. not at this age, not with Jack and M2, my wife, my family– Mom making sure I get enough sleep even at 36, Dad with his never-depleted knowledge stream.. my sister the winemaking mentor for the writer/wanna-be oenologist–  Lectures.. tonight’s, written out and distributed to the students, telling them that it all must be embraced.. the net must be cast, take something that means something to you..

Have to use the restroom but I don’t want to lose my seat–

Started again chipping away at a short story I started yesterday in the adjunct cell… about two students, together romantically and working together on a Philosophy project, or presentation, and one of them, the narrator, wondering what happens after this, this being school, the project and the class.. the what the what the WHAT.

This café this morning, telling me to forget about that blog, and to make sure those vile bilebags pay IMG_6849me!  I will be invoicing them later, and I have more ideas on my approach to food & wine, and the wine blog and wine itself.. my wine thoughts.. so many ideas.. oh and now I’m hit with another idea for the short story.. how to market it and what the characters are meant to do.. the music tells me to keep writing and not end the sentence and to make a dent on the novel today if I find time, yes I will but after lunch with Alice, after I get the sandwiches from Oliver’s.. oh what a morning, I’m so relieved that cubicle whore editor took the pieces away from me.  But I will be paid.  Should have demanded the money upfront– next time.  Don’t punish yourself, Mikey, just write on and don’t stop.. writing the wine how it wants to be written, not how a publisher wants to.. Kerouac saw editing as lying.  So, hmm, that would make editors, this one and all like her, demons, the devil, evil and soul-stripping.

But I move on and rise above, fly past and grow onward in my story.  This current song has me relaxing, looking at the time on my laptop and it dialing ’10:07’ and I don’t worry or  stress or fret or become tight in my figure or flex, I just relax, see the hotels I will see and the writing I’ll do from the balcony, thinking about how joyous Jack’s expression will be when I return from my trip.  And there I go.. daydreaming…..  Time to leave this deluge of narration and thought, my moment, and get to work, on something I actually want to write, the short story about the two students and what’s for them just beyond their final project in the Philosophy class, and what’s for them later, later in life, when they ‘grow up’.  And then I wonder, what’s for me, what’s for me and can I ever grow up?  Why do I HAVE to be a writer?  Cuz it’s who I am, not just what I do or what to do– no fuck that, I don’t want to do it, I already do, several thousand words a week, sometimes a day.  Yes I treat it like a job as I want my children to see it as my job, “My daddy writes,” or “He’s a writer.” When asked what he does.  It’s that simple.  He writes.  And teaches.  A little.  But the roof comes from pages; novels and stories, the blog, notes… all of it.  Jackie already knows that the laptop is where Daddy works.. makes me grin….. 


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Handed To

IMG_6721Set my alarm on phone and left phone in study area.. ran downstairs at 4:30 only to turn it off, but now my body’s aware of the Newness, my new dedication to running, or that the thoughts want the pavement earlier.  So tonight, another nowinenight and early rising for the running I have to do, that I HAVE to do.  7:25 and Jackie’s dressed and I’m eating his waffles.  Lawn watered and we are both launch-ready.  At the BV SBUX I’ll start and finish and post the MOCK SOMM piece on that last Pinot I had, at work, then hopefully put a thousand into novel, then write a little more in the work log for the novel– I won’t forget about my book, ever, and I need to keep my Wild Writing about Wine–

Interrupted by Jack demanding to sit at the kitchen counter with me, we then had to gearswitch and start our march toward the door– life too quick and too much for me sometimes, this, this writing life, and I think I still may be tired from yesterday’s charge at the articles.  Now I wait for feedback.  And the eventual check.  This has to start paying, my sentences and introspective observations which I hope serve either purpose or me selfishly.  So far, so many years later, I–  Man blows his nose here in the Yulupa Starbucks, and I get annoyed.  I may be too annoyed for my novel, now, may still need to write freely, just type and see and sip the coffee and listen to this horrible folk music in the store– earphones in, find me Hutcherson!

There, much better, I’ll be ready for the novel in a bit– now it’s 8:32, I’ll go to Massamen’s days promptly at 9.  The life, the living, the growing up that I’m trying so animalistically to do, taxing..  Look at bank account balance, and further frutstrate.  Need to be a roaming writing, a vending writer, selling everyfuckingthing.  The track I wrote yesterday, a poem, half in the adjunct cell in the last few minutes before class and the rest in class– fever, disease, one student urging, “Teach on, Mike..” Showing them I’m the realest of teachers, the one that actually knows, and does, and practices, no preaching, daily, my routine, my SElf and diligence make me different, the most ferocious writer on the planet, maybe.  And now I start to wake, the coffee, but no wine tonight, have to run in morrow’s cruelest of hours.  Saw two runners on the way here, running up Yulupa, about to turn left onto Hoen toward Summerfield.  My old route.  Do I miss it, a bit, I miss the regularity of my outings and the play with speed, my interval adjustments, and how.. distracted.. someone behind me.. I hate that.. maybe she’s bored.. maybe she’s lonely.. I hope she’s reading this, and she gets her iced coffee and leaves.  “Yeah,” I think to myself, “get the hell out of here!” Standing behind a writer like that.. god I fucking hate that!

A song by Dizzy, taking me back in time, so far I don’t know how to interpret it, way before me, and when my parents were young, or even before them.  Not sure.  But this morning is now being taken by the writer, and the rest of the day, with wine and what I can gather from the Pinots and the Zin, even the Chards, and how they’re changing.  Have to be at the novel soon, and good, good, I read this wine blogs and adjunct professor blogs and I’m starting to feel, well, quite bored with their rants.  And I know, someone out there probably feels the same about my work.  But I’m just doing light research.. like one post I read, recently (actually at the red light on Hoen & Yulupa, headed to this coffee spot), was about how local restaurants are expected to carry local wines.  A bit interesting, as I see the potential professional and/or neighborly quandary, but doesn’t the restaurant have their choice?  Are they not autonomous?  Do they work for the wineries in any way?  And, really, how much am I supposed to think about this?  Dwell on this lack of communication and sword-swinging impasse?

Starting to exhaust from writing, and I blame yesterday, and the articles.. so why should I touch the novel, now?  Maybe I won’t.  I know I have to, and I should, but another yell from me, inner, somewhere, says ‘move along!’ Focus on shorter pieces, the poems and entries and the short fiction café idea.. ideas, like drugs, that craving for Newness, the worst and best of addictions.

How about a plan, I hate plans as a writer but I feel I need one now: after entry: finish track 3 (poem), the a piece of short fiction for the whoso magazine and the short fiction café.. done.  Now I relax.  Oh if I could have the day off today, just not go to that ravishing estate and sit in a café and actually scribble, like a madman, like Kerouac.. so many pages scattered, but now I consolidate and sell them all.  Everything.  And the first piece for sale, or pieces, are the first 3 tracks I wrote, poems, each a standalone to its own.  Listening to that Kerouac recital last night with the students and talking to them about Poetry and actually enjoying teaching again, like I have rarely, lively and engaged with the students and so many of them commenting on my passion and my fire with the words and literature and Kerouac..

8  minutes till I have to shift to other project, whatever I decide.. the track, the poem, recital, sell it, talk it.. walk and fly and worry no–  My Beat starts to increase in speed and I feel everything is music.  Last night we wrote to a Bonobo beat, and everyone was quiet, scribbling, to their page and newly written Self sense.

And I can only, only, be only, only me with this sight and hope of somehow and day being that, that what I see.


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