Posts Tagged With: wine


Now I ready for bed, for another day in wine’s branching hue, and I have to run tomorrow night, even if only for 30 or so minutes. I feel ready for bed now, yes, but regretful I didn’t do more with day. But I had two great lectures this morning/afternoon! That’s what I’m truly meant to do! But I can’t. Again it comes back to the whole FT/adjunct maelstrom. That reaction from the 1B class when I offered that Road/Sur idea, the link, the thematic bridge and ricochet.. I’ve never heard that from one of my sections, in my near-10 years of instruction. Thursday, I need bombard them, all, each class, with poetry, insight, visions and ideas and notes! Be what I want! The Literary figure. Yes, one day I’d love to have my own wine label and maybe even winebar but I need the writing to flutter first.
My little Artist, upstairs in his bed, the most cozy and encompassing set of comfort I’ve ever seen. I thank and praise his mother, my novelized wife, Ms. Alice. Everything she does is a story, a set of pages. And how she does so, I’ll never know. I can only note like and idiot and watch, wish I was like her. And look at her! She doesn’t have to compromise, she doesn’t have to have a square job, she doesn’t pour.. NO! she teaches, her life is knowledge and educating children, something meaningful!
I have a little wine left, a bit of the common blend, whatever’s in there. Not sure I want to know what they really did to it. But I do want to wake early tomorrow, hope I do so I can finally transfer the notes I took today, and that’s all today’s been, fucking notes. I’ve had no elevation, no roar, no flex. I was deflated, a hobbling lizard down a Phoenix street in blazing sun, ready for death. 20 minutes till bed, and I have nothing now to note only that the garbage is full (right) and tomorrow…

…Upper right of this screen showing 9:58PM, so the day’s ending, and I feel like I haven’t done a thing but I have, I need to focus on the reaction of the 1B to that offering, and how they all spoke with each other and how they are so lively, as well as the 1A! And the 1A a 7AM-er. But we’re all concerted, cooperative.. isn’t that what education and LIFE invite?

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Home, with night’s cap, a

vocally full glass of my sister’s red cuvée.. the one I mentioned earlier. Get-together at Bob’s, nice and diverse and communicative, all about wine. Didn’t get too far into the vertical, but I did encounter three vintages: ’95, ’97, and ’01. I didn’t know something that reprising and drawn could come from the Sonoma Valley AVA. But I learned, and I grew from tasting the wines year to year and now I have more material for ‘Krystal Vision’.. oh how I want to write that novel before the Massamen piece; and I had a thought, a lovely scope, flash just now, my whole literary and novelized career rounded from the lives of my sister and I; she, Krystal, and me Mike Massamen, and there it is, family on page, a “family business” as they love to say in the wine world but many times it’s just bullshit. But with my MSS it’d be truth, so truthful. The red tonight, more settled, more serene, more mirroring to my preferences, and what else am I supposed to look for? I’m a consumer just like anyone else and I want to sip wines I like, no? The effects of the red are staring to catch me, and I didn’t sip that much at Bob’s house, and I didn’t have a glass as day’s end, today, but I’m slowing, I see, but I’m fighting, potently. No distractions, just prose and stories and the people coming into the tasting room to taste but also some of them for answers, answers to what?… Who knows, it’s wine, that’s what I repeat to myself, but for someone from Iowa or South Dakota, say, it’s more; it’s mythic, it’s Gregorian, palatable Pantheon. And it’s only wine, that’s what I repeat to myself but I live here, it’s my life and I do see myself slowing, I have to type faster like Kerouac before he submitted his ‘Road’ manuscript.. how did he do that drunk? I’m barely bent and I keep having to delete and retype. Driving around the property with Sophie today reminded me of the spell and liturgy of the the vineyard and the Naturalism surrounding the commercial, the transactions, the wine club signings and all the ‘goals’. What? This is Heaven! And we trivialize it! We bastardize it! We reduce it to campaigns and banners and billboards on 12, or 29, or 128.. frustrated with what I see and in love at the same time, wine.. dividing my diligence, so sip whence…
Bed, sleep, sounding more than musical at moment. I need to finish this glass so I can close this night, the chapter that is.. and the bar, not full today, no as much as yesterday, and not as much material, disappointing. And the wine’s done, there, done, now I can close the day. Staring at the empty glass, I think of myself on the Road and having to give a lecture the next day and how I should be in trot of going to bed at more regular hour, like now, 9:23. Why am I not in bed? Tomorrow morning I’ll try to get little Kerouac to school early then to Kenwood to write, maybe some of that hit-and-miss coffee they have in the container in the back by the breakfast burritos. But I need to stay in this barreled bind, in wine, at all times, but tomorrow nothing of such sway! I’ll be running, then the next morning to ‘Road’ with 1A, then to ‘Sur’ with 1B.. I see completely all that’s me… Need sleep. Singular speedy shift, then I skip…

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2:01, in Loft..

listening to KCSM on the way over here, some broadcast on raising money, for something, something connected to Nina Simone, and I thought how this, this journal, can be read as somewhat of a broadcast, news, and now, I’m not in the mood to talk to a single soul. Just want to write, just want to taste wine and deconstruct it as I do Literature.. haven’t written my somm friend Chris yet but that’s precisely what I’ll address with him, a different take on wine, from a writer’s perspective, one with no formal wine training (well.. other than TR experiences and shifts, and some “VIP” interactions). Just Literature, reacting to it, detecting and appreciating, and REACTING, to characters, stories.. what I’m juggling in my head currently, and what I juggle are axes, knives, haven’t dropped one or cut Self, yet. Shit, forgot to note when I got here.. let’s just say 1:57, so that means I have till 2:20-something to write.. ugh how I do’t want to talk.. not that I don’t want to be at work with my coworkers and friends, on the celestial estate, I very much do, I just don’t feel like conversation, wasting my words on interactions that will be brief and part of some pitch, essentially, not today, I just want to write.. about the wine I opened last night, the ’12 cuvée from St. Francis.. loved everything from the pleasant confrontation of olfactory sense to the expansive and very persuasive enigmatic roll of the palate.. yes, I’d say it’s young, but guess what.. I opened it last night, gave it a bullion of time to “open”, and it was charming and enchanting in all its dimensions and palate chapters.. love, and Bordeaux-ish amalgamation like that is just what any Cab lover or heavy Rhône pursuer would adore. Do I have to score it? I do? Oh. Well I’m not going to. And that’s what I never got about wine judging, the scoring, the rubric (being and adjunct English Professor for 9 years, now).. some “rubrics” if you could call them that have ranges, so say, in example: “90-93”. So why score it 91, or 92, what’s the difference? And the descriptors, I somewhat embrace that practice, yes, but when did you taste it, I’d ask.. now my somm friend Chris I entirely respect, all about his practice and execution of assessing wines.. his innovative tendencies and varietal and stylistic proclivity I’ve never seen in a sommelier before, which is just why our characters are sterlingly associated. In my vision. And in this Palooza Loft, where I always collect, I further meditate on Mr. Massamen, and his love of wine and what he’s to do with it.. blog? Of course! And just write for his LIFE, like his grad school professor, Fiction (Steve was his name, Steve Gomez), told him. Steve steered him away from the MFA at SF State, saying, “Why do it? Why do it at all? you already have a fucking Master’s. Just write for your life!” And Steve has an MFA, so he’s credible, Mike thinks. And at Mike’s age, he can only write. what would another acronym do for him? Why not live, capture, sip, love…
Haven’t seen any new pictures of my sister– and on that note, before I forget, I thought of a title for her novel: ‘Krystal Vision’. Do I want to write that first or the Massamen Notes, first novel? Shit! I hate decisions, and I hate having to make one, but my sister always has to and I just need to, and not second-guess mySelf. Like she said when we made our ’11 Cab, “If you second-guess yourself you’ll never make wine.” And translated to my world, the page, I’ll never have a singe bloody MS out there if I don’t just write, publish, decide, leap– Are you joking? 2:16 already? Should have ordered a beer. Should have ordered 2! But I didn’t. I decided to write! Or did I get one! I’m a novelist, I write fiction, which means I lie. A LOT. Ha ha… I know Steve’s laughing, if he’s reading this.. I love this Loft, everything about it.. this one table left here for me so I can “get some work done” as Jeff always says, that bar over there, right/corner.. and all the space– freeing, again.. where I meditate.. it’s own type, or varietal, character.. and my sister’s blend last night, had the wooing character that all wine lovers seek. I mean, why ever drink wine or appreciate it at any further level if you don’t look for character, depth, interaction, a certain palate challenge? I don’t want to go back.. I want to stay here– no, I want to go home and be with Ms. Alice and little Kerouac.. no, I’ll stay here for a bit, or I would. WOULD. But I have to work, and I want to, I want to meet more characters and pour for them and experience their reactions to wine.. Wine is my story and my BEAT, and I’m layered in conception, both actual and theory-based as I sip, and as I observe from the other side of the bar.

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Poe’s Barrel


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8:32PM. One glass tonight.

Red; nightish, musical, voluminous, dedicated. Decided not to run tread tonight as I when I picked up little Kerouac he was so elated to see his father and after what a positive day it was today, in nearly all respects (including the 1B section and the nap when I came home), I elected to stay home with him, wait for Alice to come home from spin.. I’ll go tomorrow, straight from the winery, run for an hour, maybe a little more, then come back home for writing and family, and rest. Forgot my wallet on drive down to PC but when I realized it was too late to go quickly back, so I drove south 101, light fog when I arrived, and no coffee, in fact I haven’t had a cup since the couch sitting earlier. This Washington blend, 2012, I’m sipping, darker than most wines I’ve recently sipped. And I’m lightly familiar with this wine as I worked a campaign for Long Shadows when at the box, but I only tasted a couple of them, this being one. And this bottle obviously influence by Bordeaux-leaning expressions, and has me thinking again of winemaking, having my own label eventually, and why not, why not try? I have a professional winemaker sister! But patience, wait.. writing first, everything else in future. ‘Cause right now I can have whatever I want in the writing, I can be a winemaker in fiction, with my character Krystal, or a pilot, or a doctor– no, as I don’t know that world.. but I can be an adjunct, for sure.. anything, within reason. Write what you know, right? Or that’s what they say, and yes that’s what JK did.. but wine and winemaking will always be in my vision, and right now my winemaking sister is in New York, making sales visits and attending winemaker dinners, I think. Well, right now the little sis sleeps, and she should rest up. So it’s.. what… 12:44AM there. Oh yes, she’s asleep. I most assuredly wouldn’t be able to, I’d pour another glass of this ’12 Pirouette and write from my room, right by the window, looking down at Manhattan. Oak into wine, I think, how much is enough and why let it override the fruit’s expression, ever? Some say the detection or visibility of oak shows or displays the winemaking.. I heard that once, and I was like ‘WHAT?’ NO, it shows OAK! I want to drink more wine, analyze it, consider it as character as I did in ’09 when I first started blogging on mikeslognoblog.. back to that vinoLit approach, that wine is Literature, that it’s always a story, that there’s always a voice of some sort in the glass, in the bottle before it’s poured. Now, my glass stand empty on that cherry coaster of Alice’s. And tomorrow night, one of no wine sipping, but wine research, winemaking study, then a nice bottle Saturday night. What, though? What will I open? May go to St. Francis and buy a few bottles, red and white, open a couple of those, red for me and white for Alice..
And so, I’m on page 5. Finally did it, finally, what so long me took? Tomorrow I WILL make it to the loft to write and I’ll force myself to write more fictively, for the Massamen stories, about being an adjunct, flying on the freeway and not separating from that dream of teaching full-time, writing about his adjunct story.. telling, telling everything, everything about what he and other adjuncts go through.

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Wine Photo Mag






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5:53AM: Not letting myself go back

into any kind of sleep after putting J in our bed. Can hear his little voice still, saying something to his mother, but poor Alice in her fatigue from the previous day doing a dozen or so errands with the little Artist says nothing back. The light, left, was on but I turn it off when I hear his voice, not sure if any of that emanation reaches eyes upstairs. So off. And I type as I sometimes do down here in the dark. Probably another busy day today, one tourists with their vouchers and locals just wanting something to do on their day off. My friend Michelle coming in yesterday, and I learning she has ties to old friends of mine from the box, and possibly opportunities new, but do I investigate? Do or would I take? Or do I adhere to my vision of this being my last ever job, in the wine industry or any other and “stick it out”, “hang in there” as Dad’s always advocated, hard decision and I’ll see what’s what but I don’t want any additional stress or processes at this point in my life, and I certainly don’t want to be one of the wine industry people on their own tour, or circuit, no I have to adhere, adhere, follow through, use the wine industry and where I am on that beautiful property for material, stories, yesterday me filling my little notebook with it timid remaining pages, logging everything people said, what I saw, what I thought I’d see for the day, and even just writing “day crazy it’s the wine” when it really started to get packed, around 2-3.
The espresso I had yesterday with my loft session was a bit much, making shake with discomfort, and although in the moment (upstairs in my wood chair and my equalled table) all was music, it later disrupted me in a way I haven’t before felt. And now I’m starting to think that caffeine when I write should be moderated, as so I can be more truthful, not have too much gall and fire when writing. And as it passes 6AM I contradict myself with a wish for coffee, it’s a part of me I realize but last sitting (Loft) there was delirium with it, again hard to explain but I know I didn’t take much pleasure with its waves. Now quiet upstairs and I monitor how fast and forceful I push these keys. Something different and drastic has to be done, or written rather, as I don’t have any horizon’d changes or invitation. I know, I tell myself, “Write your own.” Okay, but how… “The story will tell you.” Well what’s taking so long. Frustration, in bouts with patience, a new civil war of Self and can only observe, too divided for concertedness, but that’s my inner Nietzsche noting what I already know. Think of my son and what he should have in a father, what I had as a father growing up and how I see Dad now– Goddamn the immobility of this Now.. so change it, get in trouble, write to set the world on fire– D, the then-manager at AV Winery said to me, about one of his sons, “I love him to death but he’ll never set the world on fire.” I would all but die if I knew my parents thought that of me, and I’m quite sure they don’t. But then, do I think that of myself, or perhaps a better way of asking: “Do I EXPECT myself to set the world on fire? Do I see myself doing so? And why not just do it now?” Yes, good question, why wait for any opportunity, or topic to walk through the tasting room doors or that muddleheaded whip-waving manager to say the right words to put in my little notebook? Why not just light a couple matches now? I will I will… And watch the flames rise and gobble everything while I fly above what cinders result.
Hate that I didn’t write when home last night but that’s what the Story demanded, that I live for a bit, just be a lazy rather than type erratically as I now do. Oh, and the car, the Passat, so dirty but just enough character to motivate me to buy a new car, once the real writing money lands– all those visuals on the Restoration Hardware, or desks and couches and other specific stage attributes painting and image in my head of my office. Lisa and I kept looking through the website but I wasn’t there, I was in my office, imagining myself writing at one of those deep darkly-speaking surfaces, for me, to write, to escape into a small I-don’t-know-how-many square foot room, my office, to log every fascination and entertainment that even timidly slithers into and past my cognition. Like now, with the refrigerator humming I can type a little faster and more ferociously but I know it won’t last long, and the coffee.. I’ll need it… and how those who do read the blog DO notice my caffeinated connection. What if it were alcohol, like Kerouac or Joyce, or Carver? What if I DID have a “problem” with drinking? I bet my prose would be more volcanic, I’ll tell you, maybe even more marketable, but I can’t risk that, and I’m a runner so too much alch would put me under an ill spell, but I do wonder.. what if I was more like them, the masters?
Hate being behind in this project, I feel slow and fat and like a thick pot of gel that’s been spilled but doesn’t move. But I won’t allow that Nietzsche nod fumble around in my trot here, not this morning, no. This meditation is about … Not sure if it’s about anything specific but it entails me and having a better me for the little Artist, and Ms. Alice. Just had a thought, and I lost it–

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Pour Noir



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54 — “Difference”

Science, Bio, Chem.. ughk.  Never did well in those fields as my sister did.  Questioning if I ever did “well” in English or Lit.. Creative Writing was where I always found my Self, center and voice–  Never heard it this quiet before, in this condo.  I hear a ticking.. it’s that clock up there, atop the TV closet, or armoire.  Nearly time for coffee.  Good, can’t wait.  Waiting for the heater to come on so I can type a bit more heatedly.  Imagining me at a typewriter, with a small shy light one at a wooden table, I feel flawed with this device, its emination that shines to eyes and obstructs concentration, and the phone to my right, that phone, we all have phones, and why?  Talked to my Literary friend Gary yesterday at work, quite a bit at the beginning of the day, and he told me about a book, one of the many books, he read over his break (been a while since I’d seen him) titled ‘Ass-holes’, by some Philosophy professor, can’t remember which university.  I asked him “What’s the book about?” Yes, that trite question that’s insulting and even immature to ask, if you want my angle, but he said it was about social grace and manners and the universal erosion therein-and-of, as I thought, or as the title blatantly infers.  Think I’m going to get this book, and a couple others with some cash I came into yesterday.. don’t want to take up space disclosing how, but I want to buy myself a few gifts.. books, more books…

Hear a motorcycle outside, riling down Yulupa like he wants everyone to know he’s awake early going to work on a Sunday “and if I’m up you’re going to be up, too!” Asshole, just what the book addresses.  Of course.  I’ve always been fascinated by Philosophy and social ethics and morals and who has the right answer–  “So why not change fields, or departments?” No.  That’s what Rachel’s friend did and now she’s going for a teaching cred, leaving higher ed, the university.  Anymore, as I told a group of girls at the end of yesterday’s day, “The adjunct reality is the most successful scam in academic America.” And it is.  And I’m starting to think the same of education, period.  Everything from how much textbooks cost to interest on student loans, to classes available, to what instructors are paid, then the adjunct thing…  I’m just done.  It’s victimhood, and many choose to be victims, or that kind of victim.  And I choose not.  So what will I do?  What do you think…  Write.

Coffee, coffee, COFFEE…  All I can think about, and I’m close to the third page.  Still haven’t typed day 40-whatever, can you believe that?  Maybe I’ll finally get to it on Tuesday, or not.. no don’t make plans.  The quiet here frightens me, or more so unnerves, and I don’t know why, it’s my house, my wife and son are safely asleep upstairs and I’m here doing what I love…

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Back from


outing to mall and drive up Bennett Valley Road, just a meditation, where I turned around just past Matanzas Creek Winery. Then I start thinking of the stills I shot there a little while ago and the pictures I’ve taken since getting into ‘blogging’ and “wine blogging”. What have I forgotten, what else can I expand upon, what new directions can I take with wine-consumed imagery if any and where is wine taking me? I mean, should I apply for a job in distribution? I should if I want to make more money and get out of the tasting Room and experience Newness, possibly travel. If teaching 4 classes in semester didn’t muffle or slow the prose then some cookie-cutter wine post won’t, that I know. One picture I found, and I remember going out for a drive right after “set” and finding some vineyards on Olivet Road and catching what I could of leaves and forming clusters, sky, whatever I could find. This one still in particular strikes me. And it’s obvious why, knowing myself and how much I love upward angles in photography and subtle clouds, the blue, like I’m on my back looking up at the atmospheric layers, wondering what it’d be like to see all this from up there, just wondering a dream, with my parked car and camera, a day off which I never have, just dreaming. Then another, this of the short harvesting day I worked at that guy Doug’sIMG_0636 house. A cluster set of Syrah; exhausted, ready and full, full of promise and story. He paid me with a bottle of the ’08, of his estate project (which he doesn’t sell but giveth to family & friends). Then I think of wine, my ongoing tussle– Do I stick with or ship abandon?

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