I will let NO ONE dictate my pace.  EVER.

On campus, in the adjunct cell, with my “lunch” if you could call it that.  Haven’t told the department yet about my 1A, only ‘cause I wanted to come directly here to write, but I’m more than ever motivated to go down to one class, or only accept one additional course if it’s right after my early ‘5’, me sure of this right after the meeting I just had with English 100.  Students shared some stories about dramatic and some traumatic events in their lives that taught them something.  Why would I keep going as an adjunct taking whatever assignments are just leftover for me?  As I wrote earlier, I’m deciding I deserve more, I deserve better.  I’m moving closer to that perfect world dad and I talked about at Monti’s that one night.

Listening to the Hutcherson station, or channel, whatever, again.  Eating my trail mix, the first course in my extravagant adjunct lunch.  Spoke with a full-timer just a bit ago, in her office grading papers, so miserable and vocal about her frustration with the students in their submission of an assignment— a letter to someone they admire.  “I mean, how hard is this?” she said to me.  Part of me agrees, well no all of me agrees, but the other side of my brain wonders why she has all her eggs in this basket, teaching?  Why not do something else if it makes you so miserable?  Why doesn’t she set her own pace, her own rhythm, decide to only play the music she wants to?  Why do so many of us so quickly surrender, give up fighting for what we want?

Going to tell the department now.  No 3-5PM English 1A…

Done.  And she was fine with it.  Not that I was worried or even care.  It’s what I wanted to do.  How will I recover the funds on which I’m missing out?  I have several ideas…  That I don’t have time to catalogue at the moment.  My mood, elevated.  I feel in control in a way I have never as an adjunct.  I turned something down— or, went back and said no after saying yes to an assignment which represented all they had to offer me.  The usual leftovers.  The shit.  The shit these full-timers don’t want to deal with.  I just.. can’t believe I did that.  Is it okay to say I’m proud of myself?  I rarely do, so it should be okay, right?  “Ha ha!” I want to go out in the hallway and fucking shout.  “I’m not teaching shiiii-iiiit…  I’m not teaching shiiii-iiiiiiiiiiit!  I do what I waaaaa-aaaaant!!” Like a child.  That’s what I need to be, careless and free like my kids.  Jackie who jokes all the time, delighting in all minutes, then my sweet little Emma who coos, smiles, tries to wrap her little baby arms around daddy.  This is the right choice.  This is the choice for my story, the story demands it, and I demand a better story.  This is a start.  The adjunct life and the way I used to live it just taking whatever was offered to me is now, FINALLY, over.  I’m in control in a way I haven’t been since, well, I don’t know.

Now onto the Cheddar Goldfish.  I told you.. adjunct lunch.  I wasn’t joking.  Glad I left the cafeteria line.  Would have spent at least $7 there, where at the bookstore I walked out under $3.  $2.77, if I’m of precision this afternoon, which I am, more motivated than I’ve EVER been.  Opening the second trail mix packet.  Bored with the fish.  Sip sparkling water…  Want to tell everyone, everyone I know, like with the students today…  Tell your story.  Change your story.  Write and re-write your story.  Whatever you want doesn’t have to stay a ‘want’.   I mean, how hard is it if I, the adjunct, did it?

Day 1

Sanction Credit

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No more cinnamon bread …

Thought, and am still thinking, this whole morning that I need to challenge myself.  How.  Don’t want it to be one of those sill trite ’30 day challenges’ that you see your Facebook friends talk about all week or month long, posting more pictures than putting energy into their project, or “challenge”.  What does mine consist of .  Well, I think of what I want at the end of it.  So… what, then?  I know, or I have ideas.  But I’m not going to post them here.  I’ll write them in the Carpe Journal.  Just wrote three targets.  So yes, this “challenge” has many challenges within it.  And I’m not calling it a ‘challenge’, but a new story.  The New Story, like the New Deal…  My New Deal to myself.

Change in winery’s schedule has me going in later.  Have to be in at 10AM.  And I thought about writing at sbux but then I thought of all the people there, those filthy fucking tables, all the noise, and how rare it is I’m in this house in nearly-frightening quiet.  So here I am with coffee #2 and my ideas, Carpe and the thoughts of what I want to be at the end of this New Story.  First, more disciplined.  Second, I need something to sell to bridge these infernal income gaps.  And I know what a reader could be saying, “You work two jobs, how could you have ANY income ‘gaps’?” Easy.  First, the college pays me once a month, which is a dehumanizing hammer unto itself.  Then, all the overhead associated with two babies, a house, a devilish auto that constantly needs some servicing of some sort.  What the winery pays me, not bad, but again the overhead devours that before I have even a chance to place it in a checkbook register.  All the story of a working daddy, two babes, two jobs, house in California.  But I don’t have to surrender to anything, I don’t have to accept any reality either handed to me or that I’ve placed myself in.

Just remembered the cleaning ladies are coming this morning around 8:30.  May have no choice but to go to ‘the bux’.  OR, not.  Still have 40 minutes for my sitting here, enjoy thoughts of my New Story and scribbling new adds and ideas to the list.  This is a stretch in self-actualization and realization, education.  Changing the story, just someone, a father, of two, getting what he wants for himself AND his family.  And I don’t want this narrative to be banal, either.  Father making all these declarations, all these promises.. ‘It’s so hard being a father and bla bla bla…’ Not me.  Ever.  So I sip the coffee, or I will when I stop typing, put on some music…  What do I want to listen to?  What kind of mood am I in?  Zero 7, the Pandora station.. electronic but genuinely melodic, jazzy, calming and its own relaxant.

This desktop once more annoying me.  So, of course, added to New Story list.  I always tussle with this desk’s top.  But I’m tired of it.  I’ll take a picture of it everyday and post it somewhere, not gloating it’s part of some hokey challenge.  But to show… I don’t know.  Something.  I pull another piece of that cinnamon bread wife bought from Costco or Target I think.  Enjoy with coffee.  Making this morning my own, what I want it to be, beginning the composition of a new story.  Why not.  Why not at this age.  I’m always obsessing over my age, and I know I shouldn’t.  Mom once told me that you’ll be in a stupor if you dizzy too much in the acknowledgement of your age.  Now I see it, now I appreciated and am rattle by new truth and sight.  It’s true.  Of course I’m going to age, we all are.  But focusing on that number, the tally, something only conceptual if you think about, is utterly unneeded.

Thoughts continue their rain.  Storming brain and wishing I were in school again.  But I am, right?  Student to Self always and what happens around me, learning from every character and occurrence around me.  The thoughts take me away from this quiet house and to travel, where my work will soon carry its creator.  Where?  I don’t know, I hope everywhere.  Too soon to obsess over travel destination, especially seeing’s how I want to go everywhere.  But that would be one of the projected tangibilities of this New Story.  30 days.  30 DAYS.  Today, the first…  10 more pushups.  OH, busted!  Yes, an item on Story list.  100, day each.  Why?  Well, to add to health, life, but as well to stay in that habit and pattern.  Discipline!

I hit a stall, not so much a wall.  Unexpected temporizing of the momentum I was just seconds ago enjoying.  Why, I have no idea.  I haven’t overexerted myself, have I?  Don’t think so.  Maybe I should slow, be more measuring in my typed actions at this home office desk, piece of sweet cinnamon bread at right.  Tempted to get another but that would be my third, and an extensive population in this effort dedicated itself to dedication itself… discipline!  So no third.  “Oh, but it’s so good with this coffee.” Part of me says.  That thought, tossed.  I enjoy my music paired with the Studio’s quiet, and enjoying that I get to delightfully revel in it longer as I called Ricardo, gently asking him if his crew could get here a bit later, say 9:30, as I’m working at something still here in the A-Walk base, I told him. “No problem, Michael,” he affirms.  “I will have there at a little after 10, is that okay?” Answered him ‘yes’ and ended the call, returning to my morning’s thousand-or-so-word hopes.  I returned to the thoughts where I am now, where this New Story started and I’m hoping to never end.  After this “challenge” I’ll plant another, pick what it yields.  Sip.  Live.  Love.

(10/4/16)

In a Tumbler

Finally, I can freely write.  Be the kind of writer I need be, right now.  Still with a good surplus of coffee before English 1A.  Just walked outside to make a call, now back in the adjunct cell.  Saw two full-timers in break room, eating whatever they brought to campus to eat, and now me here in this cell, thinking of plans— no, not plans, but action.  Immediate material action.  Can’t wait to get home and have some of the pasta Alice made last night.  I can finally eat and I’ve never been happier.  Fucking food poisoning.  Still can’t believe I survived yesterday.  I was sure when I landed on Dutcher’s campus, and I mean sure, that I was headed home early.  But, somehow, I survived.  And I very much credit that early conversation I had with those two Baltimore guys.

The coffee’s working, no doubt, in gymnastic jaunts.  But now I’m restless.  Need a walk.  Across campus maybe to the car, drop off some of the nonsense in my backpack then come back here.  All I can think about is that pasta.. the red sauces, its depth and color and texture… the meatballs.  Should I finish the Zin I opened the other night, or should I open something else— OH SHIT, forgot to post my reaction to that Zin on the blog.  No worries.. will do tonight.  What other wine would I get?  Or should I open one of the remaining Lancasters?  Should conserve cash, but I have a shitload of cash in backpack.  Tips from weekend, from private tastings and bar interactions.  Fucking money, always the issue, with everything.  New biz plans aim to remedy such, but still it remains on the writer’s mind and is a dote in every decision, literally EVERY one.

Hunger knots my attitude, thoughts.. do I get a snack or wait?  Afraid if I wait for the pasta I’ll be with another core ache, not like the food poisoning angle of the night other but similar and equally as fervent in its ambition to pain me.  What would I get for a snack, thought?  (All adjuncts think this at one point in their career, full-timers too but it’s not the same…)  The famine compromises my freedom, the freedom I now feel—  I’m no longer liberated, now it’s the opposite, instead of having no appetite I have now too much of one.  Just want to be home with my babies and wife with that goddamn pasta!  Just messaged Alice:  “Can’t wait for your pasta!!!!!!!!  SO.  HUNGRY.  GOING.  TO.  DIE.” Hoping to get a laugh from her, in my comedic seriousness.  Seriousness garnished with tongue-and-cheek whimsy.

Now it’s oddly quiet in the halls, throughout this building.  Heard a door close but no accompanying commentary, like how the full-timers laugh so loud like they own this building and how they share with other how idiotic their students are rather than discuss success stories and shared remedies.  You know, something to do with actual teaching.  (What a fucking idea.)  Think the food poisoning forward new sight into my bravado, my character.  Situated in this adjunct cell, with lively cells about my circuitry and total anatomy.  But I’m hungry.  GOD. DAMN. IT.  I’m hardly free, but enslaved to my ravenous rumbles.  But, this is new, this sensation and seated liberation.  Everyone should get food poisoning, I’m thinking.  Yes… work a full day while at the equator of its symptoms.  Quiet in halls maintains itself, targets my peace as well.  Free?  Hardly.  Lean on coffee.  So very me, ai-je raison?  Now, uh…..

Creative Positivism, 22

In a mood today that I can’t shake, but wait…  I just told myself I couldn’t.  I know I can.  What’s stressing me, stresses so many out there… money, needing a new car, bills, having two kids, being an adjunct still after 10 years of instruction and there being no openings at local colleges…  Just need to breathe.  Like Dad has said, “You have to bring yourself to that place.” The place where you breathe and take a step back, and just calm down.  Like I told my friend Lainy the other day, I’m having to practice what I advocate.  And it’s not easy, I’ll concede.  What do I do for “lunch”?  Didn’t bring anything, and I don’t have time to go to that store down the Road…  Do I go for a walk?  Trying to be positive, but I’m definitely being challenged by the day, all parts of it.

Rubbing my eyes, deciding that I may let the students go tonight, go home and spend time with my babies.  That’ll help.  The writing father getting tired, that’s all this is, a bit of exhaustion maybe or just good ol’ stress.  Funny, as I talked to the students about stress last night, and if it’s in our heads or if it’s real.  Now, again, having to face what I discussed.  What’s causing the stress is real, but the stress is wholly in my head.  I have to keep telling myself, “There’s nothing I can do about it now.  I’m at work, I’m at work…” Need a walk in the vineyard, I think.

3:15PM

Ready for class.  Then, writing… more writing.  Have to edit education piece, write a story, poem, other directions.  The writer today of spirits elevated, especially after tasting a rhythmic and theatrical Cabernet with Nick the winemaker.  Just discussing the live entity in the glass, and what it does, what it says, what he hopes it says to the sipper— again reminding me wine is entirely alive, and that’s it’s meant to be fun, sans complication.  It’s life, and all life.  Life for me as a writer and for more thought, dreams, getting me closer to the Road.  Wine wants me on the Road.  It wants me to sip on the Road, from a hotel room looking down at some street I’ve never seen (like I did in Paris).  Putting a book together, tonight.  No more stalling.  Enough of this.  Starting with a recent entry, won’t say which one.  But the story of the adjunct, writing father, runner, thinking, lover and dreamer and daydreamer… wanderer… finally told me what to do.

Move quicker, always try to move quicker.  My new guiding mode and philosophy of things, all things.  There… set alarm for 4.  Ready for tomorrow.  So very ready.  18th is only 11 days away, and I haven’t made any what I would or could call “significant” strides toward the Road.  Going to get to work early tomorrow, get everything done and work on new ideas for the winery, tell more of the story, tell more of the vineyard’s story and what the bike tells me to write.  The penny-farthing, one wheel bigger than the other, odd-looking but so beautiful and ordering the onlooker to analyze and consider what it means.  It’s a beauty that I’m not used to, that I can’t turn away from, that I want more of, that I have to have.  And I do, daily, being here.  Blessed…..

Sales goal for next week:  $50 extra cash, from writing.  Simple, curt, clear.  No ambiguity.  I’ll budget self an even $100 for whatever I publish, and that’s it.  Sure I wish my budget could be bigger, but it’s not.  You work with what you have, not with what you wish you had (I’m finally learning at my old ass age…).

(7/7/16)

An Afternoon Page

Entirely in father province of the writer-father role, beginning this morning, with Emma gifted me an explosively abhorrent diaper, Jackie impatient and needing breakfast and to be entertained somehow.  All of course whilst Ms. Alice was out on a run, a run she very much deserved, I just thought it hilarious that of course such happens to me while I’m alone.  Working as much as I do, I don’t find myself pinned by monstrous diaper dilemmas.  But this morning I did.  Of course I did.

After the daddy daycare scenes, I got out for a run.  One rather impressive considering how not at all in the mood I was for running and how elevated the temperature was at 8 or 9-whenever I was out.  I pushed through the 7.2 miles averaging an 8-something per mile (not sure where Garmin is, otherwise I’d have actual numbers for you)…  THEN, a playdate arranged by Alice and one of her friends, ‘B’, who has three.  Luckily, the dad came along, ‘J’, a guy I’ve always liked and was excited he was coming over.  Not to be sexist or misogynist, or anything negative or hurtful, but I’ve always found the playdates to be something for the mamas, not us.  But, either way that went smooth and now I find myself in this scene, here at the desk in the home office just a few hours before class (something I’m not at all excited about), finally having time to write, collect self after hitting my daddy, running, and now writing roles… next, teaching.  Not that I don’t like teaching, I DO, I just want to do so more creatively and on my own terms as you know— not going to bore with that meditation and repetition, affirmation storm.  BUT, I am a father, with two children always looking at me, literally looking up at me and knowing in their minds I have everything figured out.  And, I ask myself, “Do I?” I think now, finally at 37, I have a pretty good handle on everything, I just need further focus and intensification.  I need to be an animal, more an animal…  A machine, truly tireless.  Which now, yes, I am a bit demonstrating, not taking a nap as tempted as I am with that breeze again hitting me on my right side— more of a gentle flirtatious pat and stroke, telling me that I deserve rest,  I would thank myself for it.  Maybe.  But I’m choosing to work.

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Gave Alice $23 dollars, have $40 left (cash)…..  Sorry, just thinking out-loud on the keyboard, money in thoughts, which is common of most fathers…  Tired again.  Shit, maybe I should just follow my babies’ lead and lay down.  Know I’d hate myself if I did, though.  So I push on.  Looking at the $40, then my coffee tumbler, then the notebooks (which comprise the current notebook garden), and I exhale, sit up straight and listen to the quiet of the Autumn Walk Studio…  What I’m learning:  All  moments are standalone pieces.  Fan above me, contributing to this atmosphere with its rushed but not too much revolutions.  Now I do want something.. not a nap…  not more coffee…..  But something.  Something different.  Act out of character, do something different.  Like what.. building something?  Well, aren’t I?

Dads know what I mean, when you have moments like this, quiet all to yourself, babies down and Mrs. out doing some errand or returning something, or picking something up, and you know the moment has to be grandiose in some way.  Cosmically productive, produce something, get something down, and done.  So what can I get done, then?  A short project…  Pack bag for tonight’s class, and take other shit out.. okay, here I go…..

Done.  And now what.  Just relax, honestly.  You know what, a nap would do you immense good.  So why not, and why not let yourself just rest, do something for you.  That would make you a better, more composed father.  Feeling those 7+ miles now, sitting in this chair and rubbing my eyes.  But if I stop, nothing’s written.  Start planning for tonight.  Every minute of it.  First half-hour, readings, then—  Not in the mood.  But I’m in a mood.  Not a negative one, just one anxious and antsy, needing something.  WHAT?  I don’t know.  That’s why I’m edgy.  Other fathers may say to me, “Well you have done a lot today, Mike.” It’s so weird, ‘cause I feel like I haven’t.  “What does that mean?” I start to worry.  And the antsy about me intensifies.  “Don’t want that to intensify!” I think.  Then I step away from the keyboard.  I’ve had it.  Daddy’s done.

(6/27/16)

Project A

Again reminding Self of the goal of this project, to write with every free second I have, and it makes me realize how my free time, my free seconds and nanoseconds have diminished since Emma’s birth.  And of course no blame and no spite toward my wee beat priestess, just something I’m realizing. Finished heating dinner for Alice and I, she upstairs laying with little Kerouac till his sleep overtakes his eyelids, and me waiting for her to descend down the stairs.  Free seconds… and no word goal, but just to sit and collect, write a bit.  And obviously ‘Project A’ will extend into 2017.. wow, ‘2017’.  So futuristic-sounding.  Not sure what I’m saying now, envisioning my travels with wine, and my future wine shop/wine bar.. but I need money for that.  Goddamn money.. always the issue, with everything, and I — stop.  I’ll have it.. no stress.  Not tonight.  Not with my daughter in the next room.  Only Zen.  Wined Zen.  I’ll open a gorilla red tomorrow night, more than likely a Lancaster, see such being poured in my wine shop/bar, doing tastings.. need to study every inch of the business, and I have been closely for the last three or four years, really since working at Lancaster after the box let me go, and thank the Craft they did.. wow, that was 1/20-something, 2012, nearly 4 years ago.  And I remember, that was right before Kerouac was born, getting laid off, and I was not in a good place; mentally, financially, Literarily, nothing.  And now, I must say, the writer’s much stronger.  This ADJUNCT warrior professor is ready for every-and-any-thing.

My wine shop/bar has a focus.  The consumer.  But what wine type?  I guess Bordeauxs, right?  Think Alice fell asleep upstairs.  Good for her.  She needs time with Kerouac and some rest, some quiet time after being on ‘Ms. Austen duty’ all day.

Could use another sip of the beer I opened…  so a break for this typer, penning pugilist.  Need to find some new words tonight.. everything I’m writing right now I hate, but the goal is to just keep writing, stay in the chair as I tell the students.. all4blog— narrative— expository quake—

Back In Class

IMG_1003And I have to applaud myself for working/writing myself out of a mood which was generated by my email getting hacked, some dimwit sending out a letter saying I was in fucking Turkey.. and needed money.  That, and I have grading for Summer to do, then planning for Fall, then the pick tonight at Old Camp.  But I calm, as it’ll all get done, I know.  I have managed to clear my desk a bit– oh, just remembered I need to charge my cameras, phone.. everything before the launch tonight.  No run today, as I have written on my calendar.  Thought about taking a nap, and that probably would help but I wouldn’t be working– have to stay working and writing.  Have notes typed up for meeting with Chelsea tomorrow.. need to designate notebooks for classes, and don’t EVER overlap.  Simple, simplified.. less is better.

Alice to bring home lunch in a bit.. not much more I can due right now but rightly write freely here at the desk, in the home study.  I now truly embrace the idea of “nothing new”.  No new projects, no new directions, no new anything– well, new clients I’ll take, but with a keen eye, careful and not at all with whim.

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While at Costco with Alice this morning, I motioned to look at my phone and she told me not to, “Be free for a minute,” she said, then seconds later disclosing how she intentionally left hers at home, again emphasizing freedom.  And she’s right.  Why should this email hack bother me at all?  AT. ALL.?  Kerouac didn’t have email.. a phone.. neither did Hem, Plath.. I know I’m in the blogging arena, and that comes with emails and social media, and this goddamn laptop.  But I don’t have to be chained.  In my little black book of ideas for mikemadigancrEATive I jot: “plan for tomorrow”, “less is better”, and “nothing new less you have to”.

Enjoying some music here in the study.. go plug in battery/charger for camera.. done.  Mind IMG_1008swirling and I’m having trouble stopping it, which I suppose is a benefit, a boon for me as a business owner, right?  Thinking the content tonight should be 50/50, video and still, but I’ll see.  I have to feel the scene and see what the story tells me to do.  Words come first.  I’ll bring my little notebook but I doubt I’ll be able to see anything out there, in the dead of night/earliest of mornings.

IMG_10097:24PM.  And after the most fierce battle with tech that I’ve found myself engaged in, in months, if not a year (calling what I thought was an IT number but was only a scammer.. luckily I hung up and disconnected internet connectivity), I’m back at the laptop with renewed appreciation, and total embrace of the simple approach to writing, my business, life.  Alice had it right this morning, put the phone down.  It’s down now, believe me, and with under 5 hours, actually just over 4 hours till departure for the vineyard, I’m in the mind state and frame I need.  And to add to today’s attack on the writer, the SF prospect passed, stating her editor didn’t like my revisions.  Of the original sample I sent.  And honestly, I’m fine with it.  She very much tried to help me, which I appreciate.  And who knows what her editor wants.  I don’t care what any editor wants if you must know– well you already do.  I’m focusing on the wine, the winemaking, the vineyards, wine writing, me, my family, building this business so my babies will have the option to share one day the office with me.

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Jackie home from swimming lessons, which I took him to, Alice staying home and resting which she needs, carrying little M.  While watching him, in the water, me not looking at my phone and seeing so many parents looking at their screens completely ignoring the processes of their IMG_1013children in the pool.  The instructors were far more attentive that those parents.  But not me.  I watched everything little Kerouac did in the water, sitting on Ms. Ashley’s lap and letting her take his arms to make the stroking movements.  My phone now still in pocket.  There it stays.  And the email that was hacked, letting it die.  Never using it again.  Now only my vinolit address used for business.  And to everyone who tries to contact me through the old address.. well…..  If the story wants us to stay connected we will be.  I’m moving on and distancing myself from this technological terrorism and dependency.  I’m going to continue to be the odd one who doesn’t look at his goddamn phone every five seconds.  I’m going to always be the lunatic watching his son swim in the pool, or the view of the vines or how the tree moves with gusts.  I’m an artist, not a device dependent drone.  I’m alive, they’re not.  They’re less than alive.  They’re devices themselves, with vices about their movements and interactions.  Not this writer.  At present, this laptop not connected to the internet, and I love the detachment!  I love the art of my movements and my breathing, the way I push the keys even feels better, much more richness in the sounds.

IMG_1015Going through the camera I see so many images that I haven’t used, and the video camera I haven’t used has material as well.  And no connection to the internet for these tech pieces, so no chance of getting hacked.  Yes, I know, but still tech.  A compromise you could say.  In the vineyard I’ll go from camera to camera, and if I can write notes, single words not burdening myself with full sentences or any kind of proper grammar as these editors want.

Funny the email said I was in Turkey, as I’d love to go to Turkey, have always wanted to go there and write about the streets and all the merchants, the customs and scents and buildings, wherever I could go.  And the danger that people speak of and warn Americans against, what fuel for the writing. For THIS writer, dodging and hiding from whomever…  I need travel, and this hacking event today, if you could even deem it an “event”, only made Mike more resolute.. nearer to book’s completion, my travels, and more enhancement of life quality for my family.

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Still quite a bit of clutter and paper piles around me.. evidence of the battle and how it diversely crushed my day’s routine.  Maybe I won’t go to bed when I get back here at 2-whatever.  Maybe I’ll come to this swiveling chair, to my pages, to this new me for which I have today to credit.

(8/12/15)

Careers Whatnot and

IMG_6928And the coffee now being sipped, and needed as I very much feelthe echo and aftershock of lastnight’s wine.  Typo after typo in this sitting, but that’ll change once this coffee infuses and breaks up the weight of the Pinot and Syrah.  no run this morning obviously, but tomorrow morning I will rise early even though its one of my long days; at the winery then to teaching.  If I’m to become a masterful runner I must make time, sacrifice gladly the wine, and move on with my running.  In fact, tomorrow morning I’ll set the alarm for 4:15, launch by 4:30 like my motherinlaw, and be back to help with Jack and arrange what I need to for his and my, and my wife’s day to go smoothly.

Just made some notes for mmc (mikemadigancrEATive), a virtual office if you would, thought of that driving home from work last night.  So far, Blair and his wines are my only true client, but that will change I’m hoping after the meeting with Chelsea’s folks.. so much happening and so fast but I can keep up and I have to if I’m to have my office and be more into advertising and marketing as I wish.

So quiet in the house now, me at the island in the kitchen of this Autumn Walk base– think I heard J IMG_6929get out of bed.  No doubt he’ll head straight down here, downstairs to his writing father, finding him working and hustling and playing with words, providing my own allegory of sorts…  hmm….. allegory, there’s something that can work for mmc, somehow, with the idea of an allegory but I’m not sure what.  WHAT!  What could it be, possibly?

Not in the mood to be back in that tasting room, just want to play with words all day and plan for mmc campaigns and get closer to my office.  If I make today the grandest of projects, blog absolutely everything, that has to do something.. and I mean everything.  From when I pull up, to when I park, to setting up with Andy in the TR, to pouring, to walking the grounds if I get around to doing that.. again, everything.  “So how do you become a professional blogger?” I don’t know.  I guess blog everything, right?

IMG_6930The coffee starts to make its presence formidable and push away the wine’s placement, driving out an invader– there’s an allegory!  Again, just want to play with words all day, adjectives and linking them to wine and describing wines in wild ways as I do, like the Pride Syrah from last night, how dark it was and vampiric– no, used that before…  how haunting and scenic it was, just with the visual and how it say on your senses and provoked you.. oh Pride, all their wines, and those grounds.. dreaming dreaming and talking to myself in some odd wandering morning narrative, now the coffee is sure in spin, not quite as strong as the coffee the Pride pride made me that morning I went up there but close.  I’m awake and focused and mmc is coming to life, in this virtual office then to a real office space on H-burg square, looking down at the tourists and smiling with them, even though I’m working, but I’m working for me and where I want to and how I want to– I guess and entrepreneur.  I don’t know.  I’ve never really liked that word.  Everyone uses it and everyone flaunts it wherever and however they want to.  I’m just working for myself, that’s it, from words and my allegories with wine and the people enjoying them.  Wine is supposed to be enjoyed, and what you do for a living should give you pleasure, and I know the extents will vary person to IMG_6936person, but you should like if not love your “job”.  I’m only going to accept loving mine.  Like the guy from Maine who owns his own ad agency, who came into the winery months ago, right when I first started.  Obsessed with his website and how the business looks, that real CREATIVE agency feel.  That’s what I’ll have from downtown Healdsburg, and that’s what I’ll perpetuate with my “clients” and the relationships that I build.  Creativity.. that’s the important facet to my company’s name, not ‘mikemadigan’.  It’s the ‘crEATive’ that allows real life, that allows us to EAT, to have fun, to actually live and continue our stories.

6:22, and I hone 1000 words.  The first cup, nearly dead.  That’s fine.  I’ll make a second.  Imagine how much coffee I’ll be drinking when I have my own office and have to bring work home and work all night to make some deadline, or even sleep at the office– who knows–  I want this to be an adventure, mmc, and I want to share it with like-minded people, the creatives, those wanting to grow– no… expand.. no…….  AMPLIFY!  Clients that want to amplify and  re-emphasize and aggrandize their business’ story.  Creative, Creative…..  There’s no creativity in being safe, I dare say, so I also look for clients that trust me to take measure gambles with them.

IMG_6938Looking at one of the bottles I brought home last night, the Longbow Pinot, a barrel-selection project from Arista, here on the island looking at me, the last of it.. I think about the story of wine and how it comes to be and the fantasy, if you’d call it that, what brings people out here, the words they use and how they don’t know if there is some proper wine language and descriptive habit.. so….. what am I getting at?  I don;t know.  Like I said, if I had all day to play with sentences and words and the creativity now in my and develop it somehow I’d be able to tell you.  But I can’t.

6:41, the laptop needs a charge before too long as do I which is the reason cup 2 is already at writer’s right.  The day underway, as are my thoughts, and how to grow my friend’s brand, Archival.. focus on that words.. play with it.  Archive, something Archived.. a treasure, a story, a winemaking style.. what..?  I can only play with punctuation as well, the same way my sone fiddles with his toys; the cars and trucks and other vehicles he lined up for my parents last night on the carpet-covered chest (now at my left).

Sip one of cup2 and well on my way for a crEATive day.  Think Jack still may be sleeping, tired little bloke.  Probably could go back to sleep if I wanted but I have thoughts to develop, brands to grow.. building building building, I need to build and assemble this business of mine, be my OWN client, essentially.. market myself any way I can and what better than through this bottledaux philosophy?

Then I hit a wall.  I should walk away from this keyboard, just take time to think about my words and stories and allegories and– he’s up.  I heard him, my little Artist.  He’s on his way to see his typing father, and what better reason to break for me?  My immeasurable thanks again to Alice for this coffee, everything I thought it would say this morning and help me to write.

IMG_6937Jackie to cuddle with his mama, and me back to typing, and typing about typing, and about the business I’m seriously trying to build finally at 36 years of elderliness.  I look at the images and articles and concepts around me: the dishtowel with cherries about its surface, that Longbow bottle, the coffee, my phone, Jackie’s cars and trucks and whatnot.  And then me.  The writer.  And business owner?  Suddenly ad/marketer?  Yes.  And another YES.  Just keep moving, I tell myself, and that the stories need be told– it’s more than simple branding or any idea OF branding, but story telling, transparent narrative.  And I mean REAL transparency to the narrative.  Me: up early and writing sipping coffee, sipping more coffee to keep me writing and keep me crEATive.  Telling myself that I’ll blog and write and capture every goddamn thing I encounter today.  Story telling and narration and allegory and meaningful lecture to myself and the world.. TODAY!

Jackie just waking up, struggling to do so like his writerfather.  Now to cartoons and the day is off…..  Blog everything, capture everything, like him yawning and stretching on the couch and the sounds of this cartoon that my waking senses can’t yet adequately process.  But I keep writing and ignore this odd vertigo feeling that comes and goes.  That has to be the last of the lastnightwineinfluence.  I’m sure of it.  Today and tonight, no wine.  Have to run tomorrow morning, and early, earlier than early.  Go to sleep in running gear and just roll out and roll out to street, and fast, only one hour allotted.  And fast, fast, then faster.. if I stop then there’s no story, nothing being told or narrated.  I look over at Jackie, his contentment.  I want that for the day, while I create and while I capture.  Which will only further build and appreciate MY brand, this mikemadigancrEATive idea/project/dream/vision/hope/story/what/talkwithmyself/affirmation.

All in the Bottle and All for the Ox

5/31/16, 6:28, and I’m up. I don’t want to think of anything specific this morning but I IMG_4857am. The novel. And money. And bills. And writing. This point in my life, supremely singularizing, putting all in the bottle, this OX and all his interests, curiosities, and affairs. Andy from work, from the winemaking team actually but works time-to-time in TR with me, gifted me a Paso Cab yesterday that was just bottled last week. Can’t forget to make a note somewhere– And the other wines I want to open, in my “cellar” which is really just the back of the closet in this Autumn Walk, or “A Walk” as dad writes in his calendar notes that he sends by email to Alice and I, base.
Running today. Will take an Aleve today. Maybe two, and bring the knee brace Katie bought me for my birthday, get back into it. And no eating anything till after 12, at least. Had a lion’s plate last night with all the leftovers from birthday dinner, Mom’s enchiladas and the rice & beans Alice made, was making as the writer came home and when I finally arrived home the 29th after work.

All in the bottle, I tell myself. This blog and the wine and the writing, stories and IMG_4869running and Wellness, ZEN.. Literature, teaching (which hopefully I won’t be doing as much of when Fall lands on my pedagogy plate). Just keep an inventory, I tell myself. I made a ‘hashtag’ list in my phone, and I hate that I put so much emphasis on something so seemingly juvenile as technology, that phone, and social media, I mean there’s nothing Literary to hashtags and the like AT ALL. But… it does help me center my writings and consistencies, and a swell way for me to properly market myself, my writings, and this blog– Mike Madigan, as a brand. I know just where I’m running.. 3 miles left out driveway, toward MacCrostie & VML, then turn around. 6 miles, think that’s a swell aim. Then home to help with Jackie.. ‘parenting’, another of my bottled topics…..

Was looking up everything wine and winemaking while at work yesterday, before moving to event/wedding mode. And again, that’s not going to be a focus, or even an option, when I have my wine story and tasting room, but I still want the awareness, the knowledge and experience. And, I’m sorry to again mention it, driving those hummer go-carts, or golf carts, such a thrill for the writing with the wind and zooming down the hill looking at Mt. Saint Helena in the natural frame left. But the wine, and winemaking.. everything IMG_4875dominating my sight and visions and hoped-for foreshadowing yesterday and plainly lately for the writer; the fruit coming in and the punchdowns and the feel and thrill and pressure of harvest. Fruition! Everyday has to be harvest for me and these pages and the marketing of my work. I see that now! I have to be a true OX! One always moving, always carrying one story from page one to final and then selling the work no matter the project size. Have to fill in the income gaps and be serious about it like that comic book writer I saw speak on the Paris Review site. Either you do it or you don’t, I tell myself, AM telling myself on this couch right now. And the quiet, the driving down the hill in that Hummer, hearing the wind against me and the trees and imagining writing from Mt. Saint Helena, somewhere up there, about something, like Kerouac from Sur, alone and only noting, no tech, a penman disconnected. All in the bottle. And from a renewed OX. Did the even do something to me yesterday without the writer knowing it? Was it the pages I scribbled agains the Hummer, waiting for the call to come back up and file those chairs–fold then file–then drive the people to the pavilion for dinner and more cocktails? This energy is not common, what I feel and my quaking eagerness for more story, for my run today, and for Life; the Zen it’ll bring, TOTAL Wellness.

Coffee.. another tally in the bottle of this Ox. And an Ox, a being of strength and duty and completion, the ox will always carry his cargo or people or accumulated items from destination 1 to 2. A consistency of devotion, follow-through, sincerity. And as it happens, 2015 is the year of the Ox! And I find more in the Chinese calendar. That the Ox is of enormous significance, truly impacting the story. And I, this writer and lover of wine and all tellings wine-riled and connected will follow my motifs and prowesses. And that’s how I want to be seen and read, as I’ve so many times paginated; an obsessed writer, one never stopping and always journaling and typing and keeping my story in motion, carrying the pages from 1 to finish, like an ox, maybe slow-moving but inconceivably strong and set on fruition.

Almost at a thousand words so I may well keep with my assignment, trudge up the hill like an Ox with more cargo than it probably needs. Waiting to hear Jackie upstairs.. went in an got him around… hear noise, probably malfunctioning smoke alarm.. shit.

And it was, the alarm in J’s room, losing battery power. But the stepstool not big enough, not tall enough I should say. And the day’s off and running and this Ox has to catch it somehow.
7:42 and I’m downstairs with the little Beat, as he plays with his monster trucks I rush toward the morning thousand marker. Washed dishes and wiped down counters, a homeowner of me yet made… Nearly forgot, over $30 in tips yesterday, putting in my winemaking envelope, and forgetting about it, not touching it for anything. Coffee cup one in motion, and I know today will be great for the Ox.

My personal pages vended. IDEA: 20pp for $6.

And???