…yes more coffee.  Doesn’t cost, and he should.  Presses button, small cup than the last.  Sets budget for week.  8am, should get in shower, or not.  Just ready self by washing face, putting comb through hair, shirt and sweater and ready.  Mike doesn’t know what else to write about the morning.  4am wake, but he’s written that how many times.  Exactly, he says.  Knows today has to be antithetical to prior days, carries.  Write everything down.  Literally everything, even if painful.  No wine during week, only running and early ups.  To gym like his friend Abraham, another with more than impressive system.  Mike sets his mind to running, to travel, to photography.  Needing more, he looks at his phone, shots taken from yest–  Mike realizes he left his camera in Chris’ car.  Shit, he thinks.  He hates it when things like this occur but then realizes it’s not a deal at all…

…want wine to speak to me, and not like she has before.  I’m going to watch her, speak with her, listen to her visual and moment-to-moment recital.  Each winery, each driveway and surrounding vineyard, for the story.  A book could be and should be written ‘bout each.  Each seeks to me teach, I know.  She reminds us to not complicate, to not think much less excessively.  Live and create from present.

Made another cup of coffee to sip slow, as Chris and I will be heading to Starbucks on Hopper for planning meeting.  Not a formal meeting or even really a meeting at all, just talk and lightly plan our day’s aims.  Tomorrow I’m at the winery, pouring and speaking.  Need to make it lucrative, I have to say.  Same with this writing,  small little wild wine writing releases that place everything to thought plate…


Couldn’t fall back asleep and yes I tried, so I’m up just a bit after 6.  6:07 to its point.  Right before 6 is when I made the call to write, to sit here at the counter as I did last night.  Still have to edit the short piece I wrote yesterday, the tasting room fiction which now accosts me with ideas and character directions, and how the main character wants to know more about wine and not how most do.  He won’t read a bunch of figuratively factually framed how-to books or anything like that.  He doesn’t see wine that way.  I, don’t see wine that way.  Never have.


Thought about going for a run, but writing, wine, the book—but should I leave the book idea alone and let that happen?  What I mean to say is, and I’ve been here before, in this mode.  So I jettison and move on.  Still trying to figure out that red from hours ago, the ’11 Rioja.  Wasn’t flawed or bad, just, I don’t know, oddly ambient.  Seemingly agitated that I opened her.  Should I have waited?  Inner thought troupe cascading in reverse, to that wine.  This doesn’t happen often, when some bottle I go out and buy to write about gives me some time of composition coma, stills me, has me irreparable meditative.

Coffee waking me.  Can’t wait for the drive over the mountain, but then I can.  Time passing me too fast so why do I excessively deliberate and stomps in thought swamps which are circular and produce no composition?  Book’s name, no longer thought. In fact the more I think of any book I write being titled such I cringe, curl, become demonically agitated.

6:21 – I’ll start readying in a bit.  First, more music.  Poetry.  Clean office tonight, revisit the Rioja but dig for any answers or understandings.  Hunt more inquiry, move with the wine, with her, for purposes of just that.  Keep my patience and sight on their own rhythmic track, and at least try to act apt.

Trellis Step Travel

And ’11 white, and ’16 red.  From Spain, bot.  In the quiet kitchen consistent with my vinified vision, speaking in poetic tongues and abetted stuns.  Character compiled in this sole presence and thought lot, caught in wine’s promise and spell, she tells me to stay, be still but keep in my truest move.

Haven’t touched the red.  Letting her wake as she wishes.  Shouldn’t say let, rather inviting her, hoping she wants to me as I her, after the week, this day, the introduction to a new story at work, learning a new style of business in a new way.  All narrated and keeping self in that vineyard block, the one I now see, the 337 Lancaster block right by the parking lot.  As the clock moves in its knotted ticks and tocks, me here with more sight.  Tomorrow in Napa which I haven’t done in too long.  On drive, notes hopes, talk to friend Chris while he kindly drives.  Expect nothing.  Plan nothing.  Write little Paginate the experience and story when it’s done.  Feel the early wake, just before 4 technically, speak to me.  Urging bed, urging rest, urging early wake for a run prior to drive over the mountain.

This could be one of the more agreeable and interesting, seductive and capturing white wines I’ve had in some time.  Why am I just writing about her, why am I not penning, noting the notes.  Don’t want to be like Parker and whatever that one guy’s name is, and then the other twit I always see posting about his attendance at events hoping to be taking seriously or as something of a wine something.  I don’t want to be a clown.  Am I calling them clowns, no.  Or maybe.  I just don’t want to resemble anything they do.  I’m present for the pages in the puddle, what’s transposed from and to the character by the alchemical atmosphere, right here, what I just sipped.

See clusters in a bin, in Spain in certain corners of this contemplative vein.  A light, airy beat of sea and cliff, some sort of sand and trees by a boulder.  Never seen it, but it’s on my out-of-body shoulder.  Letting the glass be, the wine, she, with a freeing frolic of echoing chords and singular notes.  Each, its own anecdote.  I’m not the writer du vin I was when I started.  I know that.  I’m older.  Shit, some days I just feel old.  But she assures me I’m fine, encourages more recital, more music… Only write music, musically, she pleas.  This ’16.

Now for the ’11, reckon.  Last couple sips of the Albarino.   Technically misspelled but this goddamn laptop won’t let me insert the symbol.  Fighting the tired, telling it to be gone or face a fight.  Nearly done, the red over there looking at me and reciting poetry I can’t hear till I sip, fully engage and stay embraced.  Wine, educating me as she knows I need new Newness in this Now.  8:44, just minutes before bed possibly.  No way to know.  And that’s what wine is, not knowing.  Letting time find you, and you drawing from the confines of the presented page.  Sip, scribble, learn, live.

wine page


8:29 and back at desk.  How do I attack day.  Telling self to deconstruct what I do in this position, this new position, down to its most essential and basic composition.  Contacts, meetings, put indirection of other meetings and eventually signings.  Feel like a real estate agent, or talent agent, or consultant.  I am a consultant, aren’t I?  Time to organize.  Time to search for more connections.  Just left a voicemail for a contact that was given to me by a co-worker.  Need to organize workspace.  Small, already crowded, and me feeling a little dizzied, but I’m allowing that to happen.

Asked ami Chris to bring contact information tomorrow that could help me, or contribute to what I do.  Just had another idea…

Followed through with.  Building contacts base, and not just for sakes of collecting names, but for connectedness. This new position is very much running a business of my own. And broken down to its most one-dimensional anatomy, it’s people.  That’s it.  People and communication.  Creative communication.

Feeling you might experience when new at a position, and you’re eager, nearly over-eager, that you want to do everything and you’re thinking Fuck the learning curve!  You just want to do.  You don’t want to wait.  But you have to.  That’s part of it.  So in that time, in that lag or learning-holding pattern, you take notes.  On everything.

Learning wine.  How did I do that.  Taste everything, and use what I know, writing, to better understand it till I more or less hopefully more understand it and can be formidable in conversations.  Can convince.  What wine taught me.  Don’t focus on the technical, the words even, the definitions and the this and that of your product or service.  You sell you and the atmosphere between you and the prospective.

First day in the tasting room, at St. Francis, I didn’t know the wines.  I mean, I knew I liked them and I may have had a couple favorites, but I wasn’t what I’d say versed in them.  Not at all.  What I “sold” was me, my love of the winery, the people with whom I was behind the bar, my excitement in meeting someone new, someone else who loved wine and the vineyard, the view outside the doors like myself.

The other day someone working with me messaged me somewhere “We got this.” She’s also relatively new, approaching her 6th month in this functionality.  She was, and is, encouraging.  But I more than “got this”.  I see that now, this morning.  It’s me, my love of the company and its pervading ideology.  New and re-enlivened coherence in my character and stage.

Sales.  I’m not in sales.  I’m not in marketing, or PR.  I’m a storyteller, which isn’t that much a revelation being a writer, but a business narration technician.  Huh… interesting title.


Been back from meeting for a bit.  Planning rest of day, the next week.  Want to get in front of people and present what this is, this company. So do that.  Where can I go locally, now.  Eventually want to get down to the Peninsula, but our infrastructure hasn’t been completed, there.  Getting a little hungry.  Not going where I did the other day, took too much time.  Chinese?  Mexican?  Chinese. Should have gone there last time.

Only plan for tonight, writing.  Taste a couple wines and write.  Early tomorrow morning up.

Back from lunch, just a couple minutes after 2.  Project outlined, for the next couple hours, but I’m sluggish, slow and struggled.  Need coffee.  I do.  Chewing gum currently, the expected after-lunch cleaning of teeth and of course no brush so, gum.  Coffee soon.

Officially back on the clock, and will be on the phone in a bit, reaching out to businesses in my old neighborhood, San Carlos.  Thinking about tonight’s wines.  Had to be imported, one red and one white.  Put a baseball game on, work on my book between innings or something.  Wine at the center of the evening.  Putting something together to sell, and the night’s wines begin everything I’ve vowed to self.

Pizza day today.  And I went to get Chinese, and it was average if I’m being too kind.  All honesty, it was averagely average, I mean the truest embodiment of plain.  And I could have had pizza.  FREE, pizza.  Ugh… dismissing my folly, forgetting it.  Get on the phone.  Okay.

Made three calls.  First was pretty smooth, was able to get an email for their IT person.  The second was incredibly awkward, me saying “It’s Friday!” after she asked me how I am after I asked how she was doing, and then she saying “Well some of us have to work tomorrow.  IT person not there, onto next call, where the person was more or less pleasant but IT person, again, not there.  Call four, coming up.  Putting self in the head of a small winery owner/winemaker, and if not winemaker then just owner and general wine and brand educator, or something like that (You know what I mean, the VOICE of the winery).  Will go into this next call as such, though that’s not entirely appropriate as analogy, as the winery owner would be calling people he knows.  Club members, big buyers.

3:14, will have to make a call from home.  I don’t mind.  This is MY business, and that’s the only way I’m willing to see this.  Wine antagonizing every thought, every intention and bit of movement.  Everything is clearer, today.  Not going to go one about it, but I’m finally me, the me I need be for the writing and my kids and everything, and….  I’ll stop there.  Need a drink now, I feel. Celebrate.  And if not celebrate then certainly calibrate.  That’s the thing about wine writers, we’re always developing and digging for some new suggestion, some new note, or “nuance” as wanna-be somms and critics utter.  Setting up home office tonight and will keep it as I set it up—placement of books and chairs, so everything where it need be.  And wine, with me the whole time.



Haven’t started editing piece from yesterday, the tasting room one about the two in the Room on a dead day.  Will do today possibly at lunch.  Or am I running at lunch.  Run.  Many will be out of the office today, so I can get quite a bit done.  Contact new contacts, email other account executives.  The day more or less planned, and I sit here typing with the little time I have left after taking wife and wee beats to bus, the airporter taking them to SF.

Dinner tonight, something light.  Wake early before friend Chris arrives and run.  Budget for Napa mission, brought down from its initial peak.  Only looking to buy a bottle from each visited.  Keep expenses constricted and tense, the day musical.  This one especially, yield more pages.  Need new pieces and ingredients to written recipe, precisely the reason for journey.  Wine orders plays a new beat, and I recite what I can… Cabernet, like a one act play, but then I’m like dried clay here at the kitchen counter.  Realizing the quiet, like a meditative riot tyrannical like Pontius Pilate.

6:34, another coffee at my composition door.  Not from Starbucks but my own yesterday bought at store while getting bites for mini’s, saying they wanted 4th of July snacks and wanting to play outside and did but only for a bit the heat getting to them and me much quicker than forecast.

Think of editing This is The Tasting Room piece, but….  What the whatever, first paragraph….  Read a bit more.  Mostly dialogue.  Do I want to change that, switch it up a little?  More narration?  Save that for next piece.  This idea aims to explore or maybe even endlessly define and characterize wine and the relationship she can have with someone seeking such.  More and more, I frustrate quite vocally with people and the industry that just sees wine as something to pour, something to sell, some bit of fucking inventory.

wine page


Went out on my own, “Feet on the Street” as they say in this part of the company.  Just introducing myself, as I knew there was a chance of running into current clients.  And I did.  No deterrence.  This whole day thinking about selling and why some get anxiety when it comes to selling, and the possibility of conversion, that you might or might not sell.  Again, I learn on wine ideology and methodology.  Everything is from wine, for me.  Talk to people as you would if you were having a glass of SB with them on a desk in some warm weather, or sipping a stainless Chard on a dock somewhere in the San Juan Islands, or on a boat around the islands.  Do your job less, I said to myself walking up to that first corporate building in on of the Fountain Grove business building spots.

Department head sent out an email saying, basically telling us, that early departure at 3 is fine.  Told us to get the heck out of here and enjoy our weekend.  Which I more than appreciate as in the wine industry that rarely happens.  Every last dollar, every last dollar the mentality rather than making sure your sales force is satisfied with everything from day-to-day to how they see themselves in their role.  I’ll leave in a bit, I guess.  Go write somewhere maybe for a bit before meeting family in Windsor for the baseball game and whatever else is planned.  Looking around my new desk, and my place has already been punctuated.  Wine… wine… don’t fixate on the overwhelming population and propulsion of new terms and products and surrounding language.  Just see the person in front of you, I tell myself and offer to anyone reading this in any kind of sales post.  Just talk to as many people as you can, record everything, follow up, and don’t stop moving.  Not sure what else to say other than that, and I don’t want to talk about sales for this whole piece but narrating who you are and what you’re doing is nearly the entirety of what we think of as “sales”.

Wine taught me all this.  And the industry having forced me into disgust with it instructed me to gut-trust and find something else.  I did, and here I am, but still with wine-wound principles and sight, the Road to my Equilibrium purveying all the poetry and prose but more so poetry and music this writer ever need.  What will I have to do when with my own wines, but go door to door, just handing them out not really selling or even narrating anything, just saying hi and saying my name a couple times and handing a bottle of wine to whomever’s in front of me.

Office getting quiet.  I can tell people have left.  Think I’ll send my EOD in a minute then depart, myself.  Get a glass of something, somewhere.  Why does Sauvignon Blanc always sound good, and always sound like the most optimal and appropriate, optimally appropriate varietal and style, feel and song and vinified ride?  Don’t know, but I can see the glass in front of me, and by some odd extension see myself rising in this department far faster than anyone before me, and even faster than I now see myself ascending.  Why?  I’m not selling.  I refuse to sell.  I’ll only connect, talk, educate, create.  So many overthink sales and talk themselves out of it and into some undeserved low self-estimation.  The creativity and conversations will illuminate opportunity, and renewing zenith.