A night of the unspeakable…sleeplessness.

2am, my spaceship buzzes on the dresser.  My eyes poke out from under their hoods one by one.  A finger rubs one.

Could it be that Words With Friends opponent adding his competition at this late hour?  Perhaps he just got home from a party…ha, his word likely won’t count for much then. I look at the small spaceship face and see it’s a text!  OH MY!  At this late hour, it must be urgent!  Looks like an image. I double-click to open it full-screen size.  What?!  It’s me at the wedding with my brother and his son looking quite a bit wider than I thought I had hiding under that skirt.  Oooof.  It was a pre-juicer few weeks ago and I’ve already lost a few pounds.  But back to the time!  What on earth is my sister-in-law doing texting me in the middle of the night?  Three more buzzes in my hand!  More pictures!   Oh my spirit, make it stop.  I put down the digital ship and roll over petting my pooch along the way who was also awakened in wonder.

Nearing REM sleep, another disturbance comes.  The wind!  A deep wind that sends the bamboo swaying.  Normally this would be just fine except for those damn winds chimes – two different sets of them hanging on the patio, ringing out their melodious tones…only NOW, it’s NOT a good thing.  Oh, please!  Wind just stop.  I turn over and over as it continues. Alright, I have to go tie them down with a rubber band only I’m willing to bet that my sweet one who NEVER puts anything back in its rightful place left them somewhere and now I have to put on my specs and search through kitchen drawers to find some.  I like to repurpose things like the rubber band around the broccoli stem – useless in my opinion on the vegetable, but quite adequate in a time like this.  The last one I found must be long gone. I check the spaceship – it’s 3:10a.  I stumble searching for bands to stifle the chimes. Oh, I’m so tired.  I finally find two – one a plastic bracelet key holder that should do the trick. I go out on the patio only to find the garden hose and the pooch bed and the water bowl all crammed together under the umbrella where the chimes hang and my feet get caught in the hose that should have been put away after watering last night.  Ooof, I trip a bit, grabbing the umbrella stem in the darkness and cursing my love. Sleepy bearings steady me as I reach out to the first set of chimes to shut them down for the night.  I grab the other with the small rubber band and voila!  Chimed down.  Success!  Now to disentangle my feet from the hose to make haste for the bedroom again.

I’m falling into a deep sleep…just barely in it when a newscaster suddenly erupts in my bedroom!  A television from the neighbor above and across blasts a late night pomposity!  OK, this is it.  This happens way too often and now I’m going to march over and say something about it.  I pull on some knickers and a tee and head out the door. The spaceship reports 3:54a.  I walk out my door, across the complex and up the stairs to their open door with just the screen keeping their cats in.  The twenty-something son sits in a recliner with his shirt off.  Yes, it’s warm here.  That’s why my bedroom windows are open!  “Can you please turn that way down, like half way, and better yet close the door!” He’s already doing it before I finish the sentence, deftly operating the remote. “I apologize.”  I usually want people to be nice to me, but this is not one of those moments. “I’m truly sorry.”  The sound is already 1/4th of the decibels of the original dispersion of air molecules.  “Thank you, Mario!”  I stomp back down the steps, missing one in my one-size-too-big flip-flops (they were on clearance and really comfortable), but with luck, I manage a hop to the next step and avert a death fall down the concrete steps.

Back in the snuggles of bed with the quiet surrounding me, I drift off.  Mario is in my dreams now as a cloud that shoots around a madhouse, darting in and out of the shadows. My dog barks at him, I roll over. He’s testing me in the dream. I kick my legs, roll over again. Ebi repositions herself in my topsy-turvy unrest.  Just about the moment he’s got his arms outstretched in a zombie-like walk towards me to strangle the spaceship buzzes again on the dresser!   Saved!  I bolt up!  It’s nearly 5a and the note on the screen states that “Awesome God” has made his move in the  game and is ready for my entry…    Words With Friends

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About danaj33

I have been teaching in the Broadcast Electronic Media Art department at City College of San Francisco since 2001. I was a part-time faculty member until 2009 when I became full-time. My career as an audio engineer spans 27 years since the first day I began to record and mix songs on my Tascam PortaStudio (cassetter 4-track) in the early 80's while attending college at UC Berkeley. I formed a couple of bands and sang lead (sometimes playing rhythm guitar) until 1988 when I discovered that the "behind-the-scenes" tech realm was much more to my liking. I love how an audio engineer controls the ENTIRE sound mix, and not just one's own instrument. I then began a career as a live sound engineer in earnest and have toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe as front-of-house sound engineer for a multitude of bands on various record labels (most notably "Medicine" on American Recordings) and have been a staff engineer at the venerable Bottom of the Hill nightclub since their inception in 1991. The club and its staff are like family. I have maintained a live sound production company since 1989 called dcj Productions that has provided sound to the Bay Area community (mostly in the non-profit sector) in both large outdoor sound events as well as nightclubs and music halls. In 1991, I started recording bands on an 8-track Tascam TSR-8 analog tape recorder and moved into the digital realm in 1993 to 16-tracks of Alesis ADAT connected to a Soundcraft Ghost console in my home studio. In 1995, I advanced to Pro Tools and have been recording exclusively digital ever since, combining audio skills in sound for film as a location recordist as well as an engineer in post-production sound design and mixing. I remained "strictly analog" in my live sound mixing until just this past year (2012). Now that one can obtain a decent, live sound digital mixer at an affordable price, it was high time to check out digital for live. I now have a Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2 to work on with my students to give them much needed hands-on experience with a digital console. I co-owned and ran APG Records & APG Studios, an SF record label and recording studio, from 1999 - 2004 which had a distribution deal through EMI. The company folded in 2004. I continue to record music and engineer live performances at many Bay Area venues in addition to full-time teaching at CCSF. In 2001, I was hired to the part-time faculty at City College of San Francisco in the Broadcast Electronics Media Arts department where I have taught many of the classes including Digital Media Skills (BCST119), Basic Audio Production (BCST120), Digital Audio Production (BCST124), Sound Recording Studio (BCST125), Sound For Visual Media (BCST126), Advanced Sound Recording (BCST127), Sound Reinforcement (BCST128), Audio for the Web (BCST135), Video for the Web (BCST136), and Field Video Production (BCST145). I have also taught classes in sound design, audio for animation and games, music video, and computer applications at Art Institute of California-San Francisco, Globe Recording Institute, and Laney College in Oakland, CA. A few CCSF Projects: - Produced a promotional video for the Math department Bridge Program titled "Quadratic Rap". - Produced a new employee orientation video for the Human Resources department at CCSF - Coordinated audio for camera - SF Mayoral Debate, Fall 2011 - Coordinator of Audio Industry Advisory Panel for BEMA, Fall 2011 - Co-Coordinator of Video Industry Advisory Panel for BEMA, Spring 2012 Outside Affiliations: - past Vice President and Interim President Board of Directors - Bay Area Girls Rock Camp - past volunteer/contributor to Women's Audio Mission - past member Bay Area Women in Media and Film - current member of Audio Engineering Society - current Board of Directors for Camp Reel Stories
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