Posts Tagged With: wine

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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Zin, I’m back to

And I’m hardly surprised in this case as my sister was the maker of this wine.  Quick notes, as more specifics are to be later typed: dark, heavier body than most Zin pursuers will be used to; dark notes, chocolate, maple, cedar– balanced, playful, and antagonistic.  I won’t lie, I’m a fan of my sister’s wines.  While at St. Francis, I tasted the only Chard they were pouring, the SoCo, and three Zins.  This is the one I brought home.  Was proud of myself for only getting one bottle, as I’m such a wine bagger.  Paired this bottle with carne asada tacos.  Now I want to research winemaking more, get myself to a knowledge level where I have the choice of starting my own “label” and knowing it’d be successful, profitable in the first year.  But then I choose to write about it.  Why spend all that money when I could just find one of my legal sheet blocks?

Another sip…  a little hot.  Think the alc is 15.5 or 15.8.  A little higher than I’d like, but I can’t think that way as a consumer; winemakers won’t make wines for you.  There’s a balance of expressiveness and artistic integrity, and then vintage/varietal representation and its marketability.  She has a tough job, my little sister, one demanding and changing and unexpected, and around-the-clock.  I used to be obsessed with Zinfandel, the only wine type I’d pull from shelves, but then I found bottles that were too fruity and too everest in alc, unbalanced and barbaric.  But not this RR fruit; there’s a poise to its personality that would overshadow the alc even if it were in the 16’s.  It’s hard for me to calculate and solve, but then maybe it’s not meant to.

I look at what’s left int he glass.  And I don’t want to sip it–  wait, am I writing my review right now?  No.  I don’t write reviews.  I react.  And this wine is vocal and elementally enigmatic about its accentedness.  And it’s a Zin.  Russian River’s known mostly for Pinot and Chardonnay, I guess.  So with that little capsule of sagacity I can only be somewhat stunned with a Zin from their AVA.  I keep staring.  The color.  How’d she get it to such fuliginous, and with oak-woven notes that can only a palate provoke–  Ugh, I sound like a wine blogger now.  This is the kind of wine I’d write to, that I’d finish a novel to.  That’s I’d have in my hotel room, writing, watching unfamiliar streets from a high floor as I did in Paris, with my wife asleep behind me.

I’m just playing with the vampiric cloud in the glass, turning it clockwise, then counter, seeing how its shape changes and varied intentions become even more postmodern.  Now, more smoke; then chocolate covered cherry.  I used to write about a character who sipped this very form of red.  What would she say?  She sip slower than me.  I’m a writer, a Beat– undisciplined and rattling– an incensed mamba.  “Understand the voice,” she’d urge, then go back to painting.


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A Thursday, somewhat off

IMG_090060 items to grade today.  This should take me to about noon, I’m hoping.  Not sure if the writer’s ready to run– but who cares.  I’m in an investigative mode, with wine.  What’s out there, my thought.  Go up the street to Matanzas Creek.  Photograph what’s left of the lavender.

Second coffee in cue, Jackie playing with toys everywhere.  Think my energy level  might rival his, but it’s hard to tell just yet.  My story, now, at 35: embittered adjunct trying to recenter self as writer and wine lover, and father, and husband, and son, and brother– balance in aspects all.  Find my Zenful gallop through the world, no more stress, not with money or the commute or anything.  Going to take pictures of the Bennett Valley AVA, get where I can for as I remember many or most or maybe all of the vineyards are fenced in or off.

12:30PM.. breaking from grading to write.  Today’s already had me stressed with the car, getting that goddamn new key and the shit with Jackie’s health insurance, which we worked out, and work drama.. my heart rate went up I felt, and I mean it really did so I just had a couple sips of that Zin, the old vine stuff from the winery.  And that helped a little.  Not having any more but I needed some kind of ease.  This morning after the car visit I went up the street to Matanzas.  No tasting, just a load of photography.  So centering that part of this small valley, with the lavender and the colors, Fall, the vines in rest and the wind playing with the leaves and me as one trying to just take their picture.  I’m in Zen mode now, trying to maintain it.  Think I need to write offsite.  Was in a grading mode but no longer.  I will have all these items graded and recorded before next Wednesday.  That’ll be easy, more than easy.. so, 12:39PM, my present time, I ask you: What do I do now?  Lunch?  Possibility.. but where?  A sandwich?  Safeway?  Cheap, budget friendly for the writer.. have to print some pages, now I feel sleepy, the problem with days off, you get lazy, sluggish and heavy, but I have no regrets about taking my days.  I more than deserve them.  And while at the car place I began to feel the stress sink in, about writing, making a living as a writer, becoming a failed writer, having to work at the goddamn winery for the rest of my life, and being dragged around campus to campus as a bled adjunct.  So no.. photography saving me, which I never thought would happen, well in this morning’s session anyway.  It was the red leaves that dominated me.  They stopped my gentle trot about that one row.  “Go slow,” they suggested, not getting too firm or forceful.  It was a conversation between the Art itself and one admiring it, trying comically to capture its modality, somehow, and for some reason.  The Artist doesn’t know.


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A punchdown from a previous harvest, possibly '12.....

A punchdown from a previous harvest, possibly ’12…..

Classes over and I’m going through old writings.  About to send McSweeney’s what I wrote yesterday as well as an old friend, Andrea, who also writes great narrative pieces as she has more life experience than most her age.  Most my age.  Both sessions this morning went well, probably from my nearly excess preparation.  And Hemingway has always done that for me; motivate, antagonize and teach.  Watching the David Sedaris interviews and reading he did at ‘The Village Voice’ showed me possibly new routes for my writing.  I’m always learning and I’ve never denied that– in fact that’s one of the character traits of Mike Madigan that I most admire, really.  Starting to get a bit hungry, Alice ordered me to pack snackage for Self, and I obeyed.  Glad I did.  The Special K with strawberry bits appeals at the moment, but I have to see if any students show.  Bet I can answer that for myself.

Had a talk at the end of the 11AM section with ‘I’, I’ll call him.  He wanted to toss around some ideas for the thousand word Hem response and I offered my insight, what I could and how I felt about certain topics.  I then asked him where he was transferring, he told me he was 19 and that he didn’t do well his first semester here at Mendo.  He also told me that his major had been changed from Econ to Comms (Communications), and that he might transfer to Long Beach or.. what was it.. I think UC Irvine, maybe.  Either way he told me that he wanted a job like mine, that he could tell how passionate I was about teaching and about literature and my students and he wanted exactly the same thing.  I felt ashamed and unworthy as I haven’t really felt so about my campuses of late, especially Mendocino.  But I was gracious and nodded and thanked him.  ‘I’ is a strong student, always vocal and eager to share ideas, which is acutely why it didn’t shock me when he said he wanted to get into, possibly, sports recruiting or sports journalism or broadcasting.  I envy that he’s in the age arena where no decision need be hastily made.  I’m losing what I have left of any whimming, at 35.

About to send Andrea my piece.  Hope she likes it.  And I think I’ll send it to McS’ right after.  Tomorrow, more grading.  Have to get more done than I did yesterday.  Scanning other priorities in this writer’s wheelhouse– hate that term.  So what do I have?  Nothing now.  I’m simplifying everything.  Even my money handling, and my coffee buying habits.  This morning, only a grande medium roast.  I think the final tag was like $2.10 if I remember right.  But whatever, I’m stable as a writer, and further centered after yesterday, especially yesterday’s 10-miler.  So only joy and furtherance.

2:36, and in the conference room here in Emeritus.  About to have one of those cold Starbucks coffee drinks you can get in that cafeteria café here.  And then, my interest leaves me, for the day.  I don’t know why, but I’m robbed of propellant, the inner.  C’mon, I tell myself, just two more classes.  Then I settle down.  I think it’s the election results bringing me down, the Republicans taking everything but the napkins, and the pens at the voting booths, and the crumbs from lobby cookies.  But that’s democracy.  I did what I could, I voted.

Going to send yesterday’s thousand-worder to a magazine called Anobium.  See how that turns out– but I was thinking coming down here from Ukiah, that I should only submit to mags that pay, wine or literature, or contemporary, whatever.. so that starts after this submission…

Have to review notes for class, see if there’s any Hemingway quotes I forgot to include in prep..  Took a hug swig of this coffee thing and I already experience shock.  Love.  Love it!  Tomorrow more than likely just a wee run.  Nothing major, and then the rest of that Zin, 2012, I opened last night.  More focus on WINE!  Maybe open a second bottle, just something to taste.  Like what.  Don’t know.  Get further into wine.. that is your BEAT.. politics is your drug, guilty pleasure.  And right now the politics drive me to sip more wine, more and more, more WINE!

4:54.  Eating a blueberry muffin, having a coffee, a hot Sumatra blend from the library’s café.  Stressing over marketing my writing.  Sent yesterday’s piece to Anobium or whatever it’s called, but I need to see money from this practice of mine– this all-consuming passion of mine, this religion of mine.  I have to, now!  I won’t give up, that’s not what I’m saying, but I need the blog, the writings in and on this log to get me out of the winery, out of the working world where I’m dependent on a ‘Them’ for a paycheck.  No.. that’s not living.. that’s just the purest most expected of deaths.  So I’ll target publications– first on such a list of hits: The New Yorker, which I’ve already sent a couple pieces, and the NYT.. but I’m sure they get TONS of submissions, and I mean several tons of letters and stories and whatever–

My muffin, nearly dead.  One more class to go, and there I go.. now I’m thinking about whoso, but I can’t spend the money and that goes against my centralizing philosophy, it does so I have to re-adjust.  And in such.. I’ll post the contributing writers’ works on bottledaux, my blog.. and more images.. that’s okay.. if it pays I don’t give a shit.  So yes there’s a concession.  And this isn’t a wine blog!  It’s a writer’s blog, and yes he likes wine.  A lot.

Every so often I’ll think of Grandma, and remember what she said: “It’s YOUR life…you have YOUR choice.” And in everything being mine and up to me, such onus and ownership, I decide to go a different route.  Again seeking safety in this journal and being lethally selective with where I send my pages…  And I don’t know where I was going with that, just that I’m changing, and I might even say maturing but let’s see how much of this new scope I actually enact and practice and roll with.

Muffin gone, now only coffee, and it’s much more pleasant now that it doesn’t carry hell’s temperature.  Why does coffee always have to be that hot?  Is that enjoyable to some?  Who, crazy people?  Anyway, I look at the time, 5:04PM, right next to the battery indicator, which has me at 26%.  Have to throw away this frail little white bag the muffin came in.  Wasn’t bad, but I didn’t see a single goddamn blueberry!  After all I’ve done for the students of this college, this is the thanks I get?

Thinking of wine, more wine, but no wine tonight.. rest of Zin and a surprise bottle, a surprise bottle for ME, tomorrow night.

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Spider Strings

11/4/14.  Day off but not.  So here’s the strategy:  10 papers at a time, then break, back to writing, break it up and finish something today, either a standalone or .. something.  I want a certain type of writing life and today I take it.  So here I go…..

9:10AM, and ten items graded already, touching two classes, the SRJC sections.  Nursing my mocha as the caffeine from this morning’s kitchen visits still horns at me.  My intention with today is to make a sizable dent in the grading load and show what adjuncts go through.  Don’t forget, I took a PTO day today to do this grading (taking a day off to work, what the fuck?), and I’m only working in the wine world as there are no full-time jobs teaching at the college level.  But never mind that, I’m here, with all these papers on the floor, and the teaching Comp Book as a writing/grading surface.  And I have to say, a couple of the submissions I’ve read thus far have surprised me, especially with the depth implements, about Hemingway and his writing and how he sees Paris.  Going to bring this laptop to the car shop later, appointment at one.. and whoso, I’m afraid I may back out.  Costs too much for me at the moment.  These blogs are free, essentially, and don’t put me or my writing or family in any jeopardy.  Rather than a magazine, I’ll make whoso into a writer’s group, focused on odd writings and nonconformity with structure and imagistic flashes, and even grammar.  And just one blog!  maddenedread, my “teaching” blog, more than likely will see its final day come 12/31/14.  Not bottledaux.  I’m distancing myself from– I don’t know what.  Oh, now I remember, looking for FT positions, teaching English at some little college, me willing to go as far south as Monterey or Salinas.  But nothing.  NOTHING goddamnit!  How can I not become disenchanted with education when adjuncts are so abused and disposed of and just constantly carrot-slapped?  Never thought I’d say this, but I’m glad I have the wine world at my back, always something there to do, or to entertain as possible something, some position or something new to learn.  And I think journalistically, wine is my Beat.  Politics will be my drug, how I get thought highs and how I just get blitzed with how bizarre it all turns out, always.  Need to go down the street, vote.  Not that I think it’ll do much good.  The republicans are assured everything but a knockout victory.  Or exactly that, a bloody KO.  But I’ll do my part, do what I know I have to, and any political junkie should vote even if they have the same hopeless slouch I do right now.

Just remembered, can’t drive anywhere, ‘cause of the car.  Ugh…  But probably a good thing.  Back to the papers, 10 more.  Don’t care if they’re short responses or the longer Wolff papers.  Not overthinking this.  At all.

Only reached five papers, halfway through this second stack.  Writing not as good and the mechanical discrepancies are nearly too much for my eyes and patience.  I feel the caffeine fading.  I should be out running, but I can’t.  Too much coffee, mocha, and that goddamn vanilla latte shit.  Just five more, I can do it…

There.  Finished the other 5.  Now what?  Shower?  Nap?  Sick of this mocha.  I don’t need anymore caffeine.  Car appointment isn’t for another 3 hours.  Ugh… writer woes.  Get stuff off the desk upstairs?  Backup documents on this laptop?  I need to write pen2paper more.  A lot more.  So what am I doing typing then?  I don’t know, I do like the immediacy of it.  And I hate to admit that but if I’m all about truth as Hemingway was then there’s a truth for you, reader.

Out of shower.  10:46AM, going to go for a walk, vote.  Just sent a 1100 word piece to the New Yorker.  My third submission logged.  Next, the short story I wrote, that I sent to Dav, “No Notice”.  I’ll send that to McSweeney’s and maybe enter it into some contest just to do so.  A freelancer, page prancer, fuck it all– I’m just writing for my life.  Hunger’s a GREAT discipline!

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Written Shot

One of those days where a local can’t believe this is their home. More than beautiful, it’s defiant in its total quality, making you appreciate the color scheme and air land hills or mountains. Wind, but you don’t mind. The gentle bluster centers you differently than other days. People sip their wine and just look around, they’ve never seen this, never, but we do all the time in theory. But not like this. Today we’re all tourists. Everything is new and untarnished by expectation, pitch. Only moments to log mentally and savor like the wine. It’s Sonoma, and we’re on our own time.



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