journal

4/3/20

Jack watching a wildlife documentary, the one we were watching earlier on Yellow Stone and its wildlife.  Emma upstairs for a nap.  Feel like I could use one.  But I should be working.  I am, kind of.  Co-worker texting me saying you can order beer from Moonlight Brewing up the street and pick it up tomorrow.  Should I?  Need something to do… besides gather notes from inside the quarantine dome.

Sparkling water, not coffee.  Coffee and wine, wanting to cut back on both as to elevate and amplify production, as well as just be more present.  Coffee you might think does just that, and it does to a degree, but it drops you. And the fall and landing are impediments to movement.

2:13… A NAP.  No… stop thinking about it.  I am.  I swear.  No emails coming in, and no phone calls or messages.  A stall in the day.  Keep moving, that’s the not-so-secret pill, apply, coat if you would.  Would you?  Why do people write that, or say it (even worse), “… if you would.”

9:39am.

Latte from Oliver’s.  Not bad. Only thing I’m permitting self aside from sparkling water, during this fast.  Just made two calls.  Both voicemails.  Looking for other businesses….  IDEA.

Writing notes in a bit.  Couple more calls…

Left voicemail.  Marketing firm in Petaluma.  Never heard of them… looking at their site and getting ideas for my businesses.  Visual… more photography.  May go for a drive later and film and shoot in a vineyard.  Where I’ve said I’m the most me, but now I’m starting to not just acclimate to the current work office situation, but needing it.  See a story in it.  See more stories.

Kids in the other room playing some learning game with bird sounds, sitar riffs, and some gentle kid-focused ambient music.  Keep writing, I tell myself and stay in the chair.  This latte isn’t the best I’ve ever had, honestly.  I should buy a latte or espresso, some coffee drink machine when this is all over and I have my own office, which again Jack asked me about yesterday.

I’m picking up the journal….  On the desk.  Went into kitchen to check on babies.  They’re taken by the challenges of the screens and the puzzles… fill in a letter here, there, then this song plays.  I tell myself again… DIFFERENCE. 

Stopping typing.  Write students a quick email, then scribble notes in journal.

How would I sell this, this situation, I think to myself.  Shelter… IN…. Place.  SIP.  Huh… as in, wine?  As in …. This latte?

10:25.  And selling this stage, this corner, this office, my kids going crazy and the virus still out there.  What if a virus could be something beneficial?  What if it already is?  Not with people falling ill, or worse, but in this.  With my family, in house, safe, SIPping the latte and typing as I am.

11:58.  Lunch, I guess. Other half of the burrito I got yesterday.  Stuck in house, not stuck at all.  Thinking of the idea of a “secret sauce” as some say and not having it be a secret at all.  In fact, blaring it to everyone, and showing that you’re the only one that can do it that way.  Interesting.

                Took a picture of this desk.  This work station.  Why… to capture that I’m here, producing, working, being the most me of the me-ness I can put to page.  More than productivity, more than staying busy, or moving as I say, even more than staying “STARVED” as my article’s title asserts, but breathing, and not thinking so hard.  You don’t need to.  Everything you need and have and should want for growth or advance is right HERE with you.

                Sparkling water in a bit, some new kind or brand I found on the Oliver’s shelves.  What I took since I couldn’t find any of the Bubbly, or do they spell it Buble?  Don’t know how to put an accent on the ‘e’, on this basic bitch of a laptop.

                Co-worker emailing me and saying she needs a beer from Moonlight, up the street as we’ve met there before with her husband.  They’re big fans as am I and more and more and further we get into this stay-the-fuck-home decision.

4/3/20, Friday.

8:20.

Flight email sent to Mark.  Babies in office with me, working.  Each stating they have their own offices in here with me.  Had the Kenwood Cab last night.  Nothing too memorable.  Would I have it in my shop, yes… but not as a featured bottle or anything.  Or maybe I would have it as some value feature, even though I hate both those words, especially when they’re close together.

Blogging should be more meta… Emma says she wants a pen resting in and on her ear as I do now.  Then she says she doesn’t.  She ate the last bagel, making some people in the house irritated.  The lockdown is a lock-IN.  In my own ideas and practices.  Like I told Mark this morning, I’m going to go about everything in prospecting new business differently.  Not sure what that means, exactly… but visibility, communication, questions, asking them about THEM.

Going for a drive in a bit.  Need new pants on.  Babies continue to workl, Emma reading aloud.  Me thinking of new approaches to everything, EVERYTHING.  Parenting, running, waking up earlier which again I didn’t do today.  Tonight, be here… in this chair.  Not on the couch working as I tried to last night.  Yes, tried…. But I do have notes on the wine…. “Placid and a whisper Cabernet form and realization…” Made me think of this AE story.  Write about only that… the morning, the calls, the afternoon, the canvassing when I can actually canvass…. Everything’s being an AE, I see.  The idea I jotted a few weeks ago, ‘ME An AE Sea’, speaking to this writer.  Just write this…. Yes, I’m straying from my wine writing singularity, but not.  Not at all.  New journal, new character and Personhood this morning.  All for business, much for me, and whatever for whatever else.

Going to store, get bagels.  What else… sparkling water.  Yes.

Know Now in

What I’m facing.  And I’m not facing anything.  Went for a quick drive to have a call with someone from Sonic, and now thinking that all this chaos around me with the kids and being trapped in my own fucking house can be a startup of sorts.  Not of sort, but an actual startup.

A dad literally sharing a cell with his two kids.  Jackie teaching Emma about some learning program on a laptop… the computer says DIC-TION, Emma repeats DICTION, then says WHAT’S THAT?  Jack continues to instruct…  The chaos is order and music.  Listening to some Lo-Fi beats, relaxed….  Seeing the startup take shape after getting a call from Lancaster informing me of furlough status, which really means nothing to me as I’m one day a week, and starting my own wine beat and story, shop, blog, blog-shop… using K&L as my model.  Well, maybe not.  Or maybe I am.

Talk about wine, that always helps.

The Zin from last night.  A Zin, all I can say.  Had the jammy thing going on, high alc… Was nice, actually.  I’m distracted, though.  Thinking too much.  I’m always thinking about writing about wine, and how wine deserves much more than what the critics and name-names give it.  So here I am with the chance to do so, like in English class teaching myself to write again.  Time is fading, as is this time to finish a book on wine.  So there it is, it worked…. No more talking about the thing out there, only wine, only what’s in here, only the NOW at this desk… the smallest desk I’ve ever had to work at.

Breakfast.  No going out… Told myself I was going to fast till noon.  See a lot of people posting about that, about how not to gain like a hundred pounds during this shelter order.  Coffee’s supposed to be an appetite suppressant, or something.  But it’s not suppressing shit right now.  Write through it—or no, write about it, the fasting…. Think of breakfast, yes, imagine some breakfast on a road trip for your wine book, or papers, essays, notes whatever they be…. Jotting in your notebook like you should every morning and some at night…  Tomorrow flying to Texas.  Austin.  Always wanted to go there.  Finally I am.  And it’s wine taking me there.

Removing self from self and more deeply considering my ping-ponging thought pattern over the years, my inability to singularize for purposes of answering that question “So what do you write about?” and other efforts or trial, during this time I just STOP.  Write about wine, the tasting room….  Wine experiences, research (“research”) I might do.  I’m meant to write this, I know, so why do I do the back and forth?  Who cares.  I’ve stopped it.  Funny though, the reality, of me being here and not in the vineyard, not traveling, not going anywhere… just seeing self in the car driving to the airport for some trip to Spain, or France, or Australia. Part of me thinks wine is limiting as a singularity, a topic.  That’s precisely what I need, as what’s limited is the most promising in terms of expansion.  Can’t explain what I’m thinking, but I know what I’m thinking.  Know what I’m going to do, what I’m doing… Mike, I say to self, you’re already doing it.

Tonight going to open the other red I bought yesterday at Oliver’s…. the Kenwood, what was it… Cab?  Good. One night of Zin and I’m utterly and definitively Zin’d out.

9:44 – After an online class meeting that not only showed exactly where to go with my writing, about wine or whatever, I’m sipping a Zin.

Yes, a Zin, one I’ll write about tonight or the wine blog.  Just checked on my daughter, and she’s still not asleep. I can’t blame her.  She doesn’t know the entirety of what’s going on but she knows something’s happening.  She keeps saying “coronavirus”.  I’ve reasoned and rationalized staying home, going to the store one last time after seeing that the next two weeks, or even two months, I don’t fucking know, could be… well, bad.  Not sure what they’re basing this on, or from, but I’m committing myself. To here. No more store, no more anything.  Going to do a wine order from K&L for wine writing assignments, and just stay here, write, finish this fucking book, the semester, and not worry.  About anything.  Lately I’ve been catching myself a bit unnerved about what could happen to me at Sonic… why.  What REALLY can I do from my house.  I have two outstanding contracts, one with whom I communicated today and giving in to a request or really inquiry he had about contract length (3 years versus 2, he wants 2)…. I’m not worrying.  Prospecting for example… big part of the AE’s life, but what can I do here besides connect and “network”, makes a list or lists of businesses to hit.  I’m doing all of that.

                Like I think I wrote earlier this week or maybe even today again at one point, I’m in a bit of a kamikaze skip into this.  I’m not running away from COVID.  No fucking way.  In fact, you know what… this is the wine book grant I had a dream about years ago… this is where I do what I’ve been suggested by SO many I do.  Just write wine, write about it, HER, and personify wine in ways these other wine “writers” CANNOT.  Zinfandel in my kitchen, formally in my glass.  Need another.  From Dry Creek, Dry Creek Vineyards… high ABV, no surprise, but an eager and connective, romantic and animated personality.  Deep and dimensional, intricate and communicative.  Why can’t all Zins be like this, I ask myself.  Glad they’re not, really.  ‘Cause then I wouldn’t recognize what I’m recognizing…. Writing about wine and speaking of a singular bottle as I am now makes me miss the tasting room.  I need to dive so far into wine that I embody the principle shape and place, atmosphere and complexion of wine… her ideology and expressive geography.  See?  Nothing makes me write like this.  Only wine, only her.

Imagining that first day back in the TR, at Lancaster, with my book already done, and out in the world doing whatever it’s supposed to do.  I’m not concerned with my position, anywhere.  Not at the JC, or at Lancaster, or anywhere else.  I’m not fearful of this weird bug that has everyone in hiding.  I have a book to write, and now I have NO excuse or escape in explaining why I didn’t write it with this ordered shelter.  The new journal, as you’d see it, or as I do, is for HER.  Wine.  What she’s done for me, what she’s shown me… how the story is to be written till my last page.

12:35.

Measuring productivity a little more closer.  Started timer…. Looking for leads.  Have territories defined and settled, Marin County and Berkeley.  Now looking for businesses owners.  Writing letters.  Emails, really.  No more than 4 lines at an absolute maximum.  Reposing certain Sonic beliefs and past posts.

In this time type, marketing yourself and speaking your story and intentions, everything YOU is more than essential.  Talk about essential employment, you’re hearing that on the news all the time now I’m sure, this is essential.  You ARE an essential worker, especially for YOU.

Going on 39 straight uninterrupted minutes in the chair.  Ready for class tonight.  Tomorrow at 4am, going to start conversations with everyone I can find across all my verticals.  In fact, I don’t believe in sole and singular verticals….  I believe in vertical collectives.  This quarantine beam is making me sharp, more intricate and decided in my production, in my business containment and practice.

9:44

Jackie wants to play outside but is told it’s schooltime. I agree.  Why, as it keeps him contained and away from usual crazy.

Promised Emma I’d play upstairs with her after mom does her hair.  Email is quiet, not hearing back from people.  So now I feel a bit in survival mode, touching up my CV and one letter, later writing another letter… all sales and marketing.  What am I selling.  Me.

What I’d teach anyone, in narrating self the aim is to sell, and if not sell then connect.  Get people to listen.  Think I found something in this, and I have to credit the quarantine.. how so.  I just do.

In bed by 8:30, wake by 4am.  Have to institute and imbibe a formula, and there it is.

Finishing latte, then what.  How about another letter…. More than networking, conversations, have one wherever I can.  That’s the aim of the day… new conversation.  With others, with family, with self.

4/1/20, Wednesday

8:23am

Up, and already having sent emails to director and prospect, then to Wednesday 1B students.  Kids are up, calm… for the most part.  Hoping to get out on another run today.  Don’t care if it’s short or not, just 4 or more miles.  What stopped me yesterday was that goddamn hoodie and the lower-back tightness.  Have to stretch more.

Slept in today, till about 7:20-something.  Sipping coffee, and I’m telling myself that I won’t get a latte but I’m sure I will.  Something about that cinnamon and whip cream harmony that just makes it, well, harmonious.  I don’t know.

How do I wake at 4am, and make it not just a habit but the ONLY WAY?  Bed earlier, less wine definitely, and write in journal by hand, note form… yes, more notes, less sentences.  Start now…. Sun out, birds, kids wanting to play, me having to work.  Memorable skirmish, given the events in the world and this whole virus thing.

Up to 32 pages in this doc, 17K+ words.  Just need this book done, this new journal…  Wine, notes from the SB and Cab last night, nothing capturing me.  Write only wine, yeah I know I wrote that yesterday, but……  Connect everything to wine.  Everything?  What does a blog have to do with wine?  Tech and being and AE for an ISP?  I don’t know, you need wine for the contrast, for the goal… you want a wine shop with what you make, your own label, three wines… SB, a Syrah, and Cab. 

Still nothing from Deb at Dutcher, so I turn to my boy Elton in Napa, one of the owners of Robert Craig.  Hoping to do a call with him later, get an order locked in.  Nothing too crazy, just some bottles to write about.. anything WINE to write about.