4/18/19

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Sales team here in about ten.  Been nonstop since day started, noting and thinking trapping thoughts about everything from wine to writing, teaching and education to sales and selling something.  De-emphasizing book idea for a minute, more so fixating on not letting any thought go, not letting and notion or possibility (hate the word, notion), story and narrative, last night’s class still in my behavior I can see and I’m in learner’s stride as well as professor’s.  What do I want to sell…. Nothing, honestly.  But then, everything.  All these approaches to writing, reading, reading the scene you’re in, the wine you sip, the work you do.  Everything I do in the classroom as an educator of English, Reading and Writing, is here.  At this desk.  Like when I used to list writing projects on a piece of binder paper in Math class, freshman year of high school… music projects, script ideas, novels, visions of poetry collections.  Almost too many dreams or sights, but is there such a thing?  I see now at my older age, yes.  We shouldn’t contain ourselves excessively, though.

 

Wine and what it’s done to my story, teaching me not only about sales, but about organization, what to read and how to read it, how NOT to write about wine.  Everything, truly…. Wine it’s fair to say has taught me more than most worlds and stories, characters and scenes.

 

Today, observe more.  Talk less.  WRITE.  Collect.  Learn.  Read, WRITE, be taught.  At this older age, 11 days and 1 month from 40, I’m moving faster in my project and prose pace.

He can only think about when the day’s going to be over.

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Found the above line from an earlier entry.  Have no idea when it was typed or in reference to….  Decide to take day.  To self. To write.  Now I notice myself procrastinating with writing.  Or not procrastinating, but evasiveness.  There’s something missing.  With wine, there’s something never missing.  In wine nd thoughts of, there’s everything.  And not in what I sip, what you pour into the glass.  At all.  Today I collect on wine, and what I’ve done with wine.  Yesterday driving to Chalk Hill, visiting CH and Roth Estate.  It felt different, but the same.  Then again different.  Like I could make it mine, somehow.  Like I could be there and not be there as I used to and just think, write and react as needed.  An encouraging katzenjammer, as I sipped Chardonnay walking down the main channel of the cave.  Of course wen to that room I used to call “The Mikey Room” and remembered some of the tours I gave in there, speaking about wine as I do, and how one man from I think Indiana or Iowa said that’s what I need to, “Yeah, that’s what you need to do…” he stressed.  When I asked him what precisely he said write about wine as I talk about it.  How the Syrah was a decisive ghost that made engagement irresistible, that it was a being that complemented your being and elevated your should and life sight. 

I do think about today, and what I need done by time it’s “over”.  What’s that.  Make some contacts at a couple wineries, locally.  Have my call at around 3:30 with…. Can’t say.  I want to, I do, but I don’t want to jinx it, especially if I put this on blog which I more than likely will. Want a vineyard walk… have to get lunch fro wife and I, around 11-something.  Wine reminds me of time, what I do and don’t of it have.  More not.  Time passes as I type this… last night in that final glass of Rosé watching some movie, and thinking of my friend who left where I now work to go back into wine, to be with what she’s passionate. I advised her not to, but she did anyway.  No, I don’t wish I would have done the same, at all.  But I want to revive my passion for wine.  That’s what this sitting, this day, my drive in a matter of minutes will be about.  More voices from wine, more literature… more visions and rooms and writing in those rooms.  Don’t back off on wine, I tell myself, thinking about THE first winery I ever visited with Mom and Dad— Ridge, in the Cupertino mountains.  Think that’s where it is. Santa Cruz Mountains, I want to say, technically.  The drive up, Mom and Dad talking about “futures they were picking up”.  I’ve written this before, but I now I want it more known.. when this started, when wine and I first met.  I associate it with family, with Mom and Dad and that drive.  I could have spent time with friends, somewhere, doing nothing at all productive or shaping in my story.  I was with them.  In their car.  Driving up that cliff, knuckles white and all kinds of odd tints and shared.  Me wondering about winer and what was so special about it.  What is so special or meaningful about wine.  What is the thesis or centrality, narrative nexus to this book, this blog if I ever turn it into some book-book-is thing on wine.  What do I want it to be.  Don’t know.  Maybe wine doesn’t know, either. Maybe we write the book together.— YES.  Why have I never thought about that, thought of it that way, before?  What I need from today, wine’s voice.  Wine’s time.  Wine’s music and jazz, visuals and work, writing assignments.  Wife’s sister years ago, nearly ten full to be honest (and I’ve written this before too, several times) basically ordered me to blog singularly, and write singularly, about wine.  Okay.. okay… today’s a re-start, a re-play, a re-write, a re-education.  On all wine courses and decisions, senses, tells.

Looking at wineries close by.  Forgot it’s only 9:30-something.  None are open.  Don’t want to taste, want to listen.  Want to see people sipping, hear what they say.  Hear what the wine orders them to voice.  Recently gave a talk at work, that “wine isn’t wine”.  And it isn’t, not past the puddle in the glass.  It’s what I’m after today, it’s that drive up the Cupertino hill, looking over that sharpest of escarpments.  Voice, people, characters… aims for day.  What I want by day’s close.  I guess I hold the same thought chord at the moment as I did whenever I wrote that above line—  I can only think about “EOD” s they in the office say.  I want to know what wine will have said to me.  Who I’ll meet, have met, what stories and curiosities will be rotated and revolved.  I want to know what and who I’ll be with wine— what wine will have ordered me to write, do.  One thing now in sight, not sipping.  Observing.  Staying sped in these types, finally finish my wine book.  My thesis of wine not being wine, but wine being us.  Wine being the planet, the soil, the drives to Chalk Hill to see your best friend while he pours from behind bar and you remember when you did the same, not all that long ago.

Want to buy wine books, seeing anything with a grape cluster, vines waking from dormancy, little leaves teasing us with vintage volume and voice.  A couple wineries open in a bit.  Thinking about Healdsburg, its square, Lioco…. Thumbprint, that one room close to H2 and then… Stonestreet where friend Gary works, has worked for substantial span.  Have always enjoyed their wines, whenever I go in and Gary so kindly pours for his wild wine writing friend and answers every question I caffeinatedly catapult at his standing again asking for the same pamphlet and ancillary literature I did at last visit.

4/11/19

Left a ton of writing on work laptop.  Up early tomorrow for quarterly meeting and party.  “Quarterly”, they call it simply.  Allergies killing me, started at run yesterday.  Tired, but sipping wine.  Another bottle of that St. Francis Claret.  How to get back into the wine industry, but in a dimension and sequence, tell and pulse I prefer.  Blogging, writing, photography and video.  Should take a detour to office, tomorrow.  Do I have time, to sneak a couple new shots in, somewhere around here… one of those vineyards on Piner.  I have an idea.. about and in and on, for WINE.

Wine and writing.  Blogging.  Okay, yeah… for me, completely expected.  But… different.  Wine in the glass now gone, sipped glass too fast from excitement from idea.  More red, more sentences, more of the world around us.  And if this is too hard for you to conceive and encapsulate for purposes of retention.  It is wine, it’s always been wine.  Wine for me.  Wine for all days.  And not just glasses contents.  But the life there, the life here, thoughts of my sister on the crush pad watching fruit come in as she did that day in 2011 when our Cabernet landed—the best early xmas present I’ve ever been gifted.  One ton of Cabernet fruit, maybe a bit less, from RRV.  Katie said all I have to do is meet her on the crush pad.  The thoughts were overwhelming before it happened. What if this turns me into some famous writing winemaker, what if this changes everything?–  It did, but now that I look back I see missed opportunity.  I need back in the wine sphere.  Stay far and clear away from industry contaminants.  I’ll take notes, starting here… small room, appointment only—NO, invitation only.  And not to be one of those wineries, but to know the person coming in.  And to not depend on the business but to enjoy it. I just want to break even, I used to tell people about the eventual and envisioned label.

Wine to me has always told vignettes, not short stories or exhaustive novels.  Wine has never been patterns, or paths.  You compose and narrate your own way how you see it played.  It’s jazz, not classical.  Wine is random and unexpected.  Excess order and constriction will shape no listen.

Writing on the laptop at work, addressing wine as well.  I feel wine as all the answers to everything in this writer’s story and I always get fucking distracted.  Why.  WHY, do I let such fuss.  About to pour self another glass, and think of the tasting room days at St. Francis, Dutcher Crossing, then back again to Kunde Family Estate with its incongruent operations and terrestrial functionality in bar presence atop multitudinous garnishing acrimony, then wherever then wherever.  I have to be done with tasting rooms at this intersection.  I am.  I AM.  So I put it here.. wine, wine in everything.  As I was “advised” years ago. Ten, now. Not so much advised as condescendingly urged.  Spare me your counsel, counsel.  Not going to think about that, or anything.  Wine and writing, wine, then write. Me now, what I’m doing.  New story, new business, new Now.  Ox free from bottle to write about current bottled composition and voice, character and place.  I’m peacefully and pleasurably placed.

4/11/19

Wined Early (draft)

Relatively smooth morning.  Now Coltrane wakes me with some track I’ve never heard.  Computer moving slow, and probably from so much being on it, the laptop I thought was dead.  Well, I’m typing on it.  Why I don’t know.  What I type, no idea.  The moving slow is starting to disrupt my attention and curve my mood.  Don’t let it, I tell myself like a teacher at the elementary level who can’t stand what one student is doing.  I feel less a writer this morning.  Then don’t think of yourself that way.  A writer.  Just write.  Now I sound too much like a teacher.

Wishing self to a vineyard, then to the lab, blending a circus of barrel samples and hoping this one will score well.  But I’m just imagining.  I’m tired of imagining.  I want to live.  Live it..  So what’s it.  The it where you’re there.  You don’t have to wish anymore and you have the framing you’ve for so long seen and dreamt.  I put myself there.  Using the sights and sensory ticks of the crush pad, that one year with my friend Blair, doing punchdowns in a tank room even after hours of working a tasting room floor, having to talk to people and answer all their inane questions and outer space inquiries about the tastes in wine.  Blair and I wold punch down five barrels of Malbec, then do a mini-swarm of Merlot, or Syrah I think it may have been.  Then there was that one Zinfandel barrel.  The touching of the grape skins, the “cap” as they call it, and pushing it into the below purpling puddle showed me that time isn’t stopping.  It’s accruing momentum.  It’s not halting.  For anything, or anyone, certainly not me.  This early evening with Blair after I hopped off the clock to help him in the minuscule way I could was, I’m put to say, four years ago.  No, that’s ’15.  So then ’14, harvest of 20-14.  No…. I remember now.  It was ’13.  Six years ago, nearly.

The morning’s melodic modus perpetuates with me summoning of these oeno-scenes, and the laptop cooperates finally and wants me to tell more of the story.  What story.  The wine story.  MY, wine story.  Not much to narrate or orate or paginate other than the tasting room tumultuousness at time and the predictable toil of those weekend days, barrel tasting.  I’m just a writer writing this morning but now I see something—  Wine and the notes associated, like this in-the-moment Coltrante track, seeing my co-workers go from person to person, pouring, me getting tot he winery early on a Saturday morning to write in that reserve room with the long polished oak table.  And that was only last year I was in the practice of doing that, and a bit before when they stationed me at the Roth property.

Approaching the age I’m approaching, so what do I do now.  Why didn’t I follow my sister-in-law’s advice and just write about WINE.  What I taste, what I was sipping one night to next, and what we did in the tasting room.  Friend of mine who worked with me at the tech company for a few months decided to go back to the wine industry, back to the tasting room and the theatre that is wine and talking wine, not just pouring it but that being your day to day language.  Coltrane has me dizzied in scenes, visuals, the sounds of removed corks just after 9am and tasting through the characters before they’re offered to the world, whomever they are walking through the doors.  I retune to my friend, what she’s about to start today, her first day at the new property.

“This Chardonnay someone said tasted ‘banana-y but slimy’.” Vanessa said, one day that was pretty slow so what else to do but taste the wines, together, for however long it took till we saw, well, whatever.

I sipped, slow, and hesitantly since I don’t like Chardonnays of that act, certainly not from bottles that have been sitting out for over 12 hour, opened day prior.  “I don’t know, I don’t see anything in this, at all.”

“What is it with you and Chardonnay?” Vanessa said,

“There is nothing with me and Chardonnay, that’s just it.”

“Oh.” She swirled a bit more before dumping it into the fruit fly-overseen sink.

I want more of that. More of those conversations, I tell myself.  Not even the wine, but the words that precipitate from.  The windows of winery rooms and how the bottles are arranged, the vineyard walks I used to do, taking more pictures than I need to and just letting my head do what it would, let whatever creative orchestra in my parcel mold what it wishes. 

I used to walk St.  Francis’ Syrah block, the Syrah Noir, and write little poems, quick verses to hold and detain where I was, what I was thinking, my life right then so I could beat time somehow. But a wish, only. This moment submitted, just after my son arrived to the story, over 7 years.  Now, time and I grapple, battle, both worlds in loud rattle.  The morning, this morning, all thoughts decided and sown into my notes, notated and studies.  Wine, poetry, jazz…. Seeing where to go.  As Vanessa starts her new job, today, think I do to. I hire myself to pursue something new.  What.

Who knows.

Time does, maybe, or not. I’m not concerned with a map.

“What?” She said, watching me let the red blend’s rhythms make themselves known, nose near puddle, in bowl.

“This one… see?  This is what I’m talking about. This one teaches me.”

“What do you mean teachers you?”

“It’s like a jazz session, just a jam session.  Not a track, not a titled song, just a meeting of instruments and intentions, worlds and….” I sip, left he amalgamated tide ride over collective receptor.

Vanessa tires it.  After sipping, she smiled.  Nodded.  “Oh my god, yeah…. When was this open?” She turned the bottle around, saw yesterday’s date written over the description on back label.  “It was opened yesterday.  Much more of a fighter than the Chardonnay.”

“More of a teacher.” I said.  

Sip.