I don’t know if this is stir-crazy, or just nuts.

Coffee.  I need it.  Tired after run.  What do I do.  I’m losing it… then I have an idea.  Maybe I’m gaining it.

What’s IT.  No idea.  Maybe that’s what this ‘place in shelter’, sheltering in place will beget.  Finding more place and poise, personhood on page.

So I’ll be totally fine if I just stay home?  I don’t know, something about this is just…. Not the kind of movie I want to watch.  Not now.  Not today.

Oh my god, just get me some wine, PLEASE.

None of this makes any sense.

Good, neither does this entry. Maybe that’s what I’m to learn from this, to gather and incorporate into my work.  Don’t worry so much about sense, or making any.  Make whatever you want to. IF it’s what you want for yourself, there’s more than enough sense in that.

Stay Moving Stay Busy Stay STARVED

3/17/20, Tuesday – Hi.  I’m still alive.

And so are millions and billions of other people.  Not making light of anything, just my attitude.  I thought this morning driving here to the Sonic office about style, and about influence, how lately I’ve tried to be more Sedaris-esque, or Lawson-y, rather than completely Mike Madigan-ish.  In fact, no -ish.  Just all Mike Madigan.  Either way, here I am in the nook.  Have a call at 9am.  Just want to sell something.  I know people are slowing up, or down, but goddamnit I want to SELL.  I know this goes against everything I wrote and posted yesterday about going back to the drawing board.  Shit, still need to edit that restroom piece.  Where is it?

Found it.

Quiet.  Saw one employee walk in.  I should take the day off.  And quarantine.  There’s that word again.  Quarantine.  Maybe that is the right idea.  I could finish a whole flippin book.  Right?  Couldn’t I?  I mean, I think I could.  This new journal, not sure what’s so new about it. It’s another journal.  Maybe that’s what I should’ve titled the doc.

Didn’t hit ANY of my homework aims for last night, in terms of wine writing, or …. Anything.  Who cares, I tell myself.  This is a crazy and crucial time, just the right excuse I need to be dismissive or lazy, or not get certain things done.

That was a joke.  A bad one, but still with joke intentions.

I’m just sitting here, sending emails back and forth.  May email a prospect some numbers in a minute.  Two prospects, actually.  Then wait some more.  Yes, waiting… waiting for what.  Godot.

Just sent a quote to prospect, the one I was stressing over this morning.  Wished someone well, a good day and to stay healthy and safe.  I guess that’s what you do in these times. What times.  I don’t know, the times you’re told to do something like that.  I meant it, just noticed that everyone’s doing it.  Not going to say anything else.  Cuz then I’ll be that guy.  Vocal commenting clown.  So, I sip the latte.

Third estimate out, and it’s not even 10 o’clock as my Sales Engineer pointed out.  At least I’m being productive… why do I say that, I’m always producing, moving… need to give self more credit.  Not too much though, don’t want to be that guy either.

Everyone telling me there might be a “shelter-in-place” order for Sonoma County.  Trying not to cuss, but I so what to say that word right now.  Would feel so good.  PIG-LICKER!!!  That’s instead of.  Too lazy to look up Shakespearean insults graph.  This quarantine could offer an interesting opportunity in terms of writing, I’m seeing.  Think that might be selfish.  Is it though?  Look at what this thing has done to me, to us.  I could pretend I’m in some dystopian film, one that wouldn’t attract many ticket sales.  Or maybe this is a blockbuster.  I will write this… all of this.

Don’t want this new journal to be all COVID-coded.

2/23 –

Starbucks on Vine Street. 

Of course the music isn’t working.  Rather than let a mood land, I embrace everything around me.  Not so much embrace but study… these older men talking politics, health care, the debates, socialized medicine, nothing I’m interested in.  I’m more prone to study the baristas, and how quick they make everything.  How their system, these kids, is so flawless and efficient.  Many of my aims over the past couple days I didn’t appease, or hit.  So now I do in reverse.  Rather tan make a list of things I’ve planned on doing, or plan on doing, catalogue and inventory what you’ve done.  I’ve sat to write.  Hoping to finish or actually start the ‘A…E’ piece.  Written much of it in my head, but not typed a thing.  Being an Account Executive has little to do with merely the accounts, and rather than be anything executive your self treat each existing and prospective client as executive.  In fact go beyond that, far beyond that.  The ‘good neighbor’ ideology.  And it being about everything, the AE life itself, begs and challenges one to incorporate everything into your practice.  Not re-write who you are, but be more creative in your approaches to conversations, prospecting, everything.

Since becoming an AE, I’ve seen sales differently.  I’ve blended past me’s from other professions such as teaching at the JC and working at wineries (like I’m set to do today), and just do so in different containment. It’s about everything, being an AE… being a speaker, a personal organizer, a writer, a negotiator yes but more a connector of ideas.

I have to stop in this idea blaze and note the music is working, so now much more beat in my key slaps.  Hoping to surpass 2000 words in this sitting.

About everything…. Everything you are and want to do, want to see in your story.  I’ve noted before I’d like to have my own sales & marketing agency, stemming from blogging about my AE observations and educational echoes.  Starting the week with prospecting targets, taking notes on them, setting calendar reminders….  You’ll find that time not only becomes a factor in the AE story, but it frames everything.  Become an astute steward of your hours and days, the blocks on the calendar, and everything becomes music, or whatever you love.  Make the AE step and beat whatever you wish it be.  Don’t overthink… and in some cases don’t think at all.  Follow impulse, measured and calculated chance.  In this being about everything, it is about YOU, and everything you are and were before have the Account Executive tag….

Sat to write, started notes on the AE piece, which I’ll submit to Mark and see what he thinks, or not submit it expecting reaction, but just so I know (!!!) he has my thoughts, and my musings on AE life are documented.

Transferred monies.  Going to follow through with wine blog idea, ‘vinovinevin’, and that will be the last blog url I purchased for years, as I can see.  More writing, less fixation on blogs and tech… that’s another thing for the AE pages…

Don’t get wrapped in the tech of it all.  A basic or slightly more than beginner’s vocal on the involved technology is beneficial, but this is a story about you and your connectedness to business owners… other human beings.  Like a colleague told me, “People buy from people they like.” So true.  More than true.  It’s, as I estimate, a prime and principle premise for what we do.  It’s law.


8:50am.  Could fit in another 35 minutes or so.  The baristas continue with their ninja moves behind that bar.  They just make drink after drink with tireless smiles on their faces.  How do they do that.  What is their formula for their mood, and how sped they move, swiftly like gravity and physical laws are only something to consider.  I enjoy the music, an older Thievery track, and look up… lady with her daughter, daughter gets up to use restroom and mom on phone, looks like texting someone.  I start to miss my kids but don’t let my sensibilities be tugged one way or another, even toward my babies.

Young lady sits down at table, far end away from me with laptop.  Then does something on phone.

Aims for day … sell at least a case of wine.

Know I said I wouldn’t do this, but I’m going to….

Another, three blog posts, to any of the three blogs—

Interrupted by a former, or I guess still current co-worker at Foley, Chris T.  Customer Service Operations Manager.  Syllabic title, no spite.  He was  and still is one of the people I respect most in the organization, and even he agrees that when you can be in the wine industry as I am, NOW, and just enjoy it and have fun that’s how one should enjoy wine, and be with wine, interact with her.

New beat into ears, sip latte.  All of today has to be music, with beat, notes, a certain key.  Young lady in front of me jotting something onto page, spiral-bound notebook.  Definitely a student… think she’s writing an essay, or that’s what I write her doing.  This 100k project, an essay project.  By the end of it, less than 94k away, I’ll be living by my essays in tandem with Sonic, “teaching”, and the wine project…. Then I have another idea, that vinovinevin be a wine blog from a tasting room person’s perspective.  Not sure what that means or how that will be connotated, but I know what I’m thinking…. Talking to people, same as with the AE story, ask them questions about their story, what brought them there… don’t sell so much, or try to sell.  Essays are not proposals, they aren’t even necessarily proclamations.  I see essays as views, a confirmation of sight, of conviction, or curiosity.  This beat has me writing like an avalanche, one that won’t stop even when it reaches flats.

Much needed phronesis.

7:07. Second day of the event, and I’m committed to learn more about the people coming, more than I did yesterday.

Didn’t really learn anything from yesterday’s sippers.  This morning I’m moving slow, from standing behind that table for as long as I was, and saying the same thing about the cuvee, for which I accept fault.  Found myself struggling with the words, MY words, what to say about the wine.  One couple and their daughter knowing my sister, longtime members of St. Francis Winery, excited to meet me and asking me how long I’d been associated with St. Francis.  Can’t remember where else the conversation went, but we were centered in wine, and how they have as longtime St. Francis members a plaque in the vineyard blocks, one of them… the Syrah patch.  After they left all I could think about was getting out of the cave, walking around, smelling the air above and around the Cabernet block just outside the cave door.

Want to re-read Coelho’s Alchemist.  Write something on it.  Why, I don’t know.  Want to be a student again.  Of literature, or writing, reading, all of it.  How to be a student again…. Notes.  Notes on everything.  Studying everything, seeing literary value in business, in the characters at Sonic and Sonic’s individual voice.  Then I lose myself in thoughts of Personal Legend, more than Alchemist work and thought, but me and however many days of life I have left.  What I want people to see and know about me.  Legend seems a but hyperbolic and exaggerative, and it might be to an extent.  But, where my thinking is.  I need to get away from wine’s industry, submerge and immerse self utterly in story.  Stories…. They’ll lead me to my office, I know, I’ve read that before in walks and talks among characters on the property.  That book and some of its passages to me speak this morning, on travel, on sovereign thought, on speaking to students at campuses all over the county.  More than a believe in self but a constant examination of character composition and the how-to-why it develops as it does.  Why did I not write last night, why did I relax rather than sitting here at this counter and typing as I now am to coffee?

What am I after, I start to think.  Convinced I know then I see another scene…. Me in my marketing shop’s office talking to someone I work with about a new direction for some campaign or assignment we were hired to do.  For a winery.  I call upon all memories and experiences in the tasting room, share a slew of them, and one connects.  Not a marketing firm, or shop, but a creative kitchen, corner, or loft.  If I can market myself then how could I EVER others, I remember noting to self sans paper or even phone while closing the cave just after 5pm last night after the last guests departed property.  My Personal Legend, or ‘Self Story’, entails consistency of motion and exploration, and knowing when certain associations need be liquidated.  I’m after what I see, and what I see is a return and permanent residency in student symmetry, presence and tangibility.



New year.  First time in seat for 2020.  Getting out of office, saying hi to people.  That’s it.  Have vehicle from fleet reserved, and getting to work with words, just smiling and saying hello.  As easy as when I run, just as easy as it is for Emma playing with those toys on the floor as she did yesterday.’

Got key.  Saw a couple friends from MDU department, Stephanie and Taj both going out, separate ships.  Eager to get out, walk around cities of San Rafael and Novato.

Set timer for 30 mins, 30 mins to run through these sentences and thoughts and prepare self for a different day.  Not stopping in these 30 not even to edit, or answer and email.  A call I may have to take, but not a thing else.  If someone approaches my desk I’ll tell them something like, “I’ll be with you in just a sec” or “I need to finish this”.  Something.  This is to get me in a position for the day, so this first trek in the 2020 step is as lucrative and productive—more than productive—USEFUL, and initiative as possible.  I’m thinking more of the day, this new year and how quickly I got here.

Hear co-workers talk about territories, and the names for them. I laugh a little to self as it reminds me of Field Sales, my department when I started.  But I’m here now, Enterprise Business. Not so much selling but narrating, speaking, just as I wanted to do.  People now talking about New Year’s Eve and the parties to the right and left of their homes, the party or parties they attended.  I’m focusing on the day, this new year, walking around San Rafael and Novato, and just enjoying myself.  If people see that, they’ll respond, right?

Don’t think I’ll get a run in, today.  May have lunch, do a working/writing lunch in Novato somewhere.  Downtown, not BMK.  Be as many places as I can.  Conversations, that’s the aim of day.  Running, playing, just enjoying self.  In sales we focus too much on the metrics and the results when we should be more so focusing on enjoying our day.  We say that to others all the time, right?  “Have a great day!” or, “Enjoy your day….” Why don’t we say that to ourselves, more?  Or, do just that reflexively.  Not as pattern, but as instinct, inadvertent movement?  I’ll never know, but I’m doing it today.  Work, it should be one of the most loud and forwarding forms and momentums of happiness in your life.  So, focus on you… you being happy.  More than perspective, more than sight… something I can’t name or assign some tag.

Latte….  Going through target list for the day.  Written, and I’m ready.  I mean, if I wanted to I could leave right now. But no.  I’m taking this time, this time for me, to run and sprint then slow down again, pace self in sentences as I do in my running.  Take a second to message Melissa, telling her I’m planning on running in the morning.  Treadmill, which I’m not the hugest fan of.  WILL.   Run earlier, be on that belt and belt out 9 miles like I used to, even Abraham my MDU buddy whom I used to meet there after 4am would even be amazed with my mile tally.  Just wake up, and go.  It’s work, it’s not supposed to be easy.  I know.  Keep going in these sentences….

16 minutes left.  Grab things and go when time is up.  After restroom stop of course.  Be light in your travel, don’t bring backpack.  Again thinking of quitting that goddamn thing.  That clutter inviter.  Yes, Mom and Dad gave it to me, but…. Will keep it in the lower drawer here at desk.  Plan to vacate office soon, so that could be a problem.

coLAB closed on New Year’s Eve when I went by to pay for the lowest plan offering.  Go by today after work, on way home.  More visions of office, and what this AE form and “role” (hate that word), STORY is doing for me.  Work, funny today…. I notice myself in the morning tensing, thinking of all I need today do and for what.  Again, PLAY.  Have fun… just run.  One step in front of the other.  That’s it.  Why do we overthink shit when it comes to work, most notably our own happiness, enjoyment of.  Seeing some new connections and beaming love eclipses in my writing of work, how WE might want to think about working, approaching wherever we are 40 or however many hours a week.

Ten minutes left.  Don’t pay attention to the time. Only the words.  Be more of what you tell students to do, WRITE don’t think.  Thinking is the clot, the block for so much. Why don’t we see that?  Why don’t I fucking see that?  Latte, a couple sips more, looking forward to the drive, and just walking into offices, meeting people.  Not even going to pull business card from pocket till the interaction is done.  One of the other AEs said he says something like, “Hi… Anyone need internet?” Not sure I’ll speak those exact words, but maybe something in that casual yet poignant curve.

Before leaving, empty backpack for last time.  Grab cards and notepads, and leave.  And latte, if there’s anything left.  Just took a sip, there’ll be some left.  Then I note, Don’t work, don’t speak the company, just enjoy the day.  Go out and meet people, or don’t.  Just enjoy the day, no aims.  That is the aim, to be more human than AE, more ME than some rep.  This will convert, this will show something.  People don’t like to be sold.  I fucking hate it, frankly.  So don’t do it, I throw at self.

4 minutes.  Looking forward to the downtowns or San Rafael then north to Novato.  Not sure I’ve been to downtown Novato.  Ever.  No expectations, really.  Just….shit.  My work phone, not charges, now dead.  Don’t let it throw you off.  WORK.  Write.  The day, wine, my office… head everywhere.  Just keep running, motion straight and one beat after the other.  That simple.  If you keep moving, and you keep speaking, something, several things over time, will connect.  That’s law.  Not a law of numbers but a law of natural outcome, or something.  Maybe it’s not a law.

One sole after other…. Pace.  Slow, then a but more sped.  Don’t focus on fast, you’ll go fast.  Can’t be forced, though.  Happiness at work is attained through movement, constancy and pacing. Not by chasing metrics and other number-wombs.

Timer up.  Time to go.  No fear, no stall, only conviction, ambition, actuation, conversation…. Time to run, and stay running.


Slow, my pace, and character, inner-narration.  Can’t understand why and I’m not giving it too much more consideration or any contemplative effort.  Class tonight, and in no interest to go.  But I will, I’ll force myself, see what happens.  See what ideas and thoughts form.

I’m not lachrymose, or of low ebb, I’m just not fully in character.  Why.  What is this.  Guy plays pinball just to the left and front of me, and the noises disrupt my dimension even more.  Fuck, that thing is loud.  I ignore it as best I can and look further into what’s happening in my circuitry, today.  Got a small latte from the spot up the road which I shouldn’t have done.

Still slow, but with more framing and purpose in these types.  Didn’t think I’d get to writing today, honestly, with this mood.  Or whatever it is.  Not sure it’s a mood, either.

My next plan of attacking it is to attack self and self for having any kind of mood.  What the fuck do I have to be even minutely glum about?  Money?  Not hearing back from a wine country lead?  SO. WHAT.  I move on, dismissing and disregarding all of it.  Only present here, where I am and what I’m doing at Sonic.  Project now—JPR’s.  Never done them before and I know that’s part of my stress stack, but again I just vow to write reactions when I get back and see where they go.  Much of knowing your Now is to just walk into it and see what’s read to you.  I’m writing the story, but it’s also writing me.

I get a text message but ignore it.  I want to understand this, this Now, me in the Now, and what to do for remainder of day here in office.  Tonight in class, this entry very well may be part of the plan, this pinballing avoiding paragraph stream.  Am I fighting those shrieking ding and dong sounds, and the voice coming from the flat vertical portion of the machine.  Forcing self to write, forcing self to ignore it.

He leaves, but some corny battle-victory song keeps playing.  No one in this multipurpose room but a writer.  The machine silences, and all I hear are noises from outside—someone throwing something in one of the bins, some vehicle driving off the lot.  My mood shifts, into curious curvature.  Haven’t written in here in a while.  If I was at low ebb, it rose, even before the pinballer left.

Just going to see what happens this evening, with class, with the first discussion on the newest book.  Memoir, narrative, everything we’ve talked about so far this semester.  I forget about the wine country prospect, the JPR’s, this large room.  I fixate on me, my day, the quiet machine now.

Almost forget about my latte.

Tempted to try the machine.

No.  Stay here.  Look outside.  Listen.  I’m writing today, more honestly.

My own sort of game, I guess.



Mike still feels the exhaustion, but not like earlier.

He has class tonight, and suddenly he’s more eager to teach than on days where he does get 6-7 hours of sleep night prior.  He notes what’s on his mind, exactly and not exactly what’s present in his thinking.

The office starts to calm.  The voices lower and fade in intensity, but his intensity can only compound and compound further in words and complexities, or what he thinks are complexities.  The essay idea forward and forward further in his chair, right where he is.  There’s no lack, of anything, at all.  Like he’s before thought and like his mother has so many times told him with his writing, everything he needs to write about is right in front of him.  “You have enough to right about right where you are.” Mom said.  She was referencing his life as a father, but Mike takes such sight and applies and threads it into other scenes, the one currently right now as he types at his desk.  He’s found an antibody, a compositional vaccine.


2:55.  The exhaustion is there, from being up late with Emma and then again early this morning, but after a meeting with SB and this newest cup, black coffee, I’m revived and alive, seeing new lines and pages just in the next hour, before class tonight.

CPR/First-aid training earlier.  4 hours worth.  Didn’t know if I’d make it through that but I did, mostly from coffee and certain addresses in the man’s teaching spooking me a bit.  Enough of those thoughts.  In fact I haven’t thought about it, at all really, since leaving that room in the other building.

3:08… Me, an essayist.  Finishing my essay on visions.  Holding to that idea rather than just having a list of “goals”.  You have a vision to which you not just subscribe but imbibe, thoroughly believe and intimately conceive.  You want no pause or reprieve from your vision, what you see for yourself, see yourself doing.  I’m finishing this bloody essay, tonight.  1,001 words, my aim.  Objective.  I’m stubborn in my character aim of essayist.  Singular pieces.  The drive to Brentwood, here in this office and working at this company.  Okay… something’s definitely taken me, thoughts in my cognitive channels and inner-storms.

Vision of self, where the self is headed.  Your visions, more than mere wants or simplistic wishes.  They’re not wishes at all, nor dreams.  The visions are assurances.

One reason why Sonic works as a business and employer, as a business entity, is much from their support of employee visions.  What they want, and how they want to attain their aims.  Something I’m not used to, and I’m not using this place as a platform or bridge to get anywhere.  Destination’s not the objective.  What’s being sought here is what’s already here and its proximity to me.  I’m building from where I am, me the essayist, me the teacher, me the most ME I’m able to free.