On break.

Got through small stack of papers.

This semester and I are now officially feuding. I will be sure there is not a single paper to evaluate.

All papers, graded when handed in.

My assault plan is to halt all before there is any assault, on either end.

Wake earlier. 4am, or face failure.

Sunday will be the grading day for me. Learning learning. More knowledge, more knowledge on knowledge itself.

Week 9…. oh week 9. Today’s lecture, on semester consideration. Noting your progress. I’m doing the exact.

I’m awake and working out.

Did first hold right before five. After that, push-ups and planks. Some sit-ups. Not really counting, just wanting to keep motion continuous. Set stop watch, not a countdown. Just keep the motion motioned, what I’m telling self. 05:12.

Conscious of the noise and mood of the morning. Everything I do on this hardwood or just wood floor make a sound, loud thin and audible. Like an airy crack, or crackle. Wife leaves for her workout offsite. I start coffee. Vowing tomorrow morning with the day off I’ll go to gym at 4-something. Not only enhance the shape I’m in, but start a new way, new story. Yes another promise, more so though a plan than remark avowing anything.

Can already feel the little I’ve done. In legs from hold, abdomen from pushups just a moment ago tallying 100, and arms from planks and pushups. Time for coffee.

Didn’t post thousand words from last night before class. Will today from whatever coffee spot I can find in the Sunset. Sight 1 for day is that, coffee and composition in the City. Second, hit a few doors with the reps. Then, a poem while walking whatever avenue we’re on. One of the views yesterday from 28th and something, I just looked out at the ocean like I saw something or someone in it. The air’s olfactory makeup told me to keep walking and keep watching. Feeling some goal or aim, some aspiration or creative desire sprint from San Francisco, for me. And if it weren’t for Sonic I wouldn’t even be there having these observations and reflections.

05:31. Waking this early, a badge of sorts. Hear son move around in his bed, and if he wakes early and breaks this sitting, I don’t mind. It’s part of the story. Part of the story but the whole of who I am– writing daddy getting in whatever time I can to write. At work at my desk between little addresses of some spreadsheet, or organizing, or prepping for some meeting. The subject is me. The story, each page, and I never need be sorry.

The workout, over. Me on couch in qualified dark, fan light overhead on my dim setting so I can have some isolator writer mood in here. I keep forgetting it’s harvest right now, and so many of my vino people are out there, right now, pulling clusters from rows and into bins, into a gondola pulled by tractor, a driver up early and away from his family, doing what he needs to them feed.

05:36. I feel like one of them, right now. One of the early. One of the characters they defies law, the expected, that doesn’t sleep in. They can’t. Their minds won’t let them. Mine won’t let me. At all. This morning I’m alive with Sonic and supersonic thoughts of speaking, words, fearlessly sharing ideas from one city to next on work, business, writing everything down and so many say that and never do and if they did, my god, it would not only help what they do but wildly and poetically shape their business and their place and placement in it.

Could go back to bed even if a writer wanted to. Hell, even if my body and functioning orders em to. My thinking’s of a beatific defiance this morning, and only accepting sentences. As a workplace, Sonic tells you to be more of you, it challenges me and how the wine industry never could– Telling me to not only keep doing what I’m doing, but intensify. AMPLIFY. Diversify. Play with form as you do in poetry, poet. And more. More.

05:41. I ask myself where the time went and nowhere, nowhere. It’s still very much presented and around me, present. Gifting me with this couch and all the musing I need for a day in the city. Will I wake as early tomorrow, or early as I have written… I have to. I know how I’ll feel if I don’t. I know my mood if I won’t. Set alarm, every movement today for tomorrow’s early steps and words, lines, however many miles I run on tread or however many reps I finish. Not waking early, and I’m citing hours like this, is in no way literary. Writers don’t sleep in. We can’t sleep, for the most part. We deplore rest, and idleness. Just laying in bed and scrolling, sitting on couch watching a show, or just hanging like a coat from some hook, some executed prisoner from a tight meanly knotted and enclosing circle.

05:47. I love this. I do. I don’t have to think about what to write. It’s right in front of me, blatantly. No sun or suggestion of it through the glass door to right. This is true morning to me. When the sun steps and straight lay stands communicating with the world, its day. It’s started. The day is off and you better find a way to catch it as right now you’re surely not ahead if you haven’t been up. I’m here, knowing I’m ahead of the day. Time again, my topic. Twelve hours from now, I could very well be in traffic. On 101 somewhere. San Rafael, the Novato narrows, Petaluma. Somewhere. I have twelve hours to do something to my story… I do it. Start the timer. 12 hours. Get to work and collect in writing for a bit, then attack tasks. Reps get in before ten, so we head out early. Quick, this Friday. My writing will equal, rival, buzz by pacing.

Son definitely awake. 05:52. I could get a stet in day, again. Teeth and shower, dress, pack, take stuff out of bag as to bring laptop for written lunch and be lighter while hiking the SF streets. Keep the motion motioned. To halt is to fall. And I can’t. Not this close to 40.

Diet for day… Coffee, only healthy snacks, no full meals till dinner, and then do note to lightly eat. Speaking of my beloved coffee life… I sip…

10/5/18

0502

That’s better. Still not 4 but this is the kind of hour I need to wake at in order to get that kind of start in and on day. Today, to be a long one. Starting in office new then driving to SF, then back to office, Santa Rosa, then to class later, 7 to about 830. The solution, not that there needs be a “solution”, as there’s certainly no problem, is to write everything down. What a surprise I say that. But how about actually do it. Not that I don’t, but how about more zeal this time. More singular and definite words, short sentences. More specifics in what I see in the city, on my drive. Where is my voice recorder? Hate using this phone while driving, if you should know, and you should. Not sure why you “should”. Truth, I’m reminded. Truth in the day, these long days. Not sure why it’s on my thinking’s terrain to points of sleep inability. Why am I up? Why am I not asleep right now? What’s on my mind I ask myself. What. Is it the office? Is it the day itself, the drive? Any angst with this new job? I came downstairs to write, hear kids talking and I tell them to go to bed, both in our bed. What am I thinking, this writing daddy, this writer who sees something in the present present. But what. Sip coffee. Not yet. Wait. This hour, the dark of the room and the outside, and everyone out in the vineyards now harvesting their lots. I SHOULD be up. And not just this morning, but every morning. Think I recognized it– It’s that, this. I’m writing a piece on the morning itself, being more tuned in the morning, for it. There is nothing to fear in this day or any other. I have more than a head-start or head’s start on Tuesday. However you write it. I already have the whole day, or have the opportunity to. And it’s not even 05:20.

Coffee. Slow communicative sip, pull from dark puddle. Me, couch, no sound. Awake to have more of day itself. Challenge it. Have it. Know it, already. Beat it at whatever game or field, board it thinks its own. It’s mine, I promise self. All mine. Had a thought of calling tonight’s class, but no I swear to self. Go. Go in tired. Remind them, show them, those enrolled, what a long day is. Teach, if anything, about work. About self. About deciding what the day will say. The day itself has NO say. That’s all us. Me, up now, thank the Craft, not so much collecting or gathering thoughts but being with self. Quiet time, like I tell the babies when they have an unreasonable volume about them at an inappropriate hour or any hour.

39. 40 next year. And still in a search of sorts. Think I found something, actually I know I did, with tech. This new office. A tech company and office and being around characters with more technological acuity and awareness than I’ll ever have. Not that I can’t be them but– No. I can’t. And I don’t want to. I shouldn’t have to. No one there is making me, which I love and more or less can’t believe. They want me to be me, this writer and blogger. They hired me for me. Realizing that this morning could be one thing keeping me up, disabling me from going back to sleep aside from the coffee. This morning I’m 39, tomorrow I will be too, but one morning I’ll be 40, then older and older. Age is only age if its acknowledged and credited. What if I stopped crediting it. What if I decided age is unaccredited. Like some two-bit, hair-brained for-profit college. I can do that. This morning teaches me to only see what I want. To work harder. Just now, I grieved a bit, that I didn’t start writing right when I came down but rather used the restroom briefly. 04:50-something. Can’t do that. Here I am, I’m awake, what are you going to decide to do. Am I “figuring out life”? No. But I’m definitely not letting it tell me what’s possible, what I’m allowed to do. What I’m capable of doing.

Waking early puts you in a different world. In a different role. You’re not yourself, not the same character if you’re used to doing this. There’s a challenge and a stress to it but with concurrent ease, meditation. From where I’m sitting in this house, what used to be my office, I won’t be able to see the sun rise but a gradual lighting and progressive brightness, brightening of the day itself. Which saddens me, but only if I dwell. I don’t let self. I listen to the nothingness heard in my home. Son sniffling a bit, the fridge humming behind me, my thumbs tapping on this phone, its screen. Being in the city, San Francisco, wakes me. Those thoughts. Thinking…. office, drive, walk around city with sales team, meet with them, then drive back…. when lunch? Maybe I won’t get one. Grab something, maybe. On go. No fast food. Haven’t had in over a year and the last time it made me quite sick.

Mood turns. Not sure why. Time rushing. 05:40. Only so much time left. Typo… fuck. My frustration compiles like my pages. What do I want from day. Where am I going with this entry. In tech. With writing. With teaching. With 39…….. Stop. I fracture the inward scold before it holds me, holds anything. Yawn. I’m tired. No I’m not. I’m eager. For the day. For work. For more writing. Speak into phone if you can on drive down. Be careful of course, but don’t fall into a complacency mitt.

More meditation, more questioning, more drawing of what here is now, a month ago in the wine industry doing the same thing over and over and o…… And now, this. Waking before six. A thousand words and for what. What will I do with this. What will I do with me today, these opportunities. The day will tell me, I’m sure. And I’ll tell it something in return– I’m deciding and writing how everything’s to progress and situate. The pages are mine, all of them.

9/18/18

Noting everything I learn in the tech scene,

world, language, behavior pattern and way.  I’m one with a little reluctance, but I’m using what I know how to do well, and from there amplify.  Guess that’s my new tone and talk, ‘amplify’, and amplification.  Think it’s safe to say I won’t learn how to code any time soon, nor design sights, install internet.  I speak, I write, I guess I sometimes entertain, I speak (already said that, sorry), and story-tell.  That’s what I do, what I know how to do.  13 minutes left in break and my eyes are still on that coffee drink.  But I’d have to use my debit card.  Don’t want to do that.  Just make yourself another cup of coffee and let it cool off, I say to self.  People play video games off to right, and again I take the energy here much more with a welcome write than how I felt at the winery in final days at Roth.  And I hate to say that and keep mentioning that in these entries because I love wine, I love even the industry, or at least what I knew the industry to be before I was devoured by it.  I swear, if I would’ve stayed…. I don’t want to think about it.  Wouldn’t have been healthy, or beneficial to me, and certainly not the writing.

I’m eager to speak to this new hire, and see what the girl I’m working very closely with to a blessing’s believability, T, says.  Questions, educating, me being educated while I’m more or less educating from the less than 12 full days of life here.  I’m going to teach from what I know.. sales, speaking, not just relating to customers but listening, seeing what they need and providing a certain narrative and depiction of what Sonic is.  Not sure why I call it “office new”, still.  Habit, or just being a funny, quirky, language tussling and fiddling pen bloke.  I don’t know.

Less than five minutes and I just made my coffee so I’m prep’d for the remaining hours in my day, here in tech’s step.  I shouldn’t say that, I think.  This office is much more than just a tech spot, place of business.  I see Sonic as a consumer advocacy group as I said to T a few days ago and earlier today, I think.  I’m learning how to do not just better business but more coherent business.  More creative, more life, more education… I don’t know where to start sometimes when it comes to this new office.  Sonic.. and me, the Lit and writing prof’, put into a new book and new storytelling  assemble and vocal.  Doing wha tI can in the breaths last, make them last, looking around the break room and feeding from everything from the video game sounds to the conversations right I listen to but don’t at all.  New job, new words and walls, chairs and tables, coffee and doors.  Everything a propellent, ascending action and atmosphere from one character to ‘nother.  The observations and written reactions and reflections, MY business.

8/27/18

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English 100— Week 2, Meeting 3.  

Not sure how I’m going to make it through the semester, possibly my last.  And I know so many people that, like the wine industry when I left, are saying, “But you’re so good at it… people love you when you…” Yeah, well, time to move on.  Being an adjunct over the past 12 years has only obstructed and interfered with other efforts and endeavors.  Tonight’s class went well, though.  Essentially lecturing from the heart and nearly no notes.  I didn’t wing it, I trusted my Self.  My ability to lecture and share/generate ideas.  I’m concerned, though, about when the semester really gets going, becomes a nonstop storm of papers.  But maybe it doesn’t have to be, I think.  Tomorrow will be easier, with me getting out of the office at 5, not having class till 7.  Can get some grading done, and that’s the key, stay on top of that paper-stacking foulness.  Have to stay in calm’s pose.  This is just Day 1 of such a day.  30 minutes to get from Sebastopol Road and whatever-street to SRJC.  I can do it.  I will do it.  Rewarding the writer with some Cabernet the sis gifted me the other day when I stopped by.  Need it.  And yes, NEED.  Poured self a soothing pour, needed and deserved stemless goblet full of the Bordeaux bull.

The English 100 class has me humbled, frankly, after tonight.  After the quickly compiled and accumulating prod of stress making it nearly difficult to focus on the drive from Roseland’s district to campus.  But I did it.  Today.  Rest of the days?  Well, I have to.  That simple.  I’ll wake early, hopefully, when wife does for her bootcamp whatever, make coffee tonight and start chugging right when I get up.  Grade a couple pieces, if I can.  And if not, then write—  This semester.  All projects not only on hold but pushed into a literary coma.  Will only think of waking when the last grade is submitted.  And that’s the key, to all of this.  The grading.  The thing that holds me up semester after semester and what always affects my mood in the most torrential and terrible way of ways.  Just put a fucking grade on it, I tell myself.  But do I?  No.  Procrastinate, instead.  Fool.

This semester, my last or no, will be my best, the most enjoyable for me and anyone registered, and the most self-educating.  The office new, today my first full day, will serve as my freeway for self-discovery and building not just a career but creative life and fold, dimension, self-sect.  This will work, and it will be challenging, demanding, painful… but like I told the students tonight, as I do every semester, “the main character has to hurt.  And guess who the main character is in your story…. YOU.” Beginning week two, I centralize in this project, logging the entire semester.  I, not failed.  Not in any aspect or tilt, pan, scene, theatre.  Today affirmed my elation in December’s end.

On campus for Day 2. 

img_3121Frustrated I won’t be home to give babies their bath, help put them to bed.  Though, mind you, I’m making not the best of this, this semester, but making it mine.  I’m taking it seriously, to a point.  Walking here from my car in the C Lot which of course is entirely across campus, I thought about me.  Of course I did.  What I do, where I am… what I want, the usual shit.  Then I told myself to stop thinking altogether and just DO.  Writing… my doing.  Got a sparkling water in the bookstore, now here in the conference room where I’ve had I don’t know how many sittings.  I have to be candid, I’m burnt out on this, too.  Just like the wine industry.  I love teaching, really.  Especially the students, the discussions on writing and literature, music and life and student life and trials, but the teaching late like this, and having spilt, split, schedules with the 4-hour a week gig, I’m just exhausted.  Headed toward 40.  I’m centralizing, consolidating… no more of this shit.  This semester, more than likely my last—and yes I know I’ve said that before— will be easily my supreme, my most showing and self-promoting.  Not that that’s the only reason I “teach”, but.. well, maybe a little.

Thought about getting a beer on the way to campus, at Plow Brewery just up the road, Piner, from my Autumn Walk studio, but felt a little tired from 6.3-mile run, sipped coffee in tumbler and ruled it out.  I’m going to have fun tonight, in class.  Talk about writing, reading, being a student, being a teacher, being and adjunct, being a Human.  The whole bloody bit, LIFE.  Assigned the English 100 class last night two pages… “Write two pages on anything.” I said. I think I said that.  Something like that. Just urged them to start with their paginating practice.  Put something on the page.  Hopefully they’ll have some manuscript or portfolio, something to show people, show themselves.

Full-time, obviously tenured, instructor just walked by, into this room them into the neighboring mail/copy room. He observed, evaluated, me a few semesters back and wrote perhaps the most endorsing and favorable write-up of my career, of my teaching life I mean (being an adjunct isn’t a career).  I’ve seen him here late, before.  He must teach late courses every semester, and I don’t know why I’m taking notice of this, or maybe I do.  How do you decide what you’re going to do for the rest of your life.  A career.  I honestly thought the wine industry was going to give me a career, provide some opportunity at some point which would enable, you know, a life.  Be able to put my babies through college, get a vacation home in Carmel or Pacific Grove, Monterey…. But, still FULL-TIME in a goddamn tasting room.  Makes me feel failed, but I know I’m not.  Or I’m telling Mike Madigan he’s not.  12 years of learning… learning what.  Well, don’t pursue wine as a career, and write for your fucking life.

This second day of the semester, I’m not going to teach them a goddamn thing.  Still, I’ll share and advocate certain thought, thoughts, writing ideas and story directions. Not how to read, but what to look for—  Wait, need write that, jot that in Burgundy Journal…. Done.  Who knows if this giddy and dizzy instructor.  Second Day, Fall ’18, one more meditative than most.  17:39, something romantic about the building at this hour, about this conference room. Maybe ‘cause I’m listening to Coltrane, I don’t know.  The writer, me, I’m in a peace-prone pose that I’ve never experienced.  I’m ready for meeting this 1A section for the first time, and then not.  ‘Cause I don’t care.  I do, but don’t.  I’m not worried.  I’m going to do everything as a not-me, if you see what I’m saying.  I need more variance.  We all do.  Newness, new experiences and new challenges and topics. This second day if like the first of a new life, a new book, new pages and new pushes of these laptop keys.  Romantic, immediately and wholly.

If this is my last semester as an adjunct, I have to have some, I don’t know.  Theme isn’t what I want to say, but is.  I hate the word motif, and I mean truly deplore it.  This semester needs a … WAIT, a piece of this book.  Or, its own book.  What’s its thesis?  Love the Mad. Madness, travel, new thought and conversation, different approaches, and loving your life, making it what you want.  As that’s precisely what this writer’s doing.

This conference room, what do they talk about in here?  What do they compose, create, resolve in here?  Do they let adjuncts participate?  And if so, to what degree?  What was the last thing said in here, in a meeting context or consistency?  Rooms like this are precisely why I can’t do this, anymore.  For a number of reasons.  First, all the structure and course outlines they build and re-build, then change when they see it permissible. Then they could say, “You have no idea what goes on in our meetings.” Exactly.  ‘Our meetings’.  Forget that for a second… look at this room, though, and all its more beatific form and thematic delineation.  Books, and more books, pencils by the computers.  There is creative work done here, I’m sure, just its conference room visual and perceptible anatomy is what repulses me, I guess.  Meetings, meetings.. for what? What is solved? What is created?  How much are the students truly considered?  This is not a conference room now, though.  It’s my studio, my temple, meditative corner.  I collect here. I’m here but not.  Sip my water, look at the clock, and with a little under an hour, I keep writing. Taking random notes, hoping I teach myself something.  I’m having my own meeting, conference, convention, mind meeting.

8/21/18

Some random Cabernet

I bought off a winemaker based in Livermore. Might be my only glass, being so tired from yesterday’s event and all the speaking today. Just swore to self that this sitting would be the one that does something. What. What? I ask the Cab. I provoke one sip and it doesn’t answer. So I’m done for the night. Clocking out. Not sure I deserve to.

Today I’ll speak to wine. 

Actually speak to her.. tell her what I want, tell her how I see her, how I translate her, how she’s music in every motion and turn.  Listen to wine, then speak to her… wine, and her philosophy, her ideas, her stage presence… she keeps me writing, keeps me teaching and learning… from soil to trellising wire, flowering and grapes changing color…

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How

When the thought of life makes its way to my thought plate, I always entertain how much we have, how much is left in the story.  Then, I ask myself, “Why do your thoughts go there, to that tenor?” I have no answer for anything just a perpetuation in the momentum of thoughts.  How do we perceive life, correctly?  IS there a “correct” “way”?  I suppose it’s how we define our life and the manner of navigation.  How do we live, how do we value the moments, and to ask why is to demand some system or methodology to the actualization, no?

Between classes, more on the thought plate, concerning the next class, English 1A.  Hard to concentrate with man in the room talking over phone, but it’s my fault for being here, for being in this faculty lunch room.  But, I realize something, on how this happens, how I got here… choices.  The election to come here and hope to get work done with no noise.  This is a place of noise, this building where the cafeteria is.  My life is spent here, and I want more of my life spent here and not in some business context.  I mean, I do want to do business, writing and self-publishing, publishing, and or other, but on my own pen, of my own strut.  Maybe I should get away from the word and thought of “business” altogether and just write.  I don’t know how much story is left, so I move, and I move with certain and specific fury.  My thoughts are here as I’m here, looking around campus and seeing all these young students with everything ahead of them and what’s ahead of me is turning 39.  But, no submission.  Not from me.  I can’t.  Not at this place in the story, my story, where I’m the main character and expected to… what.  To DO.

The correct way to translate all that’s around me with with positive inference, with a assurance that I’m, we are, getting somewhere.  More than somewhere, just some location or goal, but building our Personhood, one realization after another.  Time just continues with its insistence.  At some point we have to decide what is it for us, where we’re going and how to get there.  One approach and habit that has proved a boon is with journal maintenance, habit.  Putting words to paper, everyday, can only shove the dreamer to their place.  To defeat time, or maybe not defeat it but take away some of its significance, is to trap it.  Educating in certain moments, or even all of them, to some degree, degrees varying of course, but there is enrichment taking place.  But, how.  How do we learn the most we can from a day.  For me, obviously, writing and reading and re-reading what I jotted through the day, week, and if I don’t do it anytime soon I do eventually come back to that page.  Recently I’ve been finding dozens of old notes, some years old, and learning the then-me.  Where I was and what I thought.  Now, in the cafeteria building, between classes, I’m deliberating on how I make the next class one valuable to the student.  Value…. The value… where will they find value…. Simply in the discussion of Jane Austen, or in the address of something else, like the final paper for the semester?  No.  Answers are not in the ‘how’, but the ‘what’.  What I do with my life, my teaching role here at the JC, is what proves crucial, the most molding.