Do You Study Life Or Let Life Study You?

She watches the small spider spinning outside of her window taking in both the first light of day and the thread work of the arachnid.  Each little frame thread becomes an anchor for the rest of the radius threads ready for a spin later.

A sip of coffee floats downstream as the Garuda blend lifts a tantalizing steam to her nostrils.  Laying back on the couch with Charlotte still in view, she pulls out her mini spaceship to explore more about spider webs on How Stuff Works.  Spider anatomy 101 right here at the finger tip.

Days before her friend was walking down a steep hill and noticed a small pillbug making way from the grass to the street. She stopped to watch and decided that this little crustacean must be lost. Walking in the direction of cars parked at a curb with a wide street to cross would surely cause its demise.  Before continuing, she decided to stand by this tiny tank to help it find a destination. From her pocket, she withdrew her handheld spaceship to look up some information about the little roly poly before her.  Number 6 on a list of 10 interesting facts reveal:  A pillbug can drink with its anus.
Though pillbugs do drink the old-fashioned way – with their mouthparts – they can also take in water through their rear ends. Special tube-shaped structures called uropods can wick water up when needed.

Hmmm.  OK. She then spotted two gentlemen walking in her direction feeling certain that they would step on this little bitty bit of life.  She found a magazine in her bag to help the bug by swooping it up and onto the grass.  It immediately balled up and starting rolling downhill, gaining momentum quickly.  “Oh no!”

Just then her phone started buzzing with a picture of an ornate blonde on the screen smiling at her.  “My sister calls.” She managed to stop the bug and connect the call while sis began to blather on about the items she just procured online from Macy’s and OSH. Hearing her sister out of breath, she inquired, “What are you huffing and puffing about?”  Just then, the two men walked by while the little pill scrambled into a safe place in the grass. She stood up, “I just saved a life.” Her sister quickly jumped to conclusions of heroine-like proportions: car accident, earthquake, house burning, child run down by a car…

“No, it was a pillbug about to be stepped on.”

Her sister stopped.  “You’re weird, you know that? You’re 50-years-old, and you’re still playing with bugs. That’s just weird.” Then she spoke further about how every time she even thinks about something to buy it seems to show up in her Facebook ads and in her Yahoo mail digest and it just made her want to buy more things, but then every time she bought something she was tantalized into buying something just like it in a different color or style and…

She looked up into the sky at the birds flying overhead while the little voice in the spaceship rambled on.

Spider's web pillbug in curl

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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