12/10/18

img_9420.jpg

Downstairs after dinner and everyone in bed but me.  Long day, whole day in field and all I wanted was this.  Some Jazz, low-lit room, xmas tree providing most of my sight.  Walking up and down hills in SF makes me want there, the houses, I want just one of them… some impressive grander in my head bouncing forth and back and back to my senses which even I now question.  Outside, sky and air remind me of what time of year envelops my Now.

Music on me unexpectedly quits.  No mood to fight, quibble, scuffle.  So I leave it off.  Could turn it back on, with phone, but I’m composed in the composition of this room.  Could use another beer for session.  But I’ll wait a minute.  And the music comes back.  What is this devilish device doing to me?  To my writing.  Ignore it, I tell myself.  At lunch, which I told myself I wouldn’t do, dine out, I was in Harvey’s (think it was called) writing in the corner, before the omelet arrived and walked around Castro taking in everything— lights and cars, shops and the bars with their engaging names, street lights and the evidence of history.  Going back tomorrow, and making it more a point to write in “real time” as some say.  But I hate that utterance and word sequence.  “Real” “time”.  If you have to note that it’s “real”, or remind yourself or a reader or observer that it’s “real”, there’s an obvious incongruence.  To me, anyway.  So.. point, write in immediacy spree.  While people walk by, walking their dogs, as they answer the door to us knocking to tell them about what we’re doing for the community, put all to page.

Down here, in this room, family room while family upstairs swirls and swivels and swims in dream, I’m doing something, I think.  Missed class tonight, and I feel awful, but no choice was mine.  One of the sales leads out so I was the transporter man or whatever, taking team to and from between Noe Valley and Castro.  San Francisco, begging me for conversation the same way that Paris would let go of Hem.  I’m out there as a Field Sale Supervising, most presently and poignantly doing my job, but as well not letting the writing Me away gaze. 

This room, now, just what I need.  Tree luminous, piano notes and keys hit, and now me.  Thinking of how I want to be seen, read, this job I have at a tech company that’s making me more a writer than I ever would have forecasted.  Drive down with reps, talking about certain topics then re-focusing on what we were about to do with this new campaign, me the whole time thinking how with business if everything was this exciting, like in the wine world, businesses would more readily attain what they sought.  The room says more to me, like just enjoy the room, go get a beer and be Hemingway for a night.  Think about your city, SF, and how tomorrow will be definitively different than today.  This room, now, not so much what I need but what’s ME.  What I embody… composition, the page, me here on couch, in assembly.  Time, rather “real”.

Kerouac has

all interpretation and meditations leaning toward more. More exploration, more scenes, more looking around and acknowledging Now. Nothing behind, all ahead and in front of me asking to be experienced. What am I doing here, accepting any order, any regulatory, any institution. More, on that Road, the music, lights, cars, families traveling in winter or whenever. Sitting on unfamiliar boards, me…

from a journal

12/3/18

So this morning my devilish laptop decides to work.  Part of me incensed and the other joyous.  I’ll take the joyous.  Going to take it in, anyhow.  Then to bank, then, by THEN, I should be run-ready.  Not sure where I am in the marathon countdown, but I’m sure close enough to frighten me or at least get me a bit edgy.  Jazz on, music the whole way here from Starbucks, getting a 4-shot mocha (that kind of morrow) and blueberry scone which they were slow to give me and when I brought it up to the ponytailed barista after she asked me a bit drained and feigned what my name was and what I was waiting for, was told there are a lot of food items that were ordered and had to be heated.  “That’s why.” She made a point to say.  I nodded.  When the scone was handed to me, unheated.  I left, not so much laughing on my way back to the over-mileage’d Prius but thinking I need intensify what I’m putting into this day, this Monday.  Music, much of what I do and how I see things.  “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”, a track featuring Coltrane and shoving me this way, then that, and I’m present, very much present at this counter, 08:50.  Should get going to the laptop repair joint.  So if he, Phil, nice guy whom I always seek when it comes to fixing this goddamn thing for whatever reason, takes the monster from me, how will I type?  Oh… use the office computer as I did yester’.  Sometimes when life changes the Road’s contour, you have to follow and drive as it instructs, implementing your own creative code and composition while along.

Bite of scone.  Tempted to heat it, but why.  Surprised the laptop cooperates this morning.  Last night Jackie grabbing my phone and pushing the blog shortcut on the home screen, trying to read what he could, saying “Daddy you’re a really good writer.” How he sees me.  Intensify, amplify, self-codify in this blogger way and practice, habit, maintains the habit and practice, my Craft each morning.  Day young, crumbling scone, mocha not losing a significant level of its temperature level.

Yesterday wine tasting on Olivet Road, looking at the vineyards and in the tasting room tasting through what I did, wine speaking to me.  Take a closer more analytical lean and approach, approach then lean to life and the wines in front of you that ONLY speak life’s language.  Thought in what’s present, what’s caught, what is not what’s not. 

I’m writing for my life, just before 40.  I’m going into 40 with more thought than I ever have, certainly more urgency but more command of Day, this day and the ones in succession.  Wine has always done that, even when I had no idea what the hell I was sipping in my San Ramon apartment.  Just buying that Merlot, 2000 from Blackstone, California AVA tag, and feeling something.  Not a buzz.  In fact that first night with the friend over I think I only had a glass and a half, if I remember right.  IT was the form of the wine, the voices inside, the music.  It was all music.  I wasn’t into jazz then as I am now, but there was immediate jazz in the introduction to the light Bordeaux’s vocals.

Scone nearly gone and continues to crumble to that little paper bag they put it.  I’m not a breakfast bloke.  At all.  But this morning it just sounded good.  I’m operating madly today, on whim more than pragmatics or forecasting, any prediction or plan for the day.  I’m more mad in this paragraph stray, wanting adventure of some latitude in this way, day.  This day, mine, in all its chords and chimes.  Telling Self this is my only job.  Writing.  Capturing where I am and what I’m doing, here in kitchen with a finally-quiet house, writing daddy enjoying his caffeine and dreams.  Models presented in head, of our next house, runs on coast, flight to Germany or Austria to taste wines and write about the towns I visit.  How to do….  There is no “how to”.  There’s just the DO.  As I see it now, this morning.  I’m quiet frankly tired of dreaming and thinking, envisioning, seeing, painting some illustration or convenient scene in cognition.  Now, actuation’s my only deliberation.  And I don’t deliberate excessively.  I’m moving, moving is the opiate.  Should go soon, to Phil, find out why this goddamn device keeps giving me that keyboard warning, or stall, saying it can’t find a keyboard through the bluetooth function but there’s a fucking keyboard RIGHT HERE.  Attached to the bloody device.  Can’t you see that, monster?  Feel like yelling that here in the ditch but what would that do.

Wife texts me “Hi”.  Should reply.  But I can’t stop typing.  Feels more than good.  Writing for me isn’t writing, it’s not fucking “therapy” as some say, and I hate when people just pin writing as a therapeutic act, like that’s all it is….  It’s something, something.  I don’t know what.  Wine again speaking to me… those DeLoach Pinots, and the two Chardonnays.  I need to travel, I need write about, out, everywhere to understand wine and Self, this, life, why I’m here and where and what the writer’s meant to do with where he is.

New track.  JM’s Dream Doll by Mal Waldron.  Moody, slow, atmospheric and curiously haunting.  I’m in its notes and in line with the track’s progression.  I need produce a track a day, I said to myself while on San Miguel.  Will record when this note’s done.  Is it done, now?  Maybe this is the track, my track for the morning and the day, Monday, the week and for whatever I need.  Taking a break from the mocha as this writer already feels its gnarl and snarl.  Slowing with the sips.  Where’s my copy of Road?  Wanted to re-read it, on my own onus and timeline.  Just me on my Road, what I observe in Kerouac’s work and others.  Make time for reading today, I order Self.  Done.  Decreed.  Now, I for errands flee.

Technology not cooperating.

Laptop not cooperating.  Keyboard not responding.  Tried using this computer in office, the word processing doc program, and its cooperation was shit.  So I’m typing directly to blog.  Which I never do.  But, these blogs I’ve made my home and soon my sole career and composition, so I type here.  I know where to find these words.  And frankly, I like this bigger screen.  Need a break from that laptop monster and this occurrence gives me just the warrant and excuse to use this actual computer.  I’m using the office, the desk, the chair, the room, imagining it my eventual office in downtown SR or Healdsburg.

Kids play upstairs, agreeing to let me work.  This is definitely a morning of a writing father, a jotting daddy who needs things to work when they don’t, and they continue to defy, so I find ways to write.  I’m a writer and if I have to the pen and paper are my most reliable and ready ally in any tech scuffle.

Kids upstairs, playing.  They don’t have these worries, or any.  Jack asks projecting his voice what I’m doing down here.  Think he’s up to something.  I know he is after asking what he’s doing and he throws down the stairwell, “NOTHINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG…..” I’ll trust him, or seem like I do even though I anything but do.  Don’t hear any thumping or falling of any objects.  Emma’s not crying so all much be composed, right?

Checked on laptop and it has no interest in cooperating, communicating, anything for me.  I come back to actual computer, the blog, the only anything I can use.  Day off but me self work.  There’s no such thing as “a day off” for writers.  I’ve forgotten about the laptop and now fixate on the day, later, a run I know I have to do but already dread, and if not dread than just want to think of anything to do so I don’t have to do THAT.

If I didn’t have this coffee, I’d be far more mentally disheveled and scattered, wrecked than I am now.  Kids play quietly upstairs.  The quiet is near unnerving– And there’s a funny noise.  Like a toy breaking, falling then shattering.  But I hear no vocal reaction.  This desk, the laptop, the morning, teaching me.  Lessons compounded and turned, around and in other directions for my story.  This writing pops.

Voices outside.  Neighbors starting their day.  “What are you guys doing?” My voices flies up the stairs from my office seat.  “Emma’s reading.” Jack says.

“What is she reading?”

“The puppy book.” Jack offers back, soft and in eased tone.

What are you reading, buddy?” I say.

“I’m reading the shark book then, um, I’m going…I’m going to read the dinosaur book.”

“Good!  Enjoy your reading!” I say to him as I say to my students before they read each other’s work in a class essay workshop.

Sip coffee and look down, under chin and see post-it, with note.  “Dear dad […] w  e love   yo     u”.  I smile then am interrupted in my enjoyment of a post-it with more life on it than I’ve ever seen by message from neighbor saying she needs her table back, the one she leant us for Thanksgiving.  I say sure and open the garage door and let her take it, return inside and ask upstairs how the reading’s preceding.  “We’re just doing a lot of reading, okay Dada?”

Back at desk, and the morning couldn’t be more for me if I had written it this way, or any way.  Neighbors wheeling stuff around.  Think there’s a collaborative garage sale sale going on.  Something like that.  What are they reading?  I hear Emma explain something to Jack and then he clarify what she’s attempting to elucidate.  Thinking I should go up there and read with them.

But, they come downstairs.  Slowly.  Emma saying, “Hey, Dada… what’s up?” I laugh and ask her same.  She then say something I can’t understand and don’t need to.  She says she needs to do something.  “I need get dressed.” The morning and its story cooperate where tech doesn’t want to.  And again, this shift in habit and writing practice teaches and reiterates dimensions to which I was already privy.

Writing my life, at this point in my life, to understand the story and my character and my writing, or anything, questions form.  Inquiries that will not halt.  I follow them, to more solutions then more puzzles to solve and codes to decode and deconstruct.

Jackie calls me up, I say I need five minutes.  Which I do and don’t.  I surrender the path that is the morning and day and just the sequence of songs in each set of numbers the clock reads play.  We wish for a lot, we Humans.  We focus on what’s absent rather than celebrating what’s present.  This morning reminds me to celebrate, to forget about whatever the laptop’s doing and just move, be mobile, be writing, be loving.  The babies upstairs losing their littleness and I age and we all age, so I capture everything.  Jack singing some song I can’t understand or identify.  Think it’s a Christmas  song, I don’t know.

Jack again demands I come upstairs and I agree.  Hear them playing and him trying to teach Emma about the functionality of some toy.  “Emma, turn it off!” I ask him to please be nice to her, he rationalizes “She doesn’t follow my rules…” Smile, back to writing more.  Love how they think, how they talk, argue and respond and in a micro-nanosecond turn their thoughts into something so convenient and obscure that only they can see connected dots.  That amazes me, their language.  Their thoughts and how they create and respond, occupy their time.  They never obsess over what’s not, only what is.  That, if anything this morning, more than that fucking laptop, teaches me.  I’m a student and they’re the collective professor.

Wonder how I’m doing in class.  My grade.  Do they like my blog, this after-laptop piece?

He calls again, little Kerouac.  This time, he doesn’t accept my excuse.  Up…..

12/2/18

05:29

Not the kind of run I wanted. Don’t see morning as loss, though. In any respect or touch. I did sleep through the 04:00 bell but woke by the 04:10. Tally win. Went to gym. 5 miles and some-hundred calories which I don’t emphasize but always interesting to see what kind of number I can put to board. But why didn’t I get to 9 or 10 as I yesterday dreamt? Water…. should have had more water yesterday and last night. Then, stretching. Pain in right leg, up by hip is easy warning that stretching be more emphasized in my running life. Here I now sit, though, post run, writing about running and what I want next. Pushups throughout day. And, more or less fast till 4 when guests start showing for Thanksgiving. Hard to not be hard on self for the run, but I can’t do that. As a runner, or the type of runner I want to be going into the two marathons first half of next year, I have to analyze. Deconstruct. 1, more water. 2, more stretching. 3, more core work in abdomen, pectoral, general center and sternum. Then, don’t start so fast. I know that had something to do with my 5-mile stoppage. I need to juggle the splits and intervals, speed stretches of the run.

Waking early is the answer to so much in anyone’s story. Even if it’s to wake early and be solitude-sown with your own thoughts. Waking early, earlier, is a demand that should never be ignored. More than a mere requirement.

Part of the business of running, waking at this hour. 05:38 and the running writer is WIDE awake. Typing on phone ad I don’t want laptop button pushes to wake the babies. Sipping cold coffee from the tumbler in car. Not much left. Sip slow, I tell myself. Don’t wake kids. My thoughts now go to vision, visions attainable then dreams that are still attainable but a bit distant.

Just caught self looking at word count. Why do I do that? Self-scolding after. Don’t do that, either. I fixate and form more focus in the Now. Where I am and what I’m doing. Cognition of character. What I want. How a writer approaching 40 will attain it. IT. Same thing they wanted before seeing Road. Narrative atop narrative encouraging more writing. I want coffee but coffee itself tells me to back off. Conversation last night with student, how my words reached her, showed her some benefits to trying new practices and approaches. Making me think…. what I have to do. Doing it today. Thankful for the Now, the craft, words collection, meditation. Here in the kitchen after a run with which I’m anything but thrilled.

I did it again. Looked at the goddamn word count. Same way I kept looking at how much time I had into my run, and how many miles. Qualitative and quantitative combatting for my attention and priority placement. Just write, I tell Self as I do students in the room with me. Measuring the day, not so much planning it while sitting here, drinking whatever’s left in this tumbler. Thought, stay thinking I tell myself. Keep your cogitation in a constant constant. It takes me to papers, papers I have to write. On literature, writing, thought itself. No more numbers, I order

05:47, 8. Now what. Sit on the couch. This tall boy chair is not so accommodating with this ache I hVe in right leg by hip. Now feeling tired. Don’t think I can fall asleep with the coffee I’ve allowed prance in circulation. And I don’t want to sleep, anyway. I will write this whole bloody day. Wine at table, family, appetizers, hopefully rain.

Just realized I left a book at work, on desk in my quasi-cube. Co-worker called it “my cube” the other day and I almost said something. Hate that word, cube. Reminds me of the Napa job, at “the box”. Forget it. Or not. Contributed to story…. The book I’m thinking of, want to read a bit of it. May be able to look it up somehow online but that’s not the same thing at all. That’s not reading. It scrolling, or skimming. Not even sure if it’s either one of those, honestly.

More than writing about running, I’m noting what I notice in health’s composition. Me– music, running, reading, writing, speaking and sharing ideas (not so much “teaching”). What I’m doing now I see as healthy. Not spending these early hours, this time here (now on couch), scrolling through some media feed social or other. But, with thoughts. My thoughts. This room, this day… now.

One of the guys with whom I work in field talked to me recently about taking more time to Self, establishing more rhythm in his daily motions and walk, speech, interactions with people inside and outside company. If you wake earlier, you will be allowed this. You can see more. You feel more and understand more of Self. You not only need to bring yourself to this place, but you have to desire it honestly. Not necessarily with purposes in mind, but just desire it for YOU.

Tired. Need to go to bed earlier. And again, drink more water. What if I were to close my eyes right now– Do I deserve that? I only ran five miles. STOP SAYING THAT. I switch my speaking pace and containment. On couch, looking around room…. hear nothing. No movement upstairs, no rain, utter sound void. Sniffle, hope no one heard that. Waking early, even this exhausted or tired rattle through my arms and face, eyes, has me pushed to more narrative, prose…. my running story. Anyone’s story.

Stomach. Telling me not to ignore it. Thoughts telling me to stop thinking. To lay down, rest eyes. Or, just sit quietly. After I…. no, no coffee. Sniffle again. Think I hear one of the kids. Writing over? I think.

Run eyes, core with storm, roaring and growling, a deep torque. I move.

11/22/18

11/21/18

Tomorrow waking up when I was set to, today.  To gym.  Ten miles, on tread.  Would be my record.  Deciding to write more about running and the psychology around running.  And if not the psych to it then the practice and habit and maintenance of that practice and habit of being a runner.  9:05.  Will be in bed by 10.  Sipping a wee bit of Zin before calling the day, day much more euphonious and melodic than prior.

I see self running in Europe, in China, in Yosemite and Yellowstone.  Yes, doing “the Boston” as so many that have brag about.  After class tonight and after talking to a student that thanked me for my instruction this term, with her getting to specifics like writing and other ideas offered and habits that I stress, I know tomorrow has to be past what’s connotative with Thanksgiving.  Not some Turkey run I’m going on.  I’m going to test self on that belt.  Ten miles.  Maybe a wink more.  Then, when home just after 6, I’ll register for that Marin marathon.

I remember when I first started running, running seriously, when working at Kunde with my friend Bonnie.  We’d run Lawndale all the way back down to Highway 12, just west of Landmark Winery, and then along 12 back to base.  When she couldn’t run with me I’d go solo.  That’s when I saw something in running.  The peace, the obsession, of course the writing material…. I’m a runner.  I won’t be able to run like this for too much longer, I reason.  So I have to throw self into the running moment, run faster than time.  Or try.

Tired from day but I can’t slow.  No.  9:13.  Wine not saying much to me, but thoughts of waking at 4 or just before do.  How I’ll feel walking out to car, then driving up San Miguel, along Coffey, up Hopper then right on Airway, left on Industrial…. I’ll start at 6.2, then raise the hard-deck from there.  When done, I’ll thank self I did what I did.

Didn’t get to writing the essay I wanted to over lunch, but not a big concern.  Didn’t go out to eat, which was a larger forward step.  And now, in one of the writing pods, points and spots of collection for me.  Too cold and uncomfortable in the break room for any reasonable or useful writing.

Sonic teaches me to monitor my progress, to self-educate more and self-teach, or even as much I don’t particularly like the word, coach self.  Didn’t get to write 1,000 word essay on the Kerouac climbing mountain quote, but I use the time I can after eating those two microwave burritos.  Not an exciting lunch by anyone’s standards, think it’s safe to say.  Track goals, coaching of self, education and lectures, repeat repeat repeat.

Little over 30 minutes.  All to self.   In this chair.  And I’m collected and composed, in my aims.  Not so much goals.  Not a fan of that word, either.  Aims.  Visions I’m convinced will become material and real.  Comfortable in this chair.  May need more coffee when back at desk.  Not focusing on time anymore, or what I should write.  I know this all returns and re-connects in some sort of audibility to wine.  Last night’s Pinot made by parents’ neighbor, can’t recount his name, but I remember not caring for him too much so when I saw the unlabeled bottle on their counter last night before dinner, that simply read “2015 PN”, I asked what it was.  They told me, his Pinot.  I poured some, not wanting to like it but I did and Dad let me take the rest home.  Once home and after kids were put to bed a little too late, I poured a full glass.  More expression and lesson in her laps.  The wine wanted me to pay attention to the Now and not think about the work week ahead.  To stand there, sipping, thinking of music, jazz or that slow chill ambient station, the one I associate with a play list you’d hear in a wine bar.  My wine bar.  Now in this chair, taste it again.  The wine, the kitchen, the outside air horrid as it might hang.

I repeat my wine words and thoughts and wishes, yesterday in the vineyard and my new wine column ‘vino dharma’, my visit the other day to Stonestreet.  Adhered to wine, thoughts and dream about full glasses and bottles on racks, travels to any country where I can taste and write about what’s sipped or spit.  Conversations with winemakers and farmers, owners and those that just know the history of where they work to some unusual and admirably obsessive condition.

Aim, writing, till I leave at 4:30— Wine sentences.  Not so much descriptive ones, but a wine sentence, of any kind or core.  Any wine sentence, of any kind.  For what, I don’t know.  I have enough to finish my book, or any number of books as I wish with all my observations, in and out of the wine world, or its industry.  But I want to focus on wine, what people say and what I say, people I meet for the first time in a tasting room like yesterday that guy from Boston.

More stories, on their way.  20 minutes left on this “lunch”, and I’m an eager storm of saying, observations, wanting to have all wine anythings bound.  Don’t even need to sell them, just give them away.  Wait, is that a smart marketing plan?  Do I need a marketing plan, or some sort of sales map?  Another aim, perhaps.  That.

11/19/18