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.