Growing a certain and acute fondness for this corner work area… this quarantine view I have.  This small desk, with my coffee tumbler and receipts, multiple journals, phones and wallets and pens.  The area, the lens it provides, a preview into my office.  The office I want to sit in and write, where I want to build narrative and business efforts from.

This week, the week of my birthday (Friday, 29th), putting my work habit and practice in a new containment and octave.  The envisioned and tangible, in new helix.  Inventory action and shop arrangement.  Keep thinking of the kid yesterday, his bike repair shop in his parents garage.  A real business, serious practice from everything to how the shop was arranged, to the lo-fi beats playing, his invoice, and the shirt he was wearing boasting his brand and business name.

This corner urging me that way, to learn more from that conversation and transaction with the 15 year-old creative.

4:05. Back from drive.

Couldn’t walk on beach, with all the orders in place.  More than just a couple Sonoma County Sheriff vans, cars, and even on helicopter Jackie spotted.  Me, only getting a couple mental touches of the waves and sands having to drive.

Now, no idea what I want to do.  Zoom call with Jesse, my closest ami in the wine industry and pretty much anywhere.  Oh, at 5.  So 53 minutes give or take.  Sparkling wine tonight, nothing red in house.  Need a beer after drive, and after kids complaining about drive length back…  Jack in trouble for behavior, which lately show those quarantine angles, sounds and motions and colors…everything associated with this thing’s everything.

Kids outside playing, different family.  Are they supposed to do that I don’t care I’m just trying to focus on myself and this, this Sunday, a holiday weekend which is irrelevant and barely a felt reality.

Need a place to write, outside this house.  Mom offered their home here, with them in the Sunriver home, but I need something.

Want to do the drive again, BY MYSELF… no kids.  But why.  Even if I could there’s no where to park along Highway 1’s side.  I mean, there is, but the SCS will tell you to move. I can’t park and write like I did that one time in Monterey or Pacific Grove.  I left the house but feel like I didn’t at all.  The kids with me… not blaming them, but that was the house in the car with me.  The short beach sight I had told me I need to get something by the water, somehow, soon.

Jack still in his mood.  Afraid he gets that from me… rejecting everything, sharing and audibly expressing his indignation.  Melissa tries to appease him, offering to make something with him from a kid’s cookbook.  It’s more or less working, much I can tell from the office corner.

Writing during the day, on “weekends”, is near just not something that can physically and barely mentally done.  Am I turning into a “daddy blogger” in this quarantine?  Maybe a little… everything directed by and from their moods, health, requests, sayings, interactions (if you have more than one), proximity to you.  Shocked, to be honest, that I have this time.. this sitting, this time in the corner before my call with Jesse.  Sparkling wine sounds magical… needed.  Need to pretend I’m celebrating something.. speaking some other language, from and in some other room.  Need to feel un-whelked.  Don’t want to sound in any way like that blogger I saw yesterday, just grieving about her kids and being in the house… SO, I need to more follow my own counsel.  This quarantine is for composition, incubation… growth.

Bottledaux now takes more the shape and place of a publisher…  Think to more altitude, I tell myself… scribble in the notebook.  (AND STOP USING FUCKING ELIPSES.)

stay moving stay busy stay starved


Organized monies, taking some notes, and into the day.  Coffee at the weird temp, but I don’t even close to care.  No Starbucks this morning for me and kids.  A no spend day.  Yesterday’s run was over $20. In fact, moving money into business account from checking as punishment for that ….  Why do I ever spend money at Starbucks, or any coffee joint for that matter?  Is it just the latte, or is it a habit, a pattern.. which has to end.

Today, more notes.  More emailing, calling, making everything short, or more advantageously abbreviated.  I don’t know what that means, and I don’t know if I mean it.  Tonight’s the last meeting of regular instruction for the semester, like this semester and its instruction and consistency has been at all “regular”.  Not even irregular, just failed.  On so many doctrines.

Communicated to students.  Posted to blog.  Now what do I do.  8:30.  Do I want a latte?  Hmmmm….  Want to get out, into the streets… want everything to go back to normal but I know it can’t and it probably won’t anytime soon since I just read that Los Angeles County is closed until August, or through July.  FUCK, I thought…  I have to go more virtual… with everything.  Get in front of the camera more… more spoken notes, recorded notes.  I’m writing which is great, but I have to do things different… bring #professormikey to every corner and puddle, hill and canyon on the internet.  Just share ideas, same as in the class.

Found a media creative company in SF yesterday… put me in a spiral, what I want to do and how I’ll do–  “It’s in Daddy’s office…” I hear Emma say to Jack in the other room, referring to his watch, an old Garmin I used to use on runs.  A crazy morning, but I won’t let self decay in composition.  Not at all.

Already done with the coffee I made last night, put into tumbler.  Now what do I do.  More coffee needed.  Hear other people’s kids over the zoom call in the other room.  A latte.. yes, need it.  Should I just slip out?  How would I do that?  Hate this work computer.  Making a list of lists for the day… scrub this laptop, write FULL page in journal, make 100 calls or try….  The morning is crazy but still a momentum from which I can benefit.  Jack tells me he’s going upstairs to play, leaving Emma and her mother, and me down here.  Melissa’s Zoom or computer or both isn’t working, and she stresses understandably.  What do I do, help?  Can I?  Think it fixed itself.  Just writing down everything that comes to mind… to my head.  Now Emma zooms upstairs.  Did she finish the cereal I just poured for her, that SHE requested?

Almost 9.  What do I do….  Have leads to contact, but not ready to do so.  Not yet.  Director just emailed us saying he’s taking the afternoon off for a personal matter, then later divulged jokingly that he’ll be playing golf.  Huh, I thought, maybe I should do something similar.  But where would I go?  Getting sick of this shelter-in-place… there’s no shelter here, only noise.  Use the noise, like these teachers talking about what to do with students, and what to do with contracts and the coming year, just talking and talking but no resolving.  Today, I’m resolving.  Clean the laptop, WRITE, plan, move more money around investing in the business quarters.

I’m calming… zenning… composed.  Somewhat.

3/29/20, Sunday.


Slept in a little.  As did kids.  Made them both breakfast downstairs, Jack some cereal and Emmie a bagel.  Then they back to play.  I get an idea for a novel, or story, or something.  I need time to write, I say to myself.  Start a new doc on lap—NO, don’t do that.  Reminding self of no new anything’s.  Use what you have.  So I tear off the yellow pages used on legal pad to left, and start jotting notes, world and life of a character in Redwood City.  Real Estate Agent, commercial mostly.  Very what you’d lament as successful.  In the business for over 20 years.  One night goes to a function at hotel, one side of floor, or one room on one side, a real estate gala for top producers and fancy glossy shiny characters showing off all their money and what they’ve done, their numbers and what not while on the other side is an event of over a hundred small family producers.  The character, Eric, buys a ticket on the spot to get into the wine event.  He sees all these small producers from Sonoma, Napa, Mendo, Carmel, Santa Barbara and the areas surrounding…. Lake County even, and sees the simplicity of it.  The family framing of it.  He’s always taken to wine, “collected” I guess you’d say, but never appreciated the love and family, the farming nature and step to wine.  He decides to take a step back, down… at first he wants to sell his business, or just quit and get out.  But no…. he wants use real estate to aid and abet and beget his wine sight. He wants that… may be too late in life for a family for him, single and 45-ish, but he wants the vineyard(s), the walks, he wants to be around family wineries, family people… THIS, whatever it is…..

Just an idea at this point, born in quarantine.  Raining outside, sipping my second cup.  Going to do some budgeting and more noting of this Eric’s echo and rush toward wine and being what he said.  Jack bounces a dying and deflating balloon around me… Jack calls to Emma, she yells down, “What you need me fo’?…. You call my name loud.” She says.  Jack tells her she’s hearing things, I laugh, ask what he wants… he tells me a PS4.  I say, “No dude, from Starbucks.  They don’t have PS4’s at Starbucks, bro..”

“Dada… hold on, don’t look yet…” Jack says behind me.  Me, a bit nervous, agree to wait.  “Say hi to my new friend…” he says, then showing me a face drawn with permanent on the balloon and a hat on the character’s head.  He has fangs and am told he’s 4 years-old, he loves watching baseball and loves the Angels, Jack furthers.  Jack reads what I just wrote, I edit from his reading noting slight flaws and exposures in the prose’s complexion.  I look out the window again, back to my Eric notes.  Finish a goddamn book, I remind myself… this quarantine is just what a writer needed to finish a book.  Not stopping this new journal, but noting that I’m noting new notes for another world and thesis, new voice and sight, climate and cause.


Home from class.  Tired and hungry and not looking forward to leads group in morning.  Don’t think about it, I tell myself.  No more peanuts, have actual dinner.  Even though I’m only in the mood to snack.

Finished other half of Cubano from the Gilman brewery, and the Bear Republic beer I finally opened up, canned.  Thought, I want to really test self, both in discipline and every day and night notes, practice.  So, reasoning… 100 Days of No.




Starbucks or any other coffee I pay for at some devilish shop.

TV at night.

Lunching out at work.  Meaning, MEALPLAN.

Want to change my character, as I read others doing.  Right now, no TV.  And no dessert.  Just words.  Shit, so that means no Peet’s tomorrow morning, no fucking latte.  Can I do that. Demanded.  Breaking pattern to see differently, to be another character.  Just thought of another NO…


No more.  I’ll keep wine there.  Needed, given certain business interests and connections, stories and writing and what be.

Playing with character, MY character.  See what happens.  No so much to see what happens but analyze and study the progressions and effects.  This’ll be a class unto itself.  Where I study the character and form, vocals and narrative, STORY of Mike Madigan as I do with the English 1B sections this semester.  Need name for the project.  And not just the NO project.  Or maybe that should be it.  Not like the whole fucking Nancy Reagan ‘Just say no.’ shit, but a nod to yes rather than no.  To gain more than loss or giving something up.

the NO project… starting tomorrow.  But tonight too.  No dessert, but a glass of wine then bed.  Make coffee in morning.  And for one hundred fucking days.  It’s the story I’ve decided to direct and write, live and promise.



Watching Emma play with her dolls, in her room. Leaning against the right side of the door frame and wall. Meditation. What to do for rest of the day’s design. How does Mike want to develop as a character, in his story.


Two years ago, the fires.  And now… me heading to Berkeley by myself.  Out of the wine industry, done with 4-shot latte, and not touching NaNo project till this evening, or later in day.  Maybe this morning, not sure.

Have to leave at 9-9:15.  In meantime, write.  Plan day.  Write what I want into existence.

Chardonnay last night, with something wife made.  Can’t think, with people talking around me but like I tell my students just write, ignore it. Last night’s discussion on Plath has me wanting to write my own opinion paper, about her writing after asking students “Why Write?” Prompt for last night’s meeting.

Just noted to self… “Write what you see and what you know, what you love and where you’ll go.” This morning I’m intent—no, more than that.  What the hell am I? Something I’ve never been before, I feel.  The technical aspect of what I do for Sonic does a bit unnerve and intimidate me, but I ignore it.  I can act.  Or not act, but assimilate, have a different fate.

So……..  Driving soon.  Travel light.  Only a work folder, or pouch, or whatever the hell this thing’s called.

Writing about work has me with exposed fangs, wanting more work, more projects, more invitations for creative.  Woke at fucking 6:20-something this morning when I so profusely wanted to be up at 4.  But, the run, and I think the Chardonnay blocked what was sought.

Some people bringing their kids to work, with nearly every school in Sonoma County closed for the day.  All except for wife’s.  Can’t figure that out. Jack to work with her.  Wonder what he’ll do there.  This morning Jack showing me how many notes, letters really, he’s writing.  If he writes a certain number of letters, he earns stickers, and eventually his name will be mentioned on the loudspeaker at his school. His aim arrangement and orientation teaches me about me, what I need do with my nano novel  I remember thinking how tired I was last night instead of just diving into my novel.  When home, tonight, just open the laptop, do touch-and-go’s on novel.

Gears in switch.  Prep for Berkeley drive, gather materials, though not much.  Posted something, texted wife, moving miles in less than a minute.