Mom Has Been Gone a Year This Week

by Peter Marus

I am writing this today because on the 2nd I may not be in the mood to write at all.  I also wanted to write today to get out some thoughts and feelings I am having.


One year ago today was the last day I saw my mother alive.  I remember going to the hospital to see her, where as usual she was happy to see me.  We spoke about some things like what the doctors said and how things were.  I remember mostly that she was accepting of her time was almost up, at least gave the impression.  She seemed at a peace that in hindsight should have told me she had only a couple days left.  Maybe she was getting ready to not be in the pain or suffering she was in, and just waiting for it to stop.


I remember telling her I loved her, kissing her on her forehead and saying goodbye for what would be the last time.  Throughout her entire hospital stay I had a feeling she wasn't going to make it out alive.  She had cancer and other health issues for some time and the treatments weren't really working well.  Small victories sure, but everyone knew the score. 


Next day my sister saw her, and when she left the nurse asked her for her number to get a hold of her.  As my sister went home, my mom died.  I was glad my sister was the last person to see her.  I always thought it was better her.  My sister did a ton for my mom over the last years of her life, and even up to the end.  Part of me was thinking my mom held out to see my sister  one last time and she died after accomplishing all she had to on this planet. 


I still have regret and sadness.  I wasn't the most patient with my mom or her situation.  I was wrong for that, I have to live with what I said and done during that time.  I feel I should have done more to make her feel better, but I failed her in that way. 


Want to know how I knew she was gone? Bette Midler's "The Rose" started playing where I worked-a song that doesn't play on the radio here.  That was the moment I knew she was gone.  Soon after I got the call, she is dead.


Anyway, I wanted to share these thoughts. Thank you for reading.I'll get back to writing about some other nonsense or minor issue in my life soon.

Going back

by Peter Marus

For the Fourth of July my wife and I went to the Poconos for a couple days.  It was the first time I spent significant time there since the early 2000s.  I was feeing different emotions leading to the trip, and after it I feel the same.  

First off, driving up there in a 2011 car compared to a 1996 one is a world of difference.  The Gas mileage I got was much better in the newer one (a Honda CR-V which for all intents and purposes has a Honda Accord engine in it).  I thought the meter was broken when I looked down and the car was almost sipping gas.  Then once the hills and mountain roads came into play, there went the fuel efficiency.  

Driving around up there was a "It's the same, but it's also different" feeing.  I was amazed how built up and modernize a lot of the areas were, but it also looked the same.  I drove around my old neighborhood and was glad to see the old house was being lived in.  I took my wife around to show the places where the stories I told her happened, and she appreciated that.   

After our shopping trip and tour to different vineyards and buying way too many bottles of wine, I was dead tired.  I did finally have some Sonic, which was interesting.  I spent the rest of the night taking everything in.  I feel happy I went up there, and should go there again, but I felt my parents there.  I had a lot of the memories of being in the area for so long go through my head, and I missed my parents.

My parents bought and built the house in 1987 and sold it in I think 2002 or 03.  I am amazed how they handled having two whole houses to upkeep and afford.  I do miss the house a little, and I understand when they sold the place.  But like I said, I miss the house and my parents. 

i love the Poconos, and I'd rather go someplace like there rather than a beach.  It was weird being in the area again, and I don't know going there more would lessen that.  Maybe going somewhere else like upstate or a totally different area to vacation would be better, but the familiarity of the Poconos does attract me.  Or I'm just being an idiot and overthinking.  

Improvement of life

by Peter Marus

I have been working hard to better my life.  For starts, in May I married my fiancee.  We had a ceremony at the courthouse.  The reason we did it this way is that we both have schedules where we are always working.  Also, we wanted to get it done.  Her mother was in the city at that time and we decided to get married.  I was a little nervous about the reaction from people, but it was positive at least on the surface.  So now my wife and I are not improving things like the house we are in and making it into our home.  I am so happy to share my life with her and we both help each other improve....though it's more her improving me than vice versa.

There are a couple other things I'm trying to improve.  One big one is my mental health.  I realized I seem to suffer from a lot of anxiety, which leads to my mind always thinking, mostly negative thoughts.  Rather than getting a doctor to stick me onto a pharmaceutical like Xanax, I looked up and found Kava kava.  I take it and it does make my mind clearer and calmer.  My worries so far are lessened, and I find myself productive.

Another way I'm trying to improve myself is professional.  I decided to learn Salesforce and try to obtain certification in that.  I started studying and watch videos on Salesforce.  It's not as daunting as I first thought it would be, but it is a deep subject and I have a lot to learn.

The New York Marks

by Peter Marus

I live in Queens and need to take the 7 train daily.  I hate it in the summertime when it's full of bros and dudes already gassed up to go to the baseball game in Flushing.  They go to see the New York Mets, AKA the New York Mutts and what I call them the New York Marks,

I used to be a Mets fan and a fan of baseball.  I won't go into detail why I stopped following both in detail, but I will say with the Mets it's more due to the inept ownership.  The Mets are run by a family that was duped by Bernie Madoff, and their stupidity and gullibility almost caused the downfall of their team.  This marks, a term for a sucker in a scam, believed their investment returns were never going to stop, they took out so many loans and spent money they didn't have on the team and the team did not live up to the investments.  They not only had to beg for money from MLB but had to take outside investors (which is almost its own pyramid scheme).  On top of all this is when the whole scam fell apart, the team was named as one of the biggest benefactors of the money being handed out.  So the creditors of the victims went after the Mets owners to get their money back.

So why are people still supporting a team ran like this?  This makes in my mind the fans bigger marks than the mark owners.  Seeing the "fanbase" though, it makes sense.  Most of the "fans" look like the type who are stealing money from old ladies and poor people just like their favorite team's owners.  Fuck them and fuck the Mets.  I wish these morons would be off my fucking train so I can get home in peace, or at least see some of these idiots stabbed on the train so I can have some enjoyment on my ride home.

A life without Facebook is a happier life

by Peter Marus

For the past several weeks, I stopped using Facebook.  I haven't totally stopped using it since I still use their message service for some people, but as far as Facebook proper I stopped using it.  

My reasons are simple.  There are so many falsehoods in how people portray themselves, and admittedly I am one is some form or another.  I would be at my job, usually in a mood due to my unhappiness about my job and place in the world in general, and seeing how happy people are in their lives led me to say to everyone "fuck your happiness".  At some point, I just said I don't want to not feel like that, so I decided to stop looking at Facebook.

I haven't quit all social media.  I am active on Twitter and Instagram, which sounds strange to some.  I find both those platforms more satisfying to look and be interactive on.  Twitter and Instagram have limitations put on the user, that limits the content one can post.  So both give more of a "snapshot" of what they are doing or how they feel. It's enough to say something, but it doesn't allow one to really construct a world of nonsense and lies like Facebook allows, or at least makes it more difficult for someone to do so.  I also find conversations on these platforms a lot more useful and "real".  The content found on both seem more solid and useful than what one finds on Facebook.

After this time, I feel happier.  I don't feel as much jealousy to other people and their "lives", or feel miserable when events I can't go to are being recapped or reported on.  Facebook always seems the most negative of the platforms, where people are more likely to tear one down rather than support.  Yes, I know there are many supportive points on Facebook, but they are dwarfed by the negative elements.  

Social media is an effective and useful idea and tool.  It just needs to be used right.  Studies have shown that it does lead to feelings of depression and unhappiness, but what should be looked at is something deeper-what those people look at and who they follow on it.

"Zelda" and mom

by Peter Marus

"The Legend of Zelda" is a video game series I always take time to try.  The latest one on Nintendo's new system looks to be the best, and I am going to get their system and play it.  The game series always has an emotional attachment to me because the first "Zelda" game was one I played along with my mom.   

My mom loved the game and it's puzzles.  I would play the game along with "Super Mario Brothers", and when I went to bed she would play them as well.  She and I would talk about "Zelda" and help each other in our games.  It was a cool thing.  She made it to the last part, but a friend of mine at the time accidentally loaded her game, not mine, to show me what to do at the game where I was having problems and beat the game with her save.  It was funny for a moment but it legit angered her since she wanted to win herself. 

That game and a couple others showed her the positives games have on kids and how they can help with hand eye coordination and problem solving skills. 

When I play games I think of her, and when I play "Zelda" games, I feel a level of emotional connection.  When I get the new system and game, I'm sure I'll feel like she's playing with me.

 

6 months after she left

by Peter Marus

It's been about six months since my mom died  I know at my age one would think it's strange, but I do miss her a lot and feel a level of being lost.  If you don't feel that without your parents around, there's something wrong with you.  I am still here in my house and slowly getting rid of stuff.  I am amazed with the level of crap my parents kept.  Most of it is stuff they just collected and mostly never thought of since getting them.  There's so much accumulated crap from dead relatives, and from others wanting us to hold stuff for them.  I know there's value with a lot of the stuff, especially the historical and sentimental aspect, but I want to shed a lot of if not all of them.  It feels like a weight on me, encumbering me in moving forward.  Should I keep a bunch of it to keep some link to the generations behind me? Probably, but at the same time it's things that don't give me joy or any emotional feeling.  I have my memories, which I value over a lot of the physical things.

Miss me?

by Peter Marus

SO, the past month or so I've been quiet.  Mostly every time I would come to this page to write, I would be too tired to put my thoughts into words.  Work has had me consumed, which sounds weird considering the job I do.  I also have been trying to navigate my feelings and thoughts I have.

This time of year is really tough for me, which I'm sure it is for many.  November and December are months where as much joy there should be, there is also a lot of sadness.  I've lost count how many relatives I've lost in these two months over the years.  It's sad, and this year losing my mother has added more to the sadness.  Thanksgiving was nice to have what's left of my family together and share in some joy.  I don't want to get into my work deal, beyond I've done 6 days a week for most of the year, and that's taken a toll physically and mentally.  More and more I feel like just leaving, but since I don't have anything to fall back on, I force myself to suck it up.  Looking for work is tough wth the time issue, and when I get home the last thing I want to do is look for work.  It forces me back into the feelings I feel as I work now, which aren't good enjoyable feelings.  I walk into the door at home, I just want to escape the day and spend time with my Fiancee.  

My Fiancee is one of the things that keeps me going.  Her love and support has been one of the main things that has kept me going.  She's done things I cannot repay her for.  We hosted Christmas at the house, and she cooked a fantastic meal.  She helped keep the mood right in the house.  My aunt and sister had their hesitations coming to the house, since they still haven't fully handled my Mom's death, but it was nice to see them.  It was nice to hear them happy to see us making the house more our own.

Seeing them and how they are trying to handle Mom and her death, made me realize I have had no time to do that.  After she died and we went through the funeral and stuff, I went straight to work.  I haven't had a moment to sit back away from everyone and everything and really figure out how I feel about it.  It's tough to explain, but I'd kill to just not work and kill any distractions I have to focus on me, be a selfish asshole, and get me right.  

A week on a ship

by Peter Marus

I spent on a week on a ship island hopping through the Caribbean.  The main purpose of the trip was for a wedding of my Fiancee's friend.  When we got to Florida we had to help the groom's family get to the boat, since apparently the groom was too lazy to do that himself.  After getting them to the port, and helping them figure out the bag tagging for them, the groom showed up.  Now, I always learned that you can tell by the quality of a man by the first handshake he gives.  After he realized who we were (he walked past us as if my Fiancee and I were ghosts), he shook my hand.  It was limp and pathetic.  That right there told me everything I needed to know about him.  I didn't need the fact that he openly ignored me when we passed each other on the ship, or when he ignored me and my Fiancee at dinner as he spoke to everyone else at the table we sat at.  When he did speak to me it was in an insulting way, which made my Fiancee rush me away from him before I spoke back to him.  Good thing is he's not my family's problem and I don't have to deal with him on any regular basis.  

Besides that nonsense, it was a fun trip.  spent a day in Jamaica, Cayman Islands, and Mexico.  I wish we had more time at each spot, but we got to spend time on the beach and tour the island of Cozumel.  The good news is on each spot I didn't get the feeling of hatred for American tourists, which I usually get around another Americans when they speak or do something on trips in other nations.  

Taking a cruise, you get to see every deadly sin in action.  It's quite fascinating.  You also see how Americans from different regions of the country interact with each other, which in general seems fine.  There wasn't a race war on the boat, no political arguments, just people having fun.  You also see Europeans react to our people, which was also nice.  Considering how many people are on a ship, and how often you are in the middle of the sea, it was good.  Maybe if our nation acted like a damn cruise ship, most of the nonsense we see wouldn't happen.  

Maybe this realization has been the years of martial arts training.  I found myself walking around not caring what I wore or how I looked, or if I offended anyone.  That level of confidence help get me through some of the nonsense, especially when it came to the other side of the wedding party.  It also helped me keep cool in times I may have not.  Like when this goofy white guy who was with the grooms party kept obnoxiously saying he's the token white guy, and at one point from what I hear, tried to equate himself with me.  Apparently he was shut up by being told that I was born and raised in Queens and probably more Dominican than half the Dominicans at the wedding.  

Lastly, since I got Miami stations in my room, I forgot how insane living in a battleground state is.  There were no ads for products on their stations, just attack ads after attack ads for every level of government.  Last time I saw that level of garbage was when I lived in Pennsylvania, which had just as many and stupid ads.  Both Florida and Pennsylvania ads have candidates damn near accuse the other of kid touching and animal torture.  I cannot wait until the election is over.

​The farce of the purity in sports.

by Peter Marus

I laugh at how some fans have some ideological idea how their team and sport should be ran.  Some say they are against the "modern" version of sports-where corporate $ comes into their league or team.  These are the fans who don't want success or to see their team evolve and grow.  These are also the people who get upset when a player for their team leaves to another.  This hypocritical attitude is comical.  So let me get this right, you can move to another company all YOU want for more money, have no qualms about it, but will lose their minds if a player for their favorite team does the same.

 

Those who want the romanticized way they want their sports played, keep watching kids leagues.  That's probably the only place your ideals are still present.  In the real world, sports are full of mercenaries playing for brutal sociopathic billionaires, all for the entertainment of the masses and giving the masses a sad and pathetic feeling of their primal urges nothing else gives them.

Alone at home

by Peter Marus

I"m sitting in my house alone.  Everyone else is gone for a few days.  I sit here and I am starting to really feel the ghosts of the past here.  I sit in the living room and just feel my family's history in this house.  Just before I started writing, I felt a need to talk to my mom.  I have those feelings a lot, but talking to her is a little difficult.  I look at the things in the room here and on the first floor, and it's a lot of stuff I don't want or need.  The house feels like a museum to my parents, and on some level it's a comforting thing.  But at the same time, I realize that in order to move forward with my life, I need to let go of the past in some ways.  This house needs to change, and it shouldn't feel like a continuation of what my parents had.  It's not an easy change, I dare say it's a little scary.  All change is scary, but it's both needed and inevitable.  All you can do is figure out the best solution to the change to benefit you the best.

Virtual assistants

by Peter Marus

I want to use these new virtual assistants.They all are interesting and seem cool to use.I have experience with all of them. They are still in their infancy, and much has improved in a lot of ways, but there are issues with each. Here's some thoughts I have on each:

Siri works great with Apple apps.  It works pretty seamlessly, but still needs voice recognition improvement.  It has potential if it wasn't so closed.  Also if hooked into search engines more to help give answers rather than just a list of links. Also limited access to apps help more, but not allowing apps that compete with their products like Spotify, hurt it.  I get the reason but at the same time it's irritating.

Google Now, which I don't fully use since I'm not on an Android phone, has a lot more use.  Not sure how hooked into apps they are, but it's better used with "real talk".  The cards work great, and if that could be the home page of a phone (which it might, I don't use Android phones).

Amazon Alexa works great with echo.  For a voice only assistant it works great.  It does use Google apps for calendar, reminders, but I wish it used apple and other companies API.  It does let me use Spotify, and uses other service but I haven't dove into them yet.  Alexa does with with smarthome stuff, and it's pretty sweet turning on and off lights with Alexa.

All three have their uses, and have potential, but being so siloed hurts all of them.

Picking up the pieces

by Peter Marus

I wrote a month ago about my tradition in life.  Since then it's still going on.  It's difficult to move though, since I have no time.  When my mom died, I did what most people do after a death: just get back into the hamster wheel and keep moving.  For the short term it works-it gives you a sense of normalcy.  What happens is some jobs like the one I have now, where you work six days a week, it puts you in a haze.  You have one day off to get two to three days work of errands and stuff done.  This isn't a productive way to live.  

I am now going to try to get my A+ certification again, despite the hurdles.  I am studying again and watching tutorial videos online.  It's funny what you need to know on the test that you'll probably never see in real life, which is how it goes in any certification test.  I wish I could take a formal class to re learn some of this, but my job wont accommodate that after saying I want to do this.  So despite them, I'm going to do it.  

Another issue is in my house.  I have my fiancée here and my sister.  My sister has a house on Long Island with her significant other but haven't fully moved in (they said it's because of they need work on it and with my mom dying it changed their plans).  The tow of them get along, but it feels like we are walking on eggshells.  My fiancée and I want to change some stuff in the house, but my sister doesn't want change.  It's frustrating and trying to work through it makes things a little dicey with my sister.  At some point it will come to a head and may not be pretty, but at the same time my fiancée moving in was planned long before my mom dying so I don't think my sister should be so put off with things. 

Positivity is something I'm trying to improve in my life as usual.  With all the negative crap I find myself in needs to change and I'm trying to fix myself.  I'm trying to talk myself up positivity, and stop all the negative talk my mind always has swirling in it all day at work.  It's important to do this since it's better for my well being, but also I have a lot of time to think at work, and I'd rather try to be more productive in that.

Transition

by Peter Marus

I've been moving forward with life since my mom's passing.  The past three weeks have been a blur.  After the funeral, I just jumped back into work, getting the house stuff done, and getting used to living with my now fiancée.   

My job has been the same, but it's now six days a week (it's been six days a week for months).  I know many people do that much a week, but those people also are paid well to compensate for it, and usually have a better schedule daily to make it work.  My schedule is 11am to 7 pm, which with trace means my "work day" is 9:30-8pm.  That leaves almost no time to get a lot done, like looking for better jobs or even have time to sit back and get my head straight with my feelings and thoughts on my mom's passing. My "day off" feels like another work day getting errands and a weekend worth of stuff done in one day.  

I'm starting to feel the effects of this.  Like I said, I really haven't had the time to sit back and get through my head and just the simple idea of feelings of her loss.  When my dad died it was almost the same thing, and it wasn't pretty.  

Its not like I'm going this alone.  I'm lucky my sister has helped out a lot with the stuff that needs to be done.  She's been a rock for me the past few weeks.  My fiancée also has helped with the house and getting it more set up "for us".  They have been invaluable in this time.   

Mad far as my career.  I don't want to settle anymore.  It's like buying clothes: settle with the bargain labels usually leads to disappointment, frustration, and just a feeling of being a waste of time.  Same is for companies you go to work for and find yourself in a company that's not "your level".  My past couple jobs have been that way, and I'm sick of it.  My career move is going to aim for better places to work with people on my level.  I busted my ass in school to not work for companies who seem to strive for mediocrity or just happy with "good enough"  with their work, while trying to keep their image up.  Or companies that, quite frankly, are full of people with their heads up their asses and wouldn't know if they should shit or wind their watches when it's time to step up.

All I have to now is find time to do my job search.  That's hard standing in a store all day and with only a smartphone, which limits my options for looking and applying for work.

That's my update.

Mom

by Peter Marus

I am writing this in lieu of a eulogy.  She didn't want one at her funeral, so there was none.  

Last Tuesday, my mom passed away.  She was in the hospital for a week prior fighting an infection that sent her blood pressure way down, and as much as she was improving, the years battling cancer and her other chronic issues finally was too much for her.  As sad as it is to lose her, I feel a bit of peace knowing she isn't suffering through the mountain of health issues she had.  

When she first went into the hospital, and had to be put on a breathing tube, my sister and I had to have it removed, as per her DNR/DNI she signed, freakishly, one year prior.  We had it removed, and she started breathing on her own.  After a couple days in ICU, she was moved to a regular room due to the amount she was improving.  When she was in her room, they were treating her for fluid in her lungs and her issues breathing (partly from all the fluids she was given).  Part of me knew it was coming to the end, even before home hospice came to speak with her.  She also knew, went as far as telling me.  She was calm about it or at least gave the illusion she was.  The day she died, my sister was with her moments before she did pass.  My sister left, and according to the nurse, she went quickly and peacefully.  I was glad my sister got to be the last family member to see her.  Sure, I'd love to have seen her one more time to tell her I loved her, but I am glad she saw a family member before leaving this world.

Dorothy Marus was an amazing woman.  She was a great mother, a teacher for countless young men and women in all her years teaching at St. Gabriel's in East Elmhurst, St. Pauls Episcopal School in College Point, and St. Stanislaus in Maspeth.  Her teaching and parenting-tough but fair_ mounded all those who were under her into better people.  She was selfless, compromising her health and her own needs for those who she loved.  She would go out of her way to help others, not out of self-gratification or her agenda, but out of a sense of duty and responsibility.  Her dedication was unquestioned.  Not to mention all she would do for our dogs, who she loved as if they were her own children.  

I am going to miss her, just like I miss my dad.  I'm scared and a little confused for my next step, I'll be honest, but I know what I do will be right, she taught me how to always do the right thing-even if it wasn't the easiest session to learn.  I really can't put into words here my thoughts, I have to still go through them, but I hope a little I have put makes sense and helps you understand.

I want to ask you to do one thing: I know she here have their issues with their moms, and may have estranged relationships with them.  I wish you do get a hold of your mom and just say hi and you love her.  You only get one in this world, and they are the ones who make you who you are (dads do too, but moms have a special thing, like the special thing they do to make food taste better, clothes cleaner, etc.).  You literally came from them, and I hope you make them know you appreciate that. 

too much stuff in life

by Peter Marus

I sit in my house, look around, and realize how much stuff I have around.  I have too much stuff!!

Life changes has me thinking of cleaning out a lot of it.  I don't need a lot of it, I have it around "just in case", and a lot is here because I never thought of getting rid of it.  I need to start clearing it out.  I kind of feel some claustrophobia having all this stuff.  Thing is I also feel a level of overwhelming thinking where to start.  

Part of me is thinking of just looking at something, and if I can't think of a legitimate reason to have it, toss it in a garbage bag.  Maybe I'll regret getting rid of something down the road, but that's the thought that has gotten me in this situation in the first place! 

I look at my house again, and see that this is the house in the family that tends to get "the dead people's stuff".  For years people die, and some of it ends up here because it's the place that has room.  Sure, some say to just hold it for a bit and we'll take it later, but they usually abandon the idea because "they couldn't make room", forget about it, or just con my family to take it.  I have no idea what actual value this stuff is, not do I really care.  It's just stuff to me, and it's taking up space.  

I can go through the whole "donate this crap to places like Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.", but that sounds like more work to get logistics in order, and time to make sure things are picked up.  Also, some of this stuff may not be taken by them for all I know.  I've thought also just emptying the garage, pile it up in there, and call those junk companies and pay them to take it away.  That sounds like a better idea, but a little pricy.  

The physical stuff is just that, stuff.  It's things or tools to get something done.  I have little emotional attachment to it, though some evokes emotions in me when I use them.  I think any emotional attachment is something that cause half of this crap is here.  I need to tap into my inner sociopath and just shut the emotions off and get this done.  

In a broader sense, I also have a lot of stuff in my head.  I have a lot on my mind, and it's taking up room and weighing me down.  It's a little paralyzing, and many of it in the bigger picture isn't needed.  It's also overwhelming to figure out how to get rid of the thoughts.  

Main thing to get out of all this: stop holding onto things, you run out of room.  

DMV, and some other random thoughts like my schedule has been

by Peter Marus

So for the past several weeks, I've been around, but not.  My job situation has had me working almost "on call", which is nice but also not nice to be honest.  It further forces me to decide if working is more important to personal matters.  Most days, I'm only told hours before a shift that I'm needed.  I have the options to say no, but its not a salary job-I don't work, I don't get paid.  One good thing is that it gives me the opportunity to work around new environments and see how other stores and companies work.  So I'll say it's a push as far as I like it or not, it's a job.  I'm always feeling the pull and press to figure out a balance of everything in my life-my mother's needs, my needs, etc.-but most people have these situations and issues, so I'm probably just sound like I'm pissing and moaning.  My schedule should be getting some stability back soon, but I'm always trying to get a better job that better fits my skills.

As far as my quest for a new job, I've felt lost a little.  I need to focus more on what exactly I want.  I've always been able to transition to different roles in different industries, but I need to at this point find something specific.  I enjoyed my last job working around the legal profession, company issues I had aside.  I may look to get into those roles.  I've been just applying to any administrative/office jobs, which is probably the worst way to do a job hunt.  I've been also trying recruiters at employment agencies, but so is everyone.  I need to figure out what to say/do to stand out as a candidate.  I thought I should try the "what I think is right, do the opposite", since apparently people say I should have gotten hired by someone easily but haven't.  Maybe I am just doing everything wrong.  Job hunting sometimes makes one question all you do  when things aren't working.  

With some of the free time I have, it's given me the chance to get some work done in my life.  One thing was getting my driver's license renewed.  I still had to the end of August to do it, but I figured I should get that done sooner rather than later.  I went to the DMV by MSG, figuring it's going to be an all day affair.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn I could go the the "DMV Xpress" a block over to get it done.  I knew of the DMV Xpress office, I did some business there regarding my old car.  I thought that place was just for license plates and other smaller services.  It was great to go there, it was almost empty, and get everything done quickly and easy.  I did spring for the "enhanced license".  It's what's probably going to be required soon for any travel.  If you don't have one, you'll need a passport for even a domestic flight (which seems to go against the "freedom of movement" thing in certain founding documents of this nation).  So after showing my SS card, passport, and proof I live in the state-and pay an extra $30 bucks-I now gave TSA and DHS more info to track me by.  DHS/TSA often feel like dealing with Tony Montana during the latter part of "Scarface", where his paranoia took control of him.  If DHS is Tony Montana, with publicl are like Manny, who would try to talk him off the edge, but feared what was going to come from the paranoia. So if you take anything from this entry, try to find a DMV Xpress and get things done easier for your automotive administrative needs.

 

Pass/fail-the fairest of grading

by Peter Marus

With today's emphasis on analytics in school, work, life in general, and with the need to quantify every single thing in life, it's distorted the simple question: Can someone meet the requirements of what they are doing?  

Look at sports for example.  Your salary is dependent on how well you play, and if a team will sign you when your contract is ended.  It used to be a scout would look at you, how you are playing, and if you are a fit for the system or philosophy of a team.  Now, teams employ an army of analysts who pour through statistics-physical and otherwise-and determine your worth via a spreadsheet and some graphs.  That info has a level of importance, I won't debate that, but what those numbers don't show is skills or knowledge of the sport the player is playing that can make a difference in action.  So players may will be overlooked, maybe ignored, and that player's earning potential is diminished.  This also is what affects you in your job.  Remember when you applied for a job and they asked for your GPA?  Why? what does that number say to an employer?  Why should it matter if you had a 4.5 or a 2.8 GPA.   You graduated and got the degree they are asking for.  I don't go around looking for the doctor who got the highest grade at  medical school, maybe they guy wasn't good at tests but when it comes to the hands-on work, he's world class.

Schools in general is really guilty of this, and it's been like that for years.  Look at the kids today and the stress they are under to keep one number high enough so someone will think they are smart enough to attend their institution.  Ironic is these kids are working to get into an institution, yet may need to be committed to one due to a mental breakdown.  All that grading shows is someone can remember facts, but doesn't show usage of said facts and information in practical applications.  THAT'S what is most important.  Like I said, I don't care if the doctor got a C or an A in medical school, can he care for me and make me better?  

I propose all schooling should be pass/fail.  It's simple, easy, and kids know what's expected of them.  I think it will be less stressful for kids (and adults) to just worry on getting the job done, rather than getting the job done with style points.  In the real world, no one cares about grades, but if your are competent enough to get a job done.  

One example of good grades but pathetic application of their so called "intelligence"?  most politicians.  Think about that.  We all know the genius who can't put his shoes on right, but the school idiot who is amazing at a skill and is making a good living doing it.  

Disclosure: my GPA was 2.8 at Penn State.  

Resume update, and my overall happiness in others is gone

by Peter Marus

Updated my resume part of this site.  Give a look let me know what you think, please.  

The past couple weeks has been somewhat stressful.  Quite frankly, the past several years has been.  Between my job status (which I'll get into that in another entry, with the life choice I made that led to where I am now), my family situation, and my need to fix everything myself and fix it now, I am at a limit I haven't been at in a while (probably never emotionally, but my dad's death may have had a little more impact on my emotions in grieving).  I am scared, frustrated, and just sad.  Happiness is in really small doses, but the bullshit that comes before and is still there after makes it less happy.  Because of this, and having to work every Saturday for the past 3 years straight-seeing how everyone around is happy and doing things, making their lives fuller and richer, I can honestly say one thing:

Fuck your happiness.

I cannot fake feeling good and pleased YOU are doing well.  I am jealous and angry YOU get to fulfill your dreams and do what you want, where I'm shackled with things that, quite frankly, is partly my doing.  This is why I'm going to stop looking at Facebook (posting will be there since it's tied to my Twitter account).  I can't see it on weekends, seeing everyone going to BJJ events, doing BJJ, soccer events-shit I can't do because my job, however shitty it is, is in the way and is all I got.  I'm keeping Twitter and Instagram going since they don't make me feel the jealousy and anger I get seeing Facebook.  I just can't sit on the side and act like I'm happy you get to move forward with your career and lives, where no matter how hard I"m trying to do the same, someone or something sabotages my work.  

Events last week has also have me possibly giving up more I find joy in.  I may have to give up BJJ.  I haven't been at training for two weeks due to work schedule (I have to take what I can get due to the store I was stationed in fucked up and is homeless for a couple months), so I have had to take overnight shifts last Tuesday and Wednesday nights.  They start 6pm and end about 9-9:30AM the next day.  Tuesday and Thursday mornings are the only morning classes and the only classes I can attend.  I couldn't go Tuesday because I wanted to sleep in as much to stay up late and Thursday I couldn't go due to finishing a 15 hour shift ending when class ended basically.  This week my schedule is 7:30m-4:30pm.  Theoretically I could make night classes, but since my sister has a late schedule and isn't home until 8-9pm at night, I have to get home as soon as I can to make sure my mom is ok, and make dinner for her and feed the dog.  Now, my sister will be moving out soon and I'll be then held responsible for my mom for the most part.  That means I have to make sure my mom is taken care of, go to work, then come home and make sure everything is ok.  I don't know where I can fit in any BJJ into that.  And I refuse to accept being the guy who shows up every couple weeks or once a month to train.  That's not me

What also triggered this thought of quitting BJJ is my mom fell last week, in front of me, and that scared the hell out of me.  This is the fourth or fifth time I've found her on the floor in my life, and this time just made me really get frightened for her.  the immunotherapy she's on has her head all foggy and she's confused sometimes (her short-term memory is shot), and her balance is off. So I hate being at work late, and I make a bee-line home to make sure she's OK.  Her sleep patterns are also shot, so my sister has to sleep in the living room in case my mom wakes up in the middle of the night.   My mom's legs are weak, so she needs help getting up sometimes and staying up.  So my sister has to be there at night so she can help my mom get to the bathroom.  This will probably be one of the many jobs I inherit when my sister moves out.  How am I supposed to train with all this going on?  Once again, you fuckers get to keep enjoying your lives, I am the exception that has to be the fucking responsible one.  

Anyone saying I'm just being a negative nelly or need to keep positive, my patience is gone with that mindset.  Getting a new job has been a long and ball breaking ordeal, which has gotten me nothing.  Taking care of my mom and her health is a cloud over everything/anything I do, just like my sister leaving to a new house with her fiancé.  Talking about it with everyone works to a point, until someone changes the plan because they feel like it, and fuck me royally (it's happened in the past with me).  

So keep on with your joy and feeling good about your worth and what you've done.  I'm done faking happiness for you.  Hell, some of your accomplishments and happiness is at the expense of me or because of me, and I've gotten jack shit from it.

So again: Fuck your happiness.  I have my happiness taken away from me piece by piece, so why should I feel good about you and your joy?

MLS Rivalry Week and Promotion/Relegation: Shut up about it!!!

by Peter Marus

Last week was the media-created MLS "Rivalry week".  It's to focus on three major "Rivalries" in Major League Soccer.  It's stupid because of the three games aren't TRUE rivalries.  Let me explain of each:

LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes-This used to be a real rivalry, but San Jose as an inactive franchise for a few years (the team moved to Houston and became the Dynamo). It's not the same as if both teams were still active for the entire time.  This one could be considered a rivalry in a few years, but now it's now in my opinion

Portland Timbers vs Vancouver Whitecaps-One that the media claims this has lasted since the 70s in the old NASL.  Again, one or both teams have been inactive for some time between then and now, on top of the names and logos may be the same of the original teams, but the ownership, leagues they both played in over time, and time "dead".  Along with this is either teams' rivalry with the Seattle Sounders.  Once again, has potential to be a big rivalry but needs time with current forms.

NYCFC vs. New York Red Bulls-this has only been around for two seasons.  The rivalry between them is as created organically as the NYCFC team was (just created with disregard to MLS' own rules for accepting franchises-I won't get into that).  Could be a rivalry but again, no history.

I hate "Rivalry Week", mostly for the stupidity and uncreative nonsense the fans throw out between each other  It's almost caused me to leave social media, and reminded me why there was a time I almost stopped watching soccer, and had to step back from being a more devoted fan.  I wrote a rant on Twitter and I'll post them in the order I wrote it.  It came at the point when the banter wasn't witty but stupid on my timeline about the "rivalry" between NYCFC and Red Bulls fans:

-Everyone talking about team’s ownership in MLS: you all realize MLS is 51% owner in ALL teams, everyone else is just investor, right?

-Also, maybe I’m older and from my BJJ experience, but I don’t HATE teams or players, I don’t like some but I still RESPECT them.

-Maybe things would be better if all fans do that, and focus on growing a league/sport than trying to cut it down in dumb ways

-Here’s the thing: MLS, and pretty much all teams and leagues are businesses, and businesses need $ to run.

-Esp. in soccer, some want to invest in the sport, fans don’t want that? OK, what do you want? back to shoddy leagues where no one cares?

-Or worse, anyone remember the 90s where ill-fit “businessmen” started a team, had no $ to run it, and the team didn’t least a full season?

-MLS, NASL, and USL for the most part have their reasons they only want big $ owners: to make $ and not have teams fold like old A-league.

-It just irks me seeing the stupidity “fans” throw at each other in sports with vitriol especially in a sport that can’t afford stupidity.

-It actually makes me ashamed sometimes to see those who call themselves “fans” of a team that is a business fight for it like it’s a cause.

-It’s not a cause, it’s a fucking business in entertainment that only cares your check clears for the ticket. Time at a game should bring joy.

-Ball busting between fans is fine, but when one tries to make it like it matters for their lives to where it consumes them? get help dude.

-Entertainment, and sports is just that, should be a small break from what’s wrong, not be another basis for more problems.

-I know many who are fans of rivals, we can talk in an intelligent way to each other. You know what? Its actually cool and you enjoy others

-Ranting tonight because A) I can, B) “rivalry week” reminds me of why I started to hate going to RBNY games, C) The talk btw fans is garbage

Part of this stream of conscience is from the other group of fans I am not happy with: those who want the promotion/relegation system in US pro soccer.  It's a system when good teams move to the higher league, while bad ones move to a lower league.  It's common around the world, but not here.  Some of the Euro jock sniffers want this in the US because "that' show the rest of the World works", and it's a more "fair" system.  Lower league teams for the most part are not stable organizations, and remind me of the pro teams that came around in the "dark ages" of US soccer.  They would set up shop in a league, have zero promotion budget (and budget to pay their players) and last the season.  People would be conned out of money and the owner either went bust or ran away with the money.  Promotion/relegation wouldn't change this.  Say what you want about the closed systems of MLS, NASL, and USL, but they work hard to make sure they accept ownerships who are stable and have the capital to run their teams.  For the most part, this system works. 

Again, I'm sick of the banter between soccer fans on this subject.  It's stupid, childish, and drags the entire sport down.  I wish everyone would shut up, enjoy their local teams no matter what level of soccer they play, and work together to grow the sport.  And fans should stop trying to be British Hooligans and try to recreate an era and culture that almost brought down soccer in the world during the 70s and 80s.  

Again, enjoy the sport for what it is, and Internet "soccer supporters" SHUT UP!!!