Lunch Break in the Vineyard

Will shoot a video, talking about my ‘writing in the vineyard’ class that starts on the 5th of September, as well as some other ideas.  Relaxed but productive day in the office so far.  Getting hungry but I need to get my content out of the way—  I mean, storytelling.  Okay… why I’m so opposed to the word ‘content’:  For its nonspecific intention, its lazy generality, and what it infers is just FILLER.  When I hear other bloggers or business owners say something like “We need more content” I always ask, “What does that mean?” What kind of “content” do you need?  Do you just want to fill a space, or make a statement, tell a story?  Just my opinion, and I’m certainly no business expert.  But I do know that telling a story is far more interesting that blindly vomiting content.

12:14PM.  Tired.  Glad I made the coffee I did this morning, or last night I mean, put it in the tumbler and and then in the freezer here in the cottage so I’m assured a lovely iced coffee later when I need it.

me:  5/13/16


Realizing we’re the visible ripple of our decisions’ collective puddle.  That is, what we do and all decisions we make constitute our character.  Was just in line at Starbucks, feeling impatient and internally cursing the place and myself for it taking so long, “Why am I wasting my morning like this?” And all mirroring sentiments.  But then I saw, I chose to be there, in that line, spending my money on an overpriced drink when I could have just made coffee at home, blended in some chocolate, milk, whip, whatever.  This morning’s been that meditation I’ve needed all week, valuing what I elect, yes, but being careful with WHAT I elect.

At the end of the semester, time is a dish, a cake.  It has to be proportioned optimally, so we need to premeditate.  Time is sweet, complex and variable, and beautiful, but cruelly candid.  We have to measure, how big a piece to devote to one act, or another.  And, this is something I’m very much still learning.  If we’re to love every last drop of our lives we need to be in a position to do so.  The love won’t just precipitate.  We can’t expect.  We have to demand.  From ourselves.  It will take a while to perfect some pattern or practice, believe me I’m very much still working on mine, but it needs to start, somewhere.  We need to start somewhere if we’re to be seen as a collective body of thought and not just some haphazard ripple-set.

Okay, so simply:  THINK FIRST.  And take your time.  You only have one leap that’s a first leap.  All around me in this Starbucks, people are doing something.  Who knows if it’s something significant or story-shifting they’re engaged in, but it’s something.  I advise to myself, “Make all efforts story-changing.” Why not try?  Why not test ourselves, truly write our own stories and live just the way we want?  I see so many people dread the mornings, Mondays, Sunday evenings just embittered with the coming week.  What if we stop that, entirely and definitively?  Doesn’t even have to be a what-if…  It can just be.

Mistakes are likely, in fact they’re guaranteed.  But I believe they can be minimized greatly if we put ourselves in a role of aptitude, where we feel not just comfortable but illustratively confident.  Moving forward, only, as backward no longer exists in word nor concept.  Things have to be done differently, allow yourself to be addicted to the Newness.  What I elect, is adventure, the crazed and creative days, the madness that so many envy in others but can’t bring themselves to enact.  So here I go, into these final weeks of the semester.  Where are you?

Cruising through my Composition Book, notes from the past 17 weeks, and I’m reminded that time has no interest in waiting for me.  In fact, it appears to shine in its vindictive momentum, curt and cruel.  Aging us all, taking away time to work on writings, our projects for other classes.  Time is time, and it refuses.  It gifts little.  That’s why we should dart at the chance to gift ourselves.  With what?  New starts.  Newness itself.  Reminding ourselves we can have whatever we want, be it an ‘A’ in a class, a finished book, a trip to a distant part on the globe, to run a marathon, ANYTHING.  You have to elect it.  ELECT IT.  It’s more than possible, and if for some reason you think it’s not, try anyway!  Tell yourself it is, ‘cause time doesn’t give a shit.  It will just keep moving, that’s what these pages are telling me.  I find the first day of the semester:  “DAY 1 – SYLLABUS, INTRO THOUGHTS, QUESTIONS”.  That’s all.  Wish I had days that easy now, but here I am, here we are.  Closing the story that’s the semester.  What are you going to do in these final weeks to surprise yourself, gift yourself, to taste some pose of Newness you never thought you would?

Have to be at work at 10, need to stop by bank, which means I only have ten or twelve minutes left here.  See?  Time is tireless.  Just a bastard.  So we need to be tireless, just as relentless with it as it is always with us!  And, AGAIN, I’m not trying to come off as some wise writer or teacher, I’m still learning.  So in many ways this is just a morning meditation/affirmation I wanted to share.  Mind the clock, but ignore it at the same time.  New chapter, new role, new YOU.  Still looking through the ‘Comp’, notes to myself, to do things.  Wound up not fulfilling whatever I promised I do, with most of the margin jots.  That stops today, with this sitting, in this crowded and SLOW Starbucks.  I put myself here with intention, direction, solvent.

And now, questions for YOU:  What are you doing right now?  IS it getting you closer to what you want?  What is one new thing you want to try today?  Write it down.  Write it all down.  Keep a record of your progress, and be better about following-through (unlike me, but I’m trying alongside you).  What are your goals, ones that you know will be challenging and that you somewhat are skeptical you can attain?  And, what is the story you want to write and live?

Running out of time in this place, at this larger table that is usually always taken, that I never get to work at.  But today I do.  Just heard some lady say, “It’s Friday the 13th, and you know what that means…” I was like, to myself, ‘No, what does that mean?’ To me, it’s the first of the month, a new beginning, a new first page.  It’s Christmas, it’s my birthday, it’s New Year’s Eve, it’s Mardi Gras…  I’m not paying attention to the calendar or the clock. It, time, is whatever I want it to be.  This is my meditative morning and day, and I see more.  The Onus is mine, all mine, and I’m expecting nothing.  I DEMAND everything.


RESTART.  Day 1.


Even with the incredibly slow line here at Starbucks, I stay afire.  Blazing rhythm about my character this morning.  Forgot my headphones at home, but I’m not letting that bother me.  I’m inviting the sounds of this corporate coffee shop to abet and pleasantly intrude on my moment at this square table in the corner.  Not quiet, and I don’t want it to be.  Got here just in time to meditate, write for over an hour (now less, actually, by 2 minutes), and press the Restart button.  On everything.  Putting the largest net I can think of into the business sea.  Words, consultation, content, storytelling, education, proofing/editing.. all of it.  All of what I am and have ever been will be this business.  Restart button pushed, and I see I’m learning as I go.  So if anything, now, this blog has turned into a day by day of my business’ building.  Words, words like ‘bewitching’ and ‘magnetic’, ‘persuasive’ and ‘candid’…  This is what my business revolves around, and from being a professor and student, learning as I go but knowing what I learn has value.

I’m finding that business, startups especially, need the most tireless of people, tireless of students.  Yet, another facet to my business and character:  I am opposed to rest, to sleep, to complacency, to settlement.  Never.  I keep going.  Didn’t write a business plan for myself today as I did yesterday.  I’ll do that when I get to work.  The pocket of this hooded sweatshirt is large enough to host the Carpe journal Mom and Dad bought me.  Think ‘startup’, and words, ameliorating and amending certain supposed certainties.  “Keep writing words, anything, storytelling,” I tell myself.

And, of course with me, mood.  I don’t know what it is, but—  Well yes I do, I’m a writer.  I’m moody.  Have to get that under control.  Much as I loathed the man, a past boss (the insurance salesman), told me once “Your biggest problem is your attitude.” He was right.  Still is.  And he’s made a wonderful living doing what he’s been doing, selling insurance, with his nice office, corner on the third floor of downtown San Leandro.  He’s been there for years, and always independent.  At one point he told me he had a business partner, but from when I worked for him and I’m guessing now still, he’s autonomous, able to afford a more-than-comfortable living for his family.  He always had a symmetrical sensibility and disposition.  I’m convinced, now, looking back over a decade later, that his consistent and even demeanor is much of what goaded his success.

This first day, on the runway.  Haven’t left ground yet.  And it may take a while, I know.  Dad has always told me, “You can’t just go from zero to sixty.” But I’m in, I’m in the game of entrepreneurism, and creatively.  Just using what I have.  A background in education, words, writing, a tireless need to write and type, tell a story.  Just me.  And I know I can help businesses.  So here I go…



img_1076Notes in ‘Carpe Book’ today, several (the book Mom and Dad gifted me recently).  Sipping last glass of red for the evening, seeing myself doing so much, but I wonder where is the bridge.  The Stonestreet I opened last night, now delivering me to cherry and dark chocolate dust; fined and refined, perfect for tonight, a bit quieter with little Kerouac at his Grammy’s house.

Tomorrow night, Mom & Dad’s, ’00 Monte Bello opened.  Feel like child, xmas eve.  Sans Mom et Dad, would never taste it.  What will it say to me?  What will it do to my wined story?

Story 1/100

Late December, somewhere in Sonoma

He saw people walking toward the door and thought, “Shit, really.. of course.” It was 2:13 and he was done, he felt done— no, he was done.  He was alone in the room today, as the other rep called in sick for the howevermanyth time, but he couldn’t think about that now.  He had to make it till 5, or past 5 if there were still people tasting.  And he had to get a few more wine club signups if he was to get that bonus.  He needed the bonus.. “bonus, bonus, bonus,” all his manager, appropriately with a name tag reading “DICK” (yes in caps), ever said of late.

They walked in.  “Hi, everyone!  How we doing today?” he said, putting out some menus, moving the pour, or spit, bucket to an agreeable position.

They just smiled, nodded, looked around, gawked at the Spectator scores boasted on the wall like they were something that would even have meaning next week.

“Would you all like to do a tasting?”

“Well.. that’s .. why were here,” the man, apparent group leader said, with the obvious ‘what do you think, stupid?’ octave to his shaded and jaded sentence.

He could tell the man didn’t want to be here, which Adam couldn’t figure out.  Why would you not want to be at a winery, especially one this visually fetching and gripping, and if you were here, why not be in a good mood?  But again, past that thought.

“There’ll only be three of us tasting,” one of the women, sourpuss’ wife, said, throwing her purse on the bar with obvious mood, an obvious extension of her husband’s.

“Okay, well here’s what we’re pouring today,” Adam said.

“I can see that,” sourpuss said.

“Do you do any blends?” one of the other men said, smiling, obviously conscious of the couple’s attitude, possibly trying to make Adam more comfortable.

“We don’t, actually.. our specialty is single-vineyard Merlot.”

“I hate Merlot, no…” sourpuss said.

“You should try it, Alex, you don’t hate Merlot,” the wife said, then looking at Adam, mouthing “He doesn’t hate Merlot, don’t listen to him.”

“And no blends?” sourpuss added.

“No.. no blends.”

Sourpuss turned and left, leaving the other five uncertain of what happened.

“I’m so sorry, we’ll be right back…” wife said, walking out, slowly, after sour.  All following except the kind smiling man.

“Well you know what, hell!  I’ll taste!  Whattayagot?”

Adam smiled and took out a glass from the rack.  “We start everyone off with that Sauvignon Blanc from Bennett Valley, but I’m going to start you with a crazy white blend that we call ‘Aeg’, short for ‘Aegis’…” Adam poured, charitably, “It’s a blend of three SB lots, one Chardonnay, one Viognier, and two different Grigio sites that our winemaker likes… high acid, lots of flavor, it’s fun.  You know?  Wine’s supposed to be fun.” He hoped that the jab at sourpuss wasn’t obvious, but at this point he didn’t care.  He poured himself some.

“Oh!” the man said, liking the sight of the person pouring for him now pouring for himself, “Well, cheers new friend!”

“Cheers,” Adam said, both sipping, “Wow…”


“Do you want to take your pour outside, see if your friends want to join you or.. I don’t want to cause any problems, and I hope I haven’t.”

“Oh.. he’s having a morning, something with work, I don’t know, but aren’t you supposed to forget about work when you’re on vacation?  It’s his problem.  Not mine.  Not ours.”

“You have to forget about every now and then,” Adam said, with as little inflection, hinting tone, or life as he could.

“So what’s next?” the man said.

“What would you like?”

“I don’t know.. you’re in charge.”


mmc notes, 7/6/15

IMG_7058Woke early this morning from sleeping in odd position, or shape, or pose– ugh, couldn’t go back to sleep till slightly before 5, woke a little after six, but the pain had dropped and nearly retreated thanks to the one Advil..  Today, all about the mmc prospects, going to work on my messaging a bit, and services that I offer.. outline everything and then think about my pricing as Dad mentioned the other night.. “What’s my time worth?”, yes, but as well, “What’s the best value for my clients?”  The specialty will remain with blogging and content and editing (copywriting and editing), but as well wine education like with the somm I met the other day and some other bottle-centered sales ideas; selling creatively and not like we’re selling used cars or timeshares.

Onto the second cup this morning, Jack playing with his cars, I tell him we have to leave soon he doesn’t like that one bit yelling at me “ONE MINUTE!” Okay, I say, “You can have ten, buddy.” Gives me time to write and again go over what I have to do today, what leads I need to follow up on and what I need to organize and how I WILL organize my time once this whole thing picks up..

-buy domain name

-contact PR lady from yesterday…  DONE!!!

The day off to a seismic start, Jackie being such a good boy for his dreamer writer crazy Artist, but Hungry and SERIOUS, father.  This cup of coffee rids me of the rest of that odd pain.. again, pinched nerve?  I don’t know, but it was and still is a bit unpleasant.

After taking little Kerouac to school I’ll go to the Yulupa SBUX and work, and work till I have everything done, everything, then prep for class tonight–

Then home, to sleep early, no wine, run in the morning..  wish I could run today, but wishes are only wishes as long as you let them be wishes.. hmmm…….

9:56, at Yulupa BUX.. sending emails and promo-ing myself, however I can.. hustle hustle.. thinking while I listen to these chilled beats, what’s ahead of me, where I go, where I’m going, just more meditation from the writer.. typing ideas in another document.. have to buy url.. but have to be tight right now.. feeling as I did the other morning, I think last week.. so heaping with these sights and visions and assurances.. it’s going to happen, to me, and soon.. this company, or practice, or whatever you’d call it.  And what would you call it?  I guess a ‘boutique ad practice’, right?  This SBUX, so full.. so busy.. that’s how I want my office to be but not out of control.. I want us all, all working there, to EAT, and EAT nicely, live comfortably, be able to feed our families and be happy, actualize that ZEN.

And the day to start, and it follows me, not me it.  See what happens, what falls into the writer’s lap.

Playing with numbers now.. just playing.  If I charge… and work this many hours… oh….. that would be nice.. so nice.. wow, really nice.