a thousand wines project


A more fun and universal style and shape, step of SB that I’ve met of late. She delivers her tone quickly, with sped seduction, but not with tangential code– Loud letter of love. Bright and crisp tropical spins, but nothing expected or simplistic. Voracious and versatile in each pour and roar… Hovering around my senses like a cantaloupe and apricot frenzy climate. Playful and passionate, real and told avec chirping truths.

Her steps are soft but pronounced, ballet-esque and animated in delivered wildly in her self-sense. Victorian mode, kissed–

12/16/17:  06:45. 

img_7652Up much earlier than I thought I’d be after last night’s work, and wine, and principle restlessness.  Made cup of coffee from that cheap, one-cup-maker they put in this room and I’m guess all the rooms.  Not sure why I’m up so early but the same creative and thought intent of last night shimmies and shakes and stomps in my head.  Questions like, “What am I doing?” And “What do I do next?” And, “Is this it?” Not depressed, sad, or ashamed of anything, just putting self in the Philosophy Major’s shoes, I guess.  Or with his “thinking cap” on, as Dad has always said.

39 next year.  So I guess now I begin the countdown I do every year, right?  Okay… 13 days, 5 months.  That’s my time to do something… something. To get on the Road, to travel, to speak.. if I don’t do it by that age, I’ll never bloody do it.  Don’t say that.  Put self in the student’s shoes… how about, don’t think about yourself.  There’s a challenge.  And that is a challenge for a writer like me…. All moments are standalone pieces, their own lessons and classroom, pulpits for reflection and meditation.  This morning teaching that I need ignore time, and think more inclusively— it’s your story, but not just you.  It’s not.  There’s so many around me, so many people that tell me things that shape my character and students I see shamefully only twice a week but teach me so much about my presence in the classroom and what ought transpire there.  This morning as well instructs that I be as little like anyone else as I can… to just be.  Me.  Wild and crEATive, and see every day like a classroom session.  There, here, to learn.

Approaching 07:00.  Still see my walk from last night, just to casino and back.  All the lights and sounds, the traffic and people honking at each other, not moving enough sped for the person behind or around them.  Not sure what that taught, but I much prefer collections like this where I wake so much earlier than I thought I would, and jab to writing, my work, where I feel safe and honest, supported and cognitive.  Coffee already losing its volcanic temp, a bit.  Wish I had the whole day, to move some of my life, our life, back into the Autumn Walk Studio.  Focus on the moment… right here, now, 4 minutes from 07:00.  What do I write, what am I writing about, why am I writing it, and what is the writer to do next?  Wine… of course not drinking any now, but I can still sense the Devil Proof on my Personhood and page, the dark, rich slightly caramelized wingspan of the fruit and oak’d music and jazz… like I noted last night, “inexplicable”.  Not sure what to say about her.  I’ll hopefully pen something today, make it I guess “official”, get myself closer to the Road and my office with that bottle from my old friend.  I like how “Malbec” isn’t on the label, or not that I can remember.  Wait… is it?

Just checked, looking at the bottle.  No.  No “Malbec” boast, anywhere.  Re-read the saying on the back, living well and drinking well makes you “devil proof”.  Then I think of definition, what consists of and in the wellness of such an idea.  Thinking too much, I know.  Just live.  Never exist.  Vowing that all movements and writings, be terpsichorean.  WE all should.  Like the person you see essentially skipping down the street and you don’t know why, and you wonder what they’re so happy about.  Just be.  BE.  In this hotel room there’s only me, the jazz, this cooled and cooling coffee and my vision for day.  What’s in it.  What’s the day to be about other than me at a winery, me writing about wine and thinking about my students and what they’re doing or not doing to their papers.  Should I keep the second blog or kill it?

Found a video I shot last night walking down the road, me reflecting on where I am and how I’m by myself, and how my daughter’s two, just how life continues without much regard for how we sometimes want it to slow.  But that’s what wine reminds me, just get out there and do what you want.  Don’t be a follower, don’t be a leader, be your own creator and actuator.  I made. Remark yesterday pertaining to Chardonnay, told a very nice couple that “I’m not in that audience”, referring to the consumers that love that angry tidal wave of a malolactic mummy… the buttery paradigm, or “butter slug” as I call it.  Forced a chuckle from the gentleman, lady as, but forced me into thought, pouring the reds after that Santa Rita Burgundy…. What audience AM I in?  What audience am I targeting?  Is it just those wanting to read, write.. is it students?  Other teachers?  Wine people?  “Wine lovers”?  Or, maybe it’s just for people in love with life and all in it… that they see all moments not just as standalone pieces for reflection and appreciation, but as times that will never again transpire, ever.  Maybe my writings are for people who just love life.. who love their own lives, and see all seconds and minutes and collective and individual times as invitations to see themselves better.  To love all around them et everything they have.

“Bonjour!” Just wrote self.  Not sure why.  Maybe to remind self that the day’s started.  Remind yourself of where you are, reader… look around you… all around you.  This will never happen plus jamais (again). So you need look further into it, its significance… do something with your moment, right now, before it away scurries and denies you a re-live.  Need get into shower.  See?  Just because I’m writing about how time passes doesn’t mean I’m immune.  Have to move quicker and with more measure and meditation.  Least I won’t hit traffic today.  I should stop by house on way home, I mean ‘to hotel’, drop some things off.  Would that be the best put of my time?  Is my time “mine”, even?

Coffee gone.  Get up.


11/11/17.  Not sure what people notice in ’11/11’.  Up.  Not as early as yesterday, sipping coffee and I think I’m ready for the day.  A day where it’s only myself and one other person behind the bar.  Have to do what I said yesterday, and just breathe, and work with what I have which is me, her, bottles to pour, that’s all.  ‘Nother sip… why didn’t I wake earlier?  I have no time to write this morning… well, I do but not as much as I’d like.  “Well, too bad.” One side of the Gemini says.  The other stays quiet, doesn’t say a thing.  Manipulate… manipulate the moment to suit the story.  Idea I just had.  Nearly took breath from my vessel.  Need to do personal finance budget… will do at work.  Not going to shower this morning but just brush teeth, wash face, find something to wear and zoom out the door like a lawyer late for court.  Be in car AT 08:00, driving, if not earlier.  Move quicker, quicker than other humans can.  Other humans don’t write, or at least not like this, not like I do, not like a tireless writer— and certainly not these wine writers, or the ones that embolden themselves to the point— self-deceive themselves to the alter of anointing themselves ‘journalists’—  No.  I’m me, the only of me, and I manipulate my Personhood and all its caveats and coursing, directions and partial directions as I want.  Shit— 07:25.  Already feel the coffee.  So what.  What does the writer do.  Have to use restroom but I don’t want to stop.  Sell wine as you sell yourself, as you did yesterday over the phone with that guy in, where was it— MN.  Yes.  Bought two css of the single-vineyard Cab, Alex’ Vall’.  And over the phone.  Couldn’t believe it.  Or I could.  I was selling me.. my words, my language in talking about it—  Gothically painted Cabernet with its very assertive translation of not only vintage and varietal but where it’s from— dusty and slightly sweet embers, chocolate and volcanically-pulsed dust, a thick air of anomalous narrative—  Now I want to buy some.

Friend came in yesterday and said how much she loves to hear me talk about wine.  Not that I’m bragging, but I’m a little bit bragging.  I know where my strengths are, is, are, and coalescing wine and spoken-word is one.  This moment transfusing my thought cascade differently and the same, a postmodern maelstrom that only makes a writer more garrulous but not on matters at all meaningless.  11/11… it’s the visual, how it presents itself on and to and in the page.  So be me a writer, aujourd’hui.  Echoing in my reason and vision and letters to self and students, and you reading this if you’re not a student or someone I know or…

Toys around me, evidence of dad-dom.  I do all this for them, and the rest for others.  Just realized that none of this, really, is for me.  I want parents to of course be proud of their writing son… sister, same… wife, as well…. I’m not doing any of this for me, I see.  Huh.

Bed early.

22:46.  Hope to be up at Hemingway hour.  Or before.  Want 4am.  So to bed now.  No wine.  See how far I can stretch this wineless set.  How much I can get done.  How much closer I can get to my office, my travels…  Lots of thoughts I’m a writer’s frame, purposeful context and contemplation.. new draft, new story, new me.  My frame, freed.

08:39.  Had FaceTime call with wife and babies…

miss them all, especially the babies, and my little girl with that self-understood smile of img_6459strength 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.


img_60549/28/17—  In classroom to plan and get other things done.  Everything today is about and revolving around and upon the creative.  Set up, more or less, a command station here in the Maggini Room.  Sipping a sparkling water I bought from the bookstore and wondering what to do in class today, for both sections.  Took some notes just now and I think I have enough to get me started.  The yay versus the nay.  The yay has everything in its content and composition and story to win.  Which is why I arrived here as early as I did.  Arranging everything in my head a certain way, under one umbrella… my business, or practice of ‘#mikemcreative’, or mikemadigancrEATive.  I have overthought for too long with certain things, certain moments and chimes in my days.  Over.  I want my Carmel house, or I should say OUR Carmel house, sooner rather than later.  Focusing more on money and budgeting, investing… the philosophy and methodology behind investments and investing.  Writing everything down…. ‘Invest’, I just wrote down on the little page in my you-journal, as I call it to my students.  Today’s about building before I go to Monterey for two days, one night.  That bay, the water and the sailboats and I know that I’ll be pummeled with thoughts and certain clouds to entertain.

My attention shifting to music and poetry and anything with ties therein.  Even in the budgeting over the past couple days— $16.53 for grocery run yesterday, then $6.05 for mocha before that, and today $9.50 for sbux run and $2.10 the water at right.  Pretty sure I’m over budget in my $50 challenge, but no matter.  Found some cash floating around last night atop dryer for some reason so that gave the writer a bit of a boost.

Quiet in the classroom, and I have not only a chance to collect and play with ideas but envision what I want from the next couple days… looking at houses in Carmel, PG (Pacific Grove), and Monterey proper.  Writing by the wharf or on the wharf itself and listening to the gulls compete with the sea lions, then competing with tourists for my pages and observations, observation colonies that get to be on a page.  This room here, every chair with no students in them demands I stay in character of writer, essayist, poet, journalist, diarist… all of it.  Take another sip of water, a 7-second break then get back to imagining the students there, looking up while I type and knowing that today is the beginning of something for #mikemcreate.  A certain, acute, actuated, and loud freedom.

Investing in my Now, right here in my room, at my momentary command station.  Going to write wildly from now till I go to sleep and I may be in bed a bit early as wife and I hope to be on Road early to Monterey.  Can’t wait till that first sight of the water—  In passenger seat more than likely as wife loves to drive, and me scribbling in my little pages the first sight, thought, sensation, sensibility, observational investment of the two days there…. My house is out there, somewhere—  OUR house.

Ever yay.  Never nay.

No Walls or Signs

img_2219More I write about wine I learn there is no true destination for it.  That is, its story continues after the bottle’s emptied.  But more than that, we keep learning about wine.  The puddled entity proves to be a tireless pursuit and exploration.  Last night, sipping the Stryker Tannat, I was taught not just about the varietal I was sipping and its vintage, its soil, but about my familiarity with wine itself— that I’m always going to be learning, searching.  Even if I’m to taste again, or “revisit” as so many say, a wine I’ve already sipped I’m sipping it as it’s aging, growing, as it’s assumed new characteristics and voices.  Anything entailing passion is a lifelong learning run.  You record your findings as a writer of wine— or rather, trap your musings and reactions.  And when I’m no longer here, someone somewhere will read my jots and be somehow affected by them, minutely or massively.

Even before I started to drink wine, or was legally able, I was part of its story and timeless jaunt.   Driving up that cliffside to Ridge’s property above Cupertino, looking down at the canyon then up to where we were going.  True, we reached a destination, but that memory is still shimmying in my cogitation today.  And sharing it with you, or someone else, the memory and my story keeps rippling in the collective conversational pond.  This morning driving to Dry Creek, here at Dutcher Crossing Winery where I’m writing this very sentence, I reached maybe a physical destination, but that is overshadowed loudly by my appreciation of the vineyards surround me, the wine I earlier tasted before opening at 11:00.  Sipping what I did last night, the Tannat among other bottles, I just went over and over in my head what wine was to me, is to me, where I am in my wine writing life and where I’m going… I don’t need to be ‘going’ anywhere, I just need to be going.  Keep moving, keep exploring.  Wine is life, a winemaker I know says.  And yes, life ends.  But, the significant signature that life made is ceaseless.

You may see where I’m going with this, then again you might not.  But, I don’t believe wine is about the quantification of really anything, especially distance or time, existence.  Wine is immune to what confines us as humans.  Hegel noted that “Whatever is reasonable is true, and whatever is true is reasonable.” Destination’s concept of not being in wine’s theoretical makeup is only a sliver of what I’m try to convey, though it is rather reasonable.  What is true, is that wine is meant to punctuate and electrify in movement, in forward dashes… not stalls or stops.  Yes, sometimes a wine may go through a bit of a funk, or stall in how it tastes, but that’s part of its evolution— the forward.  Additionally, last night’s Tannat, aside from being the star in the Foley wines I brought home, taught me again to think with the wine, not about it.  If wine does have a destination, it’s us— the sippers.  But even still, we remember it.  We, or writers like me, keep thinking about it.  It’s more than an ‘it’, being part of us.  Even if we were to never talk about it again, wine’s imprint is immune to closure.