Day 11 – 

Sat down in break room/arcade/snack shop, immediately started writing.  Told self I’d grade papers on break, but not after the busy morning I’ve had.  I very much deserve this meditation, this collection in words, with my paragraphs paired with leftover pizza and sparkling water wife me bought at Costco, yesterday? No.  Saturday.  Anyway, I think of business.  This business that I’m now in, melding customer service and PR with hospitality and sales, tech, language, storytelling, everything that I am as a … everything that I am.  Truly.  This morning’s meetings with T showed me what I already knew but punctuated what I need more pay attention to.

I’m learning still, at my old age.  Learning to learn, learning to write, write everything down, make the moment and everything in it especially at a new job my own.  New knowledge, in every step and turn.  No exaggeration.  I can’t get anywhere close to enough, here.  Of everything.  From the product I represent, to the services… how do I make this my own, I think.  The same way I did, and still do but on my own terms with wine.  Words.  Speaking.  Performing to a lesser emphasis.  Here.  Present.  My story and in my business, my business in this business, learning about the internet and why Net Neutrality is important, how I as a consumer of information is impacted.  I’m learning, and that’s my fix, that’s my addiction and story.

I still have a semester to get through, and I have to get creative tonight if I’m to grade what I have to, what remains.  What I had more than enough time to get to over the weekend but decided to instead write as I now do.  I should be eating this pizza, taking down this sparkling water, but I collect and mediate, recover on page.  Not that there’s anything to recover from.  This place, this company, everyone around me in this break room put me in a cumulonimbus composition of passion and creative… how to approach prospective buyers and how to approach the office every morning.  Writing down plans and goals for each day.  Yes, I’m doing so each day, and assessing the writer’s progress.  What I’m doing, how I grow, what I know and what I learn, how I grow from what I already know and the shapes and sequences newly-learned.  Feel like my story is only NOW truly starting… that the great consolidation of things and vignettes in my greater story only now’s noted.  Finally.  I shouldn’t say that, though.  I know.

Hunger catching me, I take a bit of the cheese pizza that I bought for the kids.  My babies, missing them this morning and driving here I thought of them and felt my soul sink, that I needed more time with them over the weekend.  But how could I have had more?  There were things scheduled, scenes already set.  Plainly, and I write this all the time, I need to wake earlier.  Last night didn’t sleep all that well, so ce soir I’m going to those sheets and pillows unusually early as I told wife.  See if I do it, and if I do hopefully it’ll trigger an early wake.  If I make a project of 4am, who knows what it’ll do.  I’m certain contribute to what I do here at the office new, this tech gem that found my story with a quickness and timeliness that very well could have saved my life, I see. In many ways.  Not just hyperbole.  I’m vocally convinced it did.

Have my eye on one of those canned coffee drinks in the shop’s fridge.  Not sure why I’m stuck on that at the moment, but I am.  I love the surroundings, here.  Do I miss the walks around the crush pad, in the tank rooms, in the cave?  Yes, I guess, but even those started to get old. They were just the same, replicated in each curve and angle, scent from barrels and tanks, cave rooms and tables.  Even my day yesterday in friend’s tasting room annoyed me, a bit.  People coming to taste wine but not really understanding them so they didn’t buy, or did but only a bottle here and there.  Thinking the next time I’m in a tasting room will be when I have my own. My own flight, offerings, when I’m pouring the wines I and/or my sister’s made.  Wine… still in head, don’t be confused. The industry though, as I’ve so many times in days recent said, put on the pages of this blog, is no more in my manuscript.  No more counting register, drying glasses, making those infernally pestering cheese plates.  No more.  Sipping what remained of that Pinot last night, and not much mind you, I thought of how just a moth ago, August 10th, I was in that room.  Behind the bar.  Pouring for people, giving tours, walking ‘round the crush pad and strolling with a joke or two cued into the lab to greet my buddy Chris… an act I do very much miss, as I loved the wine and winemaking discussions with mon ami, Mr. Chris… talking to the winemaker and asking him about growth in the vineyard.  Just under a month ago.  Time, here, flying faster than anywhere else.  More than enjoying myself, more than growth, but lesson that I need capture everything.  Note everything, and I do as there’s a lot to this new job of mine.  Field Sales Supervisor, a title which sounds rather industrial and clinical, boring and emotionless.  But its not, and certainly not how I’ll make it my own.

My pep, a strain to contain, hold or quarantine.  I’m learning too much, and not just about tech and the internet, client and customer relations, but about BUSINESS.  Am I a business blogger, now?  My knowledge need speaks from this new business I’m in.  I didn’t have this on property, certainly not behind that bar pouring down a tasting flight.  Meeting another fellow new hire after this lunch/typing session.  I know what I’m to say, then don’t.  I’ll learn from that, as well.  This is all learning. My business in this business, in this office, new, is learning, helping others learn.


One last glass of wine.  And this is the last. 

img_2168Tomorrow morning, the writer’s a runner, running at least 8 miles on treadmill and coming home to be daddy and get babies school-ready.  Then, tasting at another property with master sommelier person in the morning, first thing.  In the morning.  The book is done, I’m convinced.  Searching for title.  What’s the book about.  IT’s a memoir?  Collection of sketches?  Times and sitting as this, on floor with glass before bed telling self I’ll get up early to run but I might push snooze, and snooze, push snooze and bed, sleep, ignore.  Fuck… I did it again?

Like myself better when I’m a bitter wine blogger, attacking the industry and all the offices, the management, and… no, I don’t.  IS this the last glass?  Yes.  I swear.  Running, in hours’ matter.

And the morning… the morning… oh, THE MORNING.  

img_4768First thought was health, wellness and total wellness about my character and story and what I thought of course was writing, and singularity as I obnoxiously and tirelessly stressed to students this past semester.  Got a mocha, but no eats or one of those breakfast sandwiches I usually am self-stroked into buying.  Note: NOT. THIS. MORNING.  Everything different.  

Wrote sentence in “Happiness Project” journal, third or fourth straight day.  I have these thoughts about my own marketing firm, a creative hut for clients and creatives to intersect and profit and build mutual business.  And that will happen, one day, but the first project and priority, apexing and towering over any other entertainment… ME.  This blog.  My writings and lectures or essays, whatever you want to call them.  I’m starving right now but I not so much channel it as I do re-write the electric of its echo… new music and tunes for me, now at 08:44.  Have plenty of time to collect in this office, writing everything down, differently than it sounds in head—  “Do everything differently.” re-written as “Be another character, that character you see.” So, forward.  Two journals in front of me and you can tell I’m a writer, a recorder… this morning and all mornings.

On my marathon, ultra-run to total wellness, a state, an Equilibrium I remember writing about back in 2008 while lecturing at SSU, I breathe and listen to this jazz, write along side Mr. Coltrane.  I’m the writer I see, have seen, finally.  My health is my writing, what provides sense and music to each of my steps, and how humdrum and repetitive the tasting room can be, this sequence on pages negates and erases any bland consistency.

Love when I’m like this, with all these journals out.  Yes, I feel a bit cluttered but writers are so, such, right now with this very key touch, and this one, this one…. Day starting, this morning, a writer in the wine industry tired of the industry, some parts of it, but commissioning everything that wine embodies and asserts, intones and represents in what I do as this writer. 

Offering a writing course over summer, all Summer semester, “The sentence.” Building books from a single sentence, or some submittable manuscript.  Doesn’t necessarily have to be. Thesis or some proclamatory punctuation or stance, some memo tone.  Just the sentence being the start to something mountainous.  Had this statement signaled in head this morning, right as I left the shower, turned on fan, walked over to ironing board to put on what I ironed before shower.  My health, can permit no nay-say.  I will only speak the language of solutions.  With my writing, personal associations, when in the tasting room or on some tour, talking about the wines, any wine, whatever.

I’m a different writer.  I’m a different Mike Madigan. I’m just a writer.  That’s it.  Not some business owner, not in the traditional sense.  Just a writer.  Books and blog and articles and chapbooks, some poetry, something everyday to put into the world.  I start writing the first lecture for the Summer course.. harnessing what I recall feeling while lecturing in the English 5 class, and the 1A to lesser road.  I’m different, re-written and whole as a writer.  Learning from the morning as I always do but this A.M. has me sent to new Newness and rising, elevations and pagination.


Two weeks till 39,

img_4124tomorrow last of Spring ’18, and this glass of the St. Francis OVZ, my last.  Tom Wolfe died today, and again I’m reminded.. curt, life is a trash compactor wall.  So I sip and scribble and meditate over day at winery, where I wondered how many times I can wipe down a counter, how many times I can walk out to the vineyard, saying to self I should taste the Pinot Gris a couple more verses till it says something that actually says something to me.

This Zinfandel isn’t with my sitting, not here on this floor and with me and these keys.  Wishing self back to car, on my drive down to Anaheim in the harshest of A.M. dark time, morning, after getting coffee and letting thoughts trample me going across the Richmond-San Rafael bridge.  I don’t care about my age, not massively nor with minuscule sole.  I onward step and type and look to the light right above my head near a non-moving fan, hearing the fridge growl at me from left knowing the time is tempered and taught to squared legs.

On lunch break, in kitchen, thinking of what wine to open later. 

Not sipping during day.  Anticipating what wine… what wine to taste, the wine’s philosophy and language scoping my immediacy, me right here in the kitchen writing about wine, while not tasting it at all today.  Not sipping with guests, making the writer more focused, more observant, more creatively defiant in the tasting room— noting everything that everyone says.  May go back to winemakers’ kitchen and see if any coffee remains.  Care less if it’s cold.  I really don’t care.  You should see how speedy the fingers gallop and pervasively prance on the black keys of this laptop that sits atop a stainless steel island counter.  I snack on leftover snacks from a private tasting group from last weekend.  Women who graduated from Harvard business school or something, all living in Bay Area.  Nice group.  Didn’t much touch the food component.  Boon for me, and this sitting.  The island surface is a bit higher than a normal desktop surface, at which I can only make jokes in my head, like I’m sitting at a kids’ table during a family gathering, or I’ve shrunk at my old age, or I took one of my daughter’s or son’s chairs from their room with me to work and needed it for this winery, tasting room, freewrite.

Group of seven with co-worker now, dropping names telling her, my co-worker, ‘Yeah I know so and so, and they I could get this and that, and yeah I’m so happy to be here so please start giving me free shit….’ Not the first time I’ve seen this.  You just go along with it.  Me, in my pages and pages of wine, I have to laugh at the tasting room dimension and tangibility.  If you don’t, and you’re just getting into this industry or are new to it, you’ll go berserk if you don’t see everything humorously.  You have to laugh, even when you don’t have to for survival.  Like the groups or just couples, or even singular person, that take forever to get through five wines, one flight.  You notice on the first pour they took a while, then wait to see it the same happens with wine #2.  It does, so you pour a little less for 3, and it doesn’t help.  Then, at end, they buy nothing.  What were they looking for, you have to ask.  And if they were taking notes, what do they do with them.  I mean, I’m a writer, and I don’t write that much when at the bar, when someone’s hosting me.  I take abbreviated captures, and develop later if I warrant.

Can hear the group out there. Guess the wind made them escape to the Room.  Feel bad for co-worker, Brittany.  Should have waited to take this literary lunch till after they broke from property.  Well, I’m here, in the kitchen, at the winery, dreaming of wine I’ll after work sip and scribble about, note in which ever journal I can on my hands get.  Just heard one of them say, “This is a more greasy Chardonnay, is it not?”, in a thick and somewhat slow, congealed British speech.  How many wineries have they been to before this one?  Should clock in early, help her behind bar, get them out of here.  And if you’re in the industry, and you have groups that show up unannounced and start name-dropping and just want a “revisit” of this one and that one and then the other wine again, you can’t wait for them to file out and get the fuck back into their cars.

Going back out there.  Eat the rest of the cheese, hazelnuts, olives… gone.

But, coffee first.

a thousand wines project


img_2346Forever with Pinot in a slow poem throw.  This bottle, no aside.  Altogether continuous and contiguous with my chase of Burgundy… light but not passive, and formidable, in no way invasive or overstepping.  This character shows and tells what Santa Lucia Highlands holds and is bold enough to play for us.  Each sip a new track and in each track a new octave set and key colony.  Light and beat-driven, with its separatist raspberry steps and solicitous clefs.  A Pinot to not let be disturbed.  Why pair with any food?  She’s artful, autonomously.  And she continues with her playful nots and random, light percussion.