Archive for the Just Day to Day Schtuff Category

Tragedy

Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff on December 14, 2012 by KAHNSoft

Today, a man went into a school in Connecticut and shot a lot of people. I don’t know why; I can’t imagine what would motivate someone to do that sort of thing.  Don’t get me wrong, I get why people kill other people sometimes, but this…

Anyway, we may never know what caused this man to feel the need to kill the most innocent of our society.  Sadly, he too was found dead, so not only can we not punish him for this horrible crime, but we cannot find out that most basic answer to the question on so many peoples minds… why?

I ache for the families who’s children or parents were so cruelly snatched away from them today.  I cannot begin to imagine what that is like.  I’ve been blessed with beautiful children but I cannot imagine something like this happening to them.

All of that said, there is something that happens in the aftermath of an event like this.  Many people, after assessing blame, will attempt to find preventative measures.  I understand that.  In a world that’s so out of control, the need to feel like you are doing something to control it can be a powerful one.

The problem is that you can’t control the world.  You can’t control people.  We keep trying but the best and worst of us always find ways to buck that control.  We cannot be “broken” and why would we want to be.  The moment the human animal is contained, we truly are dead as a species.

My daughters school has a rule against them taking their backpacks with them to class.  I can only assume that post Columbine, this seemed like a good way to keep weapons out of classrooms.  Except the kids with the guns weren’t carrying them to class in backpacks.   The entered the school with them.  Some schools use metal detectors to attempt to block kids from bringing weapons to school and while that’s certainly more effective than the back pack ban, it too can be circumvented (no, I’m not going to tell you how).

The answer is not to ban guns.

I’m not a gun nut.  I don’t own any.  That doesn’t mean that I object to them, it simply means that when I have money to spend, the first thing that comes to mind is something that will bring me joy, or at the very least a moments distraction.  The distraction gained from a gun is fleeting at best.  I go to a range, I fire off a few rounds… I get little satisfaction from doing it.  On the flip side, I’ll use the Kindle I got every day, the iPod too.

Now, some of you will say that neither the Kindle or the iPod will defend my family and yes, I cannot argue that in certain situations, if someone broke into my house, shooting them may be a good way to keep my family safe.  Unfortunately, I fear that I would be far more likely to shoot the the cat in a moment of frustration or more likely my self on a bad day.  A gun makes that sort of thing easier than just about any other tool available to me.

That said, if you want a gun, I feel like you have every right to have one.

Now, while I do believe it is every American’s right to own a gun, there are some people who should not have one.  I don’t think it’s the governments job to keep it from happening, I just think it’s a bad idea.  The scenario that people paint for me is the movie theater shooting that happened a while back.  If someone in the audience had been armed, they could have shot back.  The problem is that with my luck, the guy shooting back would be the nimrod behind me that can’t figure out how to keep his soda off the floor and when he took that shot, guess who’d be between him and Batman?

I’ll get off that soapbox.  Today something terrible happened.  A guy did something desperate and stupid.  I don’t know why.  Until we do, we cannot do anything about it.  Regulating book bags and tightening gun legislation is not the answer.  Neither would have prevented this.  The prevention is in looking at why the guy felt the need to take that action.  We may never know but it’s worth a look.

My thoughts, my prayers, my dearest hopes for peace go out to the families of those who’s lives have been shattered today.  Nothing can bring those souls back and there is no retribution that will ease the pain.  May whatever greater power you hold dear give you comfort in this time and if you have no faith, then my hope is that you will find comfort elsewhere.  Turn to your community or just rant on a blog.  Sometimes people suck, but sometimes they can be amazing too.

Voices in my head

Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff, Uncategorized on October 28, 2012 by KAHNSoft

“I often have these little conversations with myself.  I do so love good conversation.” – George Carlin

“They are voices in my head, saying things that shouldn’t be said; I just hope that they will… go away.” – Stephen Lynch

I just wish they’d leave me the fuck alone.  I often feel like one of the guys in those movies where they’ve got the little angel on one shoulder and then a little devil on the other.  The difference is in my head, there’s a second couple having sex while the other two do sports commentary and make the occasional bet.

Certainly there are ways to quiet the voices but usually they are fleeting at best and rarely as thorough as one would like.  I’m told there are various chemical solutions to the problem but I’ve also been told that I’m not really in need of any of those.

Ah, well.  Here’s to the voices then.  I hope they enjoy scotch.

Happy Haunting

Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff, Uncategorized on October 28, 2012 by KAHNSoft

So our haunt finally came together and is something I’m proud of.  We have created better, more stable room structures and *my* room turned out very cool. 

I am the Hatter from Alice in Wonderland (Malice in Wonderland is the theme the girls chose this year).  I have a coffin for my table and I’ve set it for tea (lots of random sized tea cups).  I’ve also got several hats either on manaquins or on “heads”.  Part of my schpiel is that I ran out of manaquins so I’ve been using the guests and I will ask passersby if they’d donate their heads.

The character ended up being more absent minded professor than Hannibal Lector as I’d hoped, but I did find an amazing top coat at the Savers and its working out nicely.

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Sadly, all of the Pics with the coat turned out pretty blurry but you get the idea.

Anyway, its been fun and the girls are loving it.  My oldest choreographed a dance number for the end of the haunt and when they do it together, its really very cool.  All in all, its turning out to be a good run despite having the wind blowing everything down earlier in the week and my not getting out to get my costume together the way I wanted to.  Hopefully Monday brings more people out.

25 Years – The Phantom

Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff on October 18, 2012 by KAHNSoft

Wow!  As I sit here in my office, I open the door again and wipe away my tears, carefully making sure my mask is back in place so that I can face my day and the people I work with, with a small sense of regret.  I know it’s necessary in order to function but the man behind that mask get’s lonely.  That truly sounds very melodramatic, but forgive me, I just finished watching the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Phantom of the Opera. 

I don’t remember where I was first introduced to that music but I remember falling in love with it immediately.  It became one of the most played cds in my library and later would become my main source of escape when I was in high school (and beyond).
I had secured a place in the stage crew running the sound system in the theater/auditorium and I would sneak in there during the day to put on Phantom and sit by myself in the sound booth and draw.
I don’t know why exactly I identified with the lead character so much.  I certainly don’t believe myself to be hideous, but I have spent a fair amount of time alone.  Especially during my teenage years.  Add to that my affection for music and theatre, and my place behind the scenes for both and it almost seems obvious.
Music has always been my escape and there are certain pieces that will always kill me.  This particular version of the Phantom was especially dramatic as the original creator and cast of the Phantom came out to celebrate the anniversary of the show and Sarah Brightman, the original Christine came out to sing Music of the Night.  It was amazing as the cast past and current joined in to celebrate with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Michael Crawford (the original Phantom). 
I know that this show get’s a lot of crap about being cliche and stealing themes but it’s important to me.  This music was an important piece of my puzzle and it helped me to build the mask that allowed me to deal with people.  Again, it sounds very melodramatic, but fuck it, this is my narrative.
Theater has also been very important to me, in that it gave me one of my first chances to excel.  I was never very good at sports.  My mother will tell you that I played as a kid and it’s true, but I was never going to be a star there.  I was good with computers but at that point in my life, it only amounted to what I could do for other people.  On the stage (at least for competitions) I could shine and it seemed I was reasonably good at getting the most out of our sound system during shows as well.
It was on a stage where I was working in the wings that I met one of my best friends; and one of the biggest contributors to the program that is now Jon.
Add all of this history together and as I sit in my office enjoying the end of The 25th Anniversary Celebration of Phantom of the Opera, I find myself crying uncontrollably.  There’s a lot of history for me in that music and they created an amazing production to showcase the show that has meant so much to me over the years.  That said, I leave you with part of the final refrain from Erik; the man in the mask, destined by fate to die alone in large part because of his love for his angel of music.  I have been blessed to not share that fate, but at times, I very much understand that loneliness.
“Masquerade..Paper faces on parade; Masquerade.  Hide your face so the world will never find you.  Christine, I love you.” -O.G. (Andrew Lloyd Webber 1986). Thank you.

Wedding pumpkins

Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff on October 12, 2012 by KAHNSoft

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I did these for my little brothers wedding.

Ouch…

Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff on October 8, 2012 by KAHNSoft

So, I’ve developed a whole new respect for those guys on the field.  You know the ones with the spandex pants and the big goofy helmets.  The ones that throw a ball the length of a football field, over and over again and make it look easy.

I threw a ball about 20 feet over and over again and I can barely move my arm.

I dearly love my brothers.  My sister too for what its worth, but this little tale is about my brothers.  We were over at the folks’ house this weekend and they very kindly invited me to play catch with them.  I think they may have invited before but I’ve never played before.  At least that I remember.  This time; however, I decided to give it a go.

My parents front yard is not huge, but it’s well maintained with short cut soft green grass. On this occasion, four of the 7 brothers were arranged on opposite corners with two actually running in and out of the street. We played for about an hour and a half during which time I managed to hold my own against four guys who are in much better shape than this ole man. You wouldn’t think it had been years since I handled a football. We had a great time. We very quickly had two football’s going and at one point my brother Jared joined in making it five of us.

The weather was perfect. A very light breeze blew through the neighbors trees but didn’t make it hard to throw the ball. It just kept the temperature down on a clear sunny day made for being outside (if your into that sort of thing).

We played until we were exhausted and I must again thank Adam, who works out regularly for giving in first and thus not making me look like a total whimp. I gave in too and spent the rest of the afternoon sounding like an asthmatic with a 5 pack a day habit; but other than that I felt fine!

Until I got home.

Shortly after getting home, I started to really feel my shoulder. It didn’t take long before I could barely move it. A very long night followed where I woke up frequently barely able to move. Cut to work and I groan when I reach for the mouse.

All of that said, I would do it again in a New York minute. That evening, at about eleven thirty, I got a message from one of my little brothers expressing his appreciation for my coming out to play with them. It meant a lot to him. It was a great afternoon for me and this simple note had made it all the more meaningful.

I love my brothers. I appreciate their invitation to play. I had a great time and I dearly hope they will invite me out again.

Success!

Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff on September 27, 2012 by KAHNSoft

So Breakfast was successful albeit messy.
So here’s the premise… when I worked for American Express, the building I was working in had a full service catered cafeteria.  I blame said cafeteria for my waistline.  To make a long story short, I went from drinking a case of Mt. Dew a night while working up a sweat to drinking a case of Mt. Dew a day combined with buttermilk biscuits and hash browns and cheese with chili verde while sitting on my tail and typing at a computer.

So, potentially, you see the problem coming…

My current employer is situated in a building with a full service catered cafeteria.  They do a hash browns and cheese which has become a regular staple for breakfast.  The problem… no verde.  We’ve suggested it with mixed responses, but the result is still … no verde.

So being the problem solver that I am, I decided to cook up a solution… verde.  I bought a can.  I bought containers which I could store in my fridge and cups in which to cook the verde.  I even bought a can-opener.

After making a bit of a mess in my office trying to move the verde from the can to the bowl to the cup, I determined a couple of things.  A)  I should have bought a spoon or ladle and maybe some large tarps for the process.  B)  The cups were a very good idea and my previous concern regarding their melting while I microwaved the verde was unfounded.  C)  I’ve missed potatoes with cheese and chili verde a great deal and I should have done this months ago.  Of course, the good folks at the cafeteria could have saved me a great deal of hassle by simply offering it on the menu but … this’ll do.

So… the next question you ask is what about my waist?  Well, I’ll miss it.

“This is Halloween!” -Danny Elfman

Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff on September 12, 2012 by KAHNSoft

There’s that familiar feeling.  You know that buzz that goes up the back of your spine when you start to see just a few too many candy corns showing up in stores.  The weather is cooling and my horns are starting to tingle.
I love Halloween.

Truth be told, I feel like this all the time but it’s nice when the rest of the world catches the bug and joins me in my celebration of the macabre.  I’ll just turn up the volume on my Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack and revel in the new Cradle of Filth album while I shop for the trappings of this year’s haunted endeavor.

This year I get to introduce a new character to the voices in my head.  The girls have decided to do a “Nightmare” version of Alice in Wonderland for this years maze and I get to play the Hatter.  I’m going through the original Lewis Carroll descriptions and searching the net for variations.  I have always identified with crazy characters.  This is going to be fun.

In the meantime, I’m digging out the Halloween music and starting to feel that vibe that doesn’t quite go away until some time after October 31st (then the roar dies down a bit until next year).
Halloween is coming kiddies, and the darkness get’s it’s turn to play again, and this year, I’m in a particularly twisted mood.

“I am the shadow on the moon at night, filling your dreams to the brim with fright.” -D.E.

Beauty

Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff on August 25, 2012 by KAHNSoft

I lie here thinking about the beauty that surrounds me.  Boy, now that sounds a lot less creepy than what’s actually going on in my head.  Can I just say that I am partial to the female form.  That said, I have never met a woman that was happy with her form regardless of how beautiful it may be.

I know some guys are equally hung up about their appearance but this condition certainly seems to have a specific gender slant.

So, why do I write this?  Well, in part I recently responded to a Facebook post on the topic and I thought it warranted a different audience, and I wanted to assure my meager audience that for every body type, there are a host of people who are attracted to it; and ladies….

When we tell you that you are the most beautiful thing we’ve ever seen, we’re not necessarily just trying to get into your pants.  Sometimes, we are just trying to convey the fascination and adoration that our primitive minds and hearts have for that magnificent creature that is the women in our life.

Headaches, they’re all in my head

Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff on June 25, 2012 by KAHNSoft

So if ever there was a need for proof of this concept, I’ve found it.  As you may or may not know, Excedrine was pulled from store shelves several months ago.  Excedrine has been my goto med. of choice to control headaches for years.  Now,  I’ve had some brilliant friends who’ve come to my aide with bottles to help get me through but in the end, I’ve been without for a while now.

Now, an important bit of back story here… I have tried Tylenol and other brands before to no avail.  Nothing has worked like Excedrine.  Until now.

So I’m in England this last month and I obviously don’t have any Excedrine with me.  I go to the grocery store and find Panadol.  It sounds like roughly the same ingredients and at this point, I will try anything so I give it a shot.  It works!  Great stuff.  Not only does it work on the headache, but it works fast.  So I bring a box home.

As I reach the end of the Panadol; however, I start looking for alternatives.  Several online searches suggest Tylenol as Panadol isn’t sold in the States and supposedly they are roughly equivalent.  Fortunately for this test, I don’t even need to leave the house.  I still have some Tylenol.

I try it.  It works (and well).  Success.  Now I just need to stock up on Tylenol, right?

Cut to Walmart and not a bottle to be found.   Somebody out there hates me.

Fortunately, Sams had a big bottle.  So I’m in business.

Sorry Excedrine.  I fear you’ve been replaced.