11/1/18—

New lunch spot in Berkeley.  Crepevine.  Ordered Denver Omelette with Coke.  Eating by self on a lunch break, finally.  No reps or leads with me.  And I love my crew, truly love.  But I needed a minute or set of minutes to self, to collect.  To write.

Lady brings over Coke and I’m more than content with my choice.  Other lunches I can cite I regret ordering what I did and not spending the time writing or doing something for writing, blogging, business.  Something.  The music of the day is more than just an encouraging nudge, but a direct instruction to make everything of the day I want it to be.  For a minute considering dropping the only class I have for next semester, but then rationalize it a marketing opportunity, and speaking practice.  Or, not so much practice but a training lab or ground for ideas new.  I see the chef or cook making my plate.  This town, as I’ve always seen it, one of activism of course but art, people and poetry, art and music, expression and freedom.  So I write in the same sense and sameness.

Chef brings over brunch.  Looks indescribable, if you must know.  You must know, I tell myself, and you. These Road notes, city to city speaking Sonic engaging the population and principle communities.  I want just a couple more sentences.  Tell self to put down just a couple more, older guy on other side of restaurant with wife and friend, looking at menus while group of younger girls sits outside and laughs, enjoying their mimosas and talking to each potter like they haven’t seen each other in ages.  This is what I do.  Write at cafés, restaurants, random places and what’s happening— Chef tosses a bunch of clean silverware in the holder at distant 12, on the other side of the counter.  Cook is on other side prepping plates, cooking or boiling, simmering something.

My time in Berkeley before working with Sonic is limited, to be brief.  I came here a couple times when I lived in San Ramon, early 2000s.  But now I’m here quite regularly.  And the feel and voice is perfect for where I am in my story.  Looking for more, more stories and more people, more experiences that contribute to my business identity and aims.  Sounds of the restaurant move me, provoke more.  I’m right where I need be.  This is where my story really begins its composition and construction.  If the Roads of Sonic and I never intersected I wouldn’t be here with this view of Shattuck, eating here, with this cold Coke, the omelette, the sliced sourdough toast, the ladies just outside the window at the small table eating salads.

Nearly done with lunch, thinking of getting a refill of Coke so I can write for a bit longer, just stay here and enjoy my time, the time to me to collect.  Lady sees me either getting ready to leave, or that’s what I think she thought I was about to do but I ask her if refills are free, she says yes and rushes to get me another.  All that remains on plate is some of the country potatoes and the sliced sourdough, which is surprisingly sour.  I’ve never found sourdough bread sour, really.  These slices are.  Not to their detriment, just I notice, that’s all

This will be my last meal out, in field, for a while.  That’s what I say now but who knows if I’ll hold to that.  Want to open a store, store front of some kind, or at least have my office set up.  Yeah, that’s what I really mean.  Just my office, my blogging hut, little literary parlor, outside home.  I pick at the bread, again.  I’m unusually relaxed.  And not just here at Crepevine, here in Berkeley, but today.  Today is a day for me like few are.

Catch myself spacing out a bit, and pull myself back to keys.  UPS driver a couple tables behind me having something for his lunch break I calculate, then chef tells one of the girls from outside group that he’s going to bring out some specialty crepe, complimentary.  I look up at see Chef holding crepe on plate with some mint leaves around it and a birthday candle.  Woman comes back in to check on it carrying her little one.  Candle lit and Chef’s daughter, I’m assuming walks it out, carefully.  She looks uncomfortable in each step, like she’s never walked out a candled plate before.  Hear them all singing, then clapping, then nothing but cars on Shattuck and the music they have playing in car.

What’s right in front of me, what I write about.  At least now.  And maybe onward.  Take fork into hand scooping some peppers and bit of onion and potato, bite.  Wonder how I’m still hungry but I only had that cereal at desk this morning.  I look down at a more barren plate and realize I am still hungry.  Need to wait.  Need to write, what’s here for me in Berkeley, my new writing city, the streets and communities and the more collective community of this area.  Couple more bites and push plate forward with napkin atop.  I’m done.  Now, just sipping the Coke refill and typing.  Man walks in and asks questions then leaves, thanks the lady for something.  Directions possibly.  I can see this as me when I’m on the Road, like this but more expansively, in other states and countries.  What’s in front of me, my topic.  Restaurant staff ever-observant of what happens around them, who’s here and who’s walking by and the ones that actually stop here.  And am I ever please with my election to here stop, order the Denver, sit here by window.

Readying to leave.  Walk over to crew in the Safeway parking lot.  Chef talks to hostess, which I think might be his wife.  He jokes with her about a dollar bill, about money or something.  All in fun and good.  Feel a bit tired, sip Coke, more people come in.  Rub right eye once.  Then I tell self not to leave.  I don’t want to leave.  Pies in display case behind me and to left, chef and consistent cook laughing about something.  Wanting a shop of my own…. But of what.

Again catching self in an overthinking maelstrom

I leave the house.  Come to downtown Santa Rosa, to Beer Baron.  A place I’ve only been once.  Ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, one I’ve never had before and don’t think beyond that.  Just enjoying this whim, this sudden cruise downtown.  Not sure where the direction of the writing’s going, and I don’t need know.  To the characters I was thinking of in the tasting room.  Yes…. The two that are behind the bar and want to get out of the industry, starting their own wine gallery.  That’s what they call it at first…. I came here just for this, for new ideas and brainstorming, not be at the drawing board but to draw a board of ideas.

All this before class.  All of it, of this, my new stories and wine thoughts, wines I’ve tasted recently, yesterday with the St. Francis Chardonnay then some Kobler Viognier when home.  Everything in the pages, on them, constituting them.

This place, a serious bar more than a restaurant or any wine bar I could see myself opening.  Earlier thinking of self as failed in some wine aims and dreams.  As the waitress just now puts down the glass, I find I’m not in any way “failed”.  Have I even really started?  What if this could be my office, everyday, I think.  Come here and work from noon to whenever.  Why not.

I stare at the Sauvignon Blanc for a bit before smelling it, and much before tasting.  I let it be a symbol, a reminder of wine’s life in my life, its presence and my past and present, all futures.  I won’t let self take a sip just yet, but rather draw my characters at their winery, at day’s end, having a glass of Pinot on the patio. They talk about just going for it.  Saving whatever they have saved and putting it into some wine business.  A brokerage, they think.

But then I as the writer put the idea on hold and think of how I’ll approach them, this story.  Their stories.  The wine story coupled with their stories and mine.  I stop everything and focus on them, Jane and Elly.  Jane out from somewhere in the midwest, always wanting to work in the wine industry, years ago and now here and tired of being tasting room locked.  Elly, from San Francisco leaving her corporate corner to be in wine’s everything.  She’s worked two harvests, then to tasting room as production for some reason just wasn’t her thing.  She knew why, and didn’t know why.  She loves the winemaking process of course and everything that goes into harvesting and fermentation, barreling-down lots and pressing, even the shoveling of tanks.  But the people in the tasting room and the words they’d say, the interactions with people, called to her and wouldn’t let her ignore.

I take my first sip of the SB and focus on me writing, what brought me here.  Then the two characters.  What we all have in common.  They of course, or maybe not so obviously younger than me.  I keep writing.  Till this is the ONLY thing I do.  Writing about writing and people and what they do for work. How work and our jobs, labor, determines so much of our character and how we estimate the world around us.

Think today is the day I finally killed overthought.  I’m not editing, or measuring, forecasting or worrying about how anything I write, type, is perceived.  I’m just moving and not allowing any stationary sets for this writer or any of his characters.  The two girls start a website, for anyone coming to wine country.  They see themselves as fashionable intel, something to make people more pleased with their choice to come to Sonoma County much the way I’m please with my election to come here and write.  Relax before class.  See me in business with son and daughter, eventually.  I quit the wine industry but am very much back in it on my own accord and set of terms, rules, and I guess some regulatory rattle.

Second sip.  Such real and truthful tropical body and bravado.  Nothing invasive or excessively aggressive.  This is a character that has me more into my characters and these new characters I’m writing.  I return to them and what they want, what would make them happy, what in wine they want to grow toward.  What do I want to be, grow toward.  Wine, travel, speaking on wine both metaphorically and immediately.  Tonight, open something new.  Study it. Let wine dictate my own fate, give me direction and more introspection.  Tempted to take the night off from class.  No.  Use it as speaking practice.  Not practice at all, the second sip says, and I sipped minutes ago.  Can still feel that tropical shock and rush, set of steps. 

I pick up the glass and nose what remains, which is a good two sips I’m guessing.  40 next year.  That’s where my head is.  And then what.  Maybe I’ve overthinking that as well.  Sure I am.  Look at the wine, focus on it… wine writer and journalist, one who actually writes and journals and doesn’t just take a blare of ridiculous shots of himself and other wine “experts” or “writers”.  Glass up again, sip….  Follow the stories, MY story.  Don’t think at all.  Just write.  What I tell the students, every semester.

Talking about writing, tonight. That’s it.  Beyond simple argument, or any attempt to persuade which was the chapter they had to read in that “Prose Reader”.  Or maybe that’s singularly what I should discuss.  I think about taking notes, but the wine says no.  Be in the moment.  Or be above the moment, flying and hovering above simple time and whatever that clock reads, dictates.

Finding that when you write down ideas, they speak back.  They instruct you on possibility and presence.  They talk back, love back, write back.  Thank fun to the Story, and everything, LIFE, for today.  For the embrace and blind subscription to whim.  To not sink into overthink.  To blog and jot against any overthought.

With he glass done, I slow.  Thank of the walk yesterday with my son in the vineyard and showing him the remaining clusters on the canes.  I had him taste a couple….  I thought of us, in business, how our visions of our company will differ and will be surprisingly in some places identical.  All this from wine.  Thinking of wine, living wine, writing wine.  Wine writing me, since my first day in the St. Francis tasting room, 2006.

10/22/18

0706

In the home office, if you can call it that anymore. Pulled cold coffee from fridge. Kids play upstairs. As usual I’m not up as early as I want but it’s a day off so I don’t speak too hard on self, at least not right away. In this office, or room where things just find their way anymore, I think about the day I want to have. We can have any day we want. So what do we want. Yesterday thought about books versus blogs, what give more priority. Then today. What do I do with it? Ahead of self thinking of tomorrow and papers to grade. We only stop self from progression when we think too distant.

I’m awake and working out.

Did first hold right before five. After that, push-ups and planks. Some sit-ups. Not really counting, just wanting to keep motion continuous. Set stop watch, not a countdown. Just keep the motion motioned, what I’m telling self. 05:12.

Conscious of the noise and mood of the morning. Everything I do on this hardwood or just wood floor make a sound, loud thin and audible. Like an airy crack, or crackle. Wife leaves for her workout offsite. I start coffee. Vowing tomorrow morning with the day off I’ll go to gym at 4-something. Not only enhance the shape I’m in, but start a new way, new story. Yes another promise, more so though a plan than remark avowing anything.

Can already feel the little I’ve done. In legs from hold, abdomen from pushups just a moment ago tallying 100, and arms from planks and pushups. Time for coffee.

Didn’t post thousand words from last night before class. Will today from whatever coffee spot I can find in the Sunset. Sight 1 for day is that, coffee and composition in the City. Second, hit a few doors with the reps. Then, a poem while walking whatever avenue we’re on. One of the views yesterday from 28th and something, I just looked out at the ocean like I saw something or someone in it. The air’s olfactory makeup told me to keep walking and keep watching. Feeling some goal or aim, some aspiration or creative desire sprint from San Francisco, for me. And if it weren’t for Sonic I wouldn’t even be there having these observations and reflections.

05:31. Waking this early, a badge of sorts. Hear son move around in his bed, and if he wakes early and breaks this sitting, I don’t mind. It’s part of the story. Part of the story but the whole of who I am– writing daddy getting in whatever time I can to write. At work at my desk between little addresses of some spreadsheet, or organizing, or prepping for some meeting. The subject is me. The story, each page, and I never need be sorry.

The workout, over. Me on couch in qualified dark, fan light overhead on my dim setting so I can have some isolator writer mood in here. I keep forgetting it’s harvest right now, and so many of my vino people are out there, right now, pulling clusters from rows and into bins, into a gondola pulled by tractor, a driver up early and away from his family, doing what he needs to them feed.

05:36. I feel like one of them, right now. One of the early. One of the characters they defies law, the expected, that doesn’t sleep in. They can’t. Their minds won’t let them. Mine won’t let me. At all. This morning I’m alive with Sonic and supersonic thoughts of speaking, words, fearlessly sharing ideas from one city to next on work, business, writing everything down and so many say that and never do and if they did, my god, it would not only help what they do but wildly and poetically shape their business and their place and placement in it.

Could go back to bed even if a writer wanted to. Hell, even if my body and functioning orders em to. My thinking’s of a beatific defiance this morning, and only accepting sentences. As a workplace, Sonic tells you to be more of you, it challenges me and how the wine industry never could– Telling me to not only keep doing what I’m doing, but intensify. AMPLIFY. Diversify. Play with form as you do in poetry, poet. And more. More.

05:41. I ask myself where the time went and nowhere, nowhere. It’s still very much presented and around me, present. Gifting me with this couch and all the musing I need for a day in the city. Will I wake as early tomorrow, or early as I have written… I have to. I know how I’ll feel if I don’t. I know my mood if I won’t. Set alarm, every movement today for tomorrow’s early steps and words, lines, however many miles I run on tread or however many reps I finish. Not waking early, and I’m citing hours like this, is in no way literary. Writers don’t sleep in. We can’t sleep, for the most part. We deplore rest, and idleness. Just laying in bed and scrolling, sitting on couch watching a show, or just hanging like a coat from some hook, some executed prisoner from a tight meanly knotted and enclosing circle.

05:47. I love this. I do. I don’t have to think about what to write. It’s right in front of me, blatantly. No sun or suggestion of it through the glass door to right. This is true morning to me. When the sun steps and straight lay stands communicating with the world, its day. It’s started. The day is off and you better find a way to catch it as right now you’re surely not ahead if you haven’t been up. I’m here, knowing I’m ahead of the day. Time again, my topic. Twelve hours from now, I could very well be in traffic. On 101 somewhere. San Rafael, the Novato narrows, Petaluma. Somewhere. I have twelve hours to do something to my story… I do it. Start the timer. 12 hours. Get to work and collect in writing for a bit, then attack tasks. Reps get in before ten, so we head out early. Quick, this Friday. My writing will equal, rival, buzz by pacing.

Son definitely awake. 05:52. I could get a stet in day, again. Teeth and shower, dress, pack, take stuff out of bag as to bring laptop for written lunch and be lighter while hiking the SF streets. Keep the motion motioned. To halt is to fall. And I can’t. Not this close to 40.

Diet for day… Coffee, only healthy snacks, no full meals till dinner, and then do note to lightly eat. Speaking of my beloved coffee life… I sip…

10/5/18

Leftovers and red…

Wine never needs to frame complicated. Wine should never direct prolix. She’s inviting, approachable, narrative and affectionate. What’s surrounded by curved glass reads a presence, a prophetic face and storm of versifying lines.

After a day, working, wine waits, debates her approach to me, my life and day and immediate room. The room, now, connotative in resonance, assurance, a perceptive seat. I’m at a table with her, being instructed, listening,eating leftovers and coaching me on Now, this doesn’t have to be layered or codified, and sort of sophisticated set.

Haven’t touched this glass. But the visual and nearness has me. Inward recite, and known night, thrown toward a lone vinified light.

9/19/18

0502

That’s better. Still not 4 but this is the kind of hour I need to wake at in order to get that kind of start in and on day. Today, to be a long one. Starting in office new then driving to SF, then back to office, Santa Rosa, then to class later, 7 to about 830. The solution, not that there needs be a “solution”, as there’s certainly no problem, is to write everything down. What a surprise I say that. But how about actually do it. Not that I don’t, but how about more zeal this time. More singular and definite words, short sentences. More specifics in what I see in the city, on my drive. Where is my voice recorder? Hate using this phone while driving, if you should know, and you should. Not sure why you “should”. Truth, I’m reminded. Truth in the day, these long days. Not sure why it’s on my thinking’s terrain to points of sleep inability. Why am I up? Why am I not asleep right now? What’s on my mind I ask myself. What. Is it the office? Is it the day itself, the drive? Any angst with this new job? I came downstairs to write, hear kids talking and I tell them to go to bed, both in our bed. What am I thinking, this writing daddy, this writer who sees something in the present present. But what. Sip coffee. Not yet. Wait. This hour, the dark of the room and the outside, and everyone out in the vineyards now harvesting their lots. I SHOULD be up. And not just this morning, but every morning. Think I recognized it– It’s that, this. I’m writing a piece on the morning itself, being more tuned in the morning, for it. There is nothing to fear in this day or any other. I have more than a head-start or head’s start on Tuesday. However you write it. I already have the whole day, or have the opportunity to. And it’s not even 05:20.

Coffee. Slow communicative sip, pull from dark puddle. Me, couch, no sound. Awake to have more of day itself. Challenge it. Have it. Know it, already. Beat it at whatever game or field, board it thinks its own. It’s mine, I promise self. All mine. Had a thought of calling tonight’s class, but no I swear to self. Go. Go in tired. Remind them, show them, those enrolled, what a long day is. Teach, if anything, about work. About self. About deciding what the day will say. The day itself has NO say. That’s all us. Me, up now, thank the Craft, not so much collecting or gathering thoughts but being with self. Quiet time, like I tell the babies when they have an unreasonable volume about them at an inappropriate hour or any hour.

39. 40 next year. And still in a search of sorts. Think I found something, actually I know I did, with tech. This new office. A tech company and office and being around characters with more technological acuity and awareness than I’ll ever have. Not that I can’t be them but– No. I can’t. And I don’t want to. I shouldn’t have to. No one there is making me, which I love and more or less can’t believe. They want me to be me, this writer and blogger. They hired me for me. Realizing that this morning could be one thing keeping me up, disabling me from going back to sleep aside from the coffee. This morning I’m 39, tomorrow I will be too, but one morning I’ll be 40, then older and older. Age is only age if its acknowledged and credited. What if I stopped crediting it. What if I decided age is unaccredited. Like some two-bit, hair-brained for-profit college. I can do that. This morning teaches me to only see what I want. To work harder. Just now, I grieved a bit, that I didn’t start writing right when I came down but rather used the restroom briefly. 04:50-something. Can’t do that. Here I am, I’m awake, what are you going to decide to do. Am I “figuring out life”? No. But I’m definitely not letting it tell me what’s possible, what I’m allowed to do. What I’m capable of doing.

Waking early puts you in a different world. In a different role. You’re not yourself, not the same character if you’re used to doing this. There’s a challenge and a stress to it but with concurrent ease, meditation. From where I’m sitting in this house, what used to be my office, I won’t be able to see the sun rise but a gradual lighting and progressive brightness, brightening of the day itself. Which saddens me, but only if I dwell. I don’t let self. I listen to the nothingness heard in my home. Son sniffling a bit, the fridge humming behind me, my thumbs tapping on this phone, its screen. Being in the city, San Francisco, wakes me. Those thoughts. Thinking…. office, drive, walk around city with sales team, meet with them, then drive back…. when lunch? Maybe I won’t get one. Grab something, maybe. On go. No fast food. Haven’t had in over a year and the last time it made me quite sick.

Mood turns. Not sure why. Time rushing. 05:40. Only so much time left. Typo… fuck. My frustration compiles like my pages. What do I want from day. Where am I going with this entry. In tech. With writing. With teaching. With 39…….. Stop. I fracture the inward scold before it holds me, holds anything. Yawn. I’m tired. No I’m not. I’m eager. For the day. For work. For more writing. Speak into phone if you can on drive down. Be careful of course, but don’t fall into a complacency mitt.

More meditation, more questioning, more drawing of what here is now, a month ago in the wine industry doing the same thing over and over and o…… And now, this. Waking before six. A thousand words and for what. What will I do with this. What will I do with me today, these opportunities. The day will tell me, I’m sure. And I’ll tell it something in return– I’m deciding and writing how everything’s to progress and situate. The pages are mine, all of them.

9/18/18