Let’s Rock ‘n Roll

Photo intro a little dark, perhaps. But the clouds are Marvelous. Why not? Today I’m in production mode, even though I’m behind. I said I’d make 60 outbound sales calls so I intend to do it. Better yet, I’ll do it on my own time. Take lunch, do some writing, get back to it when I’m ready. The insane but not surprising interactions I’ve had recently with my neighbor and my kids’ school district appear as though they may be wrapping up for the moment. The degeneration of my work systems that’s been proceeding for over two years seems to have reversed itself (now that I’m paying $60,000 per year for two assistants). Even on top of that is something less tangible involving the progression of my children’s stages of life, my relationship with my wife and of course most important of all my own cultivated ability to take a step back, to halt the incessant internal dialogue even momentarily…halt!

That leaves me here at a winebar that also serves really amazing Atlantic salmon with toasted skin. I don’t recall ever having that toasted skin before — I thought it was a thin phyllo or pita cracker. Just its own skin. And here I am in mine. Putting on my favorite sweater because it’s cool in here. Looking out at Oakland. Sipping German wine. Oh yes, in between real estate production hours I’ve come here, and I’m producing this text. I can see my office building now, yet I rarely come to this place. The only other people here are employees so it’s not exactly hip. Still, they care about their food and their wine. I’ll experience it as though stopping at a tiny shop at the side of a Florentine piazza. Truth can be so much more gritty, less hip, even when the shop owner tries hard. Main thing is celebrating moments in the presence of those who try hard, I think.

This woman who used to work at a gluten-free cafe here in Oakland came up to me in San Francisco and told me what she’s doing next. That place on the edge of the Tenderloin in San Francisco is nice. Filled with people who obviously try hard. When the woman told me she was going to get a job at an art store on Shattuck Ave in Berkeley I couldn’t help remembering that in the wake of more than 30 artists dying in a fire in Oakland I’d been sure she knew many of them. I didn’t ask. My wife knew two of them and one worked in an art store on Shattuck Ave. I didn’t bring this up when she mentioned her plans, even though I suspect she knew her. Maybe if I see her in the shop on Shattuck in two months after she returns from her travels. Why didn’t I bring it up? Perhaps it’s obvious. Maybe I have to tell you it wasn’t for me to bring it up. We’ll see if it comes up in the future, if I ever see her again. My wife goes to the shop, not me, so she’ll see her. I think my wife would like her.

I talked to a woman yesterday who’s a neuroscientist and was the President of her class at MIT. She’s doing writing and consulting for AI projects. That’s pretty much the same line that I’m interested in pursuing further. But all I did was talk with her about Elon Musk and the dangers and opportunities of AI. Why? Wouldn’t it have made sense to try and establish a connection vis-a-vis my plans to become an innovator in computer prosthetics (iPhone apps)? I wasn’t there at that moment for that. I, wonder whether it’s a missed opportunity to pursue my interest. Despite working in a sales role I feel far from knowing how to cultivate a network of personal connections. So far. Yet my newfound sensibility (see above) essentially says “To hell with it” and allows me to press forward even though I really have no clear idea whether I’ll be stuck selling real estate forever, whether even freed from that I’ll make even a little dent in the app market. Or the intellectual world. So we’ll see whether this MIT graduate offers something that I can usefully connect with, advance my career with.

So much wine in this place. A guy I hardly know, who’s good friends with good friends of mine, was walking next to me at night in one of the upper districts of New Orleans, and said there was this wine store in a guy’s house, with people hanging out, that had a number of bottles of really good wine (or was it aged rum? This guy is crazy about aged rum). And when he bought a bottle everyone seemed shocked, as though no one ever actually bought wine from the wine shop in the guy’s house. This place in view of my office that I rarely come to that no one but me has ventured into for an hour, feels that way on a larger scale. They have four coolers full of wine on display plus racks and racks of unchilled wine. Many bottles lined up ready to drink — most of them not open. For some reason I’m reminded of the Black Widow conducting an “interrogation” while tied to a chair and suspended over a precipice. Not that I think this place is other than it appears. Maybe more people come here after work.

If I finish the last and presumably best wine from this flight, how will it affect my success in making another 30 calls today? Let’s find out. Let’s rock ‘n roll. One more thought is of Nicaragua, where I’m headed in a few weeks. Let me say that intention matters and then you can decide for yourself whether I’m just lucky. I know I’m lucky, but I think that I’m also becoming happy, and while that in itself is lucky I think one has nothing to do with the other.




Traveler, Writer, Designer. Seeker of Truth.

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Kent Mitchell

Kent Mitchell

Traveler, Writer, Designer. Seeker of Truth.

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