6:42pm.  Of course now the laptop wants to cooperate, after I vented all over the social and bloody space and place about it.  This Rhône blend talking to me as most don’t.  Maybe ‘cause it’s from Monterey and I one day want to secure a dwelling of any size there by the beach.  Pairing the blend—composition of which I have no clue—with Sun Chips, I think sour cream and onion ode.  Yes?  Lifting up bag on side, learning I opened upside-down… and no.  French Onion.  Either way, nice harmony between the two bodies.

French Onion… have I had this before?  Tomorrow to Healdsburg to get a haircut then maybe a little tasting.  Want to put more, more into this, more… this blogging effort and step, how people see me as a blogger.  I’m no longer concerned with books, or at least not now.  It’s about the wine, this story.  This journal.  This ME project.  Who is Mike Madigan and what the fuck does he want?  About to turn 40… ran 9 miles yesterday on tread which he can still feel.  Today the company meeting hearing CEO talk and more than forwarded and fiery from his humility and knowledge, his containment, speak.

I see my office.  Right there.  Healdsburg Square.

Learning from Now that I need to calm down.  Not be so pressuring of self, Mike’s character.  Sun nearly all the way in its down.  Will go on patio and drink the rest of this blend.  Pour Self more.  Tomorrow in Healdsburg.  Where do I go, taste?

Feel like bed’s an option now.  Right now.  Go upstairs, make coffee for morning first, and bed in bed.  Sleep.  The wine doesn’t communicate much to me right now so what’s the point in staying up hoping it gives me some vision… some business counsel.  That’s what I want.. some free counsel for business.  Okay, a side of me says, I’m right here.

What do I do now?

What you’re doing right now.


Amplify, intensity, diversify.

I’ve heard that before from this voice and I follow it, or try.  I’m everywhere in my head after a longer than long week.

Then the red takes a shift.  Becomes more than wine.  Starts spelling certain spells and singing to me in odd octaves, saying that the day has taught me something.  What, it demand.  I try to explain but just take another sip, look left at the couch where I’ll be with babies in the morning, then think of them tonight going to bed, my daughter being silly and bragging about her new bed, and how no one can sit on it but her.

What wines do people want?  I’ve all but given up on wine as a business, saying now I want to be a professional consumer, whatever that is.  Can I start my own store?  Open one. Then another.. then another.  I don’t know.  I’ll play with the idea, but cautiously.

Old videos from my winemaking days, now having me thinking of other approaches.  Need this scattered ness to stop.  Write about everything and have that be your one thing.  Yeah, that could be a plan, right?

Throwing myself into this project.  What project?  What is it meant to accomplish I’m not sure but I have something new here, a book, maybe.  Again this morning I see a day ahead of me, one to do something and record everything.  But enough promising, enough cyclical prose, this cold coffee I made last night orders and loudly notes.  This house, like a parallel plain with no kids. The quiet is unnerving, really.  I stay working, productive, typing.  No wine to speak of last night and I’m quite glad if you should know.  Was too tired, too drained from day and wasn’t in any kind of oeno-analytic act or mood, desire.  Not at all.  Building my collection again.  Becoming a “professional consumer” as I told my friend yesterday at lunch.  What the hell is that.  I don’t know.  But it sounds cool.  Sounds like a job I’d want, could designate to self.  Couldn’t I?  Of course.  Where do I start.  One bottle.  When and where do I get it.  How ‘bout Oliver’s on way home.  Done.  Agreed.  Get two.  One for immediate consumption or at least near, proximal drinking and the other for never.  Drink it when you’re fucking 70 or something.  Forget about it.  The project becomes wine-burdened as I knew it would.  It had to.  People call me all kinds of wine names and distinguish as some wine-whatever.  I’m none of that.  I don’t want any of that.  I’m a recorder, recording everything, about wine and all else.  The day in front of me will feed me ideas for this professional consumer curiosity and who knows what else.  Wine leads, I write alongside not following but blindly in tow.  What am I after tonight… Pinot?  Cab?  Have too much of that with regular shelf-pull.  How about a Zin, or a Rhône blend, or a….

As someone who obsesses over work,

and what work he has to do, what I have planned the next day and the remaining hours of this day, I am honestly with nothing.  But I make myself write.  One student tonight saying one of her goals is, was, is to wake at 2am to get ahead in her studies and I assume write a little as she does write poetry and write in short lines, short stanzas, pieces that span only a page.  And I say ‘only’ out of awe, that she does so much to a page in only a page’s pulse.

Was nearly too lazy to write anything tonight.  Told self, “Just a hundred words, per blog.” But I can’t hold self to that.  Should I do what this student plans on doing?  Should I set alarm for 2?  Isn’t that the time of the artist, the writer and poet?  Didn’t I read that somewhere?  On my lunch today grading papers and writing in the Sonic journal as this goddamn laptop didn’t want to let me use it.  Of course, now, I do push the buttons and have a note in my writing normalcy.

Finish the fucking book, I tell myself.  Like my son said tonight as I poised to make his bed with new sheets, “GET TO WORK.” I am.  I say the same to self.  

Sip the Barbera I popped last night. It, she, more calm.  Me the opposite of anything tranquil at the moment.  Working in the home office which isn’t as common as I’d love to tell you it is.  But, WORK.  Work.  What I write about.  Force self to write when I don’t want to.  I do write about wine, but that’s not my only onus and thought light.

Now, I’m like a train with this, these writing thoughts.  I, not failed.  Not failing in my aims.  I won’t allow that.  No one should.  Why would you.  You are here, once.  And I’m not addressing the fact one only lives once…. I’m speaking to myself and you, that where you are, right now, the opportunity and life invitation to bring a project to completion is singular.  You see it once.

You are a train, if you wish be.  Some unknown animal of fruition, bringing works to an offering stage.  There are only stops that persist acknowledged.  So acknowledge none of them.  I see so many of these speakers and motivational-who-be’s profess all this counsel but don’t consider the most apparent reality… the audience member has to decide.  They only elect to act if they bring themselves to movement.  Tonight I could have just as easily poured this red from El Dorado, sat on the floor of this home study, went on phone and scrolled through some photo pour.  No.  We decide to draw, paint new plausible for our Personhood.  Decide to move, be alive, mentally, alive, wildly alive in all movements of your steps and actuating saunter. 

What work does for and to the character is animated in divinely lucrative chant.  Dodge the task, never.  Distractions and suitable sanctions to project-dodge are terminal.  The panacea, always, is preemptive production.  Never, labor deduction. 



Up still.  Moving still.  I started my 4am story, the pages sequencing from this day forward with the antithesis of control.  Going to get coffee.  First expense of day.  Moving money around, toward my business, and this blogs & chapbooks idea.  Today, back in Berkeley.  Hit a bit of traffic on way back to Sonic but time highly utilized for meditation, thinking of all the projects I now have hovering over me.  Was contacted today to possibly do some wine industry consulting.  Am raising rates, as the questioned project is outside anchoring sight of mikemadigancrEATive.  I’ll see what happens.

In adjunct cell, nearly caught up on everything.  Thought I was much more behind, but apparently I’ve been as tireless as I boast in these posts.  I am axiomatic and pragmatic, to some sense.  Just a couple notes for class, so far.  Tonight I’m keeping simple.  A think tank, blended with open mic attributes, associated with just newly generated thoughts and journal readings and who knows what else.  Making a master list, a new one yes, of all my projects.  I’ll inventory which ones I hit day to day, or try.  6:17 and need that coffee.  Need to write whilst I teach and offer my ideas.  

This morning being at gym— or let’s start with waking, alarm playing its odd tune looped at 4am and me sitting up, rubbing eyes and forehead, saying to self I can go back to dreams for just a bit.  Then a commander, a sergeant of some sort in my character ordered, NO.  Don’t you dare.

So I didn’t.  I dressed, laced, grabbed wallet and phone and earphones, keys.  Out door by 4:06 I think.  At gym shortly after and on tread at 6.2 speed before 6:30.  I had my eight miles, and when done, I walked over to friend from Sonic, Mr. Abraham, who was in the corner jumping rope like an over-caffeinated rabbit, so precise and so quiet in the swings and diagonal throws with the rope and his hops coupled.  We talked for a bit, and I headed home.  Paused in the parking lot as I hoped to.  Smelled air as I saw myself doing last night when I thought about the walk back to car after 8, if I hit 8.  And I did.  Warmer than I thought it’d be.  When home, sparkling water and look at oven clock.  5:52.  All that done by 5:52.  Before six.  I have to make this habit.  Religion.  I said to myself sipping the bubbled H2O like I’d been lost somewhere remote and had only dreamt of thirsty ending the entire time.  

Now I’m here.  The typing helps, and I know the coffee will fully bring this writer back to his lively literary life.  Need cinnamon in it, anything to keep me in my character’s code and courting till home when I open that blend from Napa.  Or do I want something else?  Do I have anything else?  Need to budget for a massive wine purchase.  Talking about wine wakes me as well.  No surprise.  Very much now up, flying over these keys and laptop and to all walls and borders of this shared adjunct office.  Over and over, going over the morning.  The alarm, tying shoes, drive there and back, the water, and me now after the eight miles, over twelve hour past.



img_6934Finding I can’t keep up with what I write and posting.  Can’t post quick enough, or I write too much too fast.  Have time to gather what thoughts I have after this busy, busy day.  I do find I’m overthinking more than I possibly ever have, and I wonder why, why am I doing that.  No answer, so I breathe deep, deeper again, think about my wine novel, or wine novel idea, and writing, and teaching, and there I go.  There I go into a thought cyclone and wondering which something I’ll pick.  49 minutes to self in the conference room, teaching myself to be singular.  Writing out things I want done tonight, by tonight’s end.  There, done.  Well, I wrote them in my head, anyway.  Seriously I did.  Empty the backpack which I didn’t do yesterday or the day before as I hoped I would.  Post some past paragraphs to blog, clean home office, grade papers… oh my god those papers, frightening me.  The stack now more of a skyscraper, just gets bigger and bigger, yes intimidating me and I have no idea how to attack it.  Why do I let this happen literally every semester?  Why am I still teaching in this orthodox, institutional sense?  How come I’m not yet independent with my lectures and thoughts on journaling, writing, essay writing, Sylvia Plath and Jack Kerouac, poetry?  Enough with that, that line of thinking if you could even call that thinking.  I don’t.  I won’t.

Rubbing eyes again, picking up coffee cup to see how much I have left from the dose I took from Sonic.  Not enough, really…. Or maybe too much.  The book taking shape in my head, about the tasting room and teaching, where I am and— feel like I’ve written this before.  Fuck, I know I have.  Mom always urges singularity in my writing.  One thing. Then I stress the same in class to students. Then, what do you know I actuate none of what I advocate.  I should just write about wine.  That’s it.  Haven’t written about a singular offering in a while.  Hard to keep up with that, too.  Am I a writer or not?  Tonight I’m doubting myself.  Department Chair asking me how I’m doing and do I still have a house living in Coffey Park even though I’ve told her twice that I still do, then I start talking and talking and re-living the whole thing.  Need a glass of wine.  No bullshit, I’m going to meet with students briefly, then go get a glass of wine somewhere, and write about it.

Can’t post quick enough, I began this post.  But maybe I will if it’s just about wine. If I write everything about wine and post it here, edit minimally…. I want a Cab.  Whatever Cab they have at Whole Foods in Coddingtown, in that beer room or tap room.  Will people look at me funny if I order wine in a tap room?  Who cares.  I’m a wine writer.  It’s my job.  Or, it is now.  Gathering thoughts, trying my best to organize then and be centered, approaching 40, breathe deep, again deeper.  There.  I’m there.  I think.  Jesus Christ I hope I am this time.

Used to many times go to the Fountaingrove Hilton and have a glass of wine before heading home.  Just sip an SB, or Pinot, sometimes Cab, and do a little writing in the lobby area, or that entrance walkway to the bar and restaurant.  One year ago, today.  All of it happened.  The night of the 9th Mom, Dad, and I fled to Katie’s house in Sonoma to get away from approaching fires only to have to leave the next day.  Don’t want to talk about it, only wine.  Wine.  Old friend observing class so no early dismiss.  Good.  Need to stay in character.  Looking for ideas in one of the old journals I have with me.  Notes on wine, more wine, more notes and flavor suggestions from Pinot, to a Rhône blend, to a couple Chardonnays.  

This should be interesting.

10/8/18…. New writing routine.  New

empirical routine.  Always asking students about their writing and reading habits and now this morning I wonder how well I know. My own.  Wrote sentence in Happiness Project journal, took a couple pictures, and I’m off.  4 shot mocha, right.  I mean business, the most loud and quickest, non-revising business this morning.  Felt self getting stressed about papers I have to grade and when am I going to do them, literally seeing self stall in car after I parked, and I told myself to just KEEP MOVING.  So here I am, moving.  Keep the self moving.  The only option if we’re to get what we want.  Colleague the other day stopping me, mid-talk, politely mind you, to let me know I was using ‘I’ a lot in what I was vocalizing.  Part of me internally sent self to defensive direction and thought positioning, but then I stopped self.  Listen, I said.  I did.  Realizing I’m doing it again, I reach to readers, to YOU… listen to those around you.  What you observe and what’s around you immediately is meant to educate.  Another lesson from the tech office, from Sonic as an idea and place where I work, do business, build my business and self, write from the break room or field.

08:22.  Having Mondays off, much to a writer’s delight and benefit.  I have to write in the ‘I’ of it all this morning, as this writer considers further his routine, what he does for his blog and pages, what he wants.  Should I teach next semester?  Was able to sign onto one class, but I’m wondering if I should even do that.  How much will that take from Sonic, from my writing?  As I see it, I have till semester’s end to make these semesters end.  To only have this to do.  And, of course, business efforts and projects creative.  Took Sonic, or supersonic, journal out.  Wrote something.  Nevermind what.  I’m here writing.  Refusing to stop moving.  But I need set tangible aims, goals I can check off as so many do, as Tasha does on her legal pad.  Have always admired people who could do that, make it that simple.  I am just bewitched by it… how do they do that?  How does she? Literarily every morning.  I just did, well tried.  Three goals.  Easy and attainable.  Written in journal so it has to happen, right?

Think this could be a routine…. Happiness sentence, type, then journal.  OR maybe it’s just an idea, something I’m working on.  But isn’t everything?  Writing about writing in a journal, about keeping one, about what a journal should do for the one keeping it.  Lessons in the morning and how I react to it, to the people around me in this Yulupa Starbucks.  When was the last time I wrote here, and why did I feel it so crucial to write here this morning?  What brought me here aside from the wheels, the engine, turn of a key (even though no key was in any way turned)?

Not liking what I’m writing—  

“Start a fucking novel.” I just wrote.  WHAT?  What made you write that?  A novel?  WE, have to set realistic goals here, Mike.  And I’m not trying to be instructional or even so much inclusive as with ‘we’ utterances.  A novel?  About what?  The wine industry?  Wine?  Being an adjunct?  Working in a tech office from the wine and teaching pews?  What if I wrote one.  A novel.  And it took me somewhere… wait, why DID I just write that in the journal?  This goddamn journal and my supersonic writings, getting me into trouble.


Watching Ratatouille with Jack.  Haven’t ever viewed this movie in its aggregate, but I am presently.  Like the dialogue lines and principle parlance, and the character who writes about restaurants, has his column, is a known restaurant critic or something.  Has me thinking about having my column.  Some column.  Thought of bottledaux being its own publication as it already is and then I framed of the inward jots being their column, about trying to find total happiness or balance, or .. I don’t know.  And I know I’m overthinking.

Scratching face.  Have to shave.  I remember one time when I lived alone sipping a Pinot while shaving, before a St. Francis Winery xmas party.   Why don’t I just shave every day to wine, make it more enjoyable, I ask myself.  Wine, write about wine.  Everything I do with wine.  Only write about wine I tell myself. Happiness is in that.  Work is in that, intuitively.  The inward jots and bottledaux as an idea.  If this is my first article, have it be a vow, a manifesto of some kind.  Wine is always part of my day and lectures, even when only talking about hat first paragraph in On The Road.  Everything connects back to wine, makes me think of what I’ll the night sip.  Where I am, what I’m doing.  With wine.

Just had a little of the ’09 Lancaster Cabernet that I opened last night, the 375.  Poured  the rest into the sink.  The drain and all is pipes and curves and inner passages that I can’t bloody see better’ve fucking enjoyed.  Low on wine in this house.  Been saving money for, something.  I think of the wine shop up the street.  What’s for me there, what wants to be written about.  What will I sip first when back in Paris.  What did Mom and Dad sip last night in Sunriver.  What are my old tasting room friends doing now, how many of them are still doing  the tasting room circuit, the tour de tasting rooms.  What do I want now, what could I do now.. should I open the Zin now, the one I bought last night at Oliver’s?  Just thinking about wine, what’s in the bottle and what it has to say to me.  What I’d be sipping now if I were on a trip, in my hotel room now after giving a talk on literature or writing, or even tech.

Tech, my tech job, what made me more of a writer and wine bloke than I’ve ver been.

Watching the main rat in this movie, his passion for food, his love of the kitchen and what the cooks do.  The move tells me to follow with wine, from everything else I do like my tech life which I so much love and am cosmically moved by, well as my teaching at the JC and dad life which now has my motions and sights.  The room, the day, telling me my vineyard is close.  The day I walked into the tasting room for the first time to work, over 12 years ago, I only cognized that wine was something that made people smile, that wine was life and a vacation and where we are, what my family devoted so much to.  What was on the table, and now over 12 years forward I’m thinking wine.  Wine.  What she says to my sitting and immediacy, in this movie as the critic sips it, and later tonight while noting in my journal, mon petite tablette.


At Sonic, thinking about the drive to SF.  How I make it different.  How do I do my job differently today, in some creative dash and direction, decision.  Not sure what day it is, into my placement and life here, but I’m more than connected and convinced of everything I’m doing.  Coffee from yesterday on desk, of course cold, from that I sip after the 1.5 or so cups I had in home.  Feel the early wake.  4:50-something.  Took screenshot of time but don’t want to waste time pulling from pocket, phone.  No… stay in character, stay in composition stride.  A little tired, just felt it for first time this morning.  Have to call SRJC to see what classes are left for me.  And if nothing, then that’s confirmation that I need be atomic, hydrogen bomb-like with my independent work.  The blog, teaching, lecturing on journal art and practice, habit and maintenance, Plath and Kerouac, words and philosophy…. Putting self in the atomic act preemptively.  Done.

Learn from everything, I remind myself of my own lectures and thoughts offered to classes over years.  A tech company, teaching me how to be not just more a writer but more a teacher, more a journal keeper, more into my surroundings and me and where I am and what I’m doing.  Not bringing laptop into field.  Just paper, pen, in Hemingway trend.  Find coffee spot, continue in jots.  Agin feeling tired, in this break room with my cold coffee and people walking in and out starting their mornings not saying much looking at the fridges for something to eat and not being so easily appeased.  She grabs something, not sure what. He still looks.  I still write.  07:49.  Will start for desk at 07:55, I guess.  I’m indecisive, as I’m overthinking. I am.  And that’s another thing I remark over and over, semester to semester— overthought is writer-death, as well as goal-death.  So why do I do it.

Cold coffee, not antagonizing.  At all.  Stopping not to spill out and get some hotter than hot, utterly smoldering and hell-poetry cup for meeting with Tasha.  Las night asking class, “What does the main character want?  Why?  What’s missing?” Only now, a bit more than 7 months till 40 do I see what I want.  What was missing and that the wine industry could never provide.  Here.  At a tech office, working for an internet company, firm, group…. I’m learning.  These seats more than me feed in my tireless knowledge need.

I’m awake and working out.

Did first hold right before five. After that, push-ups and planks. Some sit-ups. Not really counting, just wanting to keep motion continuous. Set stop watch, not a countdown. Just keep the motion motioned, what I’m telling self. 05:12.

Conscious of the noise and mood of the morning. Everything I do on this hardwood or just wood floor make a sound, loud thin and audible. Like an airy crack, or crackle. Wife leaves for her workout offsite. I start coffee. Vowing tomorrow morning with the day off I’ll go to gym at 4-something. Not only enhance the shape I’m in, but start a new way, new story. Yes another promise, more so though a plan than remark avowing anything.

Can already feel the little I’ve done. In legs from hold, abdomen from pushups just a moment ago tallying 100, and arms from planks and pushups. Time for coffee.

Didn’t post thousand words from last night before class. Will today from whatever coffee spot I can find in the Sunset. Sight 1 for day is that, coffee and composition in the City. Second, hit a few doors with the reps. Then, a poem while walking whatever avenue we’re on. One of the views yesterday from 28th and something, I just looked out at the ocean like I saw something or someone in it. The air’s olfactory makeup told me to keep walking and keep watching. Feeling some goal or aim, some aspiration or creative desire sprint from San Francisco, for me. And if it weren’t for Sonic I wouldn’t even be there having these observations and reflections.

05:31. Waking this early, a badge of sorts. Hear son move around in his bed, and if he wakes early and breaks this sitting, I don’t mind. It’s part of the story. Part of the story but the whole of who I am– writing daddy getting in whatever time I can to write. At work at my desk between little addresses of some spreadsheet, or organizing, or prepping for some meeting. The subject is me. The story, each page, and I never need be sorry.

The workout, over. Me on couch in qualified dark, fan light overhead on my dim setting so I can have some isolator writer mood in here. I keep forgetting it’s harvest right now, and so many of my vino people are out there, right now, pulling clusters from rows and into bins, into a gondola pulled by tractor, a driver up early and away from his family, doing what he needs to them feed.

05:36. I feel like one of them, right now. One of the early. One of the characters they defies law, the expected, that doesn’t sleep in. They can’t. Their minds won’t let them. Mine won’t let me. At all. This morning I’m alive with Sonic and supersonic thoughts of speaking, words, fearlessly sharing ideas from one city to next on work, business, writing everything down and so many say that and never do and if they did, my god, it would not only help what they do but wildly and poetically shape their business and their place and placement in it.

Could go back to bed even if a writer wanted to. Hell, even if my body and functioning orders em to. My thinking’s of a beatific defiance this morning, and only accepting sentences. As a workplace, Sonic tells you to be more of you, it challenges me and how the wine industry never could– Telling me to not only keep doing what I’m doing, but intensify. AMPLIFY. Diversify. Play with form as you do in poetry, poet. And more. More.

05:41. I ask myself where the time went and nowhere, nowhere. It’s still very much presented and around me, present. Gifting me with this couch and all the musing I need for a day in the city. Will I wake as early tomorrow, or early as I have written… I have to. I know how I’ll feel if I don’t. I know my mood if I won’t. Set alarm, every movement today for tomorrow’s early steps and words, lines, however many miles I run on tread or however many reps I finish. Not waking early, and I’m citing hours like this, is in no way literary. Writers don’t sleep in. We can’t sleep, for the most part. We deplore rest, and idleness. Just laying in bed and scrolling, sitting on couch watching a show, or just hanging like a coat from some hook, some executed prisoner from a tight meanly knotted and enclosing circle.

05:47. I love this. I do. I don’t have to think about what to write. It’s right in front of me, blatantly. No sun or suggestion of it through the glass door to right. This is true morning to me. When the sun steps and straight lay stands communicating with the world, its day. It’s started. The day is off and you better find a way to catch it as right now you’re surely not ahead if you haven’t been up. I’m here, knowing I’m ahead of the day. Time again, my topic. Twelve hours from now, I could very well be in traffic. On 101 somewhere. San Rafael, the Novato narrows, Petaluma. Somewhere. I have twelve hours to do something to my story… I do it. Start the timer. 12 hours. Get to work and collect in writing for a bit, then attack tasks. Reps get in before ten, so we head out early. Quick, this Friday. My writing will equal, rival, buzz by pacing.

Son definitely awake. 05:52. I could get a stet in day, again. Teeth and shower, dress, pack, take stuff out of bag as to bring laptop for written lunch and be lighter while hiking the SF streets. Keep the motion motioned. To halt is to fall. And I can’t. Not this close to 40.

Diet for day… Coffee, only healthy snacks, no full meals till dinner, and then do note to lightly eat. Speaking of my beloved coffee life… I sip…