So I open the bottle of Monterey Grenache I bought at Bottle Barn a bit ago. Not letting it sour or soil the soul of this sequence of time I have to Self. First sip, and I’m spoken to by subtlety’s illustrative principles.
It’s still not speaking to me, doing what it’s supposed to do. This it. An it. Not capitalizing, not surrounding in any quote marks, even the singular. It’s a thing. A monster. A devil. Guess I have to buy a new laptop.
Throwing myself into this project. What project? What is it meant to accomplish I’m not sure but I have something new here, a book, maybe. Again this morning I see a day ahead of me, one to do something and record everything. But enough promising, enough cyclical prose, this cold coffee I made last night orders and loudly notes. This house, like a parallel plain with no kids. The quiet is unnerving, really. I stay working, productive, typing. No wine to speak of last night and I’m quite glad if you should know. Was too tired, too drained from day and wasn’t in any kind of oeno-analytic act or mood, desire. Not at all. Building my collection again. Becoming a “professional consumer” as I told my friend yesterday at lunch. What the hell is that. I don’t know. But it sounds cool. Sounds like a job I’d want, could designate to self. Couldn’t I? Of course. Where do I start. One bottle. When and where do I get it. How ‘bout Oliver’s on way home. Done. Agreed. Get two. One for immediate consumption or at least near, proximal drinking and the other for never. Drink it when you’re fucking 70 or something. Forget about it. The project becomes wine-burdened as I knew it would. It had to. People call me all kinds of wine names and distinguish as some wine-whatever. I’m none of that. I don’t want any of that. I’m a recorder, recording everything, about wine and all else. The day in front of me will feed me ideas for this professional consumer curiosity and who knows what else. Wine leads, I write alongside not following but blindly in tow. What am I after tonight… Pinot? Cab? Have too much of that with regular shelf-pull. How about a Zin, or a Rhône blend, or a….
There is no happenstance in patterns.
In YOUR patterns.
Sonoma County. A cup of coffee, quiet house finally, and thinking about where I live and all the time I put into the wine industry. What did it do for me if anything well of course it did something. What. What precisely. To write about wine. To never again set foot in a tasting room on anyone’s clock but my own. Transported last night by that Pinot, sitting on the wood floor of this Autumn Walk home, the floor bothering me but me sipping through it and writing through it, seeing my book of some sort of shape being finalized, here and there and taking me from here to there.
And of course it comes on, “In A Sentimental Mood”. Arguably my one Coltrane track that speaks to me like no wine or tasting room, not even the vineyard walks, did, do. Seeing me in the late afternoon, on my deck, looking out at my vineyard. Kids in house waiting for dinner. There are wines that do that, sometimes. Last night was one. The Bernardus. A Pinot. 2014. A vintage I’ve always thought was overlooked, or underestimated, underrated. I just thought, she fly me somewhere. Back to Burgundy or to some part of a Carmel or Monterey beach. I should be on a run right now but I couldn’t dismiss what me called, put me in this seat, instructed me to further be instructed and mentored by the Pinot’s physiology and psychology. She spoke with temperament and tenacity. She put me on a Road back to Monterey, back to the classroom. Yes I write about wine but more what wine embodies and connotes more than denoted. The inference of a Pinot bottle like that, to be in your current clock and time on clock like you’ve never before practiced.
Out of wine’s industry and in another business, one that allows and invokes more wine writing from me. Wine was the institution, the university if you will, its industry and all the tasting rooms over the years that is, and now I’m here. Helping build a business and thinking of a vineyard, my vineyard, the one I’ll soon see after achievements or certain goals that become ribbons or laurels. Laureling myself into new wined pages, here in the kitchen, in the morning, seeing and understanding toward what I’m headed. That Pinot did this, whirled and wove certain spells around me which I have no intention of dismissing. Keep me trapped, I beg the notes I remember…. Jazzy cinnamon lanes doused in smiling cherry cirrus, thin but not dismissible.
In Sonoma County, writing about another county and one of its AVA’s, just dreaming and planning, writing way there. And I ask myself, “What exactly do I want from wine, wine’s character aggregate and dialect. I don’t know if I know, yet. That’s what I love. That’s what wine encircles ideologically to me, for me. Just seeing where the Road goes, where your narrative’s to be thrown. So many want you to know that they know so much about wine and wine areas, growing regions, how the industry works and their story in the business…. okay, but then what. Why not be more professing of exploratory urge rather than advertising your fabricated mastery? Try going from there to here, where you’re just on your Road, seeing, perceiving, tasting, dreaming, writing and re-writing.
Just sipping some Monterey Pinot, wishing I’d de facto be sipping it in Monterey. But I’m here right where I need be. Babies upstairs in their dreams. Me with glass left, and thinking about what the wine announces to me. She’s exuberant, evasive and pensive in the sip contact but when glass is down I’m left reciting something to self with which I’m unfamiliar. About wine and my eventual vineyard, Jack and Emma laboring, assisting, with block inspections and sorting, even olfactory consideration when in lab. I look down at the glass and prolong the next kiss. I seek to wait, fancifully I want her to wait. Tonight wine principally and this writer have a discussion about us… our past and future the constant current of thoughtful and philosophy currency with me on this wood plank ground. Wine and I will ne’er be chasm’d, or sent to separate sets. We’re coherently coded and with each other arrested. Effusive ebbs in our sittings, walking around juxtaposed enclaves, France and San Francisco, somewhere in Mendocino, Napa, Santa Barbara, Monterey. This Pinot has me on the beach, there with wife when we’d visit her parents when they there lived. Monterey has always riles and magnified Pinot Noir for me in ways my county cant. Not sure why, if its the vocal raspberry and cherry painting or the terrestrial spice equation. I don’t know. I’m not trying to know. I’m caught and I’m smitten, I’m stolen from where I am on this study floor.
She reminds me to stay in wine’s page and paragraph cascade. I would never use scores, I will never write those flabby flop-drop reviews the “experts” or wine “writers” cook in popular pubs. I’m here, with her, this Pinot as she sways and plays in her versified daze, having me in my analytically excessive maze. This is me, what I write, how I write. Wines like this do just this to me, and I go to sleep seeing my vineyard and the Madigan babies doing something out there, either hounding the rabbits or counting rocks, vines, or looking up at birds above certain clone blocks.
I’m back in Monterey, on sand, sipping this and scribbling something either significant or just for the moment itself and that’s just what wine should be each occasion, each breath and turn of head and looking at rocks, the seals on the Monterey docks.
The wine now mollifies, has an oceanic framing to its recital and prophesying, perambulation. Holding the glass to nose and typing with one hand, right, she instructs me to do just this THIS, for relationship’s sake, for understanding composition. Not just the wine but writing itself. Wine is writing. I’m. Not just writing wine or “about” wine but pushing these keys for the writing act itself. Composition. A 1A class. In seat and reading each line for its meteoric assembly and accentuation. I’m caught, newly coded, shown IT. What all this around is for, and why I’m here, doing what I’m doing with wine and literature…. Exacted in newly vinified habit. Monterey, her Pinot Noir rows, me, words, thoughts, sights of years from now, and now. My newly set Now. Another moving of puddle, she says more, now singing. Rocks and sand, sea Highway 1, Carmel, the tasting room, the first time I went to Bernardus.
Up still. Moving still. I started my 4am story, the pages sequencing from this day forward with the antithesis of control. Going to get coffee. First expense of day. Moving money around, toward my business, and this blogs & chapbooks idea. Today, back in Berkeley. Hit a bit of traffic on way back to Sonic but time highly utilized for meditation, thinking of all the projects I now have hovering over me. Was contacted today to possibly do some wine industry consulting. Am raising rates, as the questioned project is outside anchoring sight of mikemadigancrEATive. I’ll see what happens.
In adjunct cell, nearly caught up on everything. Thought I was much more behind, but apparently I’ve been as tireless as I boast in these posts. I am axiomatic and pragmatic, to some sense. Just a couple notes for class, so far. Tonight I’m keeping simple. A think tank, blended with open mic attributes, associated with just newly generated thoughts and journal readings and who knows what else. Making a master list, a new one yes, of all my projects. I’ll inventory which ones I hit day to day, or try. 6:17 and need that coffee. Need to write whilst I teach and offer my ideas.
This morning being at gym— or let’s start with waking, alarm playing its odd tune looped at 4am and me sitting up, rubbing eyes and forehead, saying to self I can go back to dreams for just a bit. Then a commander, a sergeant of some sort in my character ordered, NO. Don’t you dare.
So I didn’t. I dressed, laced, grabbed wallet and phone and earphones, keys. Out door by 4:06 I think. At gym shortly after and on tread at 6.2 speed before 6:30. I had my eight miles, and when done, I walked over to friend from Sonic, Mr. Abraham, who was in the corner jumping rope like an over-caffeinated rabbit, so precise and so quiet in the swings and diagonal throws with the rope and his hops coupled. We talked for a bit, and I headed home. Paused in the parking lot as I hoped to. Smelled air as I saw myself doing last night when I thought about the walk back to car after 8, if I hit 8. And I did. Warmer than I thought it’d be. When home, sparkling water and look at oven clock. 5:52. All that done by 5:52. Before six. I have to make this habit. Religion. I said to myself sipping the bubbled H2O like I’d been lost somewhere remote and had only dreamt of thirsty ending the entire time.
Now I’m here. The typing helps, and I know the coffee will fully bring this writer back to his lively literary life. Need cinnamon in it, anything to keep me in my character’s code and courting till home when I open that blend from Napa. Or do I want something else? Do I have anything else? Need to budget for a massive wine purchase. Talking about wine wakes me as well. No surprise. Very much now up, flying over these keys and laptop and to all walls and borders of this shared adjunct office. Over and over, going over the morning. The alarm, tying shoes, drive there and back, the water, and me now after the eight miles, over twelve hour past.
Let ‘100’ students go early. Came to adjunct cell, and here I finally get a breath. Meeting after meeting at work, among other surprises, but I maintain my character composition and ready for tomorrow’s 4AM rise. I’m doing it. Going to write each step in this effort. Even the failures. Even the falls and follies. Now I collect, I envision me on that treadmill, hitting mile 8. Has to be eight miles. I figure if I get there by 4:20 I can with no problem or impediment get to my 8. Eating light tonight, especially after late lunch in field with Brandon, Chinese place I haven’t been to since I worked at the store next-door when it was still Long’s. When I was in graduate school. That long ago. 2004. Now I feel old. The run tomorrow will have me feeling young. And that’s not really the aim, just a change of habits. Even if I wake early and don’t work out, I’ll have risen early, and more than likely written something for either this blog or some poem, some chapbook idea, something.
4AM. My new topic. Wine is still there, here with me in my writing back and forth, but the hour of 4AM and what I do in a day, how I make use of every hour, every minute in those hours, now for example I could have very easily left campus and went somewhere for a glass of wine which I very much saw myself doing. No, though. I came here to write. That’s not to say I won’t have some wine after, maybe a glass at Whole Foods bringing in the Sonic of Burgundy journal, scribbling a bit, planning my run tomorrow and the marathons I plan on doing next year the year I turn 40.
No more concern for turning that age. Age, something numeric and having no contingency on quality or Personhood, behavior, story itself. Yes, my body may not move as it could when I was 16 or 18, 21. But, note what I wrote, “may not”. I can see myself waking tomorrow, having fallen asleep in running shirt, shorts. I put my shoes by the door, laces untied and spread to sides of shoes. All I have to do is hop in them, grab keys and wallet and GO. When there, stretch, then fly. Have music cued. Listen to music I’ll run to while driving there, the 24 on Industrial. I’m ready, after talking at lunch with Brandon about a change he made in his lifestyle and character way recently. And then someone else, a couple weeks ago, telling me the same. Then someone else…. My turn, now.
Ce soir, bed early. Writing should be done during day, morning. Always. Night should be meditative and preparative for day next. Always. The students, hope they’re using this time in some productive and creative way, and if not nothing I can do. I can only do for my story, ME, my health. 8 miles. Walking back to the car after the eight, I can already feel that air, see the sun still repressed and suppressed by night prior. Sky still purple, air feeling like colors I see— streetlights and stars, parked cars, little winds. All congratulating me, embracing me after when I just did, what I’ve started.
empirical routine. Always asking students about their writing and reading habits and now this morning I wonder how well I know. My own. Wrote sentence in Happiness Project journal, took a couple pictures, and I’m off. 4 shot mocha, right. I mean business, the most loud and quickest, non-revising business this morning. Felt self getting stressed about papers I have to grade and when am I going to do them, literally seeing self stall in car after I parked, and I told myself to just KEEP MOVING. So here I am, moving. Keep the self moving. The only option if we’re to get what we want. Colleague the other day stopping me, mid-talk, politely mind you, to let me know I was using ‘I’ a lot in what I was vocalizing. Part of me internally sent self to defensive direction and thought positioning, but then I stopped self. Listen, I said. I did. Realizing I’m doing it again, I reach to readers, to YOU… listen to those around you. What you observe and what’s around you immediately is meant to educate. Another lesson from the tech office, from Sonic as an idea and place where I work, do business, build my business and self, write from the break room or field.
08:22. Having Mondays off, much to a writer’s delight and benefit. I have to write in the ‘I’ of it all this morning, as this writer considers further his routine, what he does for his blog and pages, what he wants. Should I teach next semester? Was able to sign onto one class, but I’m wondering if I should even do that. How much will that take from Sonic, from my writing? As I see it, I have till semester’s end to make these semesters end. To only have this to do. And, of course, business efforts and projects creative. Took Sonic, or supersonic, journal out. Wrote something. Nevermind what. I’m here writing. Refusing to stop moving. But I need set tangible aims, goals I can check off as so many do, as Tasha does on her legal pad. Have always admired people who could do that, make it that simple. I am just bewitched by it… how do they do that? How does she? Literarily every morning. I just did, well tried. Three goals. Easy and attainable. Written in journal so it has to happen, right?
Think this could be a routine…. Happiness sentence, type, then journal. OR maybe it’s just an idea, something I’m working on. But isn’t everything? Writing about writing in a journal, about keeping one, about what a journal should do for the one keeping it. Lessons in the morning and how I react to it, to the people around me in this Yulupa Starbucks. When was the last time I wrote here, and why did I feel it so crucial to write here this morning? What brought me here aside from the wheels, the engine, turn of a key (even though no key was in any way turned)?
Not liking what I’m writing—
“Start a fucking novel.” I just wrote. WHAT? What made you write that? A novel? WE, have to set realistic goals here, Mike. And I’m not trying to be instructional or even so much inclusive as with ‘we’ utterances. A novel? About what? The wine industry? Wine? Being an adjunct? Working in a tech office from the wine and teaching pews? What if I wrote one. A novel. And it took me somewhere… wait, why DID I just write that in the journal? This goddamn journal and my supersonic writings, getting me into trouble.
Watching Ratatouille with Jack. Haven’t ever viewed this movie in its aggregate, but I am presently. Like the dialogue lines and principle parlance, and the character who writes about restaurants, has his column, is a known restaurant critic or something. Has me thinking about having my column. Some column. Thought of bottledaux being its own publication as it already is and then I framed of the inward jots being their column, about trying to find total happiness or balance, or .. I don’t know. And I know I’m overthinking.
Scratching face. Have to shave. I remember one time when I lived alone sipping a Pinot while shaving, before a St. Francis Winery xmas party. Why don’t I just shave every day to wine, make it more enjoyable, I ask myself. Wine, write about wine. Everything I do with wine. Only write about wine I tell myself. Happiness is in that. Work is in that, intuitively. The inward jots and bottledaux as an idea. If this is my first article, have it be a vow, a manifesto of some kind. Wine is always part of my day and lectures, even when only talking about hat first paragraph in On The Road. Everything connects back to wine, makes me think of what I’ll the night sip. Where I am, what I’m doing. With wine.
Just had a little of the ’09 Lancaster Cabernet that I opened last night, the 375. Poured the rest into the sink. The drain and all is pipes and curves and inner passages that I can’t bloody see better’ve fucking enjoyed. Low on wine in this house. Been saving money for, something. I think of the wine shop up the street. What’s for me there, what wants to be written about. What will I sip first when back in Paris. What did Mom and Dad sip last night in Sunriver. What are my old tasting room friends doing now, how many of them are still doing the tasting room circuit, the tour de tasting rooms. What do I want now, what could I do now.. should I open the Zin now, the one I bought last night at Oliver’s? Just thinking about wine, what’s in the bottle and what it has to say to me. What I’d be sipping now if I were on a trip, in my hotel room now after giving a talk on literature or writing, or even tech.
Tech, my tech job, what made me more of a writer and wine bloke than I’ve ver been.
Watching the main rat in this movie, his passion for food, his love of the kitchen and what the cooks do. The move tells me to follow with wine, from everything else I do like my tech life which I so much love and am cosmically moved by, well as my teaching at the JC and dad life which now has my motions and sights. The room, the day, telling me my vineyard is close. The day I walked into the tasting room for the first time to work, over 12 years ago, I only cognized that wine was something that made people smile, that wine was life and a vacation and where we are, what my family devoted so much to. What was on the table, and now over 12 years forward I’m thinking wine. Wine. What she says to my sitting and immediacy, in this movie as the critic sips it, and later tonight while noting in my journal, mon petite tablette.