Baron Von Uh-Oh

Contemplative. The state that has captured my being this summer wrapping me in a reflective and pensive mindset. Though I walk among the trees in a park on a magnificent, early morning San Francisco day with the sun rising up among the trees and the air a perfect 57-degrees, I can’t help but feel a sense of foreboding that will not go away. I look up at birds flying in a deep blue sky with the ocean 25 blocks away. As I gaze at the beauty of the earth around me, the cerebration in the characters Dom Cobb and Arthur in Chris Nolan’s film, Inception, extract my subconscious; captivating my mind by asking me: “Dana, would you be surprised if suddenly all of this simply turned upside-down and inside-out?”

What the hell? Why can’t I merely enjoy a peaceful jog/walk on a serene morning anymore? Is this fallback from watching the 3rd and 4th episode of Hulu’s “A Handmaid’s Tale” last night? Is it from my from my quotidian contact with the news media as told by The Financial Times, The Guardian, New York Times, and Washington Post? Is it the constant hate-spewed-commentary from the destroyer-in-chief and his thugs?

I shake my head abruptly like an etch-a-sketch in an attempt to erase these thoughts. I enter the soul of the bird chirping above me on a utility wire. Ah, to be free from the exhaustion of a human cerebrum and bipedal locomotion with an ability float and fly. I remember a distinct flying dream a few nights back. It was the first in 40 years! In my youth, I would fly in my sleep from time to time and it was such an extraordinary experience to feel so free. In the dream the other night, I was running one minute and then gliding in air as I continued to run with my legs pumping and then I went higher and higher. I was frightened at one point when I found myself floating above the tree line wondering how I was going to return to earth. My angst-ridden heart beat rapidly as I attempted to slow my speed to no avail. I thought, “What am I going to do now? How do I land without breaking my bones?”

I must have woken up at that point or perhaps my hypothalamus shifted gears into another dream because the experience ended fine. I awoke with the exhilarating memory of having flown and the location where I was running in the air. It made me smile as I had not had such a dream in decades.

Why can’t I continue to be the happy-go-lucky Dana I’ve been my entire life? Why have I become the Baron Von Uh-Oh to myself? I am grateful and thankful for my life as it is, but in these past many months, I have ingested the fear of everything changing in the spur of the moment as if it will all suddenly fold into a vortex. It’s an odd disruption that perhaps will only heal when this nation, currently overrun by a small group of loud haters and greedy monsters, finds its way back to the values of progress that keep us alive by working FOR clean air and water, protecting the earth and all her species, embracing the notion that all humans belong here no matter their culture, human race, nor religion. Respect. Peace.

I feel this:  Inception


But, I want this feeling back:

(2 images above borrowed from Rust En Geluk–translation: Rest & Happiness)

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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