Posts Tagged With: wine

Brainstorm 2

wine — wine and media — visual, pictures and video — tasting — red wine, some white — interviews — odd pictures of people tasting — goal: to get more people out here or get people to “follow” what happens out here — no drama, only fun –

Those videos or documentary clips I saw about the adjunct life and what the universities and colleges do to the adjunct is very much dominating my vision and thoughts this morning.  The above brainstorming is the last thing I wrote last night, after a day of well over 3,500 words.  And the wine world itself, I mean.. there’s no career in the tasting room, and I don’t want to be in distribution, and if I were to start a production path I’d start at the bottom of the bottom.. so, “in a perfect world, what…” as Dad posed that night at Monti’s.  Well…  I’d write, I will write, but how to have it launch.  The teaching blog has to go, so only left is bottledaux, the messy and honest and wine-driving blog/writings of ME.  But maybe that’s just what’s definitively necessitated at this juncture.  Time for coffee and time for freedom, real CHANGE, no more of this bagged labor.  Wish I could sight my sources for yesterday’s findings, they were clips on Youtube and it was absolutely horrifying, what percent of faculty, on average at secondary schools, is adjunct or– can’t remember the other term they used– in relation to tenured or tenure-track.  And the presidents and provosts and chairs and those clownish slugtroll deans always have their raises and incentives and who knows what else behind doors they keep closed.  I’m not staying silent anymore, and what can they do, fire me?  Oh no.. I’ll lose my…  Oh yeah they don’t give me benefits.  That’s what I get from pouring wine 40 hours a week, repeating the same information and story and pitch, day, day, day.

There was a part of one video that cited how teaching pay has dropped why other administrative and “executive” rolls have ONLY seen increase.  And the adjunct roll is interesting when you think, especially when they call us ‘part-time faculty’.  Some adjuncts, as I used to, teaching considerably more sections than a full-timer and work just as devotedly if not more so, in fact many time much more ‘so’.  But it’s our choice if we decide to let Them do this to us.  And now, me, at this point in the writer’s life I’m just saying ‘no’.  No more ‘so’.


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…opened not today but

yesterday still encircles a sipper with swagger and sense.  But I have to stay focuses, and centered, even if my current subject is this varietal, Merlot, wish I could have another glass but I need to wake early tomorrow and take little Kerouac to his school and ready myself for a run that very well may be in the rain, but I’ll still go.  I can’t forget about my marathon which is I-don’t-even-know-how-close.  After the run, which should put me here at home near 10AM, I’ll go to campus, get into character, print an article before the 1PM collection of the 3PM groups’s papers.  Why don’t they just have the final time at the regular meeting time?  Yet another convoluted convenience in academia.  My budget, have to get it done.  Think I have one more check to write then I’m secured.  The Merlot’s starting to catch me but I’ll ignore it for the most part– self-publishing!  City Lights tradition!  Beatnikology!

Rain.  And it’s back, for me, for this street, Yulupa, and for my drive tomorrow and for the view from the 4th floor.  I fully expect to change seats a couple times in that four hour span of meditation.  But as long as the drops continue so will I.  I have to commend this weather’s inexorable intent.  And I sleep better because of it, and like other morning with those drops on the sunroof window, like little kisses to my vision for me to keep going, more than encouragement like a love letter more so, one genuine and not plotted or plan just for the moment, for me, for the connectedness of everything connected to a sentence, to new words and stories, as each rain storm or flurry or even drizzle’s a story, abbreviated or extended.  And the rain doesn’t worry about edits or revisions or even reformatting, it just pours, drops and descends, writes what it wants to.  How is that not enviable?  It just rains!  I only hear applause in my wiring.  This is a beatnik’s moving, not a movement as people understand but a moving, a new motion, one unplanned, scattered, disorganized and delicious!  Paragraphs overlapping and intermingled and blended kaleidoscopically.  I want my son to read this one day, and love and appreciate the rain as I do.  And Alice, my wife, the resolute reader, I hope one night sits to one of my pourings, one of my emotional and confessing deluges, downpours, or like tomorrow: hurricanes.  OR would it be a tornado?  Tomorrow’s writing will break any record or feat or milestone I’ve consummated.  Over 2000 words for the day.. how would the meteorologist report that?  How would I?  Not so much a storm but certainly a front visit.  Today is notable, but not historic.  I don’t even know if it’s a memorable raining of sentiments or thoughts but again it’s there, for you to read if you’re still reading.  And now I have to get ready for bed, and for tomorrow.  My first run since 12/6.  No more knee pain, and the hips seem to be brave enough, so we’ll see.  Bonne nuit, lecteurs!

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Loft. 34 minutes maybe a little more

and I think of today so far, and standing out are the two cups of coffee I took from the 3rd floor and the cheese sampling in the back kitchen (our only kitchen).  Visited a couple of the wines, nothing riveting, and talked to Zach and his wife Katie on the crushpad.  Didn’t turn the lights on on up here, wanted and still want to see how the dark affects me.  Nice crowd in here, talking but not with too much invasiveness, and the rest of the day who knows.  Just deleted a sentence, shame, I need to keep typing like a real Beat and not regret a thing.  MY budget nearly done and thinking about ‘Mp’ all the time behind that bloody bar, even researching Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Books & Publishers.  The key is simplicity I again realizing and going big with small standalone pieces.  Steely Dan playing in the background and  I’m dristract by Time again, how I only have so much and what I do have is so/too quickly quelled in obligation.  So the next day will be the same, and the same and…  Love the dark up here.. wine, on mind, a wine bar, thinking of writing that 1,000 word piece on MY wine bar/shop, the idea, to form into something for my character and how she’d handle it.  Want to ask Katie but don’t want to be too obvious, what would that do but break my cover, totally crack it rending stale ineffective and moot.  Keep with my types, Kenwood, where I work and now break and break away from that goddamn clock–  Thought from the other day, before I forget: the architects sketching on pieces of scratch paper, actually solving a long-standing dilemma from their San Francisco office, they just used the backside of the menu paper, worked on what looked like one part of a commercial building or space, a 90’ angle, and then from there they were distracted by what bottles they wanted to purchase and what they’d have in the office, and what — Company started not too long ago, again, and only 24-26 members, small firm and wildly successful, just like my press; small to large and to that ‘large’ from the smaller pieces.  I have to get out, and I will by day 100, this is all about switching my Life to what I want for me and little Kerouac, and my queen Ms. Alice.. a house, property, the office, freedom, simplicity.. and it’s little Kerouac that really pushes me, fires further my fire.  No more orders or schedules or clocks, can you imagine?  Leaving the house whenever you want to or have to based on your project/s, their demands, and what you saw in that image of yourself, the defiance and the Autonomy, better than any bottle of wine.  One of the owners of that architecture firm had to stay behind in the office to meet his deadline, and one of the other owners that was present that day said he was upset he didn’t get to join their retreat.  Thought the dynamic was interesting and–  Did I tell you this already?  23 minutes.  Goddamn time.  When back I hope to taste a couple more wines in the tasting room and figure out what exactly my target or specialty wine is, or would be in the shop for my character.  Much I talk about owning a wine shop, I won’t, I don’t think.  Rather, I’ll confine it to page, I’ll confine everything to page and sell them.  Minimal overhead, as I want the majority of my stashes going to the house, the residence where little Kerouac and his future sibling will enjoy a backyard, build their thoughts and perceptions and form their own characters.  The dialogues downstairs become louder, more intent, I hear some people, I think Teddy being one of them (my bartending friend), is one of the participants–  Interrupted by Jeff’s wife, and I don’t mind, I actually learned from our brief interaction, about her needing a couple cases of Chardonnay and one of the neighboring wineries won’t sell directly to her and that winery’s distributor won’t return her calls.  Don’t understand why the industry has to be so complicated when it comes to getting wine to a location.  Where’s the formula, where’s the consistency and Humanness?  I’ll never understand that, why wine’s industry overthinks so much.  Oh.. have 16 minutes left, which gives me more than enough to edit.. tomorrow back at school, but just to collect those final papers.  Run in the morning, then finish whoso edits, then 1A collection then write for over 4 hours, in library, and I want more than just ‘progress’, I want my character definitively changes and I want to bask in the stressful energy from the students.. and I want to write in the Comp Book, just brainstorm freely and wildly, and on the 4th floor by the Kerouac books.  There will be a definition settled upon tomorrow, I can understand now, sitting here and my seated table in the loft’s darkness and I know what I’m doing, or I tell myself I do, just trusting that what I’m doing is what the story wants me to do– Thinking.  Noting.  Sharing.  Mp should be a nucleus of not only written engagement but thought aid to other writers and thinkers, teachers.

And I’m still.. focus on singulars.  Like.. the sample I tasted on the pad with Zach and Katie.. Cab blend, I’m guessing, and telling in its vocality and positioning.  But not what I say is distinct.  It wasn’t a poor wine, not at all, it just wasn’t a project that would set the globe ablaze, but I don’t think it’s meant to be, and they confirmed that: intended for the anytime sip.  But I’m distracted by wine and if I should make it and that shop idea.. what if I did?  And what if that became the family business, like Scooter & the Lighthouse?  Something to sew, unsew and re-sew on the way back to the overflow lot.  I should contact my sister I’m thinking now, afterall.  See what her thoughts are on what be, wine and wineshops and labels and Cab fads and anything.

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from today’s 3page effort sofar –

…in Mendocino.. funny) — Jackie throws some fit, mybe strategic or just a product of him being 2.  Not sure, but I was interrupted anyway.  Now he’s fine, I’m fine when he interrupts me– ugh, I loathe my words this morning.  This day’s early hourset seems to want to keep me in place, block my expression and make sure my ebb stays buried.  But I fight, even though non-ire’d clash is my principle ideology of late, that of the Beat, a stemming from my studies.

And today, another at the winery.  I’ll make notes every hour– no every half, not stopping with my scribbles even when it’s busy, they want me focused on sales and making ‘the company’ look good, which I am too, frankly, but not at the expense of freethought, my dreams, the image.  Coffee cup 1 dead nearly.  Vignettes, thinking of vignettes, and micro fiction like yesterday.  Does each piece have to be a separate topic and story or can it be sequenced?  Outside the box, like I used to preach to students in ’06, ’07, ’08 too I think — And on the teaching note, haven’t heard from my sister’s bigshot wine business SSU friend.  And I’m not surprised.  You can’t depend on these people, in wine’s “business” or temple or zone, more like a vocational maelstrom.  Ever.  They never get back to you, and if they do by the time you call them back or plan a meeting they’ve taken a position somewhere else.  They’re fickle, scattered, childish, and superficially animated in their wine knowledge and communicative/social navigation.  I’m sticking with wine’s element as I need it — The magazine, whoso, given more of a wine focus, and I’m having it printed by 1/1/15.. no fail.  And my ‘QS’ novel, done by the time next term starts, so I have something to show for myself, more than just this goddamn blog I keep and the teaching itself — Novelist.  What I am.  Clock says 7:33 but I won’t be pressured as I always am.  Actually, I might go in a bit late today.  Thinking about it.  Yes, knowing me I won’t but it’s something that’s on my perceptive plate.  In the loft today: vignette, journal entry, and a little to this 3page project.  Again, just thinking.. no more plans as I never follow them.  Moment molding; I’ll mold the moment as it forms before my pen, then put into paragraphs — Of course, I’m addressing or honoring the same principles as “spontaneous prose”.  I just want to have my own sovereign tag, punctuating my Creative individualism and form.

Stomach still a bit circular from last night’s icecream and the overall diet of the 4th.  Today, starvation.. feed from that feeling and have it push you forward, the intrinsic propeller in my character.  Magazine, novel, publishing company —   …I’m pushed now this morning to do everything that I’m thought of not, and told I can’t.  7:40, should finish coffee, put this device in bag after a couple more minutes of charge then go– cup of black from Market, write on estate in overflow lot.  Not sure that’s what the story wants, and I don’t care.  It’s what I order.

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first words of day’s 3 pages (no edits)

This morning already taking off with a fire, a fire in me and tonight it will materialize further.  I remember everything I wrote last night and don’t.  So today, note in small words, phrases; objects and people like I have been doing.  Rain expected.  So that’ll help.  I always write better in the rain.  Standalone pieces; Dav’s letter, that short story that I didn’t finish, “His Beer”, and some others.. just enjoy your writing, like when I repeat to you “Just enjoy your run…Just enjoy your run…” when you’re running.  Yes this page is a bit outofbody but who cares.  It’s my morning and Jack’s over there playing with his cars and trucks and dinosaurs so I can play too.  Drinking the medium roast, and the ideas just cascade into my consciousness like a storm that’s al;ways waited and wanted to be observed, to wet the pavement here in Bennett Valley and soak the soil for next vintage and just be one with us.  Just thought I should start the day with a paragraph and what’s in a paragraph who knows but me and the moment and me in that moment.  My Personhood just for a moment perfected and I can’t edit I don’t know if I have time, well I’m sure I don’t.  I want to try to capture what other authors did– that feeling of a story writing itself like Hem did in that first or second chapter.  PRetty sure it was the first.  When he sees the dark-haired beauty and he is constantly mentioning and observing how much the people around him disgust him with their drunkenness.  Jack comes over to see what I’m typing then walks away, don’t think he likes this running of ideas form, the jazzy paragraph pulsations; but it’s my heart, and my identity ‘cause no other style is.  Wonder what he’ll think, as I always do and have been more lately, what he’ll think when he reads the novel (Quarry Swing) and this project or my other sketches and vignettes or para-essays.  What will he think?  I would read it to him now but I’m afraid he’d just get bored.  He thoroughly delights in the readings I conduct at night in his upstairs studios but pictures accompany.  So this won’t due.  Or wouldn’t I’m sure.

Haven’t shaved in days so I have to do that.  And shower.  Pickoutclothes, can’t I just have another yesterday, another 10.5 mile run and come home and enjoy the rain and just have a day to myself?  After this semester I deserve it, I’m heartily convinced.  Oh yeah, grade a little tonight, with the ‘et alors’ attitude.  I will.  I already have in my mind many times this semester.

Clouds collect outside and I know a song is coming, probably several, just enough for me to write to.  Katie putting me in touch with one of the big shots at SSU’s wine biz program, who’ also apparently’s a good friend of Katie’s, maybe having a project lined up for me.. so I have to prepare some ideas immediately, immediately– wine writing, Creative Wine Writing– no, MAGNETIC wine writing: speaking of wines creativiely to generate sipper interest.  Something like that..  Have to find texts though.  I’ll look on Amazon or just do some research in the library like I did with Kerouac the other day…  Notes and ideas and the ideas I haven’t yet noted.  I’m a hunter and I have to be ready with my rifle, PEN, for when they show, pocket the carcass– enough with that illustrative alignment!  I’m just going to be ready for ideas today, and I’ll step away from guests if I have to.  What will They do?  Write me up for writing?  I dare them!  So, the first thing I think of is the notion of character.. character expression.. “expression” is something, a word and idea, that’s always thrown around loosely in the wine world, here…

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Read a page of the novel, actually got onto page 4.  Here with medium Sumatra and blueberry muffin.  5:09PM.  First 1A class went well, quite well.  This entire day has been DOMINATED by my attitude.  And 12 hours from now, I’ll still be running.  I want to fit in 8 miles, like my wife does.  But how do I do that in the bloody dark?  OH,  I know.. go down to Farmers by way of Montgomery and turn left, then up Hoen, then run up Yulupa, then do a lap around that lake with the mean goose, or swam.  Whatever that thing is, it’s mean.  White, angelic and pristine-looking but a winged bastard that THING is.  Love moments like this, alone to thoughts, meditation, collection and Self-gather.  First bite of muffin, and I see that this is nowhere close to what I should be eating, any kind of marathon diet.  Foolish of me to buy it, I know but here I am enjoying it immensely.  Two instructors in the mailroom, can’t tell if they’re full-time or adjunct, but they’re bitching about everything, everything, students and textbooks and lessons and lecturing and students that don’t show even the ones that do and do well.  Sick of listening to them, trying to drown them out with my own thinking, but I can’t.  Shit I’m in trouble.  One of the also adjuncts at SSU.  Lucky bitch, I think.  Why is she complaining?  I can’t assignments there anymore, and I taught there quite a bit.  4 sections of 101 in 2008.  FOUR!  And now nothing.  She said that she has health benefits through SSU as well, now I really want to know why she’s complaining.  Then she expresses something with which I identify: “Next semester I’m only doing two classes, four is just too much.” Does she have another job, I wonder, outside of teaching?  Who knows.  But the principle thought reaches me.  I agree.  Can’t wait for next term.  And what my life yields, what the readings and writings do– the students–  Now another teachers enters, one of the first two leaves.  Now they talk about which texts to select for 1A.  Think they’re both full-timers, and they know everything, I mean listen to how they talk, talk, “…then we went to another text, not page-turning, but…” the redhead said.  Ugh, go to your stupid office, I’m trying to work!

Next up, the 6PM. My favorite of all the sections this semester, as you know.  This coffee, life-saving.  Now one of the full-timers leave and another walks in.  I think they both left, ‘cause I hear no conversation– oh now I do.  Why can’t I get quiet.  If I were a FT-er I’d just slither to my cozy hole.  But no.  I let the coffee speak to me in its black soft palate tongue; coaxing, woven, colorful, mentoring.  I’m being advised by this moment, here in the building of “my” department.  But they don’t care about the adjuncts, trust me.  After applying to that FT post earlier this year, the chair sent me an email thanking me for applying (what the fuck?) and that I’m valued as a colleague.  Okay, yeah, I feel valued, is that what you want to hear?  I supposed but incommodes me most is the expectedness of us, the adjuncts.  “Oh they’ll always be there,” I’m sure they think, or something like that.  But I’m moving on– and how they are convinced they know what strong writing is, and how to write, and what students should say; “No, you want to say this,” or, “It’d be better if you said…” What?  What ever happened to student empowerment, I mean student advocacy, encouraging them to develop their own voice and venom?  Now the coffee’s singing to me.  Glad this is only my second of day.  Yeah, can you believe that?

Former adjunct, ‘AMI’, says hello, greets me, asks me how Jackie is.  She’s always been sweet, and since going FT she’s proven to still be one of us, understand our scowl.  She asks me what I’m reading, I slightly fib and tell her The New Yorker, that I’m more interested in the smaller standalone pieces, the 300-400-500 word pieces.  Which is all true, but I’m not consistent.  Hence, ‘slight‘ fib.  The last issue of the NYT I bought, I barely read a 17th of it, I told her, and I remarked how guilty I felt, still do.  My lie in my disclosure:  I’m not fucking consistent!  This has to change.  So when back from my run tomorrow morning, I write I read I edit I be the Literary me.  5:33– how did that happen?  My coffee?  …  Wow, I drank that fast.  Oh well.  Don’t think I’ll finish this muffin which is fine, don’t want to ruin dinner.  Looking forward to a cherry 7UP.  Okay, details useless, thank Mike…

File cabinets, pictured on the wall, back issue of lit mags and recorded lectures…  This room is so boring.  I’d rather be at the winery, frankly, writing on their dime, observing the reactions to wine and what my coworkers say to people.  “Welcome,” they always say.  I hate that.  “Welcome.” Yuck.  Why can’t you just say ‘hello’ or ‘hi, how are you?’ I blame my captiousness with writing, words, language, so there I have many faults, one being I’m a red faultfinder.  5:38, off to class.  Going to dump the rest of this coffee.  12 hours from now I’ll be done with my run, writing I hope, or reading, don’t think I’ll be editing the novel, but who knows.  The sun will just be coming up.  A stealth run, dark, can’t wait.  26.1 doesn’t scare me at all, not even with minuscule might.  Re-focus, re-gather…

Maybe I shouldn’t spill this out.  I’m feeling a little tired.  Oh no!  Not now, not before the last class!  What do I do?  A mint!  Yeah, one of those mints.  That fresh sense will shake me, hopefully.

7:52PM.  And the day over.  Finally.  Just came here to the conference room to edit the day’s 3 pages.  99 more to go.  So when day 100’s over, I’ll have a book.  No read-through, just put it out there, like jazz.  Can’t wait to be home with Alice, and my little boy.  Tomorrow, the run, the winery, 3 pages somehow.  Should say it like that.  I’ll do it, no problem.  And if I don’t so it after the run, I’ll write from the Kenwood lot.  I’ll win either way.

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No wine tonight.  Aiming to wake early tomorrow to read more of the novel and write in journal, experience the early hours with rabid indulgence.  And keep my books flying from my thinkings like a virulent pulse, never halting for anyone or anything.  Had a conversation with a coworker the other day, talking about how we’d be on our last day, and so many are having their last days, moving on.  Why not me?  If I put my faith in education to get me out, I’ll be there for ever.  And teaching high school, I don’t see myself happy doing that, especially with this most recent rejection of academia, the current-day student habits.  I keep writing, hoping something will land, or explode, or that metaphor of throwing mud or something at a wall, “something has to stick” I think it goes.  But I could be wrong.  On my last day at the winery, I’ll be silent, write everything down before I go.. have either the end or beginning of a book, a novel of course.  Or a memoir.  I don’t know.  But something.

I want to drive across the country.  By myself.  Take notes of all people, gas stations, hotels and motels, meals and wines and form that into a manuscript somehow.  I don’t want to have a “bucket list”.  I want to have a target list, and just take what I want, attack the target and have definitiveness within days.  So first target: The Road.  Second: my second novel, getting more into the character of Mike Massamen, but this time with “the nucleus” as he puts it, taking about Art, living Art, and seeing everything as material, paying more attention to the motions of his son and the little guy’s character development; putting words together, the new sentences (nearly two or three everyday), and his total lack of stress or over-concern.  Mike wishes he could be more like his son, in everything from daily habits to running to writing, obviously.  Speaking of running, I’m registering for the Santa Cruz 26.1 at some point this week.  Again today I associated half-marathons with works that aren’t book-length.  Can’t remember what I was doing when I made this connection, but I–  Now I remember!  I was at the doctor’s with Jack and Alice, listening to the doctor make funny sounds to Jack, and my little boy laughing, joking back at the doc.  They’re half-efforts, only half notable, any run shorter than  a 26.1.  I want to write novels, BOOKS, not chapbooks or newsletters or literary magazines.  NOVELS.  Meaty manuscripts that feel heavy when lifted, and demand investment from the reader, in terms of time, to get through.  My books will be challenges and rewarding, mostly for me but hopefully my readers as well.

Tomorrow morning, I want my mind wandering, roaming and acting oddly.  I think of Dav when he used to talk about waking early to get the right light for his shots, and how the light makes everything, and that harsh A.M. sun that takes so much discipline to go meet is more rewarding that most moments, to an Artist.  The Artist HAS to be extreme.  So on my last day at the winery, I’ll be extreme in my silence, scribbling, and people around me, all my coworkers, will be thinking something to the presumption of, “Why is he so quiet today?  Isn’t he happy he’s leaving?” Or simply, “What’s Mikey’s problem?” If only they knew.  You’d probably expect me to get drunker than drunk, be dismissive and confrontational with management.  Well, I don’t need wine to do that, have that mentality, and I don’t want to give Them or anyone the glory of seeing me that way.  And that day, my glorious last, will be here before anyone expects.  And I’m not counting on this indentured adjunct life to shape and shift the ingredients so such is possible.

Over a thousand for day.  And I won’t have the papers graded before the 24 is up.  But no matter.  I’ll grade some of those in the morning also.  Here, and in the loaner the car shop offers me.  Yes, again taking the Passat in.  That goddamn car…  But it’s old, and I drive it a lot to Mendo, so…  This is all an expedition.  A mental hike, or climb if you will.  Looking around, at mountains, and the clouds that compete with the peaks.  I stay in my tent that’s only inches from a fatal fall, but I don’t let it rattle me at all.  There’s a cold quiet here that doesn’t need to be captured but felt–  Sorry.  Looking at a picture of Everest, or one of the peaks around it, on the Nat Geo site, and it reminds me of how much I need to see, still, and what I’d write if I were on such a mission, up those slopes and mountains, and camping by that jagged rock, and the clouds that quickly change shape and fly against my cheek at certain points and turns in their lives.

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Like this new idea of a newsletter I have this morning, after talking to Katie last night about sitting in on a tasting at St Fran with her wine blogger and journalist friends.  “In a perfect world,” Dad asked me that night at Monti’s, “writing or teaching?” Writing, obviously, and he then suggested, if I didn’t already write this, that I find some fun new spin on wine and write about it.  So here I go.  $50/year for subscription.  That could work, but I need to balance images and copy.. and I need to be on the lookout for stories, wines, everywhere…  Can’t wait till this fucking semester’s over.

9:21AM– time to go in.  Start looking for stories and images and anything as soon as you walk out this Passat.  Drink lots of coffee, LOTS, and keep scribbling…

8:58AM, 11/10/14.  Jackie staying home today, and me with my last day off for a while, till the semester’s over actually, I finish the grading today, giving self 10-2PM to get every last article marked.  Hopefully fit in a run today at some point.  When do I fit in writing?  Concentrated, valuable, useful, explosive writing…  Not sure.  Will be on campus, in office, in that adjunct cell grading.  Need quiet and focus, the linear.  One month from today, the Mendo teaching assignments will be done, thankfully.  SRJC the next week, in one day, Monday the 15th.  I just sneezed, and Jackie said, lifting his head from one of his truck convoys, “You timeout!” I laugh, but sadden when I wonder how many of those cute babyish phrases do I have left, before he forms into a cogent and maturely lucid Human Being?

And in the adjunct cell, SRJC.  Ten papers down, a whole stack to go.  Sounds silly, I know, but this is the part of the teaching I absolutely deplore.. the grading, the poor writing, and the utter disinterest on some students’ parts.  But there’s nothing I can do but keep grading and be honest.

All that’s on my mind at the moment, really, is getting out of the winery with this newsletter idea, attending one of those tastings my sister mentioned the other night.  And taking more pictures like I did the other morning up the street at Matanzas.  Another instructor here with me, down the hall, the former dept chair, obviously a FT-er.  Didn’t say hi, didn’t greet or even look my way.  And that’s fine, that just proves my point about all this in education.  Proud of my wife for making it work for her, she knows what she wants and has all but universally acquired it.  I don’t have her patience or professionalism.  I’m a writer, a beat one at that, and know only what I don’t know and try to write it, to wine and the vineyards in their Fall attire, set my mind afire.

Set a 24-hour timer, counting down, on my phone.  This stack will be graded before it sounds.. so I have to grade a little every hour, some more than others.. a paper here, there, ten here, fifteen, then back to one or two a sitting.  “Swiss cheese it” like Dad’s always said.  The semester over one month from today, and that’s how I’m looking at it– when Mendo’s done, it’s all done, and I’ll be sane again.

Doing touch-and-go’s on the newsletter.  I want it out, NOW.  No excess editing and no being delicate.  I don’t have time for that.  And this is the Kerouac about my mentality that hasn’t left since I started studying him and lecturing on him this semester.  Going to grade one papers, hold on…

Graded two.  Ugh, ready to leave.  Hate this office coffin.  Feels so medicinal and clerical.  12:17PM, do I leave now?  Switch locations or go back home?  This IS my day off, so what do I do, reader?  I hear doors closing outside, in one of these halls.  Hungry.  Could use a nap.  And another coffee.  I’m a mess.  I thought days off were supposed to be relaxing, healing, enjoyable.  I blame these papers and the assignments I’ve assumed, why did I do this to myself– don’t fret, writer, you only have 30 more days, one more paper to grade before the finals land.  Keep writing, I tell myself, or go to the book store– NO!  No more books.  Maybe I should stop by Schwab, deposit more money into the house account.  Still shocked how well that meeting went the other day with Kevin.  No going to overthink it, just move on and keep saving money.  Only buy regular coffees if anything, if you go to Starbucks or the campus cafés.

Thought about grading another paper, but no.  Trying to write, in my head, how I want the rest of the day to go– well, no spending money, that’s the first statute.  Then.. a run at some point.  Ms. Alice logged herself five lovely miles this morning.  And that’s about it, I guess…  How about this newsletter, I need a template, a design, one simple but not too much so, so what then– how about.. let me investigate….  Because I’m working with a budget of ZERO dollars, I’ll just use one of the templates that came with this laptop.. and if that doesn’t work, then I’ll have to learn graphic design on my own, and play with pagination with the WP program.  I’ll charge $50 for a year’s subscription to my letter–  I’ll “review” 3 wines every issue.  Already have three for this first letter, so not to worry.

12:39PM, and I think I’ve reached my tolerance with this hole.  Trying to make Art form it, this swiveling chair in this room which has a continuing hum of a vent, just to my right and up above the other desk, in the corner.  But if I leave, what will I do?  I know, go to the running store, look around, that’ll motivate you for a run today.  OR, go to the bookstore, don’t buy just look around, right?  22hrs and 30min left on ticker.  Okay, one more paper then I’ll go.

Done.  One paper graded.  And I leave.

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Thanks to

Ms Alice, a five miler.  Now, readying for bed, and hoping to rise at Cathy hour, just before 5AM.  Back in the tasting Room tomorrow, and I don’t know what I’ll ingest, or sip, or touch, or hear– I feel like I’ve been gone for years.  And the rest of last night’s Zin that I had tonight, much brighter and less hidden in its expression and overall oration.  Again, if I didn’t say this in last night’s entry, one of the most well-whirled Zins I’ve ever had, and I mean ever.  MY sister showed me through that bottle that Zin’s can have composure, restraint, stature and sense.  No, I won’t start chasing Zins now, but I’m definitely more open to them and now I know what I like in a Zin.  But aside from wine’s world, I’ll be reading more from the novel.  Those 10 pages are right here, at right, atop papers that haven’t been graded.  If that doesn’t scream what my true interests and priorities are then I don’t know what does.  From what I’ve read of the first page, I’m not that dissatisfied.  GOAL: 1 page read/edited before bed.  That’s it.  Should gather bottles for tomorrow night’s dinner, and some gift bottles for Mom & Dad.  Was much more comforting having Dad at the meeting this morning, and shocking to see how quick Kevin scribbled and crunched and layered those numbers on that legal sheet sequence with those blurred blue ink blotches.  Never seen anyone move a pen like that on paper for the sake of numbers.  Yes I hate math but what he did was Art, showed the numerical novas with Copernican Cubism.  It was Art but something else, and maybe something more, something I could never do so I was amazed.  I pretended I was listening but I was really just watching him throw the numbers to the yellow papers knowing I would write it later, then I listened, and there was cogency to his dialogue– this man’s an expert, he has expertise, yes he’s a “professional”.  Am I that with writing?  Am I as fluid and versed in words as Kevin is in algebraic urge?


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Back tomorrow, but


Today, one of a blazed pace.  Meeting with mortgage man, Kevin, and all went well, more than well, in fact there were no negatives to be heard anywhere in his dissection of our financials or possibilities or to-do’s.  The house is much closer than I ever thought it would or could be.  Then to errands, Costco and one other.  Then a somewhat celebratory lunch with Alice and I.  And now home, 2:03.  Maybe leaving something, or a couple turns out, but no matter.  The meeting with Kevin made me think of my career as a writer and what I want to do and my son and everything.  So I solidify.  I’ll be reading those 10 pages of the novel tonight, editing only when I absolutely have to, then print the next ten.  It frightens me that I’m dependent on wine’s industry for stability, for consistency in employment, that’s worthy to the bank, in its theoretical and intangible and obscurely collective mind.  I’m further consolidating everything so the move will be smooth and my career ever further forward.  Looking at yesterday’s pictures of the Matanzas Creek vineyard and knowing I can have my own business and some sovereign self-sustaining entity in the wine world, business, something, I just don’t know what ‘exactly’.  But I know I’m getting close.  One of the stops I left out was a shoe/boot repair shop on Mendocino Avenue.  Alice dropped off a pair, of boots, there the other day.  We went into this musty, old, obviously never-remodeled long narrow space and heard a man working on something to a talk radio station, and the machine, whatever it was, in operation.  Alice prompted the man to tend to us, gently, and he came to the counter.  After finding her boots, I asked him if he were the owner.  “Yes,” he said.  Then I thought, “Another owning their own business, having their own avocational nook.” Me, soon, I realize again, looking at the photos of these vineyard rows, the sun just stepping to stage, the autumnal set and constituents, and me there, only for observation.  I’m close, I tell myself, I’m close– starting over where I initially started with the first blog: wine, reacting, Literary approach to wine.  Responding to the images and letting them control and grab and garnish my writing as they feel I should.  This is a lecture directed at me, my typing, my pen.  I’m ‘owning it’, as that fool GM at the wine marketing firm said for us to do with out call lists.  Ugh, I could never be that again, in that office or any one like it, never, no way.. oh this last day off…  Can’t believe I’m going back to the tasting room tomorrow, but it’ll be beneficial to me and the pages more importantly.  And after work, dinner at Mom and Dads, for Denise’s, my aunt’s, birthday (which was really a couple days ago I think).  I’ll be able to ask Katie a couple of questions, for material, and leave it at that, just that, a couple questions– 3 tops.  And I’ll bring one of my Lancasters, or one of the Washington wines I received as a gift a while back.. what do you think?



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