4/18/19

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Sales team here in about ten.  Been nonstop since day started, noting and thinking trapping thoughts about everything from wine to writing, teaching and education to sales and selling something.  De-emphasizing book idea for a minute, more so fixating on not letting any thought go, not letting and notion or possibility (hate the word, notion), story and narrative, last night’s class still in my behavior I can see and I’m in learner’s stride as well as professor’s.  What do I want to sell…. Nothing, honestly.  But then, everything.  All these approaches to writing, reading, reading the scene you’re in, the wine you sip, the work you do.  Everything I do in the classroom as an educator of English, Reading and Writing, is here.  At this desk.  Like when I used to list writing projects on a piece of binder paper in Math class, freshman year of high school… music projects, script ideas, novels, visions of poetry collections.  Almost too many dreams or sights, but is there such a thing?  I see now at my older age, yes.  We shouldn’t contain ourselves excessively, though.

 

Wine and what it’s done to my story, teaching me not only about sales, but about organization, what to read and how to read it, how NOT to write about wine.  Everything, truly…. Wine it’s fair to say has taught me more than most worlds and stories, characters and scenes.

 

Today, observe more.  Talk less.  WRITE.  Collect.  Learn.  Read, WRITE, be taught.  At this older age, 11 days and 1 month from 40, I’m moving faster in my project and prose pace.

from another ‘nother journal …

4/17/19

Writing in too many spots.

No more on this laptop.  Noting everything, this morning.  Have a schedule for self.  Desired time for “cruising altitude” as Dad would say…..

Lost in a thought, not sure how to write.  Running at lunch, what to write from there.  Need a break.  Need to toss backpack, or just use for running gear.  Yes, the latter.

Organized desk a bit, plugged in laptop wife gave me.  Time for break, some journal jots, or walk to car to get running gear.  Or both.  How to optimize day… how.  Grade papers when on campus, then home for quick dinner, bed.  And goddamnit, wake…. No, won’t promise.  Will only do.

All the loose paper pieces and swarms around me, distracting, dividing my concentration and enslaving each parcel.

10:07.  Break.  Just for a bit.  Sparkling water.  And what else… running stuff.  Do I want to run at lunch, or take self to lunch.  Here I go overthinking, again..

Running.  I’ve decided, finally.  Need a snack, hydrate, get gear.  I can just see someone reading this years after I’m gone and noting something in the margin like, “Goddamn, just do something already!!!” I agree, just so you know.  Huh, there’s an idea for a book, note to future reader.  And another from yesterday, the ‘argument for me’ idea.  Like a very much stretched out cover letter and CV.

Different route today, for run.  Out 3.5, back 3.5.

 

10:30 – Done with a 90 minute challenge to self for morning.  Schedule done.  Or a draft at least.  My first, composed.  Team arrives in about 20.  Should go to car, get running facets.  Where am I running?  Just get out there and run, Mike…..  note for Reps, time sheet-related.  Old journal taken from backpack, should go through those pages, what I wrote when first hired, all this information about the internet I NEVER knew.

Seeing now why I stress the habit and practice and maintained habit and practice of journal writing so much.  To know you, your NOW, the Nows that approach.  What you want, why you want it.  Today is different, as all todays are, but I note that there’s something more paralleling about today with my aims.  The office, travel, running all over the world and writing about it.  The journal is a beacon of YOU, a place that’s more than a place, but a stage and bibliotheque or understanding and exploration.  The desk messy, and I don’t mind.  It’s honest, it’s NOW, it’s ME.  Why am I capitalizing so much.  No need to analyze or even lightly understand.

The journal teaches not so much ‘me about me’ but to see more clearly and honestly.  Fearlessly.  To not fear, to not question, to just madly LIVE.

Working on attitude, perspective, how I contextualize matters and then react to them.  If someone says something, and I find it getting under my skin or into my thoughts, echoing in me in any way, then pause.  Find sense on the page.  Make sense of it, of everything, on page.  In this “journal”.  And, honestly, if I can accomplish something of that magnitude and altitude on a page, is it really just a one-dimension and as-it-appears tablet, or “journal”?

He can only think about when the day’s going to be over.

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Found the above line from an earlier entry.  Have no idea when it was typed or in reference to….  Decide to take day.  To self. To write.  Now I notice myself procrastinating with writing.  Or not procrastinating, but evasiveness.  There’s something missing.  With wine, there’s something never missing.  In wine nd thoughts of, there’s everything.  And not in what I sip, what you pour into the glass.  At all.  Today I collect on wine, and what I’ve done with wine.  Yesterday driving to Chalk Hill, visiting CH and Roth Estate.  It felt different, but the same.  Then again different.  Like I could make it mine, somehow.  Like I could be there and not be there as I used to and just think, write and react as needed.  An encouraging katzenjammer, as I sipped Chardonnay walking down the main channel of the cave.  Of course wen to that room I used to call “The Mikey Room” and remembered some of the tours I gave in there, speaking about wine as I do, and how one man from I think Indiana or Iowa said that’s what I need to, “Yeah, that’s what you need to do…” he stressed.  When I asked him what precisely he said write about wine as I talk about it.  How the Syrah was a decisive ghost that made engagement irresistible, that it was a being that complemented your being and elevated your should and life sight. 

I do think about today, and what I need done by time it’s “over”.  What’s that.  Make some contacts at a couple wineries, locally.  Have my call at around 3:30 with…. Can’t say.  I want to, I do, but I don’t want to jinx it, especially if I put this on blog which I more than likely will. Want a vineyard walk… have to get lunch fro wife and I, around 11-something.  Wine reminds me of time, what I do and don’t of it have.  More not.  Time passes as I type this… last night in that final glass of Rosé watching some movie, and thinking of my friend who left where I now work to go back into wine, to be with what she’s passionate. I advised her not to, but she did anyway.  No, I don’t wish I would have done the same, at all.  But I want to revive my passion for wine.  That’s what this sitting, this day, my drive in a matter of minutes will be about.  More voices from wine, more literature… more visions and rooms and writing in those rooms.  Don’t back off on wine, I tell myself, thinking about THE first winery I ever visited with Mom and Dad— Ridge, in the Cupertino mountains.  Think that’s where it is. Santa Cruz Mountains, I want to say, technically.  The drive up, Mom and Dad talking about “futures they were picking up”.  I’ve written this before, but I now I want it more known.. when this started, when wine and I first met.  I associate it with family, with Mom and Dad and that drive.  I could have spent time with friends, somewhere, doing nothing at all productive or shaping in my story.  I was with them.  In their car.  Driving up that cliff, knuckles white and all kinds of odd tints and shared.  Me wondering about winer and what was so special about it.  What is so special or meaningful about wine.  What is the thesis or centrality, narrative nexus to this book, this blog if I ever turn it into some book-book-is thing on wine.  What do I want it to be.  Don’t know.  Maybe wine doesn’t know, either. Maybe we write the book together.— YES.  Why have I never thought about that, thought of it that way, before?  What I need from today, wine’s voice.  Wine’s time.  Wine’s music and jazz, visuals and work, writing assignments.  Wife’s sister years ago, nearly ten full to be honest (and I’ve written this before too, several times) basically ordered me to blog singularly, and write singularly, about wine.  Okay.. okay… today’s a re-start, a re-play, a re-write, a re-education.  On all wine courses and decisions, senses, tells.

Looking at wineries close by.  Forgot it’s only 9:30-something.  None are open.  Don’t want to taste, want to listen.  Want to see people sipping, hear what they say.  Hear what the wine orders them to voice.  Recently gave a talk at work, that “wine isn’t wine”.  And it isn’t, not past the puddle in the glass.  It’s what I’m after today, it’s that drive up the Cupertino hill, looking over that sharpest of escarpments.  Voice, people, characters… aims for day.  What I want by day’s close.  I guess I hold the same thought chord at the moment as I did whenever I wrote that above line—  I can only think about “EOD” s they in the office say.  I want to know what wine will have said to me.  Who I’ll meet, have met, what stories and curiosities will be rotated and revolved.  I want to know what and who I’ll be with wine— what wine will have ordered me to write, do.  One thing now in sight, not sipping.  Observing.  Staying sped in these types, finally finish my wine book.  My thesis of wine not being wine, but wine being us.  Wine being the planet, the soil, the drives to Chalk Hill to see your best friend while he pours from behind bar and you remember when you did the same, not all that long ago.

Want to buy wine books, seeing anything with a grape cluster, vines waking from dormancy, little leaves teasing us with vintage volume and voice.  A couple wineries open in a bit.  Thinking about Healdsburg, its square, Lioco…. Thumbprint, that one room close to H2 and then… Stonestreet where friend Gary works, has worked for substantial span.  Have always enjoyed their wines, whenever I go in and Gary so kindly pours for his wild wine writing friend and answers every question I caffeinatedly catapult at his standing again asking for the same pamphlet and ancillary literature I did at last visit.

4/11/19

Left a ton of writing on work laptop.  Up early tomorrow for quarterly meeting and party.  “Quarterly”, they call it simply.  Allergies killing me, started at run yesterday.  Tired, but sipping wine.  Another bottle of that St. Francis Claret.  How to get back into the wine industry, but in a dimension and sequence, tell and pulse I prefer.  Blogging, writing, photography and video.  Should take a detour to office, tomorrow.  Do I have time, to sneak a couple new shots in, somewhere around here… one of those vineyards on Piner.  I have an idea.. about and in and on, for WINE.

Wine and writing.  Blogging.  Okay, yeah… for me, completely expected.  But… different.  Wine in the glass now gone, sipped glass too fast from excitement from idea.  More red, more sentences, more of the world around us.  And if this is too hard for you to conceive and encapsulate for purposes of retention.  It is wine, it’s always been wine.  Wine for me.  Wine for all days.  And not just glasses contents.  But the life there, the life here, thoughts of my sister on the crush pad watching fruit come in as she did that day in 2011 when our Cabernet landed—the best early xmas present I’ve ever been gifted.  One ton of Cabernet fruit, maybe a bit less, from RRV.  Katie said all I have to do is meet her on the crush pad.  The thoughts were overwhelming before it happened. What if this turns me into some famous writing winemaker, what if this changes everything?–  It did, but now that I look back I see missed opportunity.  I need back in the wine sphere.  Stay far and clear away from industry contaminants.  I’ll take notes, starting here… small room, appointment only—NO, invitation only.  And not to be one of those wineries, but to know the person coming in.  And to not depend on the business but to enjoy it. I just want to break even, I used to tell people about the eventual and envisioned label.

Wine to me has always told vignettes, not short stories or exhaustive novels.  Wine has never been patterns, or paths.  You compose and narrate your own way how you see it played.  It’s jazz, not classical.  Wine is random and unexpected.  Excess order and constriction will shape no listen.

Writing on the laptop at work, addressing wine as well.  I feel wine as all the answers to everything in this writer’s story and I always get fucking distracted.  Why.  WHY, do I let such fuss.  About to pour self another glass, and think of the tasting room days at St. Francis, Dutcher Crossing, then back again to Kunde Family Estate with its incongruent operations and terrestrial functionality in bar presence atop multitudinous garnishing acrimony, then wherever then wherever.  I have to be done with tasting rooms at this intersection.  I am.  I AM.  So I put it here.. wine, wine in everything.  As I was “advised” years ago. Ten, now. Not so much advised as condescendingly urged.  Spare me your counsel, counsel.  Not going to think about that, or anything.  Wine and writing, wine, then write. Me now, what I’m doing.  New story, new business, new Now.  Ox free from bottle to write about current bottled composition and voice, character and place.  I’m peacefully and pleasurably placed.

4/11/19

Breakthrough In A Room

Notes to catch up on, and other directions pushing and pulling this morning.  On a fast, for I believe 16 hours.  For no other reason than discipline.  Last night the discussion with students on Wright’s Black Boy coerced me to re-think memoir, to rethink writing in its principle territory.  Writing, especially memoir or personal essay, or “creative nonfiction” a genre or type tag that I frankly loathe as what nonfiction isn’t in some degree and walk creative?—Demands more honestly. More boldness, more rawness and the moment itself in all its obtrusiveness and oscillation of concentration and code.

People walk into the room, this breakroom, I think new hires as I’ve never seen them before.  Or–  Friend Taj walks in.  I tell him what I’m writing about more or less and what we spoke of last night in class on Wright.  The Human dimension and collection of facets, emotions, observations.  I tell him about the student last night who said he can’t relate to the characters in the book as he didn’t live as they did, or didn’t see what they saw.  I disclose to Taj how I asked the student “Do you love anything?…Have you ever felt pain?…Do you have a mother?” The student I think felt a bit overwhelmed or confused maybe by my response, but I stood by my point and I at least wanted him to consider it.  Taj sees where I’m going with the thought framing and delivery.  He’s since left the room, after getting his tea.  Now a lady makes coffee or something from one of the machines, and I think fixes it or installs a new filter, something.

I’d be not much a memoirist or narrator if I didn’t put to page I was again sparring, fencing, or just plain boxing with a mood this morning.  Similar to the one I felt yesterday before the Pinballing piece, and very akin to what was over me last week.  And, honestly, I’m bored of feeling like that.  I need Newness.  I need be crazy and more wild and flight-prone.  Just taking off and not asking permission from any control tower.  The JPR project here at work very much was not so much a cause of the mood but a set presence in the mood’s movement.  I stop it all, taking this 30 minutes or so to this seat, these keys, going over in head what was discusses last night, and that one student, AGAIN, reading for class and having us wanting more of the words, more story, wherever it was going.  And that’s just it, he had us not knowing but wanting to know.  There was not so much excitement but obvious atmosphere and personality in the characters and what they may have been doing, or not doing.  This student not only shows promise as a memoirist, essayist, but as a teller, narrator, truth-teller.

Now, I plan the day.  This fast I’m on, what notes I have to input, and how the book’s going to tell EVERYTHING.

Details:

-8:17am

-Coffee cooling in old tumbler, black, bought as xmas present

-More people walk in for either eats or free coffee—eats, as I can’t see them, obstructed by newly-built wall which denies view of fridges

-Me, Mike Madigan, only one in here, certainly the only one writing memoir, story, any poetic effort to capture a Now

-No more oscillation, new code

-Sip coffee again

-8:20

Again minutes before class. 

Wrote this entry hundreds of times.  I’m sure probably hundreds.  So I’m not going to write it again.  Until I start to write it again.

Lecture on Wright’s book not even close to prepared.  So I lean on the creative writing invitation.  The memoir.  Not really an invitation as it is an actual assignment.  But not due for another week.  The invitation was to share whatever they’d written, thus far.

6:27.  Have to decide, before too long how I want to start.  More than likely this semester will be the last for a while if not forever, at the JC.  Or anywhere, at any institution.  So I need to make each meeting more than some expected, everyday class session.  Tonight, not scripted.

Not planned.  Just in the moment.  We narrate as we go.  In the moment, as I am now, just minutes before class.  29, exactly.