Heavenly Complaint

David had been in Heaven for a little bit now, and all in all, it was quite nice for him. With a place like heaven, how could it not be everything that you’d expect?

David was a good person. That’s how he got in to the pearly gates. He died young but it wasn’t anything crazy tragic. Of course dying young is a terrible thing to happen. Especially for your family. But David’s death was pretty great compared to most last-days-on-Earth. But David’s death was not important. Such a topic is taboo in Heaven. No, it’s what was sitting right in front of David that was the problem.

There was a fly in his soup.

David enjoyed the food in Heaven, very much. He would meet up with his friends and relatives that had passed and they would all have great conversation over food cooked by all of the greatest dead chefs. The food was always delicious and there was nothing to complain about.

Except this damn fly in David’s soup.

David wondered how the small creature even made it’s way into his broccoli and cheese soup. Was this a prank? Were there practical jokes in Heaven? David remembered that this was heaven and that there’s a reserved space in hell for people who play pranks.

David wondered if he should make a complaint.

But a complaint? In Heaven? It was unheard of. Literally unheard of because no one since the beginning of Heaven had made a complaint about the place.

David was hungry though. He thought about not finishing it and ordering something else. But ordering something else would be weird and he was still fairly new to Heaven and didn’t want to be that guy.

David was getting hungrier and hungrier.

The worse part about the fly was that it wasn’t completely dead. Nothing is dead in heaven so this bug was free to flop around in David’s dish, full of life. It’s almost as if the fly was in its own personal heaven. David thought about this for a second.

He didn’t want to be a murderer in Heaven.

Are bugs untouchable up here? David thought. He hadn’t really seen any type of bug since his time here but maybe they were all enjoying themselves out of sight and not having to deal with being squished by a human.

David decides to eat and work around the fly in his soup.

After more than a few attempts, David decides that this just isn’t worth it. He had lived a good life and shouldn’t have to deal with a fly in his soup. He decides that it would be a good idea to take it up with the “Big Guy.”

David left the table with the fly enjoying David’s meal more than he did.

David asked around to various friends about the best way to make a complaint. They all tried to shut him up because no one should complain in Heaven. “Just be glad you got in.” was the most popular response. “Maybe the fly would have tasted delicious?” was the least popular response.

David couldn’t stop thinking about the fly so he did his research and actually found a way to have a chat with his Creator, you know, without doing it the old fashioned way of praying. David wanted some face time with God.

After two weeks, his wish was granted by an Angel and he ordered to be available on Tuesday morning. The phone call he received was vague and when David asked where he should meet God, the Angel quickly responded, “He’ll meet you” and hung up the phone.

Tuesday came and sure enough, God was in David’s living room when he came downstairs to make his morning coffee. God was sitting on David’s couch, but it wasn’t quite sitting in the way you’d think.  It was almost like he was floating and relaxing at the same time.  God had reached true couch comfort and was ready for his meeting with David. 

“Sorry to show up like this, I am a morning person and I like to get my work done first thing.” Said God

Before David could respond, God spoke once more.

“You see David, I know all about you. I knew about your complaint before you made a complaint.”

David tried to respond.

“Hush please, I am God but I have little patience and a lot to do. Now, don’t you think that having a fly in your soup was a test? Surely you didn’t think that just making it into heaven meant that you wouldn’t be tested every now and again.”

David pondered this and started to realize what a fool he has been.

“Please don’t feel like a fool, this happens a lot. I am a forgiving omnipresent being and will let this one slide. You can still be here safely in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

David tried to thank God before he got up off the couch. In one quick maneuver God rose off the couch, he avoided the awkward grunt that most humans feel the need to let out when leaving any furniture.

“No need to thank me, It’s what I do. Just remember, next time you find something you want to complain about, just realize how much time you wasted to say it to someone who doesn’t really care.”

David changed his body language and was ready to speak.

“I do care about you, David. But it’s a universal fact that no one cares about people’s complaints. So please, unless you find out that a murderer made his or her way into Heaven, keep your complaints to yourself because now I have to think of a new way to test your patience with waiters.”

David looked down and realized that he had been short with waiters down on Earth and he should have been smart enough to realize this was a test. After all, he was in Heaven.

“Enjoy Heaven, David. We have a lot to offer here. Who knows, that fly could have tasted great?”

God exited David’s condo and left a cool breeze that only left David with uplifting spirits. David had been wrong to complain to management in Heaven and he was dedicated to live the rest of his time there with joy.

Meanwhile, God had to get on with his day and cross items off of his to-do list. His next stop would be the kitchen to fire the chef.

“Is this another one of your tests, Lord?” asked the faithful chef.

“Yeeessssss. As you know, I do like tests.” Replied The Almighty.

“Oh Master, I will keep my faith and follow you through adversity.” Cried the chef as he hung up his apron.

God rested his hand upon the chef’s shoulder and replied: 

“We’ve also had some complaints about the soup, so this is more of a judgment call.”

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I love you Marvin

Greetings earthlings!

When I was growing up I was greatly inspired by two Mels in my life. The first was, and still is- Mel Brooks. The second, and probably more influential was Mel Blanc- also known as “The man of a thousand voices.”

You may not know any of Mel Blanc’s work off the top of your head so let me make a quick list (just to name a few): Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety, Sylvester, Speedy GonzalesYosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Wile E. Coyote, and most importantly…Marvin the Martian

That’s right, as a 32 year old man I can still happily say that any time I see or hear about Marvin the Martian that it brings me joy. I will tell you one thing (followed by another thing)…I can’t stand how Marvin the Martian got the reputation of being an angry Tune. Looney? Yes. Angry? Sometimes.

We’ve all seen Marvin the Martian shirts where he is grumpy and about to lose it. If not, here is a reference:

Exhibit A: See the look in his eyes.

I will tell you why I want to defend my out-of-this-world friend: Because he’s a loner looking for love and attention. So you can probably make the connection why I liked him so much at a young age..

You’re probably asking yourself “Mark, why do you care so much?” to which I would reply “Because friends stick up for friends.”

Bugs Bunny Ain’t Shit

That’s right. Bugs has been getting all the attention since the tunes hit the media. Case in point: He is the star player on the Tune Squad! Who was Marvin the Martian in Space Jam? The fuckin’ referee…he wasn’t even asked to play on either side- even when the opposing team was FROM SPACE!

Now, I have thought about this (mostly while awake and sleep training my daughter) The referee role perfectly sums up Marvin though. He just wants to keep things fair and balanced in a world that has been turned upside down and invaded.

Back to Bugs (aint funny) Bunny…Marvin spent his career exploring space and inventing new gadgets. Only to have them blown up in his face by Bugs Bunny! Did he try to destroy earth once or twice? Sure.. but who hasn’t!?

Given the choice: I would rather have Marvin the Martian babysit than Bugs Bunny.

Just look at that bad influence!


Man’s Best Friend

Marvin had to be a good Martian because he had a faithful martian dog appropriately named K-9.

Go team!

K-9 would always obey Marvin and they would go on adventures together that were often thwarted by Bugs Bunny or worse, Duck Dodgers…

The Real Enemy

Duck Dodgers was the space version of Daffy Duck and he was a jerk. He’s pretty much the “Duff Man” super hero in Looney Tunes that tried to destroy Marvin at all costs.

Such a bad leader…

Marvin would be minding his own business and exploring planets. Then, when he would successfully find new territory…and being the marketing genius he is- he would plant his flag into the ground.

Then Duck Dodgers would come along and zap him and take his land. WHAT AN ASS!

Who prevailed? Duck (dickhead) Dodgers. He even got his own spinoff tv series on Cartoon Network appropriately named: Duck Dodgers. At least he and Marvin teamed up a little on that show to fight evil.

Notice how Marvin looks scared.

A Martian in love

Marvin even had his space sites on an out-of-this world Queen named Queen Tyr’ahnee

Can you blame him?

Unfortunately Queen Tyr’ahnee only had eyes for Duck (douche) Dodgers:

It’s lonely out here in space..

Bring this back to earth

Ok, if you don’t see my passion for re-branding Marvin the Martian- that’s fine. But at least hear me out for one last thing (see I told you there would be more).

Marvin, although he is a Martian, was the most human tune on the show. He experienced every emotion love, hate, happiness, anger, joy, loss..he felt it all!

We haven’t seen much of Marvin lately for one good reason: He’s a papa to a baby girl.

Marvin and Marcia Martian

Another reason I will keep on claiming that Marvin the Martian was the greatest tune the screen has ever seen. Thank you for your time and remember to love like a martian.

My Apologies

 

Dear Trailblazerblogger43,

I’m sorry- but I’m the guy that walked through your picture. I didn’t mean to, I swear. But we both know it happened and I am pretty sure you’re upset because if you tried to upload your photo to your travel blog, you saw a photo with a pale, white man in a business shirt that was in a hurry to catch his train- obviously not the type of photo that would get a lot of interest on your amateur content site.

Look, again, I’m sorry. You probably spent a lot of money traveling to New York City but you’ve got to understand, people live here and have places to go. We aren’t all tourist.

I don’t say that in a mean way, I am just trying to defend myself a little bit. Let me paint a picture of reality…I live here and I probably end up in hundreds, if not thousands of pictures a year- especially since I commonly use Grand Central Terminal as a way to see my folks in Poughkeepsie.

If I were to jump and sway my myself out of every camera pointed at me, I would be volunteering for a task that I do not want to do. My time is limited as it is and even if I was dedicated to this task, I would probably only avoid thirty percent of the photos…a failing rate.

Thank you for your understanding. Hope you enjoyed your vacation in the greatest city in the world. NYC. The Big Apple, baby.

P.S- you were facing the sun. When I took a photography class in college, the professor told us to always have the sun behind us to accent your focal point.

So, to be honest- your picture was probably ruined from the start.

Safe travels home.

Life Cycle

As you may have noticed from scrolling through the pages of this here website, I don’t exactly have consistency with the type of content that I post. If I was still a “professional” blog writer, my editor and SEO marketing manager would tell me to fix that so I can maintain my minimum wage job status while struggling through cancer recovery..(breathe).

Sorry- did I get off on a tangent?

Anyway, happy to report that I no longer take orders from a blog manager, influencer, SEO commander, or whatever-the-hell they are calling themselves. Don’t get me wrong, there jobs aren’t easy, but that life isn’t for me. (He said while he continued to write his personal blog for free).

Look, I didn’t really plan on posting that much on here. But my ego got super boosted when I saw that a lot of people seemed to have been responding to what I post. So I did what any good American would do and decided to feed me ego and get ta writin’ sum more.

Side note: In my opinion, ego isn’t bad. It’s just the way you execute it…Kanye, A-Rod, and (probably) Leonardo DiCaprio would say it’s confidence and not ego that drives them. Personally, I think confidence is ego with Ray Ban sunglasses on. Neither are bad, but too much of the other will probably leave you crying in the shower…or as I call it “Tuesday.”

Man, did I get off topic. Bare with me, kinda free flowing all of this because I have been so backed up with words for so long…(ahem).

Life: what is it? why are we here? And what is better than a good turkey sandwich?

I ask these important questions because my good friends at Facebook like to have “memories” and that is what sparked this post..

I don’t have to tell you that life is weird and can’t be explained by anyone. If someone tells you they have the secret to life- ask them how much it costs and then report them to the Better Business Bureau.

Heres how Facebook wanted to let me know that life’s content isn’t consistent:

4 Years ago: I was in chemo therapy at Sloan Kettering receiving treatment and being delivered amazing banana bread (s/o to Sofiya Alexandra) totally fogged and detached. Although I think I did some writing..

8 years ago: I was working in Los Angeles and performing at iO West theatre (RIP). Our group “First World Problems” was on a long run of successful shows, depending on who you ask.

9 Years ago today, I got in my car and moved to Los Angeles. Slept on couches (s/o to Phil Tipping) until I landed in a sweet house in Eagle Rock, CA on an air mattress that had just sprung a leak…I then called my Mom to tell her how well I was doing.

10 years ago today: I boasted about making a great Turkey Sandwich.

Your biggest Influencer you follow on Instagram doesn’t need to tell you that life has ups and downs. I just told you that, so like, don’t read their post..just scroll past it; please keep reading this one though because I promise I am almost done.

(clears throat and straightens clip on tie)

I will never forget an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine when Detective Jake Perelta (Andy Samberg) misses out on a date with Lt. Amy Santiago ( Melissa Fumero) to a well respected and super-star colleague: Detective Dave Majors (Garret Dillahunt).

SPOILER ALERT!

The episode ends with Amy not having a great time with Dave on a date they had, mostly because she had eyes for someone else in the precinct… Jake runs into him and says “you must be pretty bummed you two didn’t hit it off.”

Dave simply replies with: “Not really, I can’t wait to see what happens to me next” and walks off.

THAT is the line that I always remember when the world is upside-down because to Dave Majors, there was no up or down..there just was- and he couldn’t wait to see what life is.

I’m going to post this on Facebook so I get a memory of memories that I shared because I want to remember how happy I am today. (S/O to my amazing wife Jade and our “sweet pea”).

 

*S/O to the writers of Season 2 Epsisode 21

 

Imagine That

 

Christopher, a young boy sits at the edge of the bed and begins to talk to his best friend.

Hi, Mr. Jinksy thank you for seeing me today, would you like a cookie? My mom made them fresh and I told her to burn them a little bit, just how you like them. Oh you don’t want a cookie? You sure? Because I am only going to offer it once…

Christopher sets down the tray of cookies next to him and wipes his hands. 

Now, lets get down to what I wanted to talk to you about. As you know, we’ve been friends for, well since I could count. You’ve helped me through thunderstorms, cleaning my room, and even offered me advice on what clothes I should wear and I can’t thank you enough.

(sigh)

But it needs to stop Mr. Jinksy.

You see, I know you’re real but I also know I imagined you.. I think it’s time to say goodbye. It’s not that I don’t love our time together or that I imagined another friend, not at all. The reason for this parting is because I think you and I both knew this day would come and it’s up to me to be the one who breaks the bond.

Listen, this isn’t completely goodbye. I wouldn’t mind it at all if you dropped by every once in a while on holidays or for big life events, just give me a heads up so I can make myself available, I’m almost 8 and I have a lot coming up.

I hope you didn’t think I was just going to cast you off into the dark world alone. No, I set up some meetings with younger kids in the neighborhood that would love your company; most of them have the same sense of humor as you so it’ll be a great match.

Thank you for everything Mr. Jinksy. Good luck in life and I hope to see you again soon.

Christopher performs an intricate handshake with his imaginary friend and waves goodbye after wiping a tear from his face.

Wait Mr. Jinksy. I changed my mind! I’m not ready to lose a friend. Come back! I was wrong!

Christopher looks around the room

Mr. Jinksy?

Checks another spot

MR. JINKSY?!?

 Finally under the bed. Nothing.

(Sigh)

*Christopher kept his promise and set up those meetings. Mr. Jinksy was matched perfectly with a 5-year-old girl down the street named Penelope. Mr. Jinksy kept his promise as well; he visited on holidays but couldn’t make it to Christopher’s graduation because he already promised Penelope to be there for her driving test.

Christopher went on to create “Imagine App” A full service application device (with parental controls) that pairs young kids with imaginary friends that are available and nearby. He now owns a luxury condo in Boulder, CO with his wife and daughter whom he shares his slightly burnt cookies with on special occasions.

 

 

 

 

Time to Heal

Ok, so I am starting to feel a little bit better after my second round of chemo. I am halfway home. Still not feeling 100 percent but who does feel 100 percent every day anyway? Maybe Taylor Swift does…

I noticed that looking at old pictures helps me get excited for the future, because right now all I feel is trapped in this distorted reality of chemo. The pictures help me realize that the chemo isn’t the only reality that I will be living in my whole life. It’s where I have to stay now, but I definitely have my bags packed for a future destination.

Chemo has been hard, but it has also been healing. My tumor markers are going down and I am winning the rounds, even though I have taken a few blows below the belt. Luckily my fiancée has been there to hit hard when cancer plays unfair. Cancer doesn’t stand a chance with Jade in my corner.

There are many websites, specials, books, and commercials that try to tell you how cancer feels and how you can fight it but I feel like nothing seems to work except time.

Yeah sure, you could paint a picture and feel pretty good for a bit, but nothing is going to take away the pain and confusion of chemo like time. Not even a book recommend by Oprah Winfrey that promises all the secrets.

I don’t want to be a downer at all, the last thing I want is someone else bummed out. I guess I am just trying to be OK with time lately because with time comes healing. And healing is what I ache for but I am an impatient person, especially during times of healing.

The hard reality about serious healing is that life doesn’t say “Hey buddy, you’re going through something awful, give it like 5 minutes and you’ll feel GREAT! Someone may even name a building after you for your struggles!”

No, usually it’s “Hey dude, take a number, we’ll get ya fixed up but ya gotta put some work in yourself before we can truly say you’re healed. Oh, and by the way, it’s gonna suck and you’re probably gonna cry. Most people cry here. But hey, Maybe you’ll learn something along the way? Either way we’re kinda backed up so it’ll be some time. Just take a number”

( The Healing Shop closes for the day and Mark is left confused, again. Mark reviews his healing ticket as he waits at the Reality Shift Station with his bags packed and hopes that the train is running on time.)

So this is what it feels like (again).

I have been worried about starting a blog of what I have been going through. After all, I hardly think everyone wants to know what it’s like to go through cancer. Let alone for a second time.

So I decided to create a website built around my content and situation. You see, if you visit every so often, you won’t always get an article about my journey through cancer. You may also get a sketch, humor article, or updates about my apps.

I just want this site to be a place where I can display some of the things that rush around in my brain that keep me up at night. Maybe someone else will be able to say “me too!” or another will think “that’s odd” but I am (sort of) okay with both responses. So please join me on my journey of content. I promise not to use too many swear words.

And if I have ruined your time visiting, please end your journey with this picture of my dog, Westley.

Westley helps with the laundry.
Westley helps with the laundry.