Home after dinner with wife in Windsor. 

Kin, one of our preferred stops, spots, restaurants with all its activity and offerings.  No babies in the house ce soir, and I think about having another glass of that Meeker Malbec my friend ‘J’ brought me.  A gift.  Waking early tomorrow.  And I know what you’re thinking, reader—  “Yeah… sure you are… no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be as disciplined as your wife.” Well… yeah… THAT may be true, but I am waking early for a run around the Coffey/San Miguel zone.  Air conditioner on, kids no longer with their chatter outside, and I can feel the last of that Chardonnay encircle my functionality.  Odd feeling, having to delete then retype… what happen to a writer like me, but this writer isn’t likely the others… I enjoy running, exercise, health and fitness.. but then I’m here, sipping wine and writing.  Exhausted from the day and prep for tomorrow’s ‘Burgers & Bocce’ event.  Should go to bed now, the writer knows, but a glass of that Malbec as a night’s capping sounds resplendent, and why not.  That’s what life is— short, and instructional, telling me or maybe more so urging me to turn down certain streets.  So I’m here.. on the couch, just typing the night into more night, wanting a salvo of meditation about me, the glad freedom  wheel that will make sense of everything around me, even that which I have no interest in understanding.

Hot in the home office.. so what do I do?  Read something.  Fuck the wine.  Leap back to literature.  Words from Kerouac and Plath, al the heroes right there.  OR, just keep drinking the Malbec till something hits the page that teaches even YOU.  Can that happen?  Has to, oui?  Guess we’ll see.  Night’s cap of certain captains, in cup.  So now, only down and up.  Like Wonderland, my Master’s thesis, revisited.  All over.  And again, again…. Maybe just notes, but with some wherewithal, color and animation, maybe.. not sure what I’m trying to say.  Nearing 50,000 words in this document… and what don’t I have a fucking book out?  Some of these independent musicians have straddled and secured fame and artistic autonomy for their self- distributed boldness… okay… take the rest of the night off, as I’m sure Mama would say.  Obey.  But the writer in me’s addicted tot he act of writing, just putting shit to page—

Well, there’s part of the problem…

today

At winery.  The production team does something right above me, with horrible rolling noises and rumbles, bangs and deep, dark, woody booms.  Maybe moving barrels around, but on the catwalk?  Not sure…

Woke this morning with more energy than I’ve had in days.  Carried that garrulousness here, cannoned vino letter 16, and now collecting before days starts.  Nothing on calendar so I think I’ll go out to connect with neighboring wineries and invite them over for tasting, further speak the Roth story.  Also going to make some calls for upcoming Bocce party… at lunch, write.  No pictures, no video, no social media… just writing.

The dinosauric thumps above me get louder and louder.  Must be something in prep for harvest.  Could go out the doors and look up, look, see what exactly their activity is… but then I’d be pulled from my sitting— which anyway is now cut short due to clock-in obligation.

Talk later, readers…

Mike

Day 4, 7/29/17. 

Very much a working lunch.  Brought self a sandwich from home.  Busy day so far at winery.  One tour, around property then wine and charcuterie.  Sold six bottles, no tip, I say to myself “Whatever.”, but I can’t expect tips.  That can affect mood.  I go on with day making notes of things around the property and how the wines are tasting.  Again my favorite the Cabernet.  Taking a bite of my sandwich here in cubicle-ville my mind wanders, everywhere, to wine and running, my kids getting older and me getting older, how I won’t be this forever—this mobile and agile…. I won’t be this, forever.

The quiet in this office, all the way on the other side of the building, is addictive.  Wind sounds, right, from window.  Will go for another walk around property after the day closes.  This morning getting here early and taking pictures of the ripening, slowly ripening, Cabernet.  One day, I thought up there, just before 09:00… my Carmel home, my vineyard, winery.  “All it takes is money.” As Dad and I have forever joked.  But it’s actually not humor.  It’s truth.  All I need is more diversity in my business practices and be quicker, and more wildly creative.  This office is my new writing spot, for this property.  Every lunch need be spent here.  Save photog’ and vlogging, blogging, for before and after hours.  Finish this book, sell.  Finish the chapbooks, sell.

It is a working lunch, but more a creative sitting.  A thoughtful break.  My 30 minutes devoted to deconstruction of Self and that Self’s momentum and direction.  This new role at Roth will be my sole projects for the foreseeable onward.  Over 19 minutes left in this working whatever.  I look up at the cubicles.  I see the one they designated as mine, at my 2 [o’clock direction].  I quite like it as it’s not a cube.  Coming up here, though, I can’t help but think of my days at ‘the box’.  Working in that office in downtown Napa, calling down lists and hoping some club member buys.  Was a very interesting intersection in my story, there.  Right before little Kerouac was born, and at a precipice entailing both unique ambition and vision, coupled avec uncertainty.  Very interesting.  And here I am, over 5 years later in less an exploratory mode but just as intense.  It’s contraction and containment, which itself is a contradiction.

Thought this morning about teaching, while interviewing a close friend for a part-time placement here (actually, someone else did the interviewing, I was merely present and there to be her fervent advocate).  She, a pre-school teaching professes and fearlessly vocalizes her passion for instruction of those little ones.  And it’s not just vocalization.  She visually embodies the teacher.  You hear her narrative and dialogue and you feel the actuation of teaching.  Hope my students feel such from me.  Week approaching, 7 of 8 in Summer seminar.  I want to put more into my teaching practice.  But how.  What.  What’s the first motion?  Use what I have in front of me, I say to myself.  Vineyards.  Life.  Ripening.  More life.  Visuals.  My ideas couple and compound and I start my jots, feverishly and tirelessly like that wind sneaking through the window to my right.

Done with sandwich.  Still hungry.  Think there’re snacks in kitchen.  A tasting room is like a class, at least for me.  Learning about myself and people and how I interact with people, like the couple earlier I was sure would leave some tip…  Shape and flavor and stare of Newness.

from book…

Friday.  Which means nothing.  Just arrived at winery and I have about 12-13 minutes to collect self in words.  Today, I only want to sell, raise not just awareness of this winery but the tangibility of it.  IT’S HERE.  I’m looking at this new post as somewhat of a challenge but a motivator to me to do something new, to help. brand, to re-write a brand while maintaining already-established brand consistencies.  I’m blending my projects with their projects.  More than synergy or marriage, or the obvious pun of ‘blending’.. more than collaboration, more than fusion, or infusion…. I don’t know what it is, but I’m HERE.  At the winery early from nothing but pure, colorful and tall motivation.

Sip coffee which gets colder from the room being a bit chilled to deter, or really kill, fruit flies, and I further settle into day.  One idea I have for generating sales and traffic is to be insularly focused.  I’m going the have the Cabernet be today’s anchor.. theme and idea stream.  Not any of our reserves, but the Cabernet.  At lunch, next chance I’ll have to write, I’ll update you on progress, how people respond to it, and of course how much I’ve sold.

To the left, view of production area.  Out back, more barrels being steamed in prep’ for harvest ’17.  Me, producing what I’m producing and what I’m about to produce.  Always tell students to “make the topic your own”.  And like Dad one time told me, “…everything you’ve instilled in your students has now fallen into your lap…” And what an opportunity.  Still can’t believe I’m in this post, but I am, and I have to get over any shock, or daze.  Get to work.  There’s always something to do, there’s always something to create.  And I’m creating, regardless of what day it is.