When I Was 15 and Other Life Changes

I read and see so many stories in the news lately about women, by women, and for women. Our minds, hearts, and souls reel from the quotidian soiling of the “wanna-be king” and his ugly mob of troglodytes who yammer on in support of his spew. Invading every broadcast, these wretched and ugly fools deface America.

Since the news has been sinking in “locker room talk”, I’ve been deeply simmering in memories along with my you, my sisters, who have also experienced the horrors of unwanted male sexual advances. Mine occurred far too early in life and well before I was interested in boys or dating. As three of them drunkenly stole my virginity, I slipped away into the nether regions of my mind and put it far out of my life telling not a soul what had happened. I didn’t want to go from being popular in high school as Sophomore Class President, on the swim team, and in the Red Robe Choir to become “the girl who was raped”. We all know the stigma and in 1977 women couldn’t do much about it without causing a scandal. Sadly, this is still the case. I also knew that my Mom, the hot-headed Scorpio, would track them down and castrate them. It was best to lift up my chin and tuck the memory far, far away.  So far, that I didn’t even remember it happening until I was out with some college pals seeing Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” at a midnight showing and ran out of the theater throwing up. I started having nightmares and decided to see a psychologist.

Therapy helped.

But you know what helped even more? When I was 27 and some asswipe tried to pull my head down onto his lap right out of nowhere. I beat the living shit out of this puny trucker after a gig up in Springfield, Oregon and I’m sure he never tried to advance on a woman again after that. Years of my pent up rage and fury pounced on that neanderthal. After the tour, I stopped singing in Top 40 bands. I traded in the faked dressing girly on the stage for men’s clothes, short hair, and switched from an attempt at a singing career  to a more profitable (and safer) one: sound engineer.

I’m writing this because it’s important for girls to know they can say “NO” and to fight back. When we stand strong and say it out loud, we fight the diseased minds. I’m writing this because mothers and fathers need to train their boys that even thinking of sexual assault of any kind is wrong. More importantly, openly boasting about it like the abominable and appalling candidate of the GOP is despicable. They need to learn how to avoid raising sons like Brock Turner and David Becker. They should never condone the behavior of a perpetrator in the way that Dan and Carleen Turner did with their guilty son and the way Judge Aaron Persky slapped his wrist.

When you’re a victim of sexual assault, there is no way to hear “Boys will be boys”, “It’s just locker room talk”, “It was just 20-minutes of action”, and not have it reverberate through your soul to wreck your spirit. Those shameful responses tell you that you’re worthless when you have suffered from another’s power over you.

That’s why the campaign: “It’s NOT OKAY” needs to continue to circulate and be shared by everyone.


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Future Imperfect (redux)

Many thoughts swirl in my brain like a hurricane gaining momentum with intensification from a category 3 to 4. My fingers cannot type fast enough as I flip from one tense to another–a streaming collection of verbs, nouns, articles, similes and conjunctions.

In an effort to cut costs, Dutch bank ING has just announced plans to dump 5,800 human workers to replace them with computers.  Read all about it here.   “Digitalize and Automate” sounds like a good song title to me.  The thought of an “AI-powered customer service center” reveals an inhuman frame around our own carbon-based core. You thought it was tough having people in other parts of the world answering your call with their scripted customer service “thank you” and repetition of every word you state to them.  Customer Dana:  “I’m calling to find out about blah-blah-blah.”  Customer Service Representative:  “I’d be happy to speak with you about blah-blah-blah, Dana Jae Labrecque.”  Now, let’s see what happens when that CS Rep is the voice of a Scarlett Johansson-like silicon chip talking back at you trying to decipher and address your banking issue.  Ruh-Ro

Time to download another HDTrack and listen to something from my past that soothes my immortal coil. I’ll try a song from the fifth studio album of the Eagles. Hotel California is one of the best-selling albums of all time and the song in 96/24 drowns out the poor woman belting out the Star-Spangled Banner in several keys blasting from a PA system at the baseball field up the hill. Eeeeks.  The record, produced by Bill (please buy him a vowel) Szymczyk, sold 16 million copies in the U.S. alone with an additional 32 million copies worldwide.  WOOF. 1976. What a great year!  I was a Freshwoman in High School ready to grow up.  I remember my best friend Wendy Steward and I unwrapping another album from that year (the debut eponymous Boston) and playing it over and over until our diamond stylus wore out on the Panasonic combo stereo system.  I just checked out HDtracks.com to see if the album is available–only on DSD 2.8MHz downloads at $24.99 (album only). Now this is a 37:43 album. It’s not even 40-minutes long!  Is it worth nearly a buck a minute in all of it’s super hi-res glory?  Well, I think no. Why?  Because I just want the memory to return with my pal Wendy and I listening in our bedrooms in San Diego. So, Apple Music here I come.  I TOTALLY know that there is a huge sonic difference though I fear that many of you, dear readers, have no idea just how much more rich a song sounds in its original glory from the recording studio.  Dang.  I’m listening to “More Than A Feeling” and it just sounds flat through the Apple Music compressed stream.  Dang. I’m drifting towards the HDTracks link again. “Don’t do it! Don’t spend that money!” (Category 3 ramping up again about to hit my Haitian mindset…) Lord have mercy. Does Apple know what they are doing to my tympanic nerve serving up this lifeless version of such rock brilliance.  Damn.  One button to download…
Well, after checking out several seminal albums from my youth “Toys in the Attic” (can you name the band from the album title?) at 37:13 and The Sweet‘s “Desolation Boulevard” at 44-minutes, I can see that the albums were about 17-19 minutes per side which is about 37 – 40-ish minutos. Alright. No more complaining about Boston’s expensive near 38-minute rock opus. I just bought it along with “Toys in the Attic” just so that I can hear “Sweet Emotion” remixed and mastered in 96/24.  NERDVILLE over hear in Dana-land (mispelled hear perfectly purposed).  Bummer.  Can’t find a reliable .dsf decoder to read my Boston tracks.  DAMMIT!

Back to the Future Imperfect.  A Utopia exists not. My  Autumn season occurs with a birthday in the latter half of November; I can only think of a DYSTOPIAN future. It’s that damned Scorpio thing combined with my Russian Jewish heritage (somber drama) vs. Danish (happy-go-lucky).  I have good things going in my life that counteract with other things that twist both into knots of both excitement mixed with fury.  I try so hard to be good at everything.I enjoy every minute of each day, noticing the birds that fly in the sky and the animals happy in their coming and going around me. Meantime, I’m working and working with the hope that someday I’ll fly with them.

Notice that in all of this, I haven’t once mentioned how TrumpToast has further ruined our American landscape with his DEPLORABLE mindset.  This is because I believe that it is high time we eradicate him from our national discussion. He and his family should be silenced from all airwaves for the rest of time. Like the Kardashians, there is no reason to focus on such horrible wealth-ridden megalomaniacs with zero content. Aspire to a higher level of greatness, America. These 1%-ers are the most base humans on our planet. 


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The Human Race to the Bottom

Are we the only species to war with one another in huge numbers?

I inquired Ms. Google today to better inform me before I wrote this little diatribe against man. Turns out, there are some ferocious scenes in the insect world with ants raiding other colonies to enslave fellow ants and wiping out termite colonies as well. There are hornets that can lay an entire bee colony to waste in a matter of minutes leaving poor sweet bee carnage everywhere.  Check it out:  http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/01/160130-animals-insects-ants-war-chimpanzees-science/

But nowhere could I find any sign of one species going into a private space for sport hunting where other species are kept in a confined area so that dumbass humans could go and shoot them, then hold them in their arms as a trophy. Only humans go out into nature with a six-pack and a Ruger, Nosler, or a Remington to laugh and shoot innocent animals that are just trying to live a life on this beautiful earth. Nothing sickens me more than this about our species:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2016/08/06/the-trump-sons-go-hunting-again-will-more-trophy-photos-follow/

This image of these two profligate sons of a man whose hatred has denigrated the moral compass of this country sits deeply upon me today like a blood stain that you can’t wash out. This election has put Trump and his boys with their ugly spew of vitriol and terrible activities at the top spot in all of our media outlets. I awaken every morning with a sick feeling in my stomach like a bleeding ulcer. This family cannot represent America. The Trump way will bring about an all-out war between nations. He is a man that questioned why we don’t just USE our nuclear arsenal on our enemies. Although his wingnut spokespeople are now out there passing around more lies. Here’s the latest from the ugly Texas Libertarian Alex Jones: “U.S. Diplomat Warns that Hillary Will Start Nuclear War with Russia and China.” See how they do? They take everything that their crazed candidate says and spills it on Hillary like the bucket of pig’s blood in Carrie.  Take a gander at the link on Alex Jones and his “about” page to catch my drift.

Here we are: at the crux of the end of the grand experiment. Humans who love to kill one another are doing their best to take over in every major country so that these men (They are not leaders but rather cowards.) can swing their big nothings around and piss on the rest of the human race. You’ve got a man (not even sure he’s actually human anymore) who is potentially 50 days, 16 hours, and 10 minutes from having the ability to not only ASK this next question but to try it out in little tyrant Kim Jong-un style:  “Why can’t we use nuclear weapons?”

Here is a great song and video by Alan Parsons Project: Games People Play to end this Sunday morning missive.




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Language – the Original Social Media.

This morning I awoke to the first sunny day in the Sunset district in nearly 40 days. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the fog with the clean, misty air. But after 40 days of gray mornings, it’s pretty darn cool to see the vibrant colors of the park out your window. Today won’t be another black & white movie!

I made my coffee, grabbed a couple of my writing books and also picked up my copy of Bernie Krause’s Wild Soundscapes for some inspiration for my Sound for Visual Media class on Tuesday. As I walked out the entry gate and cleaned off a few steps for my bottom, I couldn’t help but notice and hear two SF Park & Rec workers standing across the street speaking about something.  The male worker took off in his truck that was idling in the street leaving the other with her truck parked. She looked over at me.

“Everything OK?” I asked.

“Locked key in car.” She answered.

Oh, no!  It’s a long holiday weekend.  She sauntered over to my stoop and sat down. She explained that she had to wait for the Supervisor who is the only person with a key to the trucks, but he isn’t working today. So, we engaged in a good chat about all kinds of things in a slow manner to accommodate her limited, but quite good communication in English. She kept trying to explain with, “Sorry, my English not good,” but I told her that she spoke very well. She is far more advanced than she is giving herself credit for. I told her of my experience several years back with some wonderful Chinese students in my class who had come to our program to learn audio and video for 2 years. When I first met them, they were quite shy speakers of the language, but they could read and write very well.

When I told her that I teach at City College, she beamed: “I take classes to learn English there!” We talked about some of her excellent classes as she explained that in China they learn to read and write English but it’s very difficult to learn to speak and understand. She spoke in particular about her teacher named Frank who was always so happy and excited. “He have lot of energy!” she informed me. And she said even when class is very tired at night, he always made them so happy and awake that it was sometimes hard to go home and go to sleep. I was imagining all of these wonderful people working diligently at various jobs they had and then going to classes at night after work to improve their skills with the language.

I sat there, joyous in the knowledge that I belong to such a fantastic public education institution that helps people like this particular SF Park & Rec staff member learn to communicate to put her skills to use in a good job. She mentioned that Frank wrote her a…a…she couldn’t remember the word: “You know when people do good and you want to tell others.”

“A letter of recommendation!” I shouted.
“Yes, a recomm-commen-dation.” she repeated, smiling. “It help me get job.”

We spoke more about how much she has learned since she came to the United States in 2010. She then looked at my book and asked: “Do you like natural?”

I asked, “Natural what, like food or…”

“No, like that,” she pointed to the 4 pictures of different animals on the cover of the book.

“Oh, yes!  You mean nature like trees and animals.” I stated happily looking at the park and up into the sun.  “Yes! Outside. Nature!” she exclaimed. Then she repeated the word nature a few times teaching herself the noun.

“I come from farm in south China with lots of nature. I like nature.” I couldn’t help but think how amazing it is that she works for SF Park & Rec clearing nature from the pathways in the parks, etc. I was happy that as a citizen of this city, I get to meet someone who is so content with her job and thankful as a working citizen of and for our city who makes our lives in the park a great experience. This is a momentous day. I explained to her that this particular book is all about the sounds of nature and that this man traveled all over the world to record the voices of animals and the sounds of the places they live. She pointed at the pictures again: “Bird, wolf, bee, and…frog!” she hesitated for a moment as she remembered the word for the cute little amphibian and seemed pleased with herself.  “Yes. They all have their own language too, like you and I speaking now,” I said.

She pulled out a piece of crumpled paper from her pocket that looked like she reads it every day. She asked if I could help her understand the meaning. It comes from a book that she was reading.  It was a profound statement about culture and life and how much of culture is hidden especially from the inhabitants of particular places where lots of culture exists. (Something like that.) So, we got into a discussion about culture as I tried to explain what I thought it meant and that culture really depends on where one lives in America. We spoke about this for some time. The culture in San Francisco, for example, is vast and wide and there are so many different people from all over the world living in the Bay Area. This is why I love it here so much.

She spoke about how lucky she feels living in San Francisco. I told her that I feel lucky too.  We are two lucky souls who shared a bit of gratitude today about life and our jobs and nature. She said that she is part-time and on call right now for this job so she could not take more classes this semester. She said she misses CCSF and will return when she has a regular schedule. She wants to pass ESL 150 so that she can take ESL 160.

Today, I met Jenny. She is the first generation of a family in China to move to America. I explained to her that my Mother was first generation American; my Grandparents moved here from Russia in 1918.  We spent about an hour talking as she was waiting for some help from the main SF Park & Rec office. I made a new friend. Two people from other places who have the luck of the human draw to get to live in the Bay Area. Yes, the America that includes everyone from the immigrants who moved here from somewhere else to the Native Americans who were here first. We are all here together building our lives.

Speaking of language – it is truly a monumental force. Learn language. Live language. Take a class in a new language to discover how others communicate. Brush up in a language you learned a little in school long ago. Share with everyone you know that there is a wonderful home for this at City College of San Francisco in our English as a Second Language department and our Foreign Languages department. 

Language is the original social media. Live it. Learn it. Be it.  Thank you CCSF for making it happen!

CCSF Foreign Languages Pin



(Gracias a Kelly Walsh and EmergingEdTech for the borrowed “Hello” graphic above)

One minute video of icons of San Francisco, CCSF, and language.

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Wealth in Water and Air

What do we mean by calling rich people wealthy?  Is it because they can afford to do anything, go anywhere, choose not to work, eat whatever they wish, and live a frivolous life surrounding themselves in material things?

I realize in my every day that true wealth comes from one’s access to fresh water and air. In that description, I’m wealthy because I breathe fresh Pacific Ocean air untainted by the city in my living just 25 blocks from the beauty of her shore, waves, birds, and wind. The FOG! It enwraps me and tickles my nostrils and keeps me cool when others the world over suffer from too much heat in their summer months. Is it not wealthy to be naturally cooled every day without the expense nor the wasteful use of electrical conditioning to cool one’s air?

The water that spills from my tap comes from one of the most cherished sources in California. I use it sparingly due to our double decade drought that we experience in California and the entire southwestern region of the Untied States. (Yes, it’s spelled wrong on purpose…)

Money alone does not make one wealthy. It assists in obtaining the wealth in living with fresh air and water…yes. But money also makes many people unhealthy in their thinking. The greed and cruelty that derives from the rich barons like the Koch brothers and the Walton family; the several new Big Pharma CEOs along with the health insurance titans; the shareholders beholden to the riches of the fossil-fuel industry whose unquenchable thirst to dig deeper into Mother Earth goes to the depths of insidiousness in the Dakotas.  These people are not wealthy. They are sick. They need healing that they will never get because they are wrapped up in the Godless hell of lying to obtain more and more riches. Billions of dollars are no longer enough. Remember when being a millionaire was something to obtain in the American Dream?  That doesn’t even buy you a small home in California these days.

It’s ugly out there in the land of making a profit while gouging and gorging on the consumer. Pop up ads overtake my screen in every new place I seek information on the internet. Connect to an article of interest, but first move that pop up out of the way by attempting to click on the teensy-weensy “x” to close it. Simply talk about something you are interested in and suddenly, five photo advertisements are teasing you to buy now. Just because you can buy now doesn’t make you wealthy.  Wealth is what we breathe and how we quench a thirst with the one earth element our body needs most: clean water.


(Thank you emaze.com for the graphic. Their logo states: “help cure humans”.)

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Surface Comments

Taking a day of mindful wear and tear into blastoff: Jamed Blond.

Repeated Comments from the Horse Manure known as the GOP HYPOCRISY.

SONG about it

Wells Fargo on Kearny


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It’s All Fine


Another piece of music made with my buddy Alimajor in Transylvania…

A Piece of My Pad

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