pages and pages …

img_4946In this office quiet, with now NO sounds but the pushes of these laptop keys, I see the day that takes stage in just under 30 minutes for me, everyone I’m working with.  Counting today, 4 days left in this industry.  FOUR.  Can’t believe it.  What brought me in?  I remember in ’06, just wanting to make a couple extra bucks in a tasting room, I saw literary qualities in what I poured at St. Francis, and started blogging about wine and writing about what I tasted in some poetic and theatrically narrative form, I guess.  But how did I get sucked in?  To wineries like the other Sonoma Valley spot (May 2012-Jan. 2015), the Dry Creek fiasco before that (end ’10-March 2011), and too many more to count.  Guy I work with now I think has been at more wineries than me.  Didn’t think that was possible.  And whether he has or hasn’t doesn’t bloody matter.  It’s indicative of the industry, not him, not me, not anybody.  It’s the atmosphere, the anatomy of wine’s industry and “business”.  What kind of business is so indifferent and eager to let people leave?  I don’t get it, to quote my father, talking to him right after my son was born about how a winery wanted to hire me but refused to meet my wage demands which were anything but painful or unreasonable, and offered no benefits package.  He and I both said, “What’s the motivation for working for a place that does that?  And, in the negotiating parcel of the relationship?” Still don’t have an answer for this one.

Was reading up on Anthony Bourdain the other day, and learned that he wrote some book, a tell-all I guess you could say, about restaurant life.  Do I want to do the same with wine’s industry?  I think so then I back off then I don’t know, and do I want to give them that much of my creative life?  Then another side of my senses set say YES.  Take it all back, all the 12 years you gave to those drones and clones.  Do I start now, and work backward?  Do I start with that first day at St. Francis?  OR, do I start with my first winery memory, driving up that cliffside in Cupertino with Mom and Dad to get their Ridge futures?  Well, I’ll start here, now.  No?  Isn’t hat the most logical approach?  Knowledge in what I’ve seen and lived, heard and felt, feared and overcome since ’06….  Pouring wine, for the first time, just giving the obvious.. something like “Here’s our whatever-vintage Sauvignon Blanc… it has notes of melon, kiwi, honeysuckle, and whatever the fuck…” I don’t talk about wine that way now, of course, just listing “wikipedia descriptors” as I call them.  I go further…. But I don’t want to talk about that.  I will explore what I’ve learned from, in, this “business”.  One blaring bulb of sagacity, all the reasons why you should stay out, and away from it.  Be into wine, don’t be in the industry.  That industry, BUSINESS, has taught me that this is not where you want to be.  12 years of shapely proof and thesis support to put to page…

Last night, all the Italian wines I tried, reminding me of more, more, there’s so much I have to experience not just with wine but with life.  Today, home with son, I move quick.  Not even productivity, but health, happiness, a tireless motion that will get me to where I want to be.  Where I deserve to be at this stage in my life.

Mom sending me a video yesterday of her and Dad in Central Oregon, just enjoying their day, having a beer and waiting for lunch to arrive.  Time reminds me, urges me forward and into the day with Jack.  Don’t be at all idle.  Be madly wild…

IMG_6217Not reaching 3,000 words yesterday, but hopping over 2k.  Which is fine.  Today, I had those thoughts again, like “How did I get here?” And, “Now what?” Very much hoping on the telecoms people to come through, offer me something amazing.  But I can’t keep doing this to myself.  Need this blog to do something.  Need my sentences and in-the-moment jots and musings, what wined entertainments stampede through the writer’s head pay the bills that continue to ring and knock.

Yesterday giving a tour for those six people from nearby and all over, all family.  Gave an energetic estate tour making sure I held to no script, not even my own.  And when in the cave, I kept it conversational, and offered ideas on life and philosophy, how wine teaches us to adjust our sight and self-estimation, to value the moment and those with whom we it spend.  I sold a mixed case, charged both tour-and-tasting fees, $45 each (which is silly and didn’t want to but this new manager-esque figure insists so), and they gifted me $60 gratuity.  I was stunned.  And taught.  That’s what I need to expand… my speaking, my thoughts connected to wine and not talk about wine as wine.  But as a cognitive entity, a being, a creature that insists angrily we wildly live and not merely exist.

Reviewing wines has never been something I’ve wanted to do, really, even though that’s somewhat how I started my wine writing life, by reviewing wines I’d come across and either giving it a score, or a letter grade.  Think I started with numbers and then did what the teacher in me promotes, or used to, the letter mark.  I want to review wines differently, even contrasting what I now do, with my ‘thousand wines’ writings.  Comically, but not.  Telling some story.  My wine story.  How the industry drove me out of the wine industry but my closeness to wine told me to never leave wine, in the written tenure.  Wine is my subject, my topic, my vie.  A week ago, today, going to Napa with my good friend Chris, tasting new characters and meeting new people, and he too saying the way I talk about wine ‘fires people up’, as he put it.  Today, wine.  All wine.  But, not.  Life.  My life’s work… which is definitely, know and note, reader, NOT in ANY tasting room, nor with ANY wine company.  My life’s work is here, on the page, decoding life from my wine experiences, how to acquire obnoxious happiness and health, how to live a life that at one time you thought something like ‘Oh, one day…’ About to look through some old wine pictures, and maybe videos.  Looking for lessons, lectures from the moment itself.  No fear in writing, in wine, even the industry.  Well, of course I don’t fear the industry, though it wants us all to fear for our jobs, have that be the carrot, that the reward is we get to keep the job.  Nothing in that mentality is ‘wine’.  Nothing.  So, onward go. 


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.