Mental Access to MTKuszek

Mental Access to MTKuszek
A Window of Opportunity

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

06/30/10 Tech Savvy

The 49th day

It impresses me to no end what a marvelous technological age we live in and how far we’ve come in the past 15+ years. When I was a young boy, I remember the advent of the vcr, and how no one knew how to program one of these things. I also remember 8-trachs, reel to reel players, and how my first Michael Jackson album was a lp record.

The age progressed rapidly in the late 80s and 90s, when we went from lps and casette tapes to cds, from vhs tapes to laserdisc to dvds. The creation of better home computers and the internet, to laptops, and now net books.

Now we have mp3 players, smart phones, and digital books. With technology, we are more interconnected with everything, and I think we need to be or the world will leave us behind. Heck, my three year old knows how to use the computer and how to get to her favorite games. It amazes me how far I have come when it comes to technology, and how readily I’ve accepted it into my life. From facebook to blogging on this page, I have every opportunity to reach out and express myself how I see fit.

Just part of the inevitable evolution.


Monday, June 28, 2010

06/28/10 Go Big or Go Home

The 47th day

In my later years of life, I have been brought into a group that goes to gaming conventions. Now when I say gaming conventions, I don’t mean video games or gambling, I mean pen and paper rpgs, tactical and strategy board games, CCG’s and large miniatures battle games. These things are the factions you find at most conventions, along with the artists, cosplayers, musicians, and other assorted individuals.
Now, thanks to my years as an envoy for Wizkids, I was able to travel to wonderful gaming locations and meet some great people. Since 2000, I have probably been to over a dozen conventions in several cities, and I still love going to these things, both to participate as a player and a game master.

Now here’s the problem that I have with such establishments and their game masters.

All too often I sign up for a game that’s a little more light and more commercially available, such as Settlers of Catan, Bang, Carcassonne, or any such one shot game. All too often the game is being run by some individual or group who happens to have the game and comes by, collects the tickets, and the drops off the game and leaves the table and does not moderate/participate in the game or event. In actuality, it feels like I just plunked down a buck or more just to play a game that I could’ve done for free with my friends and other strangers.

Now I know that many of these “Cons” have a reimbursement program for their game masters, and that’s perfectly fine, but I do find it a travesty on the gm’s part if they aren’t even there at the table and not even checking in on us once in a while. It is, for a lack of any other term, Bull$#!+.

Now, as an “elite” game master (and I use that term very loosely and as an inside joke) I tend to believe in a different philosophy. I think it’s important that the game master promotes himself in a better light and tries to make his game more memorable for the players. Any fool can pull and game out, put it on the table, and leave. It take a truly great person with a passion for gaming to bring the game to life, whatever it may be.

Personally, I’m all about the aesthetic, the flair, setting the mood, and enhancing the experience.

Case and point: I went to Ancon this past May, and found a game called Cthulhu Dice, a horror variation of the very popular “LCR” dice game. (If you don’t know who Cthulhu is, read some HP Lovecraft and check the picture on my blog.) Now I was thinking of running the game at a convention later this year, just as a sidebar to whatever else I’m doing, but I want to make it better. So at Origins I purchased a large Cthulhu as a centerpiece for the table, then purchased a bag of smaller black Cthulhus to use a tokens in the game. Long story short, I’ve added about 30 dollars to a 5 dollar game, but the aesthetic is there and the game is more memorable now, and not just a generic crappy game that gets lost in the shamble of the convention floor. It’s eye catching, and people will notice what’s going on as the game is played.

So there you go. Go big or go home.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

06/27/10 a fantastic weekend

The 46th day

Origins game fair was going on this weekend, and I had the opportunity to travel down to the convention with some good friends. We were only there for a few hours, but I was able to meet up with some friends that I rarely see during the year, and also spend some money on some goodies, mostly new games and such.

Today I spent more time with the same individuals to try out the new games. I really had a great time this weekend, and I thank those individuals who were a part of it.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

06/23/10 Haiku For You

the 42nd day

Just some Haikus I’ve had in my mind for a while, hope you like.

If meat is murder,
Then murder is delicious.
I’ll have mine with fries.

Gun control only
Becomes relevant after
Something bad happens.

There are two types of
People that bug me to death;
You and everyone.

Someday soon I think
I will develop patience.
Not today, must go.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

06/22/10 Back Tats and Tongue Piercings

The 41st day

So the other night at work our supervisor was training a group of new hires to get them ready for their future assignments. Three were male, one was female. The female wasn’t hard on the eyes at all, but I still tried not to stare. She had a nice body, that’s for sure. Very athletic build.

The reason I bring this up is because most of the night she was bending over picking up freight on the floor, and when she did, her tight shirt slid up a bit, revealing a very large and elaborate lower back tattoo (a “tramp stamp” is a term that I’ve heard over and over again). I can’t really describe the exact design other than I made the joke that it looked like a “fallopian tube road map”

Now I’m a married man, but I’m absolutely ok to look at other girls, just not to touch. Eye candy is perfectly fine. I had a discussion with a co-worker last night that I’ve come the conclusion that body piercing, lower back tattoos, form fitting clothing all fit in the category of “synthetic human plumage” which is designed for the sole purpose of attracting a mate.

Found out that the back tattoo girl also was a gymnast. I’m totally going to hell.


Monday, June 21, 2010

06/21/10 Primal Vs. Intellectual

The 40th day

There seems to be two types of moods I tend to get into when I’m home with my family. There is the intellectual side of me that loves to be creative and work on projects and other cerebral pursuits. The other side is the primal side, the side that has desires and wants and pretty much is the survival instincts.

Now here’s the catch: the two cannot survive at the same time.

When I’m in the intellectual mood, I’m in high spirits and love working on what ever projects I’m doing (see my “too many projects” blog for the things I’m into), and in doing so, that primal side becomes suppressed. Often I don’t need sleep, food, recreation, or even procreation. My mind gets fixed on the task and I love every minute of it. My wife would disagree with me because one of the rooms becomes a workshop and some clutter occurs. My mind becomes ridiculously sharp as it gets some much needed exercise.

The primal side tends to come out when I’m really tired and worn out, usually closer to the end of the week. I tend to run on autopilot sometimes and just try to get through the day so that I can get to bed and sleep, which is my ultimate goal. Other than that, I tend to do the bear minimum to get by. My routines become simple and basic. Feed the kids, clean the room, keep the kids safe, take them outside, feed yourself, keep everyone clean, go to store, make dinner, etc. Free thought tends to get suppressed a bit and I really have no other desire other than to just get through the day. I don’t want to read, or work on any project that I may or may not have in mind.

So one day, I’m going to get this aspect of my personality in balance, but until then I guess I’m going to have to deal


Sunday, June 20, 2010

06/20/10 13 years

The 39th day

Today marks 13 years since I was hired at my current job. I didn’t realize how much time has passed, and how old I’ve become in those 13 years.

Some food for thought; things that happened around 06-20-97

-an unknown rapper by the name of Eminem was making his way up the ranks in Detroit.

-on 9-7-97, a small videogame by the name of Final Fantasy VII would be released on Sony Playstation, changing how we would look at video games forever.

-I was using a Packard Bell computer with a 233 Mhz processor and an 810 MB hard drive, and connected to internet providers using a 56k baud modem.

-some new fandangled media for movies was hitting shelves in stores, something called a DVD?

Movies like Con Air and Disney’s Hercules were in theatres, one week later, Men in Black wound be released.

Just some things to age me.


Friday, June 18, 2010

06/18/10 Mr. Monday

The 37th day

I have this certain individual that I’m forced to work with and unfortunately talk to 5 days out of the week, especially on Saturday. This individual is an absolute soul sucker, but I’m not going to drag his name in the mud. Instead, I’ll just refer to him as “Mr. Monday”.

Mr. Monday is a man in his late fifties and is perhaps the most miserable man I’ve ever met. He constantly pollutes my eardrums about his life and how terrible it is, with such things such as he only has 30 buck in his wallet and whether or not he should he put gas in his car or actually eat this week. I believe to be a person who falls under the misery loves company category and is happier when he brings someone down to his level.

He’s an adequate worker, but he is impetuous and fails to thinks about the ramifications of his actions, and when they inevitably fail, he stomps off and pouts. Last Saturday he built a large box structure on top of an oversized wooden crate, then came to me to point out his triumph. Instantly I was able to see 3 difficulties with the project he just completed; it was too tall, too heavy to move with one forklift, and due to the over-sized crate it wouldn’t fit on the flat sheets we use to load a truck. I was right on two out of three.

Mr. Monday also has a generally disagreeable disposition towards changes and policies. He feels the need to criticize every decision that is handed down from management, and he tends to undercut every decision that I make. If I was going to place anything, box or crate into a container, he would come by and mess with it until it was to whatever standards he seems to have.

Frankly, he gets under my skin and drives me up the wall. I’m sure that everyone has a Mr. Monday at their workplace. I guess things could be worse…there could be two of them.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

06/17/10 Reoccurring Dreams

The 36th day

In my last 10 or so years of my life, I have been traumatized by reoccurring dreams. I really don’t know what the deal is, but often I have dreams about the same subjects over and over again. I know I have three of them, and I think I know why. Let’s explore this shall we?

1) School: often I dream about school in some form or another, whether it is my elementary school or high school. Now it’s not what you think: I’m always fully clothed in these dreams. My problems start when its in the middle of the school year, and I am completely unprepared for anything. I don’t know what classes I have, or where those classrooms are located. I have no books, didn’t do last night’s homework, and there’s always a test that is the equivalent of the final exam, and I have no clue about it. If I have a locker, I either don’t know where the locker is, or know the combination. In effect, I’m completely lost.
Now I know that my organization skills aren’t exactly up to snuff, but my subconscious apparently likes to screw with me enough that I think less of myself. Perhaps it’s a reminder to stay organized.

2) Work: I work at an air cargo facility nearby my hometown, and have done so for an extensive period of time. Since it’s third shift, I see it in a different light, I see in pitch black and in the early light of dawn. When I dream of the facility, it’s always a little different. Sometimes the catwalks are high and without rails, sometimes the planes are these gigantic air vessels that dwarf the sky itself, and often things are twisted images of truth. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked a shift, and before I clock out I wake up only to have to go to the real world job.

3) Bathrooms: this only tends to happen when I have a real life full bladder. When I dream of the bathrooms, it’s always the same this, wither I can’t find a working toilet, or I begin urinating it weirdest of places (trash can, couch, gas station counter top.) I know these dreams come a little too often after a night of drinking.

So there you go, my mind’s a little messed up


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

06/16/10 Repetition: an Exercise in Routine.

the 35th day

For many of us, we all have out own set schedule for when we go to work, to school, when we eat, and so on and so forth. Normally this isn’t a major deal, but I think for the work week, mine has me by the throat and in a death grip.

Allow me to explain:

I work third shift at an air cargo facility four nights out of the week from about 1:45 a.m. to whenever we’re finished. During the day, I’m a stay at home dad who looks after his two daughters. Between work and my day I get a few hours of sleep, and at the end of my day at about 8 p.m. I get a solid block of 4 to 5 hours.

Now the problem occurs when I start my day. I’ll try to break it down for you.

6:00 am: I get home from work. I need at least 20+ minutes to wind down so I can fall asleep. Shower is a must.
6:30 am: I get to bed
7:30ish am: my youngest daughter gets up, which means I get up.
7:30am -9:59am: at this point I have several options, which include fixing the girl a breakfast and making sure she’s tip top shape while she’s watching her nick cartoons. That gives me some time to jump on face book, you tube, or write this blog, as long as the kid doesn’t usurp the computer. The other option is to lie on the couch in a semi-conscious state and try to get more rest, which usually results in the youngest one climbing on top of me and sitting on my legs for a period of time, preventing me from sleeping.
10:00am: at this point, I am up and more or less awake, and during the summer, this is when my oldest child gets up. Since she’s older I let her help herself for her breakfast.
11:00am-1:00pm family interaction begins which usually involves the two kids playing together while I referee the “claims” as they ensue., such as she took my book, I was playing with that, loud crying, etc.
1:00pm-2:00pm unreasonable request time begins. Usually involving electronics or music.
2:00pm-3:00pm: kick the girls outside for and hour or more.
3:00pm-4:00pm: kids are probably a little cranky at this time and need some separation time. This is also the opening of the window of time for my wife to come home.
4:00pm: this is about the exact moment that wish I was in bed and heading to work, just because the kids are starting to get on my last nerve.
5:00pm: I begin preparation for dinner, which usually involves me making more than one item since I’m the only member of the family that’s not picky about anything I make.
6:00pm: dinner is served
6:30pm dinner is finished and evening chores begin:
7:00pm showers/ baths for the kids, perhaps a second one for me.
8:00pm this is my bedtime, and I try to sleep, just depends on how my youngest is since she insists on sleeping at the same bed time as I do and in the same bed as well.
12:00am: my alarm clock goes off. Get up, empty the bladder, make a pot of coffee, send the wife to bed, sip coffee, check messages, flip channels for an hour.
1:00am: drive to work, maybe get gas.
1:45am: start work, which involves the stretching of nets for about 45 minutes.
2:30am-4:00am: actually do the tasks of work that are set for me.
4:00am: this is about the time that I rally wish I was home.
4:00am-5:30am: I wrap up my work and head for home, possibly stopping at the store or gas station.
6:00am: I get home.

So this is my schedule, and this is what inevitably happens day in and day out. I speed through the day and night just to get to the next one. The days blur together and before I know it the weekend is here and then I dread the work week. Time is flying by way too fast and I need to apply the brakes before I get any older or miss something important.

Quite a quandary I’m in, but not that I see it in front of me, maybe I can solve the puzzle.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

06/15/10 Too Many Projects

The 34th day

My wife often says that I have too many projects and that I like too many things, and now I’m quick to agree that I do have a lot of interests. I think I’m a well rounded individual, but all of these things tend to lead to clutter and conflict of interests.

Here are the things I enjoy in no particular order.

Writing- probably one of the most useful skills one can have. I write recreationally at times, but mostly its for some of my other interests. Needless to say, I have a lot of notebooks.

Art- I have painted several paintings and have a few hanging up in the house. I have a few boxes of paints, brushed, and other various craft items I use for other projects I work on from time to time.

Books- I have a lot of books, both mainstream novels and trade paperbacks and also various magazines.

Role-Playing- the other half of my book collection consists of rulebooks and supplemental material for several game systems. Half of the systems I have are old and dead, so those books are the last books released and very valuable to me.

Board Games:- from 2004 on, for a four year period, I was heavy into board games, mostly specialty board games that are more strategic and from other lesser know companies. I have a lot of board games from days of wonder, fantasy flight, and Mayfair games. Now I look at them and regret that I haven’t played them in a while.

Video games- I am a child of the video game generation, and deep in the core demographic. Actually, as I write this, I have this year’s E3 coverage of the Nintendo press conference on in the background, only because I know Sony’s press conference is next and I need to see it. I’m amazed with my PS3 and the direction that the industry is going is exciting. I’m addicted for sure.

Godzilla- I run a Godzilla game at several venues in the area during convention season, and that requires me to have a storage bin of Godzilla stuff. My daughter likes the movies, so we have a lot of those dvds.

Movies- I was brought up at a time that you could go to movies relatively cheaply. So my parents let me see a lot of movies. I love action, horror, anime, comedy, and all sorts of other stuff. I have to get rid of my vhs videos soon so that I can make more room for my dvds.

Music: love my music, love my 300 plus cd collection, and that was even before the whole digital download thing began. I can’t get rid of those.

So yeah, I like a lot of stuff. Now I think I should do some clean up.


Monday, June 14, 2010

06/14/10 Unfinished

The 33rd day

Upstairs in my room, in my closet, is a large blue-gray binder. Within it, 200 pages of hand written material, an unfinished novel that I began writing late 1999. It had just started as a pet project, just to see how far it would go, but it became so much more.

The novel was supposed to be a medieval epic involving some less than savory individuals being caught in the middle of a holy war between demon knights and a secretive brotherhood sworn to protect the most sacred of artifacts. In my youth, I was certain that I was going to accomplish finishing it, getting it published without fail, and become an author as significant as Crichton or King. I had a fantastic plan about how I would write about 8 books, 4 from this series of the novel I was writing, and the 8th being something called Dys’KonT’nt, a personal journal that seeps from my head similar to the john doe diaries from the movie “seven”. It’s funny how like works out sometimes.

For me at that age, I would spend the next two years staying awake at night, writing at a small desk by candlelight. A CD player would be nearby, softly playing some sort of Celtic music to help with the creative process. Often I would use incense to enhance the mood a bit to really entrench me in the whole process.

With such ferocity I scribbled out pages of notes and theory, outlines and concepts. I designed demonic language and weapons side by side with blessed weapons and artifacts. A good night of writing was 5 to 6 pages minimum and 10+ was amazing. There were nights I would wear out the pen before I was worn out. The words flowed so easy back when I was writing at every opportunity.

Years have passed, and the book remains unfinished. I shelved it in 2003 because we were moving, and the book was at it’s most pivotal moment. I wanted it to be perfect as I searched for the exact works to explain what were the true motivations of the war. I spent a few nights writing and rewriting the part, then of course I had to move, and life caught up to me.

So now the book lays in my closet as a testament to what could have been and an effigy to procrastination. For the first time in a few years I pulled it out to take a photo of it, to put on this blog. There is so much of my time and effort in this work, and yet it’s not done. My unfinished business.

I think I just found some reading material. Maybe…just maybe…


Thursday, June 10, 2010

06/10/10 Frustrations

the 29th day

I've been so busy with my kids that i haven't had time to really sit and think about what i want to write. the kids, though generally good, have been picking on each other since the oldest is home from school for the summer. this constant rivalry is really starting to tick me off, and i swear they had better shape up real quick.

i love my kids dearly, and i really don't want a sibling rivalry developing here so soon, but kids will be kids.

oh well, just have to see how far this goes.


Monday, June 7, 2010

06/07/10 Political Games

The 26th day

So I was watching the news tonight, and a reoccurring theme in the political spectrum is the rise of this “Tea Party” group, and how it seems to always get attention of the media. I can’t really put a finger on it, but something disturbs me about these people. So now I, an average man with a distaste and disdain for all politics, now perceive things as such.

You have three parties:

1) The Republican Party: old world traditions and values, heavy on the morality of years gone by. The iconic “50’s Dad” who comes home from a long day’s work and puts on his slippers and smokes his pipe, while Billy and Sally do homework and the wife cooks a turkey in the oven. Their political mascot: the elephant.

2) the Democratic Party: the sons and daughters of the liberal arts and hippie generations. Leaders of the going green and hug a tree movement. Their ideals are to take the establishment we have and tidy up the place, putting eco-friendly light bulbs in every room and being a cheerleader for the working middle class. Their mascot: the donkey.

3) the Tea Party: the political version of “extreme sports”. severe rhetoric about how the conservatives have lost their edge and how everything should be wiped out and rebuilt.

The reason I bring this up is because on tonight’s news cast, there was a piece on a woman by the name of Angle, and how her platform involved closing the IRS, the Dept of Education, stop social security, etc. she also said that “America was being water-boarded, being tortured”. First off, I thought that water-boarding wasn’t torture, at least not in the eyes of the last administration. Secondly, no matter how much this woman says, no matter how many followers/ voters this woman gets behind her, we all know that at the end of the day what will happen. She will be just like everyone else in the government, someone with a secure job, and little or no intention to do anything of real substance.

It’s smoke and mirrors…

Oh, and for your information, I don’t know what the Tea Party mascot is, but If they want an idea, based on their name, it definitely should involve one…large…sweaty guy.

A little bitter and jaded today,


Sunday, June 6, 2010

06/06/10 Storms

the 25th day

Sorry I haven't been posting the last few days. we've had some serious storms in the area and things have been pretty brutal lately. Looks like a few tornadoes hit in areas to the west and east of us, so we're fortunate to not have as significant damage as other areas.

we'll talk more later.


Friday, June 4, 2010

06/04/10 Living Horror

the 23rd day...

Now don’t blame my parents for this; they’re good parents, but I grew up in a different time before the whole protect the children issues came up.

Years ago when I was a pre-teen or even younger, my parents would take me to R rated movies. Most of these were either slasher flicks or ultraviolet movies. I still have vivid memories of seeing “Scarface” in the movie theaters and remembering the final gun fight in the film. I’ve seen Friday the 13ths, Poltergeists, the remake of The Thing, countless Stephen King films, and other assorted horror flicks.

Has this left an impression on me? Hell yes! There are still films that freak me out when I see them and my heart beats faster and I get an adrenaline rush. It’s a blast of real fear, but with my vast intelligence, I’ve been able to analyze the thing that scars me.

Case and point, last winter I was able to see the film “poltergeist 2” for the first time in a long time on AMC. Now the movie to me in its entirety isn’t all that scary, but there is one scene that got to me as a child. The scene involves the middle child, a boy, who now has braces in the movie, and as such the poltergeist uses that to its advantage. The child’s wires in the braces begin to envelop him and turns him into a writhing mass of wires on the ceiling, a cocoon in which only one of his eyes is visible, and the child is locked in the bathroom with the wires heading towards the nearest outlet. Of course the kid is saved as the parents break open the door and pull the kid away from the outlet.

Now I just had my braces installed when this movie came out, so this scene was the things of nightmares for a while. When I watched the scene years later, I was able to see the masterful-ness of the whole moment. You only see the very beginnings of the child being wrapped up, then the scene cuts to the parents downstairs, then running up the stairs, then trying to break down the door. This is about a 30-45 seconds of footage, until when the break down the door, and see the full effect of the wire cocoon. In that time, your imagination gets to run wild as you try to figure out what’s going on to the boy behind the door. Also, the mom stands there and just screams the whole time why the dad is trying to save the boy. I forget the name of the actress but boy could she scream.

After that analysis, I’m not afraid of that scene anymore, and now I deal with any other scene that creeps me out with the same amount of analysis.

But I still love horror films, and wait until I give you my “Saw” predictions and theories later.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

06/02/10 BP is BS

the 21st day

I wouldn’t really consider myself an environmentalist, nor a tree hugger, but I do care to some extent about our planet. Obviously we’re not really heading in the correct direction, but some strides have been made to make the environment better.

This is until BP screwed the proverbial pooch…

Now, I can’t blame them for the explosion on the drilling rig. That’s sucks, but what can you do now? My problem is the absolute dragging of heels on the oil leaking out into the gulf. BP hasn’t moved fast enough in this situation, and nothing has worked, which makes them look like a bunch of amateurs in the public eye. I want results, not excuses. Either seal the oil well, or suck it dry, but for god sakes do it now!

Once we get rid of the leak, we can concentrate on the cleanup. I feel terrible for the people in the gulf who make their living in those coastal waters, unable to do a thing as their livelihood hangs in the balance.

I’ve never liked BP gas anyway, but this makes me like them even less.

Get to work…Now!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

06/01/10 just haven't had the time...

the 20th day

I've been busy today, straightening up the house are reorganizing things I've been putting off for weeks, and most of this new project is going to take all week. i promise I'll be back tomorrow with something deep and profound...or at least meaningful to me in my life.

think I'll be talking about the oil spill an the disdain i have for BP sometime this week.

see ya