Wine.  All I can think about.  Somehow making it, its business and industry do more for me.  Six days from 40.  Feeling immeasurably better than I did.  A little sinus pain but other than that I’m essentially fully recovered.  And the here-and-there cough.  Writing, teaching, how the semester’s gone, and I’m on my own with these thoughts, or not.  What’s in my head I don’t know right now finishing this latte, about 50 minutes from when I need leave and head straight for office.  I’m overthinking, a lot, I just said to self just noticing looking out the window and up seeing clouds wondering if it’s going to rain a-goddamn-gain.

In the Richmond District again, today.  Windy again, more than likely.  How to make today different, as I always say I’m going to.  How…. Maybe take a step back.  Observe more.  Say less.  Make notes, or not.  How about just BE, in the moment on whatever street.

Why am I writing, now.  What do I want.  What do I hope to hold.  Wine, or travel, or both.  Yes and yes, but something else.  What I’m not particularly clear.  Mom has often recommended I stop writing for a bit, collect then return when something constricts me.  Thinking now may be one of those walks, stops.  So, I stop.  Put laptop away, and only note in the Kerouac pages she bought me.


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


Friday.  But you know my opinion and stance on Fridays.  So what.  It’s Friday yes and to some that’s something, but I don’t care.  I’m working tomorrow, and the next day, the day after that.  I’m a blogger, writer, writer before a blogger and always noting something, so days off are days of others, not me.

Resolving to not spend any more money, today.  Not one penny.  What about lunch.  I need something to eat at that time, always do.  So what do I do.  Use change.  Yes.  Get as many quarters as I can, that’s lunch.  The quarters don’t matter, today, this meaningless Friday.

At the coffee spot same as yester’, with a 4-shot latte and the back table all to self.  About 40 minutes to self before I have to get to office to be a professional.  Professional.  What.  I’m learning.  Educating myself closer to 40 I get, knowing that all I want is the world, every Road I can find, any wine I haven’t tried, and sip and scribble overlooking a street, a canyon with a river somewhere in Switzerland.  That’s my most vocal and mobile and noble of “goals”.

Every morning should be this, time with self.  Friday or whatday.

from a journal

…part of me disconnection from this.  I do still want to teach, and I will, but as I wish to.  How do I wish to… with essays, notes, posts, writings that share some reality of not just me but a character doing something, trying to reach There.  With class just a touch over 2.5 hours away, I think of my writing spot, Steele & Hops, where I recently had wine and wrote in journal, made notes of day and wine itself.  On this morning’s 14-mile trek, where I maintained a per-mile pace I never thought I’d hold, I replayed yesterday in the tasting room.  Replayed my life in and with wine.  How for the past four or five days or so, I’ve only wanted to write wine—about her, what she’s done to this narrative, and how even with sharing ideas in class whether 1A or 100 I’m deciding the text and topic as I would a wine in front of me, the character in and the voices of and in, the where and how—the metaphysical inference in that creature.

She urges more prose, or poetry, that I blend both.  That I have my way with her way and say, that the story and run into that world, here in America and on other continents sipping something looking at something I’ve never seen in any scene, just as I’ve never sipped what’s in that glass, she relays equations and not so much a need for anything to be solved.  That would mean a stop, some wall, something blocking the writing and the empirical exploration of MORE.  Her facetiae provoke me, to more about what I sip and finding more in that vineyard, more in this stuff and uncomfortably temp’d conference room.  She triangulates and then further multiplies her being, her revenant continuously steering me one way then ‘nother in these pages.  On property yesterday, it was like a ruling, something was decided, by me though only partially.  She instructs this, more of the vineyard on this screen.  More of everything that I sip…

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…

Quick lunch.

About 30 minutes. Decided not to bring backpack and laptop. Just work on phone. 3shot latte and breakfast sandwich. Driving back to Santa Rosa after this… wine and dinner with parents tonight, and I wonder what to open. Don’t do the St. Francis Chardonnay and Claret, I tell myself. Get something new. Like some odd white and then a …. what. Pinot. Or some new Zin.

Wine and my wine bar, shop, MY business and industry translation in sight, on mind and in every song I hear. Not sure this sandwich will be enough but I don’t need to eat that horribly, today. Or really ever. I’d rather write. I’d rather get closer to the beach, my travels, sipping a glass of anything in the Alps.

Write only wine. The two I had a couple days ago at Steele & Hops, Chardonnay and that Grenache. Maybe Grenache for tonight, not Zin.

Looking around this Starbucks on Solano, in Albany, and wondering what it would feel like if this were a wine spot. People reading newspapers and typing and working on whatever on their laptops. What would wine do to this space? I can see it. Writing the movements and conversations, full glasses in head.

No, Syrah tonight. Something about it, about her, sounds more for my story, what I’m doing now with my sentences and thought from and for wine.


Sonic is not just a platform or bridge but new translator of everything, everything I want.

Back in Berkeley/Albany, today.  I will NOT fail in lunching with words at either Peet’s or Starbucks.  The 8page project, first issue, done today.  Submitted to friend for her opinion and reaction.

Hungry, now.  Will have a couple snacks, or fast and see how my character reacts.  Desk, a bit messy.  Sip coffee hoping it quells hunger.  Still no word from that dimwitted winery.  I just laugh, at this point really.  Supposed to be on property Sunday but no offer letter.  What business has that kind of incongruency?  Not thinking about it.  Team gets here in office in just under 30 min.

Aims for day, just one—8page.  Write rest of it, edit lightly, then submit.  Driving on Stony Point to office thought about writing retreat, writing a book in one week, somewhere, somewhere… why not here.  The book on thought I’ve been cooking for … how long?  Nevermind.

Wine senses my frustration, that’s why the Claret last night tasted differently, more comforting and with more a caressing and loving codification of language.  I knew she was trying to tell me something, something…what specifically I’m still unclear but she communicated with me, from color to the smoke-sown form of her chocolate and berry architecture.  She told me to keep writing her, about her, all wines, and don’t stall, don’t allow self to slow, ever.  I won’t.  I know I can’t stray or vary in my momentum.

How I wish I had the whole day to write, I say to myself. Then I realize I do.  I very much do.  We all do, if we choose.

Sonic then tells me to write more wildly and with more crazed shape and blaze, craze and philosophy phase.  Free self through creative, through and in and from this journal, and all journals in the writer’s possession.