There have been rants & complaints from the Le Cuvier Winery Staff about a distinct lack of blog postings on this site. Well, I'm back.
Where have I been? Mostly lost in that sublunary zone known as "The Ether," & otherwise on trips of different kinds & sorts, with thoughts & plans of living in a yurt along the lower reaches of the Patagonian coast. But the yeasty-beasties have been calling my name: "Johnny, Johnny, please come play." So I'm back.
But there have indeed been changes, lots of changes. Regrettably, & as many of you already know, my assistant Robin Graham left our employ in the spring of last year. Oh yes, there had been steady pressure upon him for quite some time to return to his rightful place within the family business, so Robin & his wife Susan finally gave in & moved back to Washington State from where Robin will be overseeing a rather large acreage of apple & cherry orchards running from Washington down through to Chile. The final & irresistible inducement for returning to Washington was an unsubtle aside dropped within his hearing to the effect that the family would need to provide him with his own helicopter & airplane, both essential for conducting his duties on behalf of the cherries & apples. Our counter offer, which included an old ratty pickup & a gift certificate to Marv's Pizza, did not, in the end, sway the argument in our favor.
For a guy not quite 30, the choice was obviously a torment for Robin. However, before disappeared into the sunset, he helped me grandly by spending a couple of extra months working with his replacement, Clay Selkirk. Consequently, not a beat has been missed, nor a barrel lost during the transition, & Clay's degree in the Classics, plus a total lack of education in "science," makes him a perfect fit where it comes to Le Cuvier winemaking.
To be sure, Clay, with his Biblical name going all the way back to The Book Of Genesis, is no stranger to me, & he represents a grand catch to the distinct advantage of Le Cuvier. It appears that I've known him for quite a few years, & watched him grow into the fine specimen that he is under the questionable guidance of his father, Stewart. In fact, this particular father & I occasionally meet to discuss philosophy & neuroscience at Schooner's Saloon in Cayucos, & it was during one such session that I negotiated Clay away from employment within his own family's winery, Cayucos Cellars. Schooner's, by the way, is a lovely place with windows overlooking the soothing break of ocean waves, & most worthy of a special pilgrimage.
Thus, it is that I've kept in touch with Clay's progress as the years have past into shadow, etc., & thus it is that Clay Selkirk came to be employed as Assistant Winemaker at Le Cuvier. But there's more: the Selkirk's own winery, Cayucos Cellars, has the distinction of having a tasting room on the main street in Cayucos, just a couple of doors south of Schooner's. And here's yet another bit of important information: "Selkirk" was the actual family name of that historical gentleman who was marooned on that famous desert isle, & who ultimately became the inspiration for Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. A brief visit with Clay's papa, Stewart, will support the vision of someone most definitely lost, so if you happen to be in Cayucos make it a point to visit Cayucos Cellars & ask for "Stewie." The amusement value alone is certainly worth the trip, & besides that, the wines are very good indeed.
However, the real reason for my absence from the pages of this blog is that I decided to finally grab the focused time needed to complete the writing of any number of stories that have been tickling my fingertips for these past many years. Word was leaked out that I was writing The Great American Porn Novel, & yet the truth is even better than that because I am, in fact, writing a novel called The Great Roach Race, which, coincidentally, is a story about a cockroach race.
Please understand that this is not a novel about a species of roaches, a task better suited to some Neo-Darwinist, but rather a story about a sporting event akin in style & excitement to a horse race, the only difference being that the race in my novel is being run by cockroaches rather than by thoroughbred horses.
A hundred & fifty or so pages of the novel have been written & re-written & re-written over the past several months, so the task at hand simply remains one of perseverance while maintaining a strong personal conviction that there is be a BIG undiscovered market out there for a book about roaches. I can barely stand the tension, the lying awake night-after-night tossing & turning with anticipation, waiting for that magical moment when The Great Roach Race is finally finished & ready to be submitted to a select few publishers for their honored consideration. Of course, once my opus has gone to print I will need to take time off from winery affairs for a book signing tour, not to mention additional focused time off in order to hone that inevitable acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in literature.
I've considered posting the first chapter or two of the novel in this blog, but so far I've not received any encouragement from the gang at Le Cuvier. Perhaps they just don't understand highbrow literature. Do you, dear reader, feel differently? Would you care to read a few engrossing words about my roaches? Let me know, & your wish will be my command.