I think with pinkeye. On phone waiting for advice nurse. Hate waiting, and hate being sick. Not going to be idle or binge-watch anything as someone at work recommended. Writing… planning. Business ideas and visions put to paper in journal I bought the other day.
miss them all, especially the babies, and my little girl with that self-understood smile of strength and goals, wanting to learn and touch everything around her (And throw, too, which I’m working on…). Onto cup 2 for the tireless writer.. and everything need be documented. Want to write more about my character, Kelly… thinking about her a lot these past few days, her life in the city and working in that office for the ad firm and never really being allowed to dwell in the creative. Why, why she wonders and gently broached the topic but never gets any answers from management. Her friend Sherry having her own creative outfit but no work for her friend, which kills her. But what can she do. They’ve been friends for over 20 years, since they were in preschool. Both in their mid 20s and looking for their story. Sherry closer to hers while Kelly technically knows but is blocked from attaining what she really wants. But only in her head, and that’s where my novel starts, I guess… or sequence of stories… young artist needing to work but not liking her work, trying to make the best of her work but blocked even from doing that, by management.
These fires will only empower the wine world and animatedly bolster our businesses. I know it. That’s the attitude I’m embracing going forward. Tempted to go for a drive now, but…. No. Stay put. I mean, where would you go? Go go to Olivet Road, maybe, then to Guerneville Road and around RRV. But what would I shoot? Guess I won’t know till I get out there, right? Later… not now. Thinking a tasting’s called for, for today. RRV, yes.. then maybe… don’t know. I just know I have to stay in my wild wine character… write everything. Carry my little black journal with me. Looking at the notes I took the other day, before and after Justin came over— husband of Melissa’s friend. Keeping it together, he was, but barely. I poured him some of that first SB, New Zealand made, and we talked. I gave him some of wife’s socks, shirts, a couple pairs of shoes for his wife. I would have given him some of my wear, but he’s a bit bigger than the writer, so all I could offer him was my ear, wine, a hug before he got back in his car. Taking notes of this all, not to trivialize but so that I adequately grow and learn from it. People losing everything they have, had. Kevin and I on our walk last night, seeing the fire actually touching our block here, by the mailboxes, even charring some of the fence behind wife’s friend Amanda’s place. I keep telling myself I’ll stop talking about these goddamn fires, but I can’t. What does it have to do with wine? Everything. Community. Life. Enjoying the moment and learning from the moment, and understanding the moment for its autonomous importance. Life could change, in far less than ‘a heartbeat’.
Song ends, and onto a new one. Need my office. Need an office in the city. Yes, SF. See what my character sees, maybe go there three times a week. Work from home and take what I produce here, bring it there. Monday, Wednesday, Friday.. in the city. Rest of time up here in wine country. Need to get camera from car…. Got images and a dollar in quarters, dumped into baggie of coins. Think the writer needs more coffee.. why not. Keep the party going. Will stay here while the cleaning crew does their thing. Disport myself with Kelly, her story… supplementing her income by working in a tasting room in the financial district, one that pairs wine and music… she learns more about wine than she anticipated, starts drawing bottles on tables, hands holding bottles, pouring wine.. her art takes a new direction, yes, but tells new stories…. She sips wine in her studio apartment on a street I haven’t determined yet, sketches her last shift.. everything about it— the slimy businessman, probably late 50s, inviting her to his office so he can pour her some “real wine”, as he put it. Kelly starts keeping a sketch journal, quickly jotting notes below some rushed illustration…
Thinking of my babies, up there in Sac’…. Have to work nothing short of obsessively while they’re gone. Had the temptation to switch to coffee last night, but didn’t. Why not. Didn’t want to fuck up my sleep. WHY NOT??????????? Should have stayed up all night, let the echoes of the wine fade like the smoke over San Miguel, Coffey, Autumn Walk, and work. Well I’m here now, working. Working and telling the wine story post-disaster. This “disaster”, though, could be an anomalous mitzvah. It is, as I’ve intoned. Giving me all this time to write and taste however many wines I have and will, build new stories and approaches to wine.
Need another cup. New song, new sights… wine, the vineyards. I will be out there. Before filling my little demitasse, I stare at it. Yes, the obvious metaphor, wine and life, but I take a moment and all the moment sings, taking the moment for the moment it is. Nothing is more ‘wine’ than just that, that act. Not connecting the moment to anything necessarily, or even analyzing it. Just accepting it, welcoming it, letting it speak or not speak to you. This is Zen, this is composition of Personhood. The cup tells me to back off, think about the day and what you’re going to do— the Kelly novel, notes for her, what she’s drawing… she doesn’t even live in wine country, and was raised on the Peninsula, and is wrapped and kept and told by the vineyard blocks and the bottles she pours in a way I could only hope to be. My character in competitive quakes with MY character… huh, interesting. What psychology. Feeling like leaving now, walking a block. But I can’t. Would be constricted by time. Need limitless time, for what I want to do today.
Finally I get to sit, write. Friend from an old winery I used to work at, part-time and on-call, Arista, coming over. Recorded note while driving on Stony Point, or Marlow, on way home— “Well I’m driving and I’m stressing about what I’m going to write as soon as I sit down to write, that’s how I know when it’s not a good time to start day’s writing, jest let it go, wait and the time will come for me to sit down and start writing.” Odd mood today, and not just me, but the whole county, fires and smoke and haze from whatever fires remain.. air telling me to stay home, don’t fear any looters as so many do, just drink the night’s wine (Cab from Paso and SB from NZ). More notes than I know what to do with on past wines. Still have to edit Hitching Post piece, the blend I pulled from the shelf… where was I? Can’t remember, think El Dorado Hills with wife and kids, little time I had to self and went to store to get night’s writing assignment. All offerings tasting different, post-fire. Jesse bringing over a Dutcher Crossing Carignane, ’15, last night and the tune was contrasting what I associate with the winery, wine type, vintage, AVA, everything. Not that my senses are damaged— I mean, at least I hope not— but there was a morphing of something in me, or wine, or my interpretive lens. Can just hear the wines for tonight over there by the knives and drying glasses, cleaning utensil (the one with the hard, pointy, painful bristles, pink and white), and bowl I had the cashews and almonds in for Jesse and I last night.
Had a meeting earlier with a wine blogger/startup buddy, but interrupted by false alarm of looters on our street. I rush out of his office and into my car and here to Coffey Park… nothing. No looters. Yes, police, obvious presence to deter looters, post-fuego, but no threat. So, out of breath, still, I try to collect. And I don’t want these goddamn fires to dominate my 3,000 words for day. No, not happening. Not sure where Kevin is, my Arista friend. Hope I didn’t scare him off, texting him “My neighbors will shoot you before the guard does.” After he asked if he’d get stopped by the Nat’l G’s. Hope he knew I was joking.
Went by winery today.. still closed, but wanted to check on production crew. I could tell they were busy and not at all interested in conversation so I backed off, took one picture, and left. Not sure when we’re opening back up, but it doesn’t matter. MY wine business continues, and my wined notes and jots, inward and outward persist. Wine… should open that NZ SB. Have a burrito from Oliver’s for dinner, will pair that with Cab. Not really a wine-food pairing centered and/or intentioned guy, I’ve noticed. I mean, I try, but I think that any wine goes with any food… well, for the most part I guess. I have a grilled chicken burrito, and I’m paining it with a Cabernet. I’m CERTAIN I’ll enjoy it. Why wouldn’t I? I guess if the burrito or the wine is irreparably flawed then yeah, it won’t be one for the books. But wine and food-pairing is a convenient “science”, at best.
Poured first pulse of SB, just before Kevin arrived. He’s now left, 18:53, he and I recalling days at Arista and career moved, and all involved. Now into the Paso Cabernet, not yet heating up burrito, wanting to see 1,000 wine words here in kitchen at counter— K and I talking about discrepancies in the wine industry with motivating staff to sell— Why not pay them more or “incentivize” as they always say? So many of the wine industry’s problems are easily solvable, I see and the words exchanged with K tonight cemented such. Sb showing much more harmony and music and over smile than the one I had the other night. I type without looking at keys, in fact looking around the room I’m in, the kitchen, into the living room and thinking about winemakers like John whom I saw today not he crush pad trying to function some machine to press whatever he was pressing— I’m guessing Cabernet… and me sipping this Cabernet and reminded there’s so much more story in the bottle than the consumer realizes. I’m not anti-consumer… I’m the consummate consumer. BUT, there need be more awareness of wine and it’s the winery’s job to do that. So ME, as a “manager” of a property, I need to tell the Roth story. Meeting on Wednesday, and I’m going to barrage the council with a vision.. I will be mimicked, copied. I’m not bragging, just confident, eager, willing and creative, able. Not sure what this is meant to state or assert but I’m in my house with radiant wines… and I have a house. I HAVE A HOUSE. I’m guilty, I feel guilty, I’m crippled in guilt and I can only drink more wine and write. Wine is speaking to me now. Before I opened the SB, before Kevin got here.
Finally, I’m sitting, and writing. After this first thousand, I’m set to heat the burrito. See how it “pairs” with the Paso Cab. No music in the house, now, which is rare for me, if ever the reality.. the Cab now telling me to turn on music and heat up that burrito and get to real work.. ‘wine and food pairing’. Part of me’s like ‘who cares’ but then the other parcel is partial to my perspective of ‘write about it’… okay.. Paso Cab with a burrito of grilled chicken… yeah, I’m sure it’ll be amazing, what do you want me to say? I see a little left of the Cab, in my glass… sipped…. alc’ is more visible than I remember. But there’s a stark vile and leather, smoke-set sinew to its physical palate presence. I’m reminded of that morning, eight days ago… and I’m here, in my house, sitting, writing, sipping wine. Something feels wrong.
Back in Sacramento. Just touched down, unloaded some things from car. Tired of this fire nonsense, already. But a project will come out of it. I’ve been instructed and further reminded of life’s fragility and brevity. So, a book soon. From this blog, my life in wine and how wine teaches me that it’s only a minor factor. It’s the people, the communities, the families, the stories. The wine is ancillary, at best.
09:43. Still have some clothes to unload, want to clean car a bit. Hoping to get in a run around here, around this El Dorado Hills area. We’ll see…
…we had fruit land yesterday, Pinot Gris if I’m not mistaken. Wrote the other night that I’ll be like them, the vineyard crews and winemaking teams up and out early to get their prizes from the vines and truck it to the scales for record, then to presses. Now I am very much awake, certainly more than when I started this entry. Capture everything. Book HAS TO BE DONE by harvest’s end. And by “harvest” I mean Roth’s. When the last fruit comes in, I will have a collected cannon of these inward jots… this writing father. I will be one of them, the harvesters. up early. I miss my rise, I miss my prize, my fruit, what I need to make books, as they can’t miss the pull ‘cause then, well, no wine. No wine, no job. No job, then, you know… you know.
05:34 and I find more freedom in this sitting than I have in most if not the total sum of all in the rearview’d three or so months. I’m here on this couch in the dark when most are asleep and hitting the snooze button. Wife and I are up, working toward not so much goals but readjustments, our rewrites. Well, I can’t speak for her, but me definitely. How much can I write before she returns home dripping and now always with a coffee for her writing hus’. Could use the coffee now but actually don’t yearn its heat and comfort and wholly persuasive code…
and do… no escaping the story.
There’s nothing that changes the narrative except you… so, just DO.
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.
for some. Not me.
Creatives don’t know days, nights, weeks, names of days, nothing. Work is our opiate, anatomy and functionality. We are here to tell stories and create communities, share and build businesses.
Some praise Fridays. Not me. I’m indifferent.