Posts Tagged With: wine

mmc notes

Call tomorrow, meeting Tuesday, meeting Wednesday…  faster and faster and I can keep up.  Writing in TR listening to Thievery, won’t be stopped for anything or anything anybody envisions for me– I will support my family and provide whatever they wish or need or are even thinly curious about–

Mom and Dad last night, coaching me with mmc, invoices and attitude and practice, habit and execution and organization…

Today taking notes, going to taste through wines, especially Longbow, see how the character’s shifting–

Me, everywhere in one place, hurricane of scribbles and types, art fury– fire and animalism, me– watch how quick it all happens.  My only goal with this is supporting my family, building my story.. getting that house in Carmel..


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So whole writing in my parents’ house,

late, 11:37 with nightcap, listening to Delilah by Hutcherson.  Relaxing, and something that Mom said to me tonight ripples in my character, about removing self, and if not removing completely then taking a break as I mentioned earlier, and what Dad said about not always answering to impulse, to monitor my reactive behavior, not always jump when you feel the urge.  After this entry I’m for the day done, going to relax, sip the remainder of this Racer and think about the day, me on the back bar with the couple I met at K—-, when he proposed to her on the mountain, and me holding the camera/phone IMG_7048like a fool, just observing.  But today we sipped a bit together, celebrating our reunion and talking again and remembering that time, on the mountain– and the others, the reactions to the Pinots, and the Zin, what they all said with me outside at that back bar, by the lawn, with the view of Mount St. Helena–  Relieved I decided to stay here at the Mountain Hawk base, just thinking about the wines and how people reacted to them, how they swirled it in their glasses and just watched the wine do its revolution, they look at each other, the day, the wine, that group of 4, their kids and the wind over those little infant scalps, them quixotic in and out of micro-naps.

Tired but I have to reach 500 words, make it to or near 3,000 words for day.  Tomorrow, wake early, don’t forget leftovers from Mom in fridge (which I’m sure I will.. watch.. I’ll wake tomorrow and speed out the door and to Starbucks so quickly that I’ll just forget, not cuz I want to, but because that’s me, the sped writer always with something, something in cue and something to do–)

I’ll set the alarm for 5:30, rise and then to the Road.  And tomorrow, meticulous with everything, like Dad, showing me much about how I provide quotes for mmc clients… sent another tonight, and I hope for the best but who knows I’m just trying to do something I never have and have it pay and learn something new about my presence as a writer and how I.. how I…..

I keep writing, and look at pictures from day.. not much new, only the Zin I tried here, with Mom and Dad, from Columbia Valley, 2012.  There just wasn’t much there, not much impression or impact; texture lacked as did the overall rhetoric of the wine–

But I don’t slow, I run the trails in Sunriver, then come back to write, talk to myself about writing aims and projects, open a bottle of some Cab from AV or Howell.. I enjoy the quiet, and the jazz, and the snow outside.  Have to fly back in a couple days, but in the time now between I’m entrenched to ebb about ten short stories, written over 24-36 hours or maybe less depending on how much coffee I collude–  A crepuscular code of sorts, seeing new days and new Beats and new jazz syncopations– reborn, you might say.


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Going Back to Sleep

“It’s.. it’s…”

“It’s what?”

“I tastes a little stuffy, or dusty, or .. I don’t know….”

“Did you swirl it, get some oxygen in there?”

“No.  I will now.”

“So?  Now what do you think?”

“Kind of raw for a Merlot.  No?”

“Someone told me that the other day.”

“What did you use, for oak?”

“15% new, French, low toast.. all low toast.”

“Oh…  That’s different.”

“What’s that mean?”

“It speaks.  It’s really speaking to me, Neal…”

“Good, that’s… good.”

“What was that wine you were telling me about the other day?”

“A Napa blend, I can’t remember.”

“It wasn’t worth remembering?”

“Not really.”


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8AM, and with 2,000 words

logged.  Have to enter some pieces and entries into my new writing ledger, that I have to keep up andIMG_7042 maintain.  On cup 2, all words written to novel.  Feel like I need a break, this morning, running fast, changing station, Thievery.. sip more coffee, that’ll motivate me.. what to wear today on my mind.. thinking and over-thinking.. fell asleep upstairs last night listening to jazz, some artists I’ve never before heard or appraised.  Yes, I’m getting exhausted in this writing, and want to stop, but I can’t bring myself to.  Why.  Why not.  I don’t know, that’s my point.. my feverish craving for my statements on a page and then post them to some goddamn blog– Mom was right, take a break from writing.  But just now, Mama.. I can’t for long.. this is WHAT I am, not just what I do or want in come fashionable way, manner, or tilt.  And I go typhlotic, just viewing things and scenes and other places in my head, returning to Paris and vacation somewhere, back to Santa Barbara, or that nearby town where we stayed for Nick’s wedding.. ocean and new characters and drinks at that lounge bar.. coffee in the morning, looking at the waves and hearing people go back and forth, from the pool to their room and back again, not knowing quite how to take in their vacation but they know the time is limited so they just go with gut impulse and urge and reaction.  Good for them–

Tonight, dinner at Mom and Dad’s.. do I sleep there or only have one beer and one wine and come home here to enjoy the quiet of this castle, this new Autumn Walk base, as I won’t have this much concentrated quiet for some time again I’m sure..

Developing mmc, rather proud of how I developed my business last night, sending out emails and taking notes, starting cards for each prospect (on pieces of paper taken from winery, or that Kevin gave me, old tasting menus).  They work quite well, these card, constant reminders of where my efforts are.. a real business, me, and if it all to fruition forms, and my money is properly budgeted (obviously with Dad’s help), I’ll get to my office.. want a small space somewhere in Healdsburg– but that’s expensive, and I know Dad would advise against that.  I’ll talk to him tonight, see what he thinks..

8:22– just realized, I met my goal, 3 pages before 9.  huh.. forgot I gave myself that deadline.. love mornings like this.. nothing getting to me today.  I’m controlling the story, my business, my blog, and my direction and marketing momentum.  What will I do till 9?  Maybe just get in the shower, have even more a headstart on the day.. where’s the iron and that little board?  Garage I think.. still unpacking.. like Massamen in the novel.

-get cash, ATM

-write a poem

-post pictures

-keep moving

-wine notes

-get new little notebook.. so then yes I have to leave the house early to go get one, corner store, Coffey & Piner


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A writing retreat. 

IMG_7028Or at least pause.  Have been working on mmc since I walked through the door, after watering the lawn as Alice requested.  She in Monterey with my little Beatnik.  didn’t touch the novel today, but I will in the morrow.  Bought a bottle of my favored sparkling lemon water, large size, to rid my system of this wine before bed, or at least thin or dilute it.  Just opened a bottle of the 2012 Mikey Merlot, or Cuvée.  Pretty sure it’s the Merlot, as Alice took the unlabeled bottles from the labeled boxes and put them indiscriminately on the rack int he downstairs closet, my new mockcloset.  The house to myself and I don’t know how to react– my first night alone in this castle, this new abode and safeplace but I’m unsure, and uneasy, so I sip more wine and plan more prose and not in my journal or type– me the write, in love with wine and all the vineyard stories and calls, like today when Andy and I walked the Two Birds block and looked for veraison and didn’t find as much as we estimated would be there, or at least I didn’t, even at one time saying, “We should come back in a week, this is bullshit.” The vineyards are everything to me in my story and my relationship with what I sip, and my Beat and musical qualities as a wine scribbler and torrential terroir typist– on my Road, on my hike to equilibrium, and all through wine, should ask my sister how she came to where she is and her character and wine is to her now, which might seem like and obvious query with an even more estimated response but it’s not to me–

So many quick shot from after work and right before, the vineyard, where I should be writing after work.  I’m sure Al and Janice wouldn’t mind– sweet people like them and their sons would and have only encouraged the Beat and his writing about wine and where the grapes develop their stories and flavored ferocity–  The wine lowers in my glass, I sip and pour more and think about the days at Sonoma State, studying under Bob Coleman and coming home to my San Carlos house in the hills, Bayview, and sharing with Dad and Mom my new knowledge.  Only reason I could go there, and am here, in the Autumn Walk safe, because of them.  I must do the same and more for my children– yes I’m a dad with worry and with vision and with the story, a story of one wanting to rewrite his story.  So much on this kitchen counter again, the tightrope I walk, wait, careful– slow and rightly ridden.. slower…..

A writing retreat.  But there’s no retreat in this writing warrior– ever. No, my beat is one of high bpm and spoken word and confident recital looking down at the audience while I whirl rimes and songs and talk my convictions whether political or wine-coded.  Another sip…  Whichever it is, of my wine.. pretty sure the Merlot…..  Has me deciding the next path for mmc, my little boutique ad station. Me, in advertising and marketing, sales and PR– who knew.  Definitely not me, a novelist.. but this will allow me to do just that, finish the Massamen proyecto.


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Opened a Merlot



from a potential client, mmc.  And honestly, mmc has been all that’s dominated my cognition and persuasive inner-imagery today and this evening, even what at dinner with Alice at Roberto’s, where the service was oddly slow.  This Merlot, much better than the one I produced in ’12…  I can tell there’s more new French on it, this one as well a ’12, but made by a professional wine-wielder.  This translation having more of that “gothic” grittiness I like in a Bordeaux, and the prose I write should reflect that in that I just want to finish my novel here tonight and not go in tomorrow but just stay home, dive headfirst into the coffee and that cinnamon latte blend and end the noel where it is, in one day, so I can grow mmc.

I need to relax with my visions, my mmc dreams and those of the novel finally finishing.. oh, and making wine this vintage, as I boasted in earlier entires, do I want to do it?  Uh– I don’t think I can, with all I have going on, in, on–  Want more of this Merlot and I will, it’s 4th of July weekend, the time when Americans claim to revel in being a free nation when really they succinctly set themselves to sip wildly, get drunk, and say ‘fuck the rest of the world, this is how you should be doing it!’ Really.. okay.  I never get political on this blog, but I had to follow with that framing of my thinking.  Someone asked me today, “So what are you doing for your 4th?”

“Uh,” I started, “staying home and writing, and opening a nice bottle of wine.” But then I remembered I’m spending my 4th with Mom and Dad, so I added and amended–  “Well, with my parents, I’ll be opening nice wine and having a home-cooked dinner with family, nothing crazy,” I told Kaz, also a prospective mmc client.  I see my office, and me in there planning everything on a board, one animated and enjoyable and engaging for me.. my business and livelihood, what I thought about today while going to Alice to hear M2’s heartbeat…  The consolidation, continuing with confident continuity…..


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MOCK SOMM: Handley Cellars, Anderson Valley, Chardonnay, 2012

IMG_7008And the Handley Chardonnay, more than just a stream of me being proven wrong about the grape, the varietal, that problematic genre in oenology– no, this has its own -scape, and diction, and curvature with its apple-ized code and symmetry from scent to acidity to tactile ebb to its overriding message.  And I get the sense it wants me to survey its entity and scene, how it intends on greeting all my senses and receptors– the bottle, and this last glass, knows I’m writing about it– it uses me as a translator and courier of its thesis, and it says, like Amy Tan, “It’s a luxury being a writer, because all you ever think about is life.” And this bottle and its producer and the Anderson Valley AVA bring life with it to everything it contacts.  I’m smitten, enamored, befuddled, and seized by its synecdoche of notes and plays on my perception.  Yes, it’s Chardonnay, but so many, especially sommeliers, talk about “varietal integrity”.  Well here it is.  What more could a wine chaser demand?  Seriously, this writer wants to know. This is more than Handley at their best, this is the AV producer being what I would note equitable, candid, conversational– speaking through the Chardonnay varietal and showing what it wants us to know about its feel and voice, and tone, octave, beaming character oscillation.

I’m now more open to Chardonnays as you may know but this one teaches me even more than I ever expected to learn about the Burgundian loop-grape.  This is more than just “stylistic”.  It’s honest.  Declarative.  Instructional and comedic in how it appears to mock other Chardonnay attempts and projects.  “This is Chardonnay, real Chardonnay,” I say to myself, here at the kitchen counter, staring at an empty glass.  And I’m not “scoring” it as I don’t have to.  This is just a note denoting and connoting that I respect this wine and the producer and how it makes me envision the Road and what I’ll write about so many tomorrows from now.  Fantasized glass apparition presence–


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Garden Talk, with Glenn Alexander


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Busy, busy

Day.  Indeed.  Worked quite fiercely with mmc ideas, making new contacts and a couple other movements.. now it’s after 5PM.  Don’t think I’m running tonight, nor tomorrow morning.  Rather, I’ll open something else to review– OH!  Have to post the Handley Chard review…  Will do that tonight.  MUST!

IMG_7015Missing little Kerouac, and not so much missing working, or even the classroom.  Love the students and the act of teaching but I’m sure mmc will give me everything I want.  Looking up office designs and layouts for Creative businesses.. want ideas, and I want my office to be the most support office of Creativity anywhere on EARTH!  And I’m not kidding!  Of course I’m not kidding.. why would I be kidding.  Why’d I say that.  Going mad.  But a good mad.  The Kerouac-type mad.. love.

Bought more coffee at the store, more medium roast and a cinnamon latte kind I think I’ve had before.  Whatever.. there’s coffee in it so it’s good, great for my morning writes..

Plan in my head.. not going to write it.  I know it’ll stick so I’ll let it ferment in my thinking.. texted my friend Tanya an idea, see what she says.  A beer sounds lovely right now.  Oh, and I have to be at work tomorrow at 9 for some meeting.  A meeting which I’m sure won’t accomplish much but at least it’ll provide some material for the Massamen novel, and other ideas.. one day my own tasting bar?  A tasting bar/wine shop?  Maybe.. one day.  Back to research…..


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Done Fruitful Danger

And a whole day off for the writer-father, but more to do, have to optimize this day like I have no other and in a minute I’ll dive headfirst into the novel, get at least three more pages into its body then start to bring in the 100 days of 3 pages my character keeps talking about.  And think about I do all the time, the 3, or actually 3+ pages a day I did.. 100 days of it.  Starting when I was still at that place and then into days where i was and am free, and on the brink of doing something amazing, I know.  And everything about the writer will be kept, tidy, easily location’d, and ready to submit, all times and all days and– just thought how this sitting might be read as just another posting from Mike Madigan– “oh there he goes again drinking coffee after a night up late writing to and about some wine, this is just another hey-I’m-up writings…’

Not at all.

The morning, THIS morning promises something for the story directly and something that’s sure to make everything in life more Literary and musical, and I know it’s to take place ‘cause I’m writing it.  I talked to my students last night about a sixth sense as a reader.. and that’s what I’m exercising and sharing now with you–

After a couple quick snuggles from Ms. Alice, I come downstairs while she accrues more rest, and only such can sequence when little Kerouac isn’t here in the home with his parents but in Monterey with his grammy.  I enjoy this quiet but miss my little Artist as well, wondering if he’s still asleep or if he’s up playing with Molly (grammy’s dog) or what he’s observing, what he’s thinking about what his eyes ingest and just everything he’s experiencing and living down there, by the ocean.

Trying to take my time with this coffee, slow, just like the day and how I should approach it.  Not sure how hot it’s to be but we are in summer, and the vines grow quicker than anyone can adequately gather and véraison is already being found, seen, recorded all over both counties.  Can’t wait to have those pictures and witness those clusters get closer to their fruition.  See?…  I’m so envious of vineyards: they always finish their novels, and they’re always published, and most times, at least from the winery I’m working with, is enjoyed universally.

I feel older this morning, this 36 year-old writer.  But I see something not so Nietzsche…  I’m getting more focused and singularized and smarter with my writings and how I market myself (mmc) and I know I’m getting closer to my office, I know I am.. I can see it actually, how my desk will look and where it will situate in relation to a window, and what wines will be on the rack and what coffee will be in the kitchen and–  Ahead of myself yes.  But that’s where Mike Massamen needs to be.


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