Poor Rocky, Skipper, Shamu, and Migaloo

All living creatures give me a cause to pause as I watch how in their lives they do what they do. I have never felt dominion over them but rather see myself as one with them.

Today I saw an animal that caused my soul to burst.  You know that feeling you get when you see something that suddenly causes your insides to fill up and you can’t hold back the feeling to cry in a convulsion of tears?

Under a gray sky, I was walking home from my nearby post office, remembering a sweet animal interlude that I experienced a week previous.  A raccoon family had followed me for a few feet poking out of the shadows as I made my way up my apartment steps.   In the park that I live near, I heard loud explosions and crazy monster roars.  I had seen a movie poster in a shop window advertising various films for Friday nights in October and remembered that it was Jurassic Park blasting from speakers over 500 yards away beyond the trees and tennis courts.  I turned around and watched this little animal family stop on the stairs behind me, looking up at me as if to ask, “What the hell is that driving me from my home in the park? Why aren’t you running from those monster sounds too?” I spoke to them for a minute. They cowered for fear I’d yell something at them to shoo away, but I just told them in a soft-voice: “I’m sorry about all of that noise. It will stop soon.” It sounded like the final epic moment of the movie where for 15-minutes the horror of the family caught between the Raptors and the T-Rex pummel one’s auditory senses. The raccoons turned around and walked back into the shadows near the garage.

Back to the present, as I strode up one rather hilly street, I thought about how I would write something in my blog with that animal encounter in mind, and what I would say about us humans taking over every space on this earth in all physical ways including the sonic waves.  I then thought about how some of the mammals of the ocean have been found washed up on beaches with Marine Biologists attributing the increase in deaths from the Naval Sonar Testing.  “Seven times the speed of sound,” boasts the U.S. Navy testing their new sonic weapon.

The thoughts of my writing were blurring my eyes as I starred at the concrete and walked faster up the hill, but was abruptly thwarted by what I found on my trail. There on the sidewalk at the curb’s edge with its little head hanging over, I saw a lifeless raccoon with its little hands folded over the rim. I mentally collapsed in an onslaught of tears just as I am now, reliving the memory of moments ago.  I thought about their little perfect hands the rest of the way  home wiping the tears from my eyes.  Those incredible little hands…so much like ours.

baby-racoon-pictures-cute-animals-pics Raccoon hands



some research reveals:  Migaloo, and the 52Hz whale, and some other famous beauties of the ocean.

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. In addition to teaching, I am a writer. I have several blogs and have written many screenplays since 2007 producing a few of them into short films. In 2020, the craziest year and decade of any of our lives, I am starting a book project titled, "Abra, the Imaginarian." Outside Affiliations: - former 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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