12/10/18

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Downstairs after dinner and everyone in bed but me.  Long day, whole day in field and all I wanted was this.  Some Jazz, low-lit room, xmas tree providing most of my sight.  Walking up and down hills in SF makes me want there, the houses, I want just one of them… some impressive grander in my head bouncing forth and back and back to my senses which even I now question.  Outside, sky and air remind me of what time of year envelops my Now.

Music on me unexpectedly quits.  No mood to fight, quibble, scuffle.  So I leave it off.  Could turn it back on, with phone, but I’m composed in the composition of this room.  Could use another beer for session.  But I’ll wait a minute.  And the music comes back.  What is this devilish device doing to me?  To my writing.  Ignore it, I tell myself.  At lunch, which I told myself I wouldn’t do, dine out, I was in Harvey’s (think it was called) writing in the corner, before the omelet arrived and walked around Castro taking in everything— lights and cars, shops and the bars with their engaging names, street lights and the evidence of history.  Going back tomorrow, and making it more a point to write in “real time” as some say.  But I hate that utterance and word sequence.  “Real” “time”.  If you have to note that it’s “real”, or remind yourself or a reader or observer that it’s “real”, there’s an obvious incongruence.  To me, anyway.  So.. point, write in immediacy spree.  While people walk by, walking their dogs, as they answer the door to us knocking to tell them about what we’re doing for the community, put all to page.

Down here, in this room, family room while family upstairs swirls and swivels and swims in dream, I’m doing something, I think.  Missed class tonight, and I feel awful, but no choice was mine.  One of the sales leads out so I was the transporter man or whatever, taking team to and from between Noe Valley and Castro.  San Francisco, begging me for conversation the same way that Paris would let go of Hem.  I’m out there as a Field Sale Supervising, most presently and poignantly doing my job, but as well not letting the writing Me away gaze. 

This room, now, just what I need.  Tree luminous, piano notes and keys hit, and now me.  Thinking of how I want to be seen, read, this job I have at a tech company that’s making me more a writer than I ever would have forecasted.  Drive down with reps, talking about certain topics then re-focusing on what we were about to do with this new campaign, me the whole time thinking how with business if everything was this exciting, like in the wine world, businesses would more readily attain what they sought.  The room says more to me, like just enjoy the room, go get a beer and be Hemingway for a night.  Think about your city, SF, and how tomorrow will be definitively different than today.  This room, now, not so much what I need but what’s ME.  What I embody… composition, the page, me here on couch, in assembly.  Time, rather “real”.

End day.

Tired from walking Castro District hills, and the hills and streets above that. Up since 4. Me. Again tomorrow but for run. To write. About the early hour, 4. What it does to you, your day. How you see yourself and the things around you. And at day’s close all is angled. In moving waves with an magnetic sharpness to them.

Waiting for pizza and salad. Having beer. Wine when home. Write about wine. Anything I have and I’m running low. Time to again build cellar. Start a serious collection. Get more intimate with wine and what she wants from me, from my writing. How she wants me to put her on a page, varietal to varietal. Whatever winery I visit and whomever I talk to, whomever for me pours. Like the lady the other day, also a blogger, and quite traveled. Younger than me by I’m guessing ten years and already with what I’m writing for. What I want to live and write. Start tonight. With Cabernet. Everything she has to say. Everything with blogging started with wine, sister-in-law suggesting so many years ago that I blog about wine. I did, but didn’t. Wasn’t consistent. Tonight, take the field again. Think I have a Cab in the “cellar”. Or collection.

Walking past certain houses in SF I saw me on that balcony, looking at the buildings from a hill, my hill, writing, middle of the day and drinking an SB from Dry Creek. Dutcher Crossing or someone close. There was a taste of my nearing future, so close it’s not a future. The tired could be talking now. I need wine to write. How much longer for the pizza? Should I order a glass of SB? Pinot?

12/8/18

Kerouac has

all interpretation and meditations leaning toward more. More exploration, more scenes, more looking around and acknowledging Now. Nothing behind, all ahead and in front of me asking to be experienced. What am I doing here, accepting any order, any regulatory, any institution. More, on that Road, the music, lights, cars, families traveling in winter or whenever. Sitting on unfamiliar boards, me…

from a journal

12/3/18

So this morning my devilish laptop decides to work.  Part of me incensed and the other joyous.  I’ll take the joyous.  Going to take it in, anyhow.  Then to bank, then, by THEN, I should be run-ready.  Not sure where I am in the marathon countdown, but I’m sure close enough to frighten me or at least get me a bit edgy.  Jazz on, music the whole way here from Starbucks, getting a 4-shot mocha (that kind of morrow) and blueberry scone which they were slow to give me and when I brought it up to the ponytailed barista after she asked me a bit drained and feigned what my name was and what I was waiting for, was told there are a lot of food items that were ordered and had to be heated.  “That’s why.” She made a point to say.  I nodded.  When the scone was handed to me, unheated.  I left, not so much laughing on my way back to the over-mileage’d Prius but thinking I need intensify what I’m putting into this day, this Monday.  Music, much of what I do and how I see things.  “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”, a track featuring Coltrane and shoving me this way, then that, and I’m present, very much present at this counter, 08:50.  Should get going to the laptop repair joint.  So if he, Phil, nice guy whom I always seek when it comes to fixing this goddamn thing for whatever reason, takes the monster from me, how will I type?  Oh… use the office computer as I did yester’.  Sometimes when life changes the Road’s contour, you have to follow and drive as it instructs, implementing your own creative code and composition while along.

Bite of scone.  Tempted to heat it, but why.  Surprised the laptop cooperates this morning.  Last night Jackie grabbing my phone and pushing the blog shortcut on the home screen, trying to read what he could, saying “Daddy you’re a really good writer.” How he sees me.  Intensify, amplify, self-codify in this blogger way and practice, habit, maintains the habit and practice, my Craft each morning.  Day young, crumbling scone, mocha not losing a significant level of its temperature level.

Yesterday wine tasting on Olivet Road, looking at the vineyards and in the tasting room tasting through what I did, wine speaking to me.  Take a closer more analytical lean and approach, approach then lean to life and the wines in front of you that ONLY speak life’s language.  Thought in what’s present, what’s caught, what is not what’s not. 

I’m writing for my life, just before 40.  I’m going into 40 with more thought than I ever have, certainly more urgency but more command of Day, this day and the ones in succession.  Wine has always done that, even when I had no idea what the hell I was sipping in my San Ramon apartment.  Just buying that Merlot, 2000 from Blackstone, California AVA tag, and feeling something.  Not a buzz.  In fact that first night with the friend over I think I only had a glass and a half, if I remember right.  IT was the form of the wine, the voices inside, the music.  It was all music.  I wasn’t into jazz then as I am now, but there was immediate jazz in the introduction to the light Bordeaux’s vocals.

Scone nearly gone and continues to crumble to that little paper bag they put it.  I’m not a breakfast bloke.  At all.  But this morning it just sounded good.  I’m operating madly today, on whim more than pragmatics or forecasting, any prediction or plan for the day.  I’m more mad in this paragraph stray, wanting adventure of some latitude in this way, day.  This day, mine, in all its chords and chimes.  Telling Self this is my only job.  Writing.  Capturing where I am and what I’m doing, here in kitchen with a finally-quiet house, writing daddy enjoying his caffeine and dreams.  Models presented in head, of our next house, runs on coast, flight to Germany or Austria to taste wines and write about the towns I visit.  How to do….  There is no “how to”.  There’s just the DO.  As I see it now, this morning.  I’m quiet frankly tired of dreaming and thinking, envisioning, seeing, painting some illustration or convenient scene in cognition.  Now, actuation’s my only deliberation.  And I don’t deliberate excessively.  I’m moving, moving is the opiate.  Should go soon, to Phil, find out why this goddamn device keeps giving me that keyboard warning, or stall, saying it can’t find a keyboard through the bluetooth function but there’s a fucking keyboard RIGHT HERE.  Attached to the bloody device.  Can’t you see that, monster?  Feel like yelling that here in the ditch but what would that do.

Wife texts me “Hi”.  Should reply.  But I can’t stop typing.  Feels more than good.  Writing for me isn’t writing, it’s not fucking “therapy” as some say, and I hate when people just pin writing as a therapeutic act, like that’s all it is….  It’s something, something.  I don’t know what.  Wine again speaking to me… those DeLoach Pinots, and the two Chardonnays.  I need to travel, I need write about, out, everywhere to understand wine and Self, this, life, why I’m here and where and what the writer’s meant to do with where he is.

New track.  JM’s Dream Doll by Mal Waldron.  Moody, slow, atmospheric and curiously haunting.  I’m in its notes and in line with the track’s progression.  I need produce a track a day, I said to myself while on San Miguel.  Will record when this note’s done.  Is it done, now?  Maybe this is the track, my track for the morning and the day, Monday, the week and for whatever I need.  Taking a break from the mocha as this writer already feels its gnarl and snarl.  Slowing with the sips.  Where’s my copy of Road?  Wanted to re-read it, on my own onus and timeline.  Just me on my Road, what I observe in Kerouac’s work and others.  Make time for reading today, I order Self.  Done.  Decreed.  Now, I for errands flee.

Technology not cooperating.

Laptop not cooperating.  Keyboard not responding.  Tried using this computer in office, the word processing doc program, and its cooperation was shit.  So I’m typing directly to blog.  Which I never do.  But, these blogs I’ve made my home and soon my sole career and composition, so I type here.  I know where to find these words.  And frankly, I like this bigger screen.  Need a break from that laptop monster and this occurrence gives me just the warrant and excuse to use this actual computer.  I’m using the office, the desk, the chair, the room, imagining it my eventual office in downtown SR or Healdsburg.

Kids play upstairs, agreeing to let me work.  This is definitely a morning of a writing father, a jotting daddy who needs things to work when they don’t, and they continue to defy, so I find ways to write.  I’m a writer and if I have to the pen and paper are my most reliable and ready ally in any tech scuffle.

Kids upstairs, playing.  They don’t have these worries, or any.  Jack asks projecting his voice what I’m doing down here.  Think he’s up to something.  I know he is after asking what he’s doing and he throws down the stairwell, “NOTHINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG…..” I’ll trust him, or seem like I do even though I anything but do.  Don’t hear any thumping or falling of any objects.  Emma’s not crying so all much be composed, right?

Checked on laptop and it has no interest in cooperating, communicating, anything for me.  I come back to actual computer, the blog, the only anything I can use.  Day off but me self work.  There’s no such thing as “a day off” for writers.  I’ve forgotten about the laptop and now fixate on the day, later, a run I know I have to do but already dread, and if not dread than just want to think of anything to do so I don’t have to do THAT.

If I didn’t have this coffee, I’d be far more mentally disheveled and scattered, wrecked than I am now.  Kids play quietly upstairs.  The quiet is near unnerving– And there’s a funny noise.  Like a toy breaking, falling then shattering.  But I hear no vocal reaction.  This desk, the laptop, the morning, teaching me.  Lessons compounded and turned, around and in other directions for my story.  This writing pops.

Voices outside.  Neighbors starting their day.  “What are you guys doing?” My voices flies up the stairs from my office seat.  “Emma’s reading.” Jack says.

“What is she reading?”

“The puppy book.” Jack offers back, soft and in eased tone.

What are you reading, buddy?” I say.

“I’m reading the shark book then, um, I’m going…I’m going to read the dinosaur book.”

“Good!  Enjoy your reading!” I say to him as I say to my students before they read each other’s work in a class essay workshop.

Sip coffee and look down, under chin and see post-it, with note.  “Dear dad […] w  e love   yo     u”.  I smile then am interrupted in my enjoyment of a post-it with more life on it than I’ve ever seen by message from neighbor saying she needs her table back, the one she leant us for Thanksgiving.  I say sure and open the garage door and let her take it, return inside and ask upstairs how the reading’s preceding.  “We’re just doing a lot of reading, okay Dada?”

Back at desk, and the morning couldn’t be more for me if I had written it this way, or any way.  Neighbors wheeling stuff around.  Think there’s a collaborative garage sale sale going on.  Something like that.  What are they reading?  I hear Emma explain something to Jack and then he clarify what she’s attempting to elucidate.  Thinking I should go up there and read with them.

But, they come downstairs.  Slowly.  Emma saying, “Hey, Dada… what’s up?” I laugh and ask her same.  She then say something I can’t understand and don’t need to.  She says she needs to do something.  “I need get dressed.” The morning and its story cooperate where tech doesn’t want to.  And again, this shift in habit and writing practice teaches and reiterates dimensions to which I was already privy.

Writing my life, at this point in my life, to understand the story and my character and my writing, or anything, questions form.  Inquiries that will not halt.  I follow them, to more solutions then more puzzles to solve and codes to decode and deconstruct.

Jackie calls me up, I say I need five minutes.  Which I do and don’t.  I surrender the path that is the morning and day and just the sequence of songs in each set of numbers the clock reads play.  We wish for a lot, we Humans.  We focus on what’s absent rather than celebrating what’s present.  This morning reminds me to celebrate, to forget about whatever the laptop’s doing and just move, be mobile, be writing, be loving.  The babies upstairs losing their littleness and I age and we all age, so I capture everything.  Jack singing some song I can’t understand or identify.  Think it’s a Christmas  song, I don’t know.

Jack again demands I come upstairs and I agree.  Hear them playing and him trying to teach Emma about the functionality of some toy.  “Emma, turn it off!” I ask him to please be nice to her, he rationalizes “She doesn’t follow my rules…” Smile, back to writing more.  Love how they think, how they talk, argue and respond and in a micro-nanosecond turn their thoughts into something so convenient and obscure that only they can see connected dots.  That amazes me, their language.  Their thoughts and how they create and respond, occupy their time.  They never obsess over what’s not, only what is.  That, if anything this morning, more than that fucking laptop, teaches me.  I’m a student and they’re the collective professor.

Wonder how I’m doing in class.  My grade.  Do they like my blog, this after-laptop piece?

He calls again, little Kerouac.  This time, he doesn’t accept my excuse.  Up…..

12/2/18

11/27/18

Home from class.  Dinner had.  Now wine having.  My thoughts are still, and mobile and motile when they wish be.  Xmas tree, lit to right.  2 days and 6 months till I’m 40.  Today busy, back and forth from city.  Not sure exactly what neighborhood or district I was in.  Doesn’t matter as SF always does something to me.  Makes me think of owning a house there, driving kids to new house and showing them what all the work I do did.  Whenever I come home late, it’s for this.  But, a wish.  At this point.  Paired a Syrah, St. Francis of course, with a microwave burrito.  Funny but perfect in framing and station. 

On the drive back from the city I thought about driving, speaking, how I began the day with my notes and speaking to a co-worker about what I want from the day, the first day out in “the field” in over two weeks.  Driving, travel, seeing all the houses and the remodels, that one porta-potty by that remodeled house that I thought of using after all that coffee and not using the bathroom in Marin, Novato, at the gas station.  So much movement, so much said, activity and effort, again not to forget the 90-minute lecture I just gave.  And now, still.  Stop.  Pause.  Wine and its composition laws. 

Honestly, the wine isn’t saying much to me.  Again.  Again this happens.  Want to be back in class.  And I could.  Tonight we discussed narrative and the practice of narrative.  What is would entail, the perception of narrative… each of our narratives.  Telling a story from our own life.  Of course, some close to me want me to talk about something when I’d rather write about something else.  Right now.  This tree my son helped decorate, Syrah at day’s close.

My concentration wains and feigns, is strained by hours behind me.  Coughing a bit.  Do I have something?  A cold?  Shit.  Hoping the Syrah helps when I know it won’t.  I sit on the couch and look at the tree longer.  Lights.  Hanging pictures.  Decorations kids made at school, with pictures, glitter, meant to catch eye, eyes, and my eyes are certainly caught by anything these Madigan babies do.  Again the image of them reading this class, like a class I had in Stevenson Hall, 1999, with Bob Coleman.  Their professor trying not to call them out but he may let a remark slip.  “Mike Madigan was always knowing of his kids and what they would think… what does this suggest about his identity and consciousness and the conscious reality of his character, his identity, at the time?”

How did that, that time, me at SSU, pass so passively and swiftly as it did?  I become annoyed with time.  With me.  With me being here.  With the Syrah for not teaching me more.  This wine isn’t saying a thing.  I dump it out.  Into sink, down the drain.  Just kidding, she’s still here.  Sip… and still not much said.  That’s what she wants.  That’s what the story wants.  Have to deconstruct and decode, work harder, find something in the mindful myriad of the wine.  So, again I go…

No nap, today, fought against pull and push to do so. Thanksgiving over, wife out shopping at one of those shopping special eve whatever’s. Me, home. Wine. Just finished glass of Claret. The night passed with such cruel progression. Indifference. Babies asleep upstairs. What movie do I watch, my dilemma. My life’s trouble. Think of how fortunate I am with my family and to have such family, to be sitting where I am, here on this we seek to shed, new one one the way… Day of giving thanks, I need to show more giving of thanks, being thankful.

Tonight, I do intend exploring more wine. No aim to wake at 4am or 4:10 like this day. No. I may actually just sleep in. I will. What do I mean, “may”? May have to punch out. Take the night as it approaches me, describe and translate it, or in such order reversed… then wake tomorrow with more thought. More story. More ME. Tired now, forgetting I’ve been up since 4-something. Think 4:10. Has it been that long? Yes. It has. Me, that writer. Now. Time to Self and I sip wine and be here, writing. A writer.

Does the writer want apple pie or Chardonnay? Both sound like they sound, their own precise appeal and connection. I’m not torn between both but urge to be curved by both, somehow. 9:08. Feel like bed but I won’t. I can’t. But more, I refuse. Why can’t I be a human, just have dessert or drink wine. Is it that complicated? Are my thoughts the hinderance, the block and or impediment? I think it may be just that. Not in any kind of a writing swoop, and I can’t figure anything of it out. How does pine figure. What type a figure be me, I, this writer.

I feel like I’m not doing a thing, while doing too much. A mess. Should have taken a nap.