Sunday, January 30, 2011

Department of Corrections

Although it sounds more like gerbil rage than Whitman prose or Viking roar, about once a week, I use mkromd to sound my barbaric YAWP over the roofs of the world. Too bad the only people who read it are the ones who personally know me and love me regardless (and have heard all of it before) but indulge me anyway because I mercilessly badger them until they break down and comply. That said, being the totally shallow human being that I am, I’m completely OK with that… Because, you see, I really need/want to analytically dominate the Indonesian Blog, ketwawa lucu, and each visitor gets me one step closer to victory.

In other words, I want to break our international stalemate of five followers each.

Now, please understand something. I am immeasurably grateful for the five of you that I have. I honestly and sincerely appreciate each person and his or her time; however, there is one reader whom I simply cannot imagine a world without. Enter my oldest and dearest friend on this planet, MA. May each of you have a friend just like her - that person from college who you love instantly and stay close to - all of your life… the keeper of your memories and your secrets… and the one who was there for every adult-oriented, life-changing event that has ever happened to you. Grad school… first marriage… first job. Children being born… parents passing away. Divorce… second job… second marriage. The friend you cannot call to bail you out of prison because she’s in the cell beside you. Yes, that friend. And I’d like to introduce her into the cast of characters that are mkromd regulars. Because… in a way, this whole blog/site is her fault.

But, as always, before I can tell you that part of the story, I have to tell you this part first.

When MA and I met, almost two decades ago, we were not only broke grad students (who happened to be neighbors), she also became my boss (who let me share her office). I was doing my MBA in Marketing at the time and desperately needed a job… and she was an Editor who had just finished her Master’s Degree in Communications and kind-of needed a Technical Writer. Whether it was out of pity or love is irrelevant, she hired me, and the rest – as they say – is history. She honestly taught me everything I know about business writing… the hard way.
Because, she may have the face of a Botticelli angel, but she swears like a sailor and edits like Chuck Norris. No lie, she once had a staring contest with a manual that I wrote for her, and I swear… the book blinked before she did.

This is a woman who once beat me with my own edits. Really. She actually rolled up the document and beat me with it (knowing that I bruise like a peach, but I'm not bitter). When I told her, “I have the right to be comfortable in my place of employment,” she simply replied, “So do I and this kind of shitty writing puts me on edge. Fix it.” Clearly, this is why I love her to bits and wouldn't trade or change her for all of the tea in China. She’s a great editor, who is an even better writer, but she is also a fabulous support structure, human being, and friend. And... since I know she's reading this, let me say this to her directly: Please don't beat me for the typos in this post.

On that note, I won’t be talking to you next week. I’ll be hitting the slopes instead. Talk to you the week after.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Snowplow Drivers Blow

Years ago, my father told me, "A joke's not funny unless everyone laughs at the punch line." And while I might not always practice what he preached, I honestly try to. However, this week, I'm about to let snowplow drivers have it. So, if you happen fall into that professional demographic, you probably won’t see the humor in this post and may not want to keep reading. But, if you do continue on, and you’re offended – I am sorry… kind of.

Dear Snowplow Driver,

Before I say another word, it should be stated that I sincerely appreciate and applaud the work you do. I mean that. It cannot be easy to get up at 4:00 in the morning, get into a cold truck, and plow several feet of snow off the roads so that people can safely get where they need to go. Really, kudos to you for that; however, is it really fucking necessary to repeatedly push enough snow and ice into my driveway that I could sink the Titanic with it? Is it?

Seriously, thanks to you, every single day I have a wall of snow at the foot of my driveway that can only be described as a small iceberg. In fact, you should know that I actually asked my friend if I could borrow her sailboat, because I had a plan… a cunning plan, a plan - to quote the Black Adder that was, “so cunning you could slap a tail on it and call it a weasel.” I was going to park her sailboat in my yard, let you push your tsunami-sized wave of snow onto it, then have a black tie party on the boat… complete with life jackets for all and a band playing, “Nearer my God to Thee.”

Who knew there were local ordinances like that to protect civil servants like you from angry tax payers like me?

Sincerely - M. Kro, M.D.

At any rate, after I ran the idea past a neighbor, who is also our town Mayor and who told me no, I texted TB and said, “Since the city won’t let me go down with the ship and I can’t fight city hall, our Titanic party is a failed launch. Lunch?” She replied, “Our? Your. And if you have enough money to host a Titanic re-enactment party, then you have enough money for a damn snow blower. See you at noon.” How she can call a spade a spade in 160 characters or less, I have NO idea.

That said, she has clearly missed the boat on this one (pun intended).

The point isn't whether or not I can afford a snow blower (kind of). The point is that I’m tired of being a victim of his passive aggressive sense of humor, so I have chosen to make him a victim of mine. When I explained this over lunch, TB said, “I don’t think too many snow plow drivers read your blog.” I hate it when she’s right. But, to make me feel better, she gave me a copy of the soundtrack to Titanic, which I downloaded to my iPod. And though my rage is impotent and I cannot exact my revenge through rapier wit, I have new music to listen to while I shovel… again and again and again.

Talk to you next week.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A house divided against itself cannot stand

About two weeks ago, DB's daughter said, "mkromd, be alert - the world needs more lerts." And I laughed. In fact, I laughed all afternoon. I thought it was funny and clever and quick-witted. Then, later that day, I listened to National Public Radio (NPR) and heard about the Arizona Congresswoman and several others who were shot at a rally, and I sat in my car... in a parking lot… in shock... and I wept. Several people were killed, including a child, and many more were seriously wounded.

How have we come to this? How have we come to a place where, regardless of the motive, this could happen?

Now, please understand something. I don't pretend to be wise or eloquent, and I don't pretend to have answers. In fact, often times I simply accept the fact that when 'two roads diverge in a yellow wood,' I will take the one destined to get hit by a mudslide. But I'm heartsick. To my core, I am heartsick, and I cannot remain silent about what has happened: that for all of the problems in this world that require us to work together as a species… problems like global warming, hunger, poverty and war… we have chosen to be polarized. Problems that (to loosely quote Kennedy) ‘were created by men and must be solved by men’ which cannot be discussed let alone resolved because we cannot agree to civilly disagree.

Again, how have we come to this?

I wish I knew. With all my soul and every fiber of my being, I wish that I could scream loud enough or cry hard enough that someone, somewhere would stand up and make it stop. That said, it’s happening. This insanity has finally gone too far and people from every background and belief system are now standing together and saying, “ENOUGH! I will no longer tolerate or participate in your intolerance.” And I intend to lend my voice to theirs… because, at the end of the day, Margaret Mead really was right, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

And things NEED to change.

So, with that – forgive me. I’m going to break my own rule for this blog and disregard the advice a dear friend’s husband once gave to me, “Never discuss politics or religion with a person unless you’ve slept together… and even then – only if they know your real name… and even then – only if they ask you for your opinion.”

Here it goes… I’m going to pull out my soapbox and preach. defines alert as, “fully aware and attentive; wide-awake; keen.” So, if that’s the case, what does it mean to a lert? Since Webster never took a stab at that, I will. To me, a lert is someone who is present and kind and patient. They agree that love is stronger than hatred and that to change the world for the better - we have to change ourselves for good. But most importantly, they don't just finish the rest of Kennedy’s aforementioned quote... they live it,” No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.” So, take DB’s beautiful daughter’s advice. Be a lert. The world needs more of them.

Talk to you next week, and I promise I won’t preach at you.

NOTE: This was written two weeks ago after U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot. I'm happy to say that she's recovering, but it was still a tragic waste of human lives.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

We're watching you...

I have a confession to make. I'm addicted to analytics. It's sad (and slightly nerdy), but it's also very true. Seriously, as sick as this may sound, every day I wake up, have a cup of coffee, and log into mkromd to read and reply to your comments. Then I log into a back-end tool that allows me to see:
• What URLs are sending traffic to me (e.g. Facebook and Google).
• Which search terms people are using to find me (e.g. george carlin + my karma ran over my dogma).
• Where the people who read mkromd are geographically located (e.g. US, Canada, etc).

They're not person specific, I promise. It's way more generic and high-level than that. But it’s an addiction I’m forced to feed. At any rate, a couple weeks ago, during the Horray for Heifer drive, I reviewed my site stats and saw the funniest search string... EVER. How it brought them to mkromd, I have NO idea.

It said, "best nude babe touching boobs."

Now, for those of you who know me, and many of you do, I am by no means the best nude babe on the Internet. In fact, I’m only naked under my clothes, and as for the whole “touching boobs” thing… the only time I touch my boobs is to scoop them up and put them into a bra. Middle age is cruel. And… to prove my point, a while ago... before I went home to Appalachia for the holidays... I was standing in my bathroom… looking in the mirror… talking on the phone to my mom... and asking her how old she was when her face started sliding down her face.

She didn’t even have the decency to pause. She simply said, “About your age.”

After I thanked her for that touching mother-daughter bonding moment, I texted TB and said, “Let’s go drink like men then shop like women.” Now this is nothing new for us. There’s a restaurant near our mall that serves fabulous margaritas, so we went to dinner, had a few drinks, and walked over to Ann Taylor and Banana Republic.

The good news is that I found a GORGEOUS dress for a great price. The bad news is that it was a size two. TB, being the true best friend that she is… looked at me and said, “Are you too drunk to read the tag? It's a SIZE TWO.” After I reminded her that she was a bitch but I loved her anyway, I took it into the dressing room and proceeded to try it on. Around twenty minutes and a hundred expletives later, I got the damn thing on. It looked obscene... but I got it on. The problem is that I couldn’t get it off.

I had to ask TB to come into the dressing room and help me.

Do you know that she actually walked in… saw me… and walked out. She abandoned me. After a decade of codependent, dignity-compromising moments, she left me there to fend for myself. And worse than that, I could hear her laughing… from the FRONT OF THE STORE. Being the great best friend that I am, I called her cell phone and said, “Get your skinny ass back here and get me out of this dress, or I swear to God - I will wear it to the register and buy it, and you will have to walk back to your car with me looking like this.” Needless to say, she was back before I could hang up.

This is how you know you have the right best friend. Well, that and what happened next.

She literally stood on the dressing room bench, bent me over, and put her foot on my head to push me out of that fucking thing. I swear it was designed by Kafka. So there we were, trying to peel me out of this dress, when she said… “Sorry sweetie, you’re stuck. The good news is that it totally shows off your back-cleavage.” The saddest part of this WHOLE story is that she was right. I honestly looked like a human push-me, pull-me. It was so tight that, while I may have looked like a C cup in the front, I definitely looked like a D cup in the back. Anyway, I’m pleased to report that we were successful (eventually).

But I digress…

The point is this: Irony is as cruel as karma, and they often go hand-in-hand. Because - now, when some hormonal fifteen year old boy DOES Google "best nude babe touching boobs," he won't get pictures of a drunken twenty-one year old co-ed from "Girls Gone Wild." Instead, he will be directed to mkromd... a blog about mid-life crisis women gone crazy... which can ALSO be found by using the search string, "lesbians + shaved head." And these boys
will have no one to blame but themselves if they're traumatized.

Talk to you next week.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Let’s Mambo

Three things…

  • First of all, Happy New Year. I hope your holiday season was safe and warm.
  • Secondly, thank you for donating your time and thoughts to mkromd. In return, I’m pleased to report that we have officially purchased honeybees for Heifer International.
  • Thirdly, sorry for the belated post. I was visiting my family in Appalachia.

It was good to go home, but I'm glad to be back. And, I don't know what you were up to at midnight on the 31st, but after kissing DB goodnight and heading up to bed, I laid there thinking about what I did and didn’t accomplish in 2010 and making resolutions for what I intend to achieve in 2011.

Here’s what I didn’t do:

  • I didn’t lose ten pounds. Instead, I found fifteen.
  • I didn’t read “The Art of Happiness” by the Dalai Lama. Instead, I listened to it on CD… and I lied about it... to a Zen Buddhist Roshi.

No, it's true. I did. Last week, DB and I had lunch with a local Teacher who asked what I thought of the book, and instead of admitting that I cheated, I said, “To quote his Holiness, ‘‘The secret to happiness is honesty and kindness.” And, even though I added, “However, to also quote the great Groucho Marx, ‘If you can fake that, you've got it made,” I’m pretty sure I put another nail in my own karmic coffin. But really, let's be honest... if I get caught on that, it's like catching Al Capone on tax evasion. It's a karmic technicality.

At any rate, this year I vow to:

  • Lose fifteen pounds.
  • Not get a Chihuahua. Not get a Chihuahua. Not get a Chihuahua. Not get a Chihuahua.
  • Post every week. I just don’t promise that it will be funny or relevant to anyone but me.
  • Run twice a week, and not just to the vending machine for a Snickers.
  • Not get a Chihuahua. Not get a Chihuahua. Not get a Chihuahua. Not get a Chihuahua.
  • Keep my promise to DB and finish, Eckhart Tolle’s, “A New Earth: Awakening to your Life’s Purpose.” In his defense, he gave it to me two years ago before we started dating. In my defense, I’ve tried to read it. It’s about learning to extinguish your ego, and the thing is… I like my ego. In fact, I like it so much that sometimes I take it to Ann Taylor for shoes or out to dinner and a movie.
  • Not get a Chihuahua. Not get a Chihuahua. Not get a Chihuahua. Not get a Chihuahua.

Did I mention the Chihuahua? You see, my mom has one, and I never thought I would want or love an accessory dog, but I need this animal. He’s five pounds and has the soul of a Mastiff. His name is Cisco, and I cannot walk into a room without picking him up and bellowing out, “Let’s MAAAAMBO!” Then, I’m so shameless that I dance him around the house singing, “Cisco loves Mambo”… Yes, just like Perry Como. And regardless of the fact that my nieces and nephews love when I do it, my mom swears her dog hates it (even though his eyes say otherwise).

Anyway, that’s it for now. I have to get started on the rest of my New Year’s Resolutions. Talk to you next week.