Posts Tagged With: wine

Critic Bull, not just “critical”

Coffee ready.  Utterly drained from yesterday.  Was reading an article about a writer/blogger who was murdered, read yesterday on lunch at the little Mexican place across the street from Oakville.  He wrote about religion, from what I gathered, as well as freethinking and Atheism.  I’ll confide I didn’t read the entire article, but enough to be haunted by the idea today, of going from one thing (job) to writing and blogging for a living.  And he was murdered for his beliefs, essentially, and again from what I can remember.  So many tell me to watch what I say and be careful what I write and post to the blog in fears of backlash, or fallout, or making it harder to find some measly job in the wine industry again that would pay spit seeds.  That’s what I’m holding back for?  That’s for what I’m self-muting?  Not anymore, not longer.  Ugh…  I’m 36 nearly, and with a son who thinks highly of me, loves me, but would his opinion be contrasted and reformatted if he were older and saw what I was doing in the wine terrain?  And what am I doing?  What am I hoping to accomplish?  Huh.. ‘accomplish’…  I can’t accomplish a thing, or advance, or be promoted, how?  They make sure that doesn’t happen.  Even my sister who’s a winemaker for a large producer is held back or only allowed to build, or accomplish, so much.  And she’s loved when there’s something highly scored but then when a bottle perhaps isn’t heralded in mainstream or is put on the cover of some drooping wine page-pool (magazine, which is focused on ads not so much or not at all the writing and the actual content, if you could call it that).  And another article, where some critic of Vladimir Putin was murdered, just the other day, and he too had a blog and wrote and started his own movement, if you would.  There are people dying out there for causes not even punctuated on and proximal to their heart but completely comprising their heart.  And these wine industry people think that what they do and what they represent and sell makes the world.  I know, I know there are exceptions, many actually, in fact I met on the other day for coffee (Friday, right?  Yeah Friday..).  This man, also expecting his first child, was kind, gentle, inviting of my thoughts and perspectives on wine and life, and just listened.  He was in no rush and didn’t try to dominate the discussion even though I would have been fine with that as I was sitting there, at the SBUX on Vine St. to listen to him, not give him some lecture and share what I’ve shared here.  So I’m reasonable, I want you knowing.  But I won’t be quiet about what happened to me the 2.5 years on the estate, and with days like yesterday, where I didn’t pour or talk about one wine but rather…  You know what, it’s not important.  Today is new, and I’m excited to be back in the tasting room.  Just know my eyes are open, I’m writing and posting all to this blog, and I’m a writer/professor before anything else, and I want Jackie and my next child to know so, to see so.  Oh.. almost forgot about coffee.

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coffee picWas thinking driving back from campus that I’m sick of the blog, and that the pages I wrote, handwrote, this morning and those from Sunday morning at Flying Goat and the Bakery, will be printed.  Just made coffee for myself and it’s to my left, but should I sip it?  Should I take a quick nap?  No, told myself I wouldn’t, but if I take one sip there’s no going back.. ugh, what to do, what to do.  Had a strong meeting this morning, but I had myself wrapped in doubt, or questioning myself and I can’t do that, I have to exude Hemingway confidence at my age and at this point in my career.  I look at the coffee, bring it to nose, smell…..  And I don’t sip!  I put it back down!  Can’t remember the last time, or ever doing that!  Heard a song on KCSM this morning, just now driving back as I said, by Rhiannon titled “City Life”, where she voices everything on her mind and all her worries, not so much singing as reciting, speaking her words, to the jazz, the frantic arrangement in the back ground.  My bagel’s ready, have to rise to get it, now I’m thinking like Rhiannon, enumerating everything I have to do and noticing the time shrink and I feel pressure and stress, and I have to go to the Soc Sec office after 1B and somehow fit in a run.. just thinking of it all, of Life, exhausts me.  Bit the bagel…..  Back on couch.  Just the thought of drinking the coffee and feeling that electricity exhausts me.  Jackie woke at 2-something then I came downstairs, then woke at 3 something got up to check clock and realized I could get more sleep.  So there’s two interruptions, must be why I’m so tired.  Going to spill out this entire cup, never done that.  Going to get in a power nap, go to Petaluma Campus and rile them as I did the 1A section.  No jazz now, as I enjoy the quiet.  I need rest, I need to slow, I need Peace this morning.  Not too much motion.  So, I change pattern.  Meditation, thought, stories.. want to write another like the one I submitted to Mom last week.  And print it!  Reached for coffee but stopped myself, going to finish bagel then lie down.. bit bagel and realize, “Yes, I need a little nap.”  This room, again occupied by my son’s toys, his legion of play.  I love it, but I don’t want to focus on it too much as that will wake me.  I need rest, I’m an adjunct, always juggling, jobs and papers and sections and traffic.  Wonder what he’s doing now, little Jack, at school.  Wonder what he’s learning, what he’s saying to his friends.  Wonder if he’s thinking of me, and thinks about our great day of leisure yesterday.  what is thinking?  I can’t help but think.  Curses!  Now I’m awake.  Pillows, still here, right, I need them more than this entry.

9:35, much later in day, and I sip my Merlot, the one I made in ’12.  Structurally, I’m not sure what I think, but I did make it and I’m drinking it, after a day like today, where nothing happened, nothing gripped me, nothing shook me to significant degree.  AND, our car was broken into, window smashed and Alice’s purse taken, so I’m sure that’s taking my mood for a certain spin.  Wasn’t able to move photos from phone to external hard-drive, which frustrates me but I put myself in that position, to be frustrated, by technology, always it seems.  But I want to be known as a WRITER, even if it’s a writer who blogs, delivers his words by way of blog.  Yes I know (I say to Self), Kerouac never used a blog and neither did Plath, Hemingway, so what am I doing.  Well, I’m going to write till the world’s on fire and I don’t care which world, at all; the wine world, the academic world (making it pay for how adjuncts are treated and dismissed), the Literary world and how so much favoritism is flown toward the mainstream checkout counter novels, all that vampire and courtroom and romance smut.  Again, I’m in a mood, very much in a mood.  But then I find an old picture of Jack, smile, and my night recovers.cute j pic 1  Need tomorrow to be something different, something unexpected– I’ve been wishing for that one awesome day, the one that will change everything, my whole life and writing reality.  And I want it to be tomorrow, and it will be.  I’ll write about being a father, and a writer, and an adjunct that HAS to be in the wine world as the FT position can only be dreamt.  This picture of J, so long past, and I age, watch him age but he gets more interesting and charming and cute, where I just age, get grumpy, and slow.  Goddamn Time, and all you do.  Took a few of the Valentine’s candies from the box Alice got me, the little mint-themed and flavored hearts.  I poured them out, all face-down except for one that read “Chill”.  Telling me to relax, not take it all so seriously?  Not pressure Self?  Tomorrow I’ll wake and dive into the coffee headfirst and stay under its waves, become part of them, ingest and inhale them, be more motivated than I’ve ever been, and it’ll be Heaven, a certain Personhood that only some find, most only read or study or wish.

Another picture I find, one of frosted bark at the winery.  Still can’t believepic outside frost it’s over– I mean, I can, it’s just.. don’t know.  This picture punctuates ‘season’ to me, how they change, how Time moves and we all follow observe, just take our pictures.  Part of the picture shaded, where I am, then the rest highlighted, given life by Sun and shown to world, observed, I stand there and watch before I have to clock in, put my right forefinger on that fucking scanner.  But that estate, more than grandiloquent in its visual, its image and story. I’ll go back, one day, when I’m ready, when the story tells me to.

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Visit.. Wine, A Day, Peace…..


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bottled maze



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Day 97 excerpts… no edits

I’ll proof the letter to Dav momentarily, but now I enjoy quiet on the bottom floor, on carpet thinking about the run today, and when my next “race” is, next month, and how that 26.2 is just months away, the Santa Cruz beach and views and everything in my birthtown and zone, waiting for me to come back, another story, one more!  A visit to be noted not just in this project and the future journal (as this book will long since been finished when that gun goes), but for my story collective and everything to me– in this morning’s run, the 4-miler with Alice and Mr. Jack, the weather couldn’t have been more optimal, air with slight chill but nothing invasive and the water still, ducks and geese and swans, and those from Canada, flying overhead then landing on water only to take off again, see what we can’t on the ground.  Could use coffee now of course but I’ll refrain, wait for later perhaps– or no, stick to water.  Should buy some of those iced coffee drinks at store so I can have my fix and caffeine push and not have to fire up that coffee machine.  Tomorrow morning, one early, and right after 1A, a quick drive back here to home for my morning prose and additional cup and some meditation.  Then, after 1B, to Howarth again like today but for a longer run.  Saw a young woman when we just arrived, there, just finishing her run, going over to the lakeside to stretch away any tightness.  I could tell she was a serious runner, one who has no trouble fitting in intervals into her life, like my wife; Alice always finds time to run, it matters to her.  And it matters to me, but I always find some pretty rationale to NOT run.  And that stops with today’s 4.  Tomorrow I’ll get in at least 6.2– I’ll start at Howarth parking lot, run around most of lake then sprint to Annadel, run along that long paved path to end, then into forest a little, then turn around run the rest of lake then come home to shower before picking up the little Beat.

For lunch this afternoon, a wonderful salad Alice made;  fresh avocado, tomatoes (little ones, think they’re called ‘cherry tomatoes’), olives, cheese and croutons, mushrooms.. perfect balance of all voices in the salad, both in presence and impression, wouldn’t have changed a thing!  Not full, not experiencing any kind of food coma, lovely.  Three more days in this project now, and I’m back to the thought of that daycare center at Mendo, for some reason, and my son… Alice and I brought Jackie to the toy store on Santa Rosa Ave. and bought him a toy, yet one more for his 3rd.  Why not, we thought, and I see him aging, developing as I’ve noted throughout this journal but he’s looking at me differently now, like I’m there for him, he understands me role, his mother’s, that we’re always there, here, at his left, right, for him, everyday, always.  He knows, now, and I know he knows.  Can’t explain it fully or even adequately, but he sees me with more thoroughness, now.  When on the couch, as he ate his veggies and dip, he took a couple seconds to turn right, look back, at me, smiling, and he didn’t blink, as if to convey, “I get it now, I know you, and I love you.” And I smile thinking about it, this event that flashed little over an hour ago.  And gone.  That’s Time, my enemy, and motivator.

Wanted to write a 500-word standalone fiction piece at some point today, to submit somewhere, just for smirks and light laughs, and maybe I will when done with this entry, this 3rd page.. but I have to just let the moment drive me now, from now on, my life’s remainder.  Stop planning, follow moments, and don’t stress about what you can’t navigate/control/chain/manage.. that’s why the winery release didn’t and doesn’t bother me.  It was out of my hands and dictators will be dictatorial, civility isn’t in their tongue.. but never mind that I’m too much into this moment and its gravity to be pulled by the negative.. to my short story.  510 words, max.  Topic?  Characters?  What do I do with this blank page?

 …I do rejoice in my letter to Dav and draft to Mom.  And I think of how my budget is ZERO for writing, so everything has to go to the blog, EVERYTHING!  And when those start flying and dropping money in my lap, then I’ll print again..  Front door open, little breeze but most sounds of a lazy day for everyone, President’s Day, and don’t ask me which president as I’m not quite convinced I care.  But the lazy sounds and wind and even the birds don’t chirp as loudly and often, everyone’s napping or resting or just taking it easy, as they should on a day off.. huh, a “day off”, imagine that.. even Mom just messaged me and said she was taking a nap.  But I’m in no mood to nap, and I haven’t had caffeine since before noon.  This energy that I know chalk into my prose is innate, in my particles and nuclei…

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DAY 93: th 2/12/15

And on this 93rd day, an unusual one to be sure, I sit to coffee in the nook, not in class but having to leave for campus in 27 minutes exactly, “Launch at 730” I tell myself. Coffee ready and I have to walk over there, behind me and by fridge to retrieve but I don’t want to rise and ruin my run. Only bringing Comp Book as I said yesterday, and I’ll note everything, everything, and all things learned and other ideas the professors point out. I know people will notice me writing, and I hope they do! I hope they see me as one who not only teaches but does! Quiet in the condo now, with only the fridge and its hum, the sounds of the keys being committed to my vision, image and role, and the table rocking so slightly I almost have to stop typing to hear it, but then it doesn’t move, then no sound, it’s playing with me, obviously.
Coffee in possession and I sit thinking about how awful or awesome the coffee there at the meeting will be. Could be splendid. Could be shit. I notice myself fall into typo after typo this morning typing, how did Kerouac do it on an Underwood? Can’t think about that now and it’s not my bloody fault I have a laptop. The times.. the technology.. I didn’t decide it! And I use it how I want! In fact my poetess friend, Amber (whose word I still have to post to bottledaux) only writes on laptop, so it’s instantaneous.. and my dear friend Lila, refuses nearly to transfer her scribblings to laptop, as it’s “too much of a pain” as she once told me, basically then, for her, bringing nothing to fruition, and that’s a shame. So I’m here in nook, typing, Comp Book right, little pages left.. ready for day, to write everything, everything.. see who shows, try to find Michael right away.. and I have a thought for the Massamen novel– you know what, maybe I should bring my bag but only have the journals in them– no, bring Comp, then Massamen journal atop.. done. And his story, Mass’, starts where I did on the 28th, Jan, being let go to start new, and finally be in the position to fight the Adjunct War. And maybe “war” is too barbed a term for some but to us, my character and I and anyone who’s ever been an adjunct, it’s too light, perhaps. Either way, we’re both at work. And I’m xeriscaping my thoughts and writings, my novel coming, and I need give Self a timeline like with this project.. just looked at clock after taking call from Alice wishing me a well morning.. 7:15, the clock catches me but I’m grumbling in commitment to reach the bottom of the page, and to think of anything I forgot to mention yesterday in entry– OH! The skirmish and bad blood catalyzed by one of the tasting rooms in the Kenwood shopping center. Even slighting my friend Jeff, he’s the one who disclosed the whole story to me, day before yesterday, and again to Dwight and I yesterday with some added specifics. War in the wine world, and how some people are so oblivious to courtesies common and just general neighborlyisms. And then it starts; the stares, the snubbing, the rumors, the shootouts if any, and just that feeling that no one cites or points out but you know something’s off. And that happens on highway 12! It’s hard to believe! A place where much of the world frequents in their pursuit of wine and wineries and vineyards, to take pictures and experience what we all, or many of us, take for granted and just shine on, there can be conflict, foul attitude, negativity to this degree.
Battery low. See what I mean? Bloody tech.. anyway, I should prep myself for leave, and I’m just taking the Comp Book I decided. One project at a time, one binding at a time. Slow, like I tell Jackie when he eats; “Jackie, remember, we eat slooooooooooooow…” Same principle with writing, just not too slow, otherwise the project never finishes.

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Stay Sagacious

IMG_4436Knew right where I was going from the Petaluma Campus, I wanted something to sip of a Bordeaux bend and bravado and I had a certain centering in mind.  So I stopped at Bwise Vineyards, the little embracing tasting room right by Café Citti.  Started with the ’12 Pinot, insisted kindly by my longtime compadre Josh from around the AVA, Sonoma Valley.  Upon aromatic contact I was nudged by rich subtlety, almost to the point of befuddlement, but with a couple more swirls I was wooed by its inherent exposition; the story, the charm and the radiant roar of this Occidental Pinot, as Josh disclosed; 18 months 50% new French.  I this is what I know Bwise to show, tell, share.. so, no surprise for the ravishing start.  Then to the Wisdom, the bottle I nearly always take home when I visit the Bwise Room.  What is there to say but “loud engagement” in this bottle; provocative, voice, persuasion and sensory magic, beginning to finish.IMG_4439  Only reason I didn’t buy a bottle today, I had to get another notebook, as the current Comp Book heaps, and I have over 13 weeks left in the semester…  Then to the ’10 Trios blend, 59% Cab Sauv, 20 Syrah, 12 Cab Franc, and surplus split about PV & ME (Petite Verdot, Merlot).  And I could list and summarize everything else I tilted into my character but it was all uniquely resplendent and quite voluminous.  And approachable!  This is what anyone would deem a “luxury” or “boutique” winery, or “label”, and its approachability and universal feel and character, and song, make it inviting.  That’s why I stopped, right there, on the corner of 12 & Shaw, to have my connection, my appeasement, of Bordeaux interpretation–  “So why the pleasure with Pinot?” you might probe.  IMG_4438Well, curtly, they do it right.  In that ’12, there was assertiveness without the barbaric bravado you might meet from someone producing a Pinot but yet wanting to avoid its intended and inherent softness, ease, and artful acts.  I came to Bwise today to experience a wine producer with care, with respect for the varietals and that connects with sippers on a postmodern level, beyond simple definition and a dumbing-down of descriptor enumeration (and that’s how well-woven these wines are, and will present themselves to your sense and “palate”).
IMG_4440At the end of the visit, my good friends Josh and Sunshine poured me a flight of Bwise behemoths; the ’10 Monte Rosso, the ’10 Brion, the ’09 Napa Valley Cabernet, then as a show of welcome the ’03 Napa Valley Cab, to illustrate how the project will hold in cellar.  I was charmed, and not to much shock this was my leaner, or favorite, for the day, and to a writer/professor it blares character, all of these pours and the label inclusively.  I’m home now, in the nook as I always type in eve at day’s close, and think of what I should have tried again, again, and maybe taken a bottle of.  Next time, as I’m committed to again visit, and, again, if you know me you know I will.  I’m a Cab-chaser, and a Pinot-peruser, so maybe tomorrow or next week or sooner than soon.  We writers need be wise with our words and what better room than this little cove at 12 & Shaw.. do I have that right?  Who cares.  I know where it is, I know where IMG_4441I’m going…  Looking at my pictures, and can’t wait to they take me on that mountain/cave tour.. I find mySelf obsessed, consumed in thoughts of IMG_4442that entity and that bar and everything that Josh and Sunshine poured me.  Readying for bed thinking about these wines, and what I should have bought and that doesn’t happen too often; these wines, all of them, have voice and coercive qualities.  I’ll be there, at that bar, with Sunshine and Josh, or whomever’s behind that sleek counter, I don’t care, long as the Bwise wines are there… which of course they’d be.  I left rapt, devout, and thinking of my next visit, which could very well be next week, or sooner.

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Before I


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