Could use more minutes to self. 

Like I said, the time would by me fly in ways that I just can’t address understand. The only option or solution if it’s a solution is to keep writing.  Learning from where I am, here in this company breakroom which is truly colorful and encouraging, just what I see having at my eventual office.  I’m 40 though, now, so bring it closer.  Be methodical…. Wrote a bit of a narrative plan yesterday while in the crepe place on Solano.  Just keep writing, keep learning.  And READ MORE.  Started Alchemist but got distracted, shocker.  Have a copy of Road in car.  Should I read that again, but differently?  React to everything?  Be more a participatory reader as I say to students?

Party, or gathering, or something tonight to “celebrate” me being 40.  Not sure how I feel about it.  Alice planned it, and I appreciate, but celebrating me getting old…. Why.  There’ll be wine there but I won’t let self have too much.  Will set alarm again for early, 3am tomorrow, as I had it set this morning but just turned it off.  Fuck, I said to myself when I woke this morning.  Why’d I do that?  I remember getting up and turning off the alarm, and then thinking I could stay up, run, write, do something.  But I didn’t, goddamnit.  I surrendered to the pull back to pillow and sheets.

Learning from this place, work, the office, this tech terrain, how to write better and more effectively… how to set precise or more precise aims, and how to realize them.  Just looked at clock and should get to desk.  Have some things that need be done immediately…  Will do.  Today’s a lesson, a lecture, all of it.  Write it all down, post finding.  You are not you, not Mike Madigan, but a student, and you speak to other students, share notes and realizations.  Back in class.

from a journal


Jimtown Store, Alexander Valley

Two days.  Not even sure why I do the countdown anymore.  Who cares… don’t want to dwell or fixate, fix or focus on that.  Writing at the JT Store.  First such sitting in ….. how long.  How long, ever, I wonder, with time flying by me as it does.  Wife upset she didn’t wake early to workout and me not happy with my continuing late wakes.  Going into this new year of my story… 1, no fear, of anything or anyone.  2, less editing and less thought, just fucking release all writings.  All writings can be sold.  3, 4am is GOD, and you WILL NOT be unfaithful to her.

I wake this morning getting into shower hearing my babies be silly as they often are in the morning call to me and play basketball with one of those hoops you hang from your door, Jackie’s that he received as a gift last xmas I think,

This latte… costing 8 dollars as the young chap behind the counter was nice and accommodating and I know that if I were him I’d appreciate a nice cash shove. So there you go an $8 latte.

Call intruding on writing but I don’t let it.  The morning, the latte, Jimtown, Alexander Valley and all the vines enjoying sun which reminds me I brought my camera and am committing self to taking some pictures, somewhere either close to the store, that vineyard across the street or near Lancaster, down valley.

2 days.  More writing, 4am or death, books over books, over more finished manuscripts.  Thought of the plan to just give all my writing away, but then no… I need to sell works just as my studies masters did.  Why am I afraid to sell my work.  WHY?  Why are any of us as Artists afraid to live from sentences?  Isn’t that what we want?


9:11.  Getting ready in a bit to leave and launch into vineyards and take pictures of the vines that call out to me, that want my attention.  Which ones do.  I have one block in mind, close to Hannah’s property, across the street.  I’m even more compelled to cruise through vineyard blocks and just note what I see even more than capture it with some fucking lens and button.  What do I mean ‘even more’?  I’m a writer.  Not a photog.  This room, this back area where I imagine people eating breakfast or brunch, or just stopping for a midday beer or glass of wine, from far away like the people I met yesterday from Southern California and those from the other week from MN.  Everyone comes here and it blows me away.  Travel, the vines and this room tell me, travel… get out of here.  Go write about other rooms, other varietal blocks.  Photograph everything, write about it.  40 is now alarmingly close, and if something in my practice doesn’t alter, then I circle.

Yesterday tasting that 2-barrel Malbec, remembering why I keep coming back to wine, writing these essays if you could call them that, these entries, keep returning to the tasting room much I criticize it and its industry.  There’s a mystery and then the obvious, a helix heavenly and promising me to write this book and finish it then begin the next one before this one ends.  This book on thought, how so many of my thoughts precipitate from wine and barrels and my days at wineries, how now after all the industry battles and downright wars I’ve fought against the machine, I’m immediately free in the tasting room, at the winery, in the vineyard to do as I need to, as the books demand… more stemming from MY personal legend, or narrative, nor notes.

Today hosting a Napa winemaker, from one of my favorite Napa wineries that I can right now think of.  Know my approach, and know what I’ll talk about.. the wine, maybe, but life, why we’re both there, at that moment, in the philosophy of the Now, the narration constant and present.  I’m not planning or preparing for this tasting, I’m eager to talk wine with someone who writes in wine as I write in and from, more toward my own voice closing in on 40.


Capitola, CA.

Parking lot above the police station, suggested by a police officer just a second ago when I pulled up beside him, barely able to speak from the effects of the cold or whatever I have.

More than awake and ready to dominate and control this race. Will get coffee somewhere in Santa Cruz not Capitola when fine.

Will start walking down street and toward start in a bit. Right at 6….

Good thing I double checked. Was in wrong spot. I thought it started in Santa Cruz not Capitola. So here I am. Saw coffee spot driving in. Boardwalk in front of me, some rides, lights, those pointed rooftops you’d see at an amusement park.

5:59. Leaving car. Get bib, then walk around. Hope they have somewhere for my keys. Hope. Should have bought one of those belts, precisely for keeping your car key. Mom’s right as always, as she said the other day– I need be better prepped.

Just saw two women runner walk by.

Leaving car.

from a journal


Early in office.  I can tell people, some, don’t want to be here on their Saturday.  Thought walking down the dark hall to get coffee that I wouldn’t, couldn’t, have it another way.  Coffee and blueberry bagel, I picked up from spot just down block.  Thought they were CLOSING closing, for good.  Guess not, after asking the girl behind large glass display case that no, no they are not closing.  At one time they were thinking of moving, but no closing.  Shared my relief with her and left after paying with quarters.  Only $1.50.  No debit card usage today, and no cash.  Investing in my businesses more vigorously and with more tell and precision, closer to 40 I step.  The morning, complimented by music in right ear, beats and instrumentals I’d have playing in my wine shop, or tasting room.  Still think about it, literally on basis that’s multiple-daily.  This morning when I woke up I thought of having to spend the night at my store like the one guy I met years ago when working for the advertising firm in Marin where I was invited into a guy’s office at a Mexican restaurant and the man had a bed behind his desk, to the side of his file cabinet.  I always remembered that and think of it now, getting closer to 40 yes but even more near to my business.  I know wine will answer everything for me. She always does.

8:01.  59 minutes at my desk.  Noting on day, on what I need do for and with team today, then tomorrow.  Tasting with a winemaker I’ve always admired and followed, and a bit a friend of mine, Michael Browne.  My tasting with him was over 4 years ago, when he still partially owned Kosta Browne.  Part of me wants to plan my questions, write them out.  And I might to a degree.  But if I’m to write as the wine writer I wish be seen and remembered, I’d prefer the preponderance of it be unplanned.  Wine shouldn’t be an excess of structure. I remember myself saying once.  Just now writing on a post-it, that wine is more chance than anything else, a reminder to not forget about the moment immediately before you.

Notes in other places, on wine and what I want from wine…. Wine from last night, nothing too crazy, and the vineyard walk I committed self to, tomorrow.  As soon as I’m on Lancaster’s set, I’ll be in those rows.  Must be, continuously.  The rocks and soil contrast from one parcel of the property to next.  Being away from the industry as I have, and very much by choice, the vineyards more me call now.  I hear the birds from one close of Cabernet to the other, then the Merlot and Cab Franc behind it.  Each lot telling me something about what I’m doing and why.  That’s what wine is, why I’m in it so fiercely.  Wine is this morning, these things I demand do and what I’ve done from the bagel to the hallway walk, the office and the drive to Berkeley.  Wine calls for more of me, more of my writings, all of them. Each day and sight, thought and track I listen to.  To control and contain pace, put the paragraphs in the order the time, MY time and MY sitting, call for.

from a journal

…this first day off in a bit.  Shouldn’t say it like that.  I shouldn’t.  What I mean is… I don’t know what I mean, getting closer to 40 and seeing more and more of days I’ve lived with occurrences now, in my Now.  What I see is the Now connecting with my days growing, aging.  Certain actions from Emma or Jack will remind me of something I did and my parents’ reaction, everything tying in and out of life and back together here in the Now for some precise understanding of Self.

Emma was right.  I need write, this morning.  First thing.  Made self another cup of medium Roast, satisfying one aim for day of not going to Starbucks, so far.  As well, in a demanding 19-hour fast.  Why… to test self, to be the runner I need be, more disciplined and patterned, positioned and even more passionate than people tell me I am, how they see me.  Paragon in morning, paradigm in action and what’s produced.  Will ready for run at 10, which gives me a delightful hour of composition, laughing still hearing Emma telling me to write.  Why did she say that, and not running.  She must recognize me a writer, one who writes and loves books, loves to be with words and share them, one of words, her daddy.  So… more a writer need be, me, more form natural intrinsic effort and velocity. Why I only made self a single cup, not the usual double I do.

Back in a tasting room, yesterday, Lancaster, helping a couple people in salon, or lobby as I like to call it, or lounge thinking of my eventual wine bar or room, or lounge with atmospheric tracks and music compliment.  Then a tour toward end of day, where I walked a nice couple from the Twin Cities to the Cabernet blocks and to the upper and lower crush area (as I used to when with Foley and years ago when working with Ted, the founder).  Then to cave, the library where we tasted both Cabernets, juxtaposed.  I thought past, to my past days at Lancaster, how when the Napa people with their fancy yet ineffective marketing firm let me go and I called Lancaster for some hours and they were for me san explanation, question.  Was just before Jack was in my world, physically.  I was touring at Lancaster, with more than enough familiarity, more than enough to make me apt and dangerous as a narrating sales bloke.  Now, over seven years later I’m again there, and with more freedom and peripatetic inclination…