Sustainably Caught

I held my sign for hours at the median of the stoplight off the freeway exit of Green and McCallister.  “That’s the best place for hand outs”, I was told by the young man who had served in the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Marine Regiment under “Operation Enduring Freedom”. He had returned home in 2006 after having his lower leg blasted off in the Konar region of north eastern Afghanistan.  Poor son of a bitch. Like me, he was promised the world to run off to the middle east and save the face of America in the name of finding the enemy who caused 9/11. He was gonna go to college after.  Now’s he hanging on corners down in Silicon Valley preying for food and a quiet place to rest his mind. 

A lady hands me a small box from a half-drawn window of her new Jeep Cherokee.  “Here ya go, man.  Good on ya.”   Hmmm, accent. She’s not from here.  What’s this box say?

Wild Planet – Wild Sardines in Water – sustainably caught in the Pacific Ocean

There’s a couple of pretty pictures of boats on the water, one with a sunset behind and one with a towering mountain in the background. Looks nice. I inspect the box further. What’s on the side here in smaller print?

Micro-Cannery Produced for Wild Planet Foods, Inc.  McKinnleyville, CA 95519   Processed in Viet…

What the hell?  Processed in Vietnam?  Are they kidding me?  Hot damn, I served there.  Multiple tours over in that hell hole fighting in Phu Loc and Hue in ’67 and ’68.  Worse damn years of my life! And here I hold a box a fish processed in Vietnam and it’s 2013! Shit. I’ll bet John J. Culbertson would get a load of this. The only time I felt like somebody was when my baby sister gave me a copy of 13 Cent Killers: the 5th Marine Snipers in Vietnam and I read it twice cause it was about me and my boys. 

Now look at me. All fudged up in a wheelchair in the throws of MS. Got my brain and some hair left, but the rest of me deteriorates by the month. Got an arm left that works which is how I’m able to take this damn box out of the lady’s hand in the first place. 

Sustainably Caught.  Humans are really odd.  Carin’ more for the way a fish is caught than the way a man is treated when he comes home from serving his country.  Ain’t that all?  

I open the box and pull the tab off, but it takes me awhile cause I’ve got to maneuver the one working arm against my body to get it just right to pull the tab which is taut. A bit of smelly fish water spills onto my pants. Great. Another scent to add to the others.  I lift the smelly fish up to my nose. Smells clean even though it’s fishy.  Well, phuket, I’m hungry and I’m eatin’ this. Excellent source of Omega 3. Well, I’ll be.

(influenced by my readings of fellow blogger Dennis Cardiff and his “Gotta Find A Home” series and my brother Bill – A Vietnam vet who served in the navy and suffers from MS – once homeless too)

About danaj33

I have been teaching in the Broadcast Electronic Media Art department at City College of San Francisco since 2001. I started teaching full-time in 2009 and am tenured. My career as an audio engineer spans 32-years since the first day I began to record and mix songs on my Tascam PortaStudio (cassette 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 leaving a regular shift there in 2010 due to the teaching schedule. The club and its staff are like family. I owned and operated a live sound production company since 1989 (ending officially in 2017) 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 (BCST141). 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. Outside Affiliations: - Co-Director of SoundGirls - current member of Audio Engineering Society and on the SF Chapter Planning Committee - 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 - past Board of Directors for Camp Reel Stories
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