10/18/16 – Tonight I’m writing freely, sipping

a new Cabernet from Napa, from a small but beneficent label.  One of those stories I only img_7711want to mimic.  Would have written earlier, but I thought it the need and the optimal for the writer to speed to vineyards, walk around an take pictures.  Be a photog’… or a writer that loves photography which is more the case.  I have thoughts in head and Mom told me not to be too wordy with my reactions to these wines so I won’t.  And she’s astute, my amiably-set mama.  She urges, more than her assertion of not being “too wordy”, to just be me.  More conversational about wine, no so syllabically analytical, or at least that’s what I read into and from her speak.  So these wines, like new characters on the stage— unexpected and theatrical, but not overstepping.  A Chardonnay, which I always have trouble listening to, no matter how it’s crafted and cared-for.  Then the Cabernet, which has that flex and broadness, but with unexpected Victorian angularity— romance, and a dactylic disposition you wouldn’t forecast for a Cab.

Tonight the writer’s in his wine mood and mode.  Wish I could play some Hutcherson, but the babies are asleep.  And wish I had the energy and concentration to get to a thousand words but the wine’s catching the writer.  Still, thought, this beatnik writeth.  I’m like Dean as he parks cars.  Sal, as he observes everything around him and listens to the jazz with Dean but doesn’t quite know what he’s seeing but looks anyway and writes about it later.  This is my maison, this book, this story, told in wine’s accompaniment— a movie and just a moment, not so Hollywood or theatrical but if you spent a couple days in a tasting room you’d see the stage, the act, the interaction, the dialogue that begs to be captured.  Yes, I’m more than liberated in this sitting with my Cabernet glass, here at the desk with barely any light above the writer.  Just the way I prefer it— like I’m in some dark bar, overseas, writing while everyone else connects to conversations that go nowhere, conversations I capture and use for my book— people in the corner playing pool, talking about what to drink next, but I’m writing, sipping wine and digging in my own brain for ways to make their speech more seraphic.

Evening, this, sovereign.  Still with a bit of Cabernet in glass.  Surprised and a bit proud of Self for not drinking it too speedily.  My book, narrative, begs wine’s involvement.  Stepping slow in that vineyard block today made it more than clear.  I’m under the lights with wine, in front of an audience, talking back and forth— wine trying to categorize me, me just sipping it but trying to sound like some expert or critic or voice that should be heard.  We frustrate each other, but can’t stay away from the other.  Odd love whirl.  Not so much wind, but ink from my urges rescinds.  Why.  Why need there be a restart?  Refocus on moment.  Look at images.  No act.

Action Adds

With last glass of this red, and thinking about my time at the desk today, writing and rewriting tasting notes for the winery, how that re-charged and re-catalyzed, reinforced my interest in wine a bit, to just enjoy it as I enjoy it.  A run-on, but that’s what happens when I think about wine, and how I think about anything wine-aligned .. rules are defied, altogether dismissed.

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Emma cry, me going upstairs and Alice following, Alice sending me out of room so she can take over.  And a good thing, as she has that Mommy power than I’m in no way capable of mimicking.  Now on floor of living room.  Not atmospheric light tonight, just what’s on in kitchen.  And… tranquil.  Then Alice texts me from upstairs apologizing for chasing me out of the room, and I return with an apology for talking to Em when I should have just rocked her with no eye-contact (old parent trick, I guess).  I’m still learning, I guess.  I indulge in this quiet, and this downstairs writing peace, as it’s my truest of addictions.  More than wine or anything else (and there is nothing else.. if I had any vice, it’d be wine, but that’s so kept in check it doesn’t really impact or “count”).  Now I just think, and think quietly aloud in words, my venom and vivacity contained and colluded.  Summer starting in 4 days.  Have the coffee cued and the tumbler taken from car and put in position for early brewing, as Jack’s lately been rising at just after five.

Glad I had that last sip of red, feel like I had a couple cups of the French or Medium.  Tomorrow back in tasting room, and hopefully hosting some private groups that I can img_4268interact with and talk wine, and about wine as I do.  Need quotes prepped, like the one from Emerson where he he speaks of wine washing cares away, freeing him, cleaning him.  Tomorrow morning, my only goal: a toweringly prodigious essay.  500 words.  On anything—  parenting, teaching, writing, wine, punctuation.  Anything.  Anything I would read in front of an audience— no, a class.  A class at Stanford.  Now part of my business plan.  500 word read-pieces.  Would love to write a piece on the tasting room as an analogy for curiosity and self-education.  People overlook that, I think.  No—  I KNOW.

Quiet is odd when you’re a parent.  Which is precisely what gives it its befuddling and ensnaring rectitude.  Right now, no one calls.  Nothing calls.  Just this wood floor, the thoughts and visions of  a lecture at some campus on the East Coast.  I can see the writer talking about the semicolon in some Ivy League hall, the one where I call it “mutant punctuation”, and “insulting page decorative” (notes I made in the Dutcher tasting room on one of the many pieces of paper scratch/scrap by the register [my idea]… always propelled there, with those working en masse with the writer..).

Already thinking about that first cup, cometh morrow.  Yes, that’s addiction, but at this point in my life, and after running 11-point-something miles yesterday, I could give a shit.  And I do and don’t.  I’m in a free-spirited thought frolic that’s not only emboldening but inciting, I want pugilistic percussion with other writers. My mold newest, the competitive wildcat, wholly inviting ring occupancy.

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The wine tonight, amazingly arranged jazzy synchrony and tasty tremolo, varying shades.  So convincing and animated, diverse and dimensional from palate’s spark to stop.  Deliciously dactylic, this Cab’s a poet with no fear of reading, narrating, reciting ruth of where its from and what it wants from its audience.  Sipping it, I feel caught and not tense.  No concern for or from where or when.  I just walk with its suggestion, tone, suggestive tone.  Its versatile in its versification, just listening to what it say, calming thesis and what a deed it is to sip, careless carousel of color and communicative code…

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So For Singularity

IMG_3595At this point in the writer’s life.  Home from another trying day at winery.  I’m 37 and nothing’s different, I feel.  Perhaps that’s the advantageous disposition to perpetuate, who knows.  But the writing, running, fathering adjunct sits at this home office desk with a cup of decaf, after having some of the left over pulled pork from last night, a glass of sparkling rosé then a small shot of SB.  Now to my glorious not-so-coffee coffee.  Have all tomorrow off, and all Wednesday off.  Plan tomorrow is to wake when I do and fly to the keys, write for blog, for the Summer, have Summer be completely written.  Have Summer be the perfect semester, as I set Self to do with Spring.  Came a bit close, but didn’t end with loudness and rile I wished for, that I envisioned.  So I hope more, plan more, more acutely, sip my decaf.  Want to wake early, early.. can’t say ‘4AM’— shit, I just did.  Now I’m hexed, now I won’t.  Why’d I do that?  More thoughts, more storming brain, thinking of my own label, one themed literarily, around Kerouac and Dostoevsky, Hemingway, Plath.  Making a to-do list for morrow, one I don’t in anyway see myself satisfying, but I’m writing everything down to, 1, see how much I can list, and, 2, see how many aims I can appease.

Don’t even notice the clutter on the writer’s desk.  Then I do.  Phone, pens, papers to grade (shocker), cords, a beanie I sometimes wear on runs, keys, the one-sentence-a-day journal…  Already with 8 items on ‘2do’.  Would love to fit in a wine tasting, somewhere, at some point.  Where.  Want it to be close.  I think there’s small small wineries, or tasting rooms at the end of Piner, aren’t there?  Investigate.  Added to list.. “wine tasting”.  And just one spot.  Want to grow in my hobby state with wine.  Have as little a job or anything serious as I can.  Just enjoyment.  Like with the Quivira Grenache from last night.  We just drank it.  Katie and I discussed a bit what we tasted, what notes and suggestions and what be, then we just drank.  And drank to enjoy drinking wine with each other, a writer and a winemaker.  IT was lovely.  Dad, the Philosophy Major/traveled bloke/collector was also at the table, as well as Uncle Tim (“T”), just enjoying wine and the story of the moment.  That’s what wine is, and that’s what I want my relationship with wine to be.  Yeah, it’s a business.  I get that. But I don’t, and won’t, ever think of it as a job, or work, or something I have to do.  It’s a hobby, it’s love, it’s joy.  It’s wine.  That’s what IT should be.  It’s a story.

I’m thinking anything but singularly right now, it might seem, but I am.  Just to this blog, my business, BOTTLEDAUX— one bottle, one author, one story— the narrative of the writerfatherrunneradjunct.  And sometimes the order of that severely compounded concept changes and self-manipulates.  My life, here forward, is bottled.  And me, the Ox, with one story.  A story of stories.  Now up to 11 items on morrow’s list.  The last addition, “Read”.  And I’m hoping to read something by Kerouac, thinking I’ll return to ‘Road’, read at my pace, for my journey, for the objective of having no objective, just the story itself, the addiction to momentum.

Today meeting a girl, ‘E’, who’s soon to leave her job to drive all about the country, just IMG_3618like Sal and Dean, find her finds and grow in her narrated growth.  And again I’m reminded of my apexing aim:  Travel.  What I’ll write about on Road, I don’t know, but I know I need to see, move, see while moving, write while looking out the window of a plan like I did in ’06 on the way to Virginia to my now-sister-in-law’s wedding.  Remember looking down at the clouds, flying ‘cross a country to an event while the whole time looking at the clouds and knowing that no one has seen what my father has seen and in the multitude he’s seen it.  Other pilots, yes, maybe—  OR, no!  Not with his vision, his Philosophy palate of the visuals.  I felt like my father, for a second, with that job satisfaction, with that elevation (yes a pun, but not planned).  If I could do what ‘E’ is about to do, I’d have notes beyond inventorying, too multitudinous to quantify.

Have eaten horrendously today, so I calculated and deduced, “Why not have some M&Ms with decaf, why not have another decaf?” Tomorrow, more stringent with my intake, and my run has to be ten miles, early, no treadmill.  Thinking I’ll launch from here, run out to Southern Fulton, which would be southern Santa Rosa.  IF that’s possible.  And, I need register for a ‘half’ tomorrow.  Added to list…  More I wonder, why’s it so challenging for me to wake at 4?  If I did, could get 3 items scratched.  Maybe even 4.  Up to 13 items now, Alice reminding me I need to get little Kerouac some allergy medicine.  Have to remember to take mine, as I was dying this afternoon while talking to ‘E’ on that lovely outstretch of lawn above the Chardonnay and SB blocks.

Alice goes upstairs and I indulge in the singularity of this desk, my empty coffee cup, this laptop…..  That sneeze.  10:07, have ‘nough time for one more decaf lap.  Or not.  Sleep appeals currently.  And my rest if plenty will make 4AM more a rational target.  4AM, so early, but so helpful… not motioning, this studio at that hour.  No cries, no calls, no demands, just me and the dark, the quiet and quiet’s acumen.  It’s an addictive level of singularity.  I can only be more in need of it, the more I do it.  Then it becomes habit.

(5/30/16)

6:41AM

Went upstairs to help a bit with Emma and Jack, “Papa we’re good if you wanna go get more sleep.” Alice said.  “Sure, thanks.” I answered.  I thought walking down the stairs what the fuck that would do for me, getting more sleep.  Nothing.  It’s Tuesday, one of the more stressful days of the week as the timetable has to be very much adhered to with the weekly cleaning crew which we can barely afford coming by, me having to drive all the way up Dry Creek to Dutcher from Bennett Valley where Jack’s school is.  Now, on the couch in that conservatively dispersed bluish morning radiance.  Sitting crosslegged on the couch which I never do— Newness, right?  What I need.  And usually, I would have gone back to sleep.  But this morning the dire diarist voice about me prohibited such laydown, surrender.  Hear some bird, distant, calling for something.  The echoes of bird shouts seem clearer and more distinct, sharper or more metallic for some reason, I don’t know.  Balance this morning, between all my lives; roles, characters, voices and sights— the parenting parcel not tiring me, chipping away at my compositional composure as it has been the past few days.  Writerfathers need be relentless with their types – Writerfathers must NEVER let themselves tire, never let the self exhaust the Self or talk it into defeat – the writerfather need harness Self to a new focus, and assure that renewed Personhood that his goals will be touched and attained; sipped and upon reflected.

Just remembered I have some notes in the Passat which is being worked on at a shop up the Road from Jackie’s school— shit.  More added to the already compacted and impacted timetable, timeline, timehole.  So what now, what does the writerfather implement and employ for resolution?  Not sure.  I’ll think of something as I’m going, as the Story carries me with it and hopefully it’s kind and not aiming its goddamn cosmic cannon at me as it has been these past few days, or that other week (can’t remember precise dates as it was so taxing, getting lost in days like yesterday and one before).  Not at all being a protester with such notes, but disclosing Truth and what I see, did feel, and it can only be true, TRUTH, the story was testing me, making sure that I can do it— by ‘it’, the thousand words a day, the writing life, the traveling ahead of me.  Writerfathers would love to write 3000 words a day but for most of us that’s not logical, nor practical, just not doable.  A thousand words a day is humble, yet worth an applaud.  And I quietly clap in my head for my new Self this morning, flying straight to the keys and letting this Self have a moment.. thinking about yesterday’s sessions, the 1A especially how I’m always tired at that time and need coffee but yesterday composing, ready for discussion on Composition and writing, our lives on the page— teaching.  Took notes on the back side of the last page in my Comp Book, “What I Want” I wrote at top, underlined…  Of course, writing everywhere in the brainstorming, then teaching.. wine was only a secondary push, more or less a hobby I guess you’d say.  So, I thought more.. do I see myself lecturing or pouring, wiping down a counter and drying glasses?  Have to think more… of course, if it’s my winery, then I’m fine with all those things— and even if it’s someone else’s like Debra’s or Glenn’s, but… but…..  I have to think, storm more in my meditative arena.  Can’t answer too quick.  But wine is there, working FOR and under the writing.  The ’12 I finished last night from Pride didn’t have the fire I tasted the night prior, coming home from Mom and Dad’s.  Was like the wine was furious with me, not talking to me as I left it half-used that night.  Why did I do that?  ‘Cause I had to be up yesterday at 5:45 at the latest.  I had to be “responsible”.   You know, mature or whatever.  The ’12 didn’t care.  It was done talking to me.  I messed up.

7:01AM— my eyes on the time to avoid stress mirroring the last few days.  After this session, or crosslegged sitting I’ll brush teeth, maybe even get dressed, find what I can to wear as I haven’t been to the BV dry cleaners in weeks.  Now what the wife of this writingfather does is fold the pants just as they come from the dryer, bless her.  And it works.  Yes another expense I can remove and not have to dread.  Do I have money for coffee this morning, or am I using the CC for that?—  Just thoughts to myself, writing and budgeting and trying to plan.. bring everything to winery, work on your break, fuck eating, why eat, no writing gets done that way— “You can work and eat at the same time, right?” – NO.  Just work, grade papers so tomorrow morning when you get to campus you can write from about 6:30 to 7.  Then write more from about 9 to 11.  Think I have a “plan” or some paginated measure for the next 24 or so hours.  But what does the writing do when or and after it’s posted?  Just sit there on the blog and maybe get a handful of likes?  That’s bullshit!  I need to market each session autonomously, and angrily.

No noise coming from upstairs.  My estimate, Alice fell back asleep as did Em’ after her little meal, and little Kerouac enjoys his cartoons.  Peace, for now, but peace for writingfathers or any parents anywhere is volatile at best.  So I type toward a thousand, hold my breath, daydream and envision coffee in front of me with the spirit rising from the black puddle— love.  More me after I have that, the smoldering sensory envelopment— like Plath with her affirmation of ‘I am’, and Tolstoy telling me if I want to be happy then ‘be’.  I will be today.  And all calendar corners succeeding.

I’m whole and somehow holy after a thousand.

Go To Desire Here

After the day’s length and intensity, I’m drained and very much surrendered.  The mood has landed on my shoulder and has its tail around my neck, vengeful little tail around my neck.  But then gone after a glass of port, then another.  Never, and I mean NEVER, do I drink port.  But I feel like Kerouac sitting in that chair looking out the window, having his friends visit.  Won’t reach 3000 words today, or by 12AM tonight and I’m more than eased with that.  The barrels, just sitting there, seeming to do nothing but so much doing internally—  makes the writer think about, well, everything.

Alice telling me she wanted it quiet in the room upstairs while feeding Emma after I asked her if she wanted me to look for the remote.  So downstairs, here with this port, me the same— quiet and thinking, reading and envisioning, and making sure this is my last glass of this Dutcher port.  The writer need wake early, 4AM, or 5, for the 3000.  What if I hit my number before the Dry Creek drive?  MY book nears, I know, and I feel the first flight, my first travel to a show, a talk or booked lecture on writing and blogging, SELF-PUBLISHING.. budgeting for pages and publication of Self…  I have to thank the port for this.  But I can feel the effects pattering about my shoulders, forearms and fingers, disrupting the session.  So I space my sips.. think of Dad on the Road, landing a plane then going to his hotel room.  Why didn’t he write?  Or maybe he did.  He does write, Mr. Madigan, and quite finely, but never pushing it anywhere, though he very much could like with the short story about his last flight on the 737 with the shrinking time surplus.  I remember reading it years ago, when we still lived in Bayview, and thinking how believable it felt, the story imposing its feel on me the reader, like I was the pilot stressing over time.

This Autumn Walk studio is expansively different at night.  No Jackie imposing his reign down here, throwing whatever and playing with his toys, demanding more time watching cartoons.  And with Alice and Emma upstairs for their feeding session, leaving me down here, to write, for the first time today at actual keys, not typing on my fucking phone, which I hate, and don’t even consider real typing, more pushing, that teeny frantic thumb aerobics— so annoying.  Much Capote had his comments on typing, what would he throw at these phone-addicted barnacles?  I feel like the old man at Dutcher, and I hate it.  Not that the others make remarks or make me feel that way, just the volatile writer has himself in such column.  Need another sip of port.  Hate thinking about or talking about and especially writing about my aging.  How the fuck did I get this old?  Port sipped, and sipped angrily.  Done for night.  Coffee at ready for morrow, last of the k-cups I was gifted for xmas.  In the morning I’ll write a thousand, do pushups, then another 1k, then duplicate.  This moment euphoric, morsel madness.  I’m closer to IT.

 

(3/19/16)

1,000 words — barrel 10

A Cabernet, one my sister made, on desk at left.  And me, after today, after the group of drunken IMG_9391southerners toward day’s close, I’m bit nervy.  but I maintain and look at the stack of books, or “tower” as Jackie said, to my right, all my books, he insisted on making a “big huge tower, Dada!”.  And I welcomed it.  It reminds me I need to write more as well as read more and mimic and study the paginated saunter of my metered beacons, these authors I follow and immerse myself in.  This could be the wine talking but I don’t care, I just follow my own impulse at the moment, and it’s not that late, only 9:57PM on this Halloween eve, my desk looking like that of a, well, a ‘Me’.. the writer/professor, working for Self, and staring at the Plath entries, the Capote short stories, Emerson’s words– Alice messages me from upstairs to tell me little Kerouac is out, “passed out baby” as she says.  And oh yes, he delighted in his costumed and canided  carousal, my little Beat.

That dog still barks, from outside, off to the right.  Annoying, but I take another sip of Katie’s Cab and retreat into wined thought, into my visions as a wine something.  Going upstairs to check on the Beat–

And indeed, very much asleep.  I remember when young always wishing that Halloween would fall on a Saturday, well.. I’m here, on a Saturday, it’s Halloween, but I’m too bloody old to enjoy it as I would have when in San Carlos, walking around the old neighborhood with my then-friends– Matt, David, Adrian, Erick, or whomever.  Time’s pocketing a severe advancement and trumping of my self-esteem this eve.  But, ‘huh’, the writer thinks, ‘nothing a little wine won’t fix!’.

IMG_9374Wine education.. Wine consumers… Wine whatever…..  Whatever Wine whatever connecting people with wine and selling wine crEATively.  How bloody hard is that?  I don;t know, but I’m knowing, I need to organize myself more, I thought all day, writing notes to the ’13 Arista Longbow Pinot, thinking about that coy sweet ebb on the last bit of palate contact.  But somms won’t want to hear that, and maybe that’s what I should go after, just write against them and challenge them kindly.. the other day at the Grower’s office I so many times hear people mention somm opinion, like it’s something they should fear or what– Wine isn;t that, it’s not fear, it’s not for the bully bull, it’s not the fear mongering tarantula “journalist”– this is definitely the wine talking, so I should have on more glass, and this is me– I’m not out “partying”, I’m not at some dimwitted useless timesuck of a wine industry “social” or openhouse.  I;m here at me desk writing, next to a stack of books my son architecture’d.  Like he wants me to read more, like he wants me to draw from this building, this tower, as I sit here.. it’s taller than me.  I don’t want to stand, I want it to continue its lurch over me, staring at me, saying ‘READ!”, “STUDY MORE!”, “Be a REAL professor!” So, then, okay.. I adjust and augment.. but that Autumn Walk mystery dog, whosever it is.. barking like a harassing howler, just wanting to puncture a poet’s peace–

And it won.  So I get more wine.

And the glass, partially full, and my thoughts are just jumbled in the optical of this book tower.. Capote’s short fictive foreards, and me with this Comp Book open, my classes ending in just over seven weeks.. or six.  Feeling like my daughter may early arrive– can’t think about that, much I want to, much I want to see little Ms. Austen in my arms and being held by Ms. Alice, and by my mother, Dad, everyone.. this is definitely the wine boasting its oration, and its stampede of confidence (it is a Cabernet afterall), but I ignore it or try–

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Admiring the sight of the night’s cap, in glass, in my moment’s immediacy but I feel like I alway play with that word, the life of the writer at his desk like that’s something to be impressed by, who am I talking to me or you– the poet knows nothing but his own fantasies– her on the page and me in control of her character and where she goes what she studies what punctuation I implement to do what.  So what.  WHAT.

Old pictures on the camera haunt me, tauntingly, the old winery and what that did to me.  But I forget it, think about my son tonight and how all he wanted was more candy in that plastic pumpkin.  That was his prime priority, just finding the prize, the sweet, for he and Addy.  Ugh.. the writer’s being overtaken by the wine now, but not drunkenness, just slowed, and the day’s as well to blame, working behind that bar, one woman saying the wine was so strong “my eyes can smell it!”.  Meant to write that down but it became so busy and I wasn’t in the mood to scribble it into the little mmc book, black, but I remembered it so that means it deserved a page, right?

And I think I’m defeated, old journal entries calling to me but I don’t know where they are, probably in some box but post-move into this Autumn Walk writer-bunker I don’t know where they’d be.  Too late to check with mother-in-law asleep in living room, Alice upstairs in her dreams with Ms. Austen inside her, and Mr. Kerouac snoring till his decision.–  Look at me, reader; 36, married and house and children and pressure but I still write– so many father-husbands turn to something, and I guess I am as well but it’s the alphabet, my cored expressionism, which is flawed in so many dimensionalites but it’s me.  So that makes me…..  I don’t know.

That dog barks again.. goddamnit!

(10/31/15)

From Remain

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My brother Kevin, inspecting the Pinot block…..

IMG_690710:04,  Mom and Dad left, and me here with the Pinot, the one a “friend” at work aside for me set.  Listening to classic rock tracks from dinner.  Dishwasher in full focal, and me here with this keyboard, indeed influenced, and more than likely not running in morrow.  And why should I when my wife was enough celestial to get my some coffee for rightafterwake.  MY wife, building her teaching career, and not settling, only advancing, having her progression ascend and never comfortably stabilize, she’s always moving and advancing–  I’ll use that as the model, her as idol, like the grapes of this vintage that continue their maturation, their storying.  This morning, walking the rows with a friend, I noticed, it came to me, the inevitability of a vintage.  It will happen.  Their will be grapes pulled and wine made.  The writer must develop as nature does: inevitably.  Tonight on the porch, sipping the Pride Syrah with Dad on the porch as little Kerouac played with his friends in minutes remaining before they were called away to bath and or bed.. he said, Dad, “It looks like something could come from these clouds,” meaning rain or some front.  That’s natural, that’s more than just simply predicted– it’s definitively systematic.  The writing need be the same, part of my climate and system and yes the wine to me codes but I entrench in my convictions and out carry my mission.  Again at the pictures, the onset of real pigment and life and visual– me lost in the night and my session, looking at bottles on counter, by kitchen– the SB and the Pinot, SRJC, that I opened a couple nights past.  And now this glass of barrel-borrowed Pinot, 2013, oh that amazing vintage– why are so many so quick to IMG_6922forget about 2012?  I’ll never get that.  And I’ll never get the innerworkings of the wine life and world and circle.  Tired, and bent from Pinot and not knowing where I’m going with this narrative– can’t wait for the novel to be done, what Mass’ does with his life and how he figures all into his story, what he wishes and what he sees, what he does wit his adjuncted reads.  My mind’s not the most sound it’s ever been, but I’m writing looking at pictures I shot this morning of Kevin and I walking that block and how the story correlates to my permanency here in this stage and moment– wish I were on travel, on some street and in some hotel unknown– is that not the life that we all want, the unknown and the unexplored?

IMG_6910Last sip–  Yes.  I know I’m one with wine and I can’t get away, not from the biological effect but from IMG_6909the character code it poses to my persona and Personhood.  I remember the first wine that really told me something, something– a 2000 Merlot, from a larger producer– An old song, Fleetwood Mac, “Dreams”, comes on, and I think and think and imagine me, the world and the time and whatever– confused and contorted– others talk but I don’t listen, at all, because they talk.  I want to feel and think and postivize, that’s me and my aim, disposition.

Can’t thank my wife enough for the coffee– can’t wait to wake and not run but just write and look at these pictures more.  But now, I drink this Pinot that my “friend” set aside for me in “her office”.

(6/27/15)

My mood, a mood, and

I think I’m of the character type that’s flawed. What if I go outside the expected with myIMG_6336 aims, actions. When I came home today, Jackie played with our new neighbors, this one little girl, 4, driving her mechanized Jeep or SUV around the street, talking to Jackie while she navigated her ship. So grown-up, he appeared, and when he and I played basketball prior to his interaction with her, I could see him growing, becoming his own character– Time with another victory over the sensitive me, writer, and what can I do but write about it.
This Meritage from K—- helps me reason this life sequence. Again with Kerouac’s Dreams, thinking of my own, and my life and sequence and passage of all things– the students past and present, and my son and next baby– what am I doing, how will I get us ahead with this writing. Normal fatherly worries, I’m sure, but even still I’m uneasy. It must be my mood, and the Meritage talking. But I’m safe in the Autumn Walk base, and with my thoughts. It’s been well over a week since I reached out to SCC and Mendo, and nothing, not a call not an email not an update. This again reiterates and is proverbially demonstrative of their solar disregard for us, adjuncts. And to be honest, who needs them– THEM. The ‘Them’, those pigs that allot our assignments and livelihood and sustenance like it’s some bloody lottery. I know I said I’d stop talking about this but it’s more than criminal, and the adjunct that just remain quiet and follow the fold and flock only stimulate the virulency of this academic ailment. And yes, ‘academic’, meaning the students, the ones we’re meant to service and actually educate are harmed, intensively. And of course these pigs’ll have some scripted counterargument, but we’re, or at least ‘I’ am not interested anymore. Not in debate not in negotiation– I’m choosing to be vocal, to be written and heard and known as a speaker, as one speaking against this, lambasting the reality of “higher education”, only lowering the morale and path itself for both educator and matriculant. And I can see it now: “He said earlier in the entry that he’s drinking wine…” Oh yes, as I need another job to support my family as anything full-time is about as feasible as Oz, and I need a couple classes, or three, 4, to calm over 9 years of subordinate uneasiness. But I was never and am NOT subordinate! These devils will hear my furious fang milling, finally.

Huh, the revered traversings I’ve spawned about the norther parcel of the state. California. Mine. My state. MINE. From Santa Cruz to here, on Autumn Walk– Avenues and El Camino, over tracks of all complexions and codes– me with the Composition Book, in new nodes. But I’m distracted in symmetrical scope, the vocational skirmish I never wanted but now somehow have– cultural betrayal and professional pitfall. And now I have children and a wife depending on me….. Dreary, yes, but I’m Montresor, not Fortunato.

(5/22/15)

For “Beginners”…

Just go out there and taste, is what we say.  And the only reason you deem yourself a “beginner,” more than likely, is because someone told you that’s where you are in your wine experience, or you’ve either intentionally or unintentionally been made to feel and see yourself as such.  We, here in the 1Stop office, believe that if you’re drinking wine, have a rough idea of what you like, then you’re as much a wine “aficionado,” “connoisseur,” “maven,” or whatever glossy term is now fashionable, as the next one tilting a glass.

Try different varietals, vintages, AVA’s, producers, winemaking styles, price points.  Just have fun.  Isn’t wine supposed to be fun?  That’s why we’re in the business, right?  Isn’t that why a wine consumer spends fought-for funds on corked containers with once-vined fruit in its borders, holding that ever-entrancing character?  When tasting, which inherently entails trial and experimentation, taste everything, even the varietals that you think you won’t like, or been told you won’t.  And especially make yourself taste the wines that aren’t fashionable, not trending.  We’d love to know what your wine experience is, what you like, when you started liking it, and what you haven’t yet sipped but soon aim to.

My first go-to varietal, or bottle rather, was a Blackstone Merlot.  I bought my first in 2002 (think the bottle’s vintage was 2000), while living in San Ramon, having company over.  I loved what I tasted, and from the little bit of research I did on Merlot’s varietal, I felt a wave of interest invade my newly-chorused wine vision.  From there, I tried Syrahs, then went through a Chardonnay phase, of course Pinot, Zinfandel (mostly from Dry Creek and Rockpile), and now I find myself a Cab hound.  All by whim, just having fun, playing with my finds.  So, we have to ask, what are some of your wine catches, finds?  Where have you been with wine, where do you want to go?  Do you have a certain level you want to reach, or are you just sipping to sip, like most of us here at 1Stop?  Let us know!  Sip, sip …

FYI – In my glass now, a nice 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, that saw a little French Oak, the rest stainless.  This bottle was given to the 1Stop office as a gift, I think.  I used to hate Sauvignon Blancs, I mean loathe them, fiercely.  This is, till I tasted one produced by a young Sonoma Valley winemaker, whose approach was different than this bottle (in that it was 100% stainless steel).  And, again, just because someone, be it yourself or another, places you in the beginner boat, don’t limit yourself, don’t not try something because it’s not a high-end or “luxury” label.  Taste what you want, what you have, whatever wine you meet.  Have fun.

-The 1Stop Crew