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Fobidden Gallery (about me)

And now for something completely different.

Thou art brave for entering my gallery of forbidden images. Here you will see some candid shots of certain aspects of my life. I might put a picture of myself up some day, but don't bug me about it. This part of my site is dedicated mostly to Buffy the Vampire Slayer! No, it's not the TV show, it's my dog. Don't ask me why Buffy is her name, my mom gave it to her. And none of us have even seen the show. But it seems to be a fitting name.

Kasuto's Escapades at the Movie Theater

    "Hello, and thank you for calling Kerasotes Theaters Showplace 12. We are located near the corner of Naperville and Boughton roads, across from Target. The following is a recorded announcement...." This is what you'll hear if you call the place where I work. It's a typical recorded message that you'll hear if you call any movie theater. But the message gives no hint as to what lies inside that mysterious building. Now, you will find out what really happens in your local cineplex. I'll take you on a personal tour of a movie theater, and expose its seamy underbelly. Now learn the dark secrets of the movies: I work there.
    When I first pondered where I should go to get a summer job, the first thing that popped into my head was: "Movie Theater". I knew that a lot of good movies were coming out this summer, and if I worked at the movie theater I could see them for free. It was the first place I applied to, and I got hired right away. Sure, it's not the highest paying job in the world. I make $5.40 an hour, but if I work past 7 PM I get a $1.00 per hour bonus if it's on Monday through Thursday, or a $0.50 bonus if it's Friday through Sunday. The majority of my hours are past 7 PM, so I usually end up making $5.90 or $6.40. Now, learn about my experience working on the job.
    The first thing I started out doing was working the concession stand. That's what everybody does. I have to say that the concession stand is the worst job in the entire building. It's always hot back there because we have three huge popcorn warming bins and two popcorn poppers. It's almost swealtering being anywhere within about seven feet from the poppers. Working at the concession stand is one menial task after another. Our primary duty is to work the cash registers and take care of customers. Most customers are perfectly friendly, but some are the kind of people that you just want to jump over the counter and beat the crap out of. One thing I notice is that most customers assume that the guy behind the counter is a complete idiot. I'll admit, a few people who work there aren't that bright, but we're not idiots. We respect the customers, but it seems like they don't respect us. That just makes me mad. There are a few things I really hate when it comes to customers' orders. First there is the indecisive person, they stand there for five minutes and rub their chin, mumbling, "Hmmmm....what should I get?" Meanwhile, there's about fifty people in line about to jump that guy. And then when this person orders, he asks for a box of Nerds. Then there's the pseudo-decisive person. He walks up to the counter, knowing exactly what he wants. He asks for a large popcorn with lots of butter, and a large Dr. Pepper, and some nachos. So I go get the popcorn, and the drink, and his stupid nachos. Then he says, "Never mind, I think I'll just have a water cup instead. Is that okay?" Of course, I reply that it's fine, but in reality I want to take the nachos, popcorn, and pop and shove it where the sun don't shine. And then all that food gets thrown away. We're not allowed to eat it. There are also picky people. They want their food their way. What bugs me the most is when people ask for "fresh popcorn". They point to the popper and say that they want it from there. People seem to think that the popcorn that is sitting in the popper is "fresher" than the popcorn in the warmer. I have news for you. It really makes no difference. We sell so much popcorn so fast that the popcorn in the warmers doesn't have time to get stale. In fact, employees aren't allowed to get popcorn directly from the popper and put it into the bags. We have a special scooper that we use to move the popcorn from underneath the popper and then we put it into a bin and transfer it into the warmers. We can't scoop directly into the bags because it can actually be dangerous. There are two popping kettles in each popper, and they're both 465 degrees. It's a serious burn hazard. In fact, I've burned myself on it a couple times. Here's what I have to do to get "fresh" popcorn. I have to use the special giant scooper to put the popcorn into the bin. Then I walk to the warmer and dump the popcorn into the warmer. Then I scoop it into the bag. This just wastes precious time. Trust me, there's no difference between warmer popcorn, and popcorn from the popper. So next time you go to the movies, please don't ask for "fresh" popcorn. It's the biggest pet peeve of concession workers.
    Speaking of popcorn, it makes the biggest messes known to man. The floor behind the concession stand is perpetually covered in popcorn. You can't walk without hearing a crunch. Popcorn is everwhere. It's in the drains on the floor, it's in the cabinets, it's on the counters, it's obviously on the floor, and it's even wedged between the baseboards on the floor and the wall. That stuff is impossible to get out. If you've ever seen a popcorn warmer, it's essentially a glass box with heating elements in it. There's popcorn stuck between the glass and the back wall. It is literally everywhere. And it's a bitch to clean up. Now matter how much you clean, there's always popcorn. There's only one place in the entire movie theater that doesn't have a speck of popcorn in it. It's the projector room. I have to say that the projector room is the coolest place in the whole movie. It's on the second floor (duh). There are twelve screens at my theater. The projectors are awesome. Each projector has a very large round platter next to it. The platters have the film on it, and they're about three feet in diameter. The rolls of film are a lot bigger than I thought they were. If a movie is an hour and a half long, it has about 130,000 frames. That's a lot of film. Next to the projectors are the digital sound decoders. There are knobs to adjust the volume in the theater, and you can even turn it up to listen to it upstairs. The sound decoders look really cool, they have lots of buttons and blinking lights.
    The absolute worst thing about the concession stand is cleaning. I usually work as a closer, which means I stay and help clean up the concession stand after all the movies are over. I usually don't go home until 1:00 or 2:00 AM. Closing isn't that bad a job, but there's one particular task I loathe: cleaning the popper. Cleaning a popcorn popper is probably the worst task you can get. It is tedioius and uses way too much elbow grease. My hands are sore because of constant scrubbing. I'd rather clean the entire building than scrub a popper.
    Another part of my job is working as an usher. Ushers are the guys who clean up the auditorium after each show. One thing that I hate is that there are usually only four ushers and sometimes three movies let out within a couple minutes of each other, and we end up having to scramble to get them all done. What bugs me is when people sit through the credits and watch the whole thing. We can't turn the lights on and start cleaning until everyone is gone. Then when we finally start, it's usually uneventful. The job when cleaning a theater is not to get it spotless, but just to sweep up what you can see. One thing I've noticed is that people are slobs. In most shows, over half the people leave their half-empty cups and popcorn bags in the seats. We have garbage cans. Is it so hard for people to clean up after themselves? What sucks the most is when somebody spills a tray of nachos on the carpet and gets cheese everywhere. That's really messy. But cleaning a theater does have its better parts. You wouldn't believe the stuff I've found. I found an empty Budweiser can, pop cans, candy we don't sell (people aren't supposed to bring in outside food), pairs of glasses, girl's sweaters, beanie babies (I gave it to my dog), house keys, hats, and money. That's the best part, a lot of people leave money under the seats. Sometimes it just falls out of their pockets. Usually it's just dimes and nickels, but one time I found $11. We always keep the money we find. Surprisingly, no one has ever come in looking for lost money. If you want a tip, make sure you didn't lose your money before you leave a theater. Because once they start cleaning, you won't get it back.
    The most unusual part of my job is actually the people I work with. I have never met a group of people so totally insane. I always thought I was the weirdest person I knew, but the people there get the credit now. Most of the people I work with are younger than me, so I can't blame them for their immaturity. Many of them do nothing but goof off. This one kid does more stupid and dangerous things than anyone, and he's never gotten a write-up. I'd fire him if I was a manager. He does stupid things like putting half a cup of salt and three times the normal amount of oil when making a kettle of popcorn. He says "trust me, this is good popcorn". The popcorn then pops up floating in grease, and it's so salty that your mouth puckers up when you eat it. Some other guys like to goof around later at night. When we close up the concession stand, any food like pretzels and popcorn are thrown out. Everything has to be counted and kept track of. After they count the stale pretzels, the crew leaders (one step higher than me, but one step lower than a manager) are supposed to throw them out. But sometimes they have fun with them. There is this special gum remover that freezes anything you spray it on. They take the old pretzels, which are hard enough to begin with, and freeze them solid. Then they throw the pretzels against the back wall, shattering them into a hundred pieces. I have to admit, that's pretty cool. Even though the people there are a bit weird, they're good people to work with. I've never met a nicer more closely-knit bunch of employees.
    Of course, the best part about working there is seeing free movies. I can go in anytime I'm not working and get a ticket for free. The only exception is a movie made by Sony or Columbia/Tri-Star Pictures. Nobody can get free tickets until two weeks after the movie is released. That's not the theater's policy, it's Sony's policy. That's one more reason why I hate Sony. On the first day that Final Fantasy came out, I went to see it. I brought $10 to buy popcorn. Unfortunately, the manager informed me that it was a Sony movie and I had to pay for the ticket. So I had to pay $9 to get me and my brother in. We didn't get any popcorn. The thing that reall sucked was they stopped showing Final Fantasy after two weeks, so I couldn't see it again for free. Final Fantasy was really good, by the way. The one thing that sucks about the free movies is that we get tickets for free, but we still have to pay for popcorn. The concession prices are highway robbery. A large drink is $3.75 and a large popcorn is $5.50. The only redeeming quality is that you get free refills on all size popcorn and drinks. So I usually get a small drink ($2.75). I usually sneak in a box of Junior Mints becase we don't sell them. I have to be careful because I could get in trouble if I get caught sneaking in food. I don't buy popcorn anymore because I have learned to hate it. Being around popcorn all day has made me never want to see another kernel again as long as I live. Not to mention when I go home I actually smell like popcorn. My dad pointed that out to me one day. I was driving in the car and he said, "Son, you smell like popcorn." I hate popcorn so much.
    Have you ever wondered how the soft drink fountains work? There are two lines that run into the machine. One is carbonated water and the other is the syrup. The two mix when they come out of the fountain. In the back room are racks of pop syrups all with little hoses attached to them. There are about thirty syrup boxes, each weighing about twenty pounds. And believe me, those things get messy. I think that pop syrup is the stickest substance known to man. It really sucks when someone drops a syrup box and spills it all over the floor. Cleaning up a syrup spill is really hard. Changing the syrup boxes sucks too. All the hozes and nozzles are perpetually covered in sticky syrup, and your hands end up getting covered in the stuff. It's just nasty. But the carbonation machines are cool. Water hoses run into any of three steel spheres that have compressed carbon dioxide in them. They have little relief valves that let out a jet of gas if you push the little lever. Gas is cool.
    In conclusion, working there is okay, but it's not a dream job. I'll just never eat popcorn again. Just the smell makes me nautious.

My Computer Desk

Before I get to the pics of my dog, I want to show you this first. Did you ever wonder where Kasuto works? Do you want to be like me and model your computer desk after mine? Well, take a look at a picture I took of my computer desk. This is where the "magic" happens.

As you can see, it's not a pretty sight. If you think this is messy, it might disturb you to know that I just got done cleaning up before taking this picture. You should see it when it's really messy. There's only one empty pop can there, but after a few days it usually piles up to about a dozen. I throw them away when I can't see the monitor anymore. You can see my computer and monitor on the left, and the printer and scanner on the right (the scanner is somewhere under all those papers). This is the workstation that pumps out So if you ever wonder where the site comes from, now you know.

A Semi-Biography of Me

Here's a little information about myself. I'll tell you some things about me, but not everything. I might put up a picture of myself some day, but not now.

Where I Live: Southwestern suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, USA. By the way, the "s" in Illinois is silent.

My favorite baseball team: Chicago Cubs. Yeah! The Cubbies rock! I don't really follow any other sports.

Favorite Baseball Players: Sammy Sosa, Rod Beck

Favorite TV Shows [with favorite characters]: Star Trek TNG [Riker], Star Trek Voyager [Janeway], Sliders [Rembrandt], The Lone Gunmen [Frohicke], The X-files [Cigarette Smoking Man] (only episodes with the Cigarette Smoking Man), Seven Days [Parker], Rocko's Modern Life [Filbert], The Tomorrow People [Adam], The Simpsons [Hans Moleman], Seinfeld [Kramer], The Man Show [The hosts, Adam and Jimmy], Time Trax [Selma], Gundam Wing [Dorothy Catalonia].

Favorite Movies:Milennium (completely unrelated to the TV show with the same name), The Abyss Special Edition, The X-files, Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz, Star Trek: First Contact, Back to the Future Trilogy, All the Star Wars movies, The Rock, Dumb and Dumber, Any Monty Python movie, The Net, Timecop, Half-Baked.

Hobbies: Playing on the computer for hours on end (duh), cooking and baking (I can make really good fried rice).

Favorite Books:Sphere [Michael Crichton], The Stand [Stephen King], Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars [A trilogy of books by Kim Stanley Robinson].

Favorite Music Genre and Music Groups: Japanese pop Music (J-Pop), Anime Music, Two-Mix, Ayumi Hamasaki, Misty Eyes, T.M. Revolution.

Favorite Songs: Brightness and Darkness [Gundam Wing image song sung by the voice actor of Lady Une, Sa Yuri], Joy to My Life [Gundam Wing image song sung by the voice actor of Dorothy Catalonia, Naoko Matsui], You [Ayumi Hamasaki], Last Impression [A Theme song for Gundam Wing, performed by Two-Mix], Mind Education [Misty Eyes], Heart of the Sword [Theme song to Ruroni Kenshin, performed by TM Revolution], I Am a Pioneer (both Japanese and English versions) [Theme song to Tenchi Muyo!], Adam's Song [Blink182].

Favorite Foods: Pepperoni pizza, sushi (yes, raw fish), miso soup, fried rice, Bourbon Street Steak (from Applebee's), caviar (fish eggs), alligator, salmon, Long John Silver's fish (the only non-salmon fish I like), crab legs (technically not a fish, it's a crustacean), dark chocolate, potato pancakes from this Polish buffet about twenty miles from my house.

Foods I Hate: Salisbury steak; any kind of Hamburger Helper; most food in the cafeteria at school; peas; anything "lite", low in fat, or low in calories.

Favorite Drinks: Coca-Cola (not Pepsi! I hate Pepsi!), Earl Grey tea (plain, with nothing in it), jasmine tea (again, with nothing in it), Jolt cola, Red Bull, Surge,

Drinks I Hate: Pepsi (I don't like it, but I'll drink it if I have to), pre-made chocolate milk (the kind they have in the little cartons at school), anything "diet", coffee (I hate coffee! It's repulsive!), anything with coffee or coffee flavoring as an ingredient, iced tea with sugar in it (I like my tea plain), sugar-free Kool-Aid (there's no point to Kool-Aid without the sugar).

My computer's specs: Gateway mid-tower computer (originally), 1.5 GBRAM, 20 GB & 80GB hard disks, Creative SB Live sound card with Boston Acoustic speakers and 150 watt subwoofer, ATI Radeon 64MB DDR ViVo video card, 32x/8x CD-ROM/DVD-ROM, 8x/4x CD-RW, HP Sanjet 4400c scanner, Espon Stylus Photo 780 printer, 17" Vivitron monitor, optical mouse with scrolling wheel (I love the wheel).

Software I use on my computer: MS Windows 98 SE, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Microsoft Office XP, Corel Draw 10 (including Photopaint), Adobe Photoshp 7, Macromedia Flash Animator 5, Quick Time Pro, Real Producer, Cool Edit Pro (expensive sound authoring software), Netscape Composer (I use it to create my website, but I hate the browser), Cool Speech (an awesome voice synthesizer), Ulead GIF animator.

My favorite video games: Zelda (of course, my favorite is Zelda II), Super Mario Bros. 1-3 (Mario attained perfection at 3), Doom (computer version), Doom II (computer version), Quake (computer version), Quake II (computer version).

Games and systems I hate: Any Pokémon game, Playstation 1 and 2, Dreamcast (a waste of money), X-box (I'm sure I'll hate it even more when it comes out). Basically I hate anything non-Nintendo. What can I say? Nintendo was there first, and they're still the best (okay, they weren't the first, but they were there in the beginning).

My favorite word: pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (longest word in the English language, it means "a lung disease in miners caused by inhalation of quartz or silica dust")

People I dislike or just plain hate: Anyone who burns the American flag (it's not exercising free speech, it's spitting on the memories of all the people who have died defending our freedom), racists, Communists, people who think the South won the civil war (let's face it people, the Confederacy lost, get with it; don't think that I hate Southerners, half my family is from Alabama), Al Gore (there's something about him I don't like), whoever was in charge of Commonwealth Edison when they laid off my dad (he worked there for 22 years as a nuclear engineer, and they fired him for no reason!), AOL-ers (brain-dead morons who think AOL is the Internet), people who think they know everything even though they obviously don't.

My pet peeves: When people say "nuculear" instead of "nuclear" (there's only one u people), when people pronounce Illinois like "Ill-ih-noiz", when people pronounce Antarctica like "Antartica" (it has two c sounds), when people say "warsh" or "worsh" instead of "wash" (my mom does this and it bugs the hell out of me), when people whistle in public, when people drive 20 MPH below the speed limit, when people leave their blinkers on for ten miles, when people use a blinker and turn in the opposite direction, when people blast rap music so loud that it can be heard from space, when people say "you know what I'm sayin'?" after every sentence, when people use "like" after every other word, feminine hygiene commercials.

My plans for the future: I am attending Loyola University Chicago, currently a sophomore, and I'm majoring in Computer Science (I switched from Biochemistry). So far in college, I took two semesters of Arabic, one semester of French, and I'm currently studying Hindi-Urdu, which I plan on taking for all four semesters.  

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