Category: Changing Times

Dec 21, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Ice Cream Memories

I’m lucky. A hand-cranked freezer is the star of my first ice cream memory. I’d eaten the store-bought version before, but making our own ice cream was a special occasion. Vanilla was the norm, augmented sometimes with strawberries, peaches, or bananas. Licking the paddles was the reward for helping with the cranking. Sometimes — not very often — Dad took us out for ice cream. Whether soft-serve or hand-dipped, he always got a banana split. I got a cone. Chocolate chip was my favorite, but I liked vanilla or chocolate almost as much. We had Mr. Softee back then — a mobile ice cream shop with soft-serve ice cream and other frozen treats. I became addicted. When the truck came down …

Dec 07, 2015
By Michael Rupured

The Party Scene

Partying is a part of growing up. At some point, most people go through a party phase. A few souls avoid the party scene all together, but most people take at least a short tour. Some never leave. The party scene revolves around alcohol, music, and sex. Drugs have always been around, but didn’t become mainstream until maybe the Sixties. Things have changed a lot since then. I smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol before I was old enough to drive a car. I added marijuana to the mix in college. A few months later, I lost my virginity. Within a year, I’d figured out I was gay. My friends and I went out six nights a week, only because nothing was open on Sundays. We’d hang out before …

Nov 23, 2015
By Michael Rupured

No Tipping?

The latest trend in upscale dining is to do away with tipping. Instead, fine dining establishments say they will pay staff a respectable wage. Of course, they’ll also jack prices up by twenty percent or more to cover the cost of higher wages. Many moons ago, I waited tables. For more than a decade, I pasted a smile on my face and did my best to please often surly customers. Although I did my time in a dive or two, most of the restaurants where I worked were high end. For much of that time, the money I made waiting tables was my only source of income. I was paid $2.01 an hour (eventually it went up to $2.10) without any …

Nov 13, 2015
By Michael Rupured

My Work Here is Done

My dear friend has been in rehab for almost five months now. After 90 days in the program, he earns a four-day pass every month. For both his October and November passes, he came to stay with me. Given the way things turned out in the weeks he stayed with me prior to entering rehab, I was anxious about his first visit. He’s doing great, but I’m a horrible cop, and was afraid of what might happen. Thankfully, my fears were unfounded. The program he’s in is run by the residents. He got on the kitchen team in the second month, and by the third had been promoted to kitchen crew leader — one of only three crew leaders at …

Nov 02, 2015
By Michael Rupured

A Real Time Change

Over the weekend we switched back to Standard Time. Few things mess with my head more than a time change. Frankly, setting the clock up or back does little more than piss me off.  Everyone talks about gaining or losing an hour. Whatever. In the end, we still have just twenty-four hours in a day. No matter how you cut it,twenty-four hours just isn’t enough time for everything I want to do. Forget shifting things around an hour. I’m ready for a time change I can believe in — one that magically results in a few extra hours every day. Not having to work would help. Don’t get me wrong — I’m grateful for a job I still love. But if I had enough …

Sep 21, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Home-Grown Tomatoes

The older I get, the more I appreciate the taste of a good, home-grown tomato. Back in Kentucky the plants went in the ground toward the middle of May with hopes the first fruit would ripen by the Fourth of July. Without buying big plants or cherry tomatoes, the first ripe tomato rarely appear before the end of July. Within a week or two everyone I knew had baskets of tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers they couldn’t eat. My first summer in Georgia I had a Kentucky-style tomato harvest. Coworkers and neighbors welcomed the surplus. That was almost twenty years ago. Since then, thanks to deer, drought and/or excessive heat,  I’ve had precious little luck growing them. A few years ago, I bought a …

Sep 14, 2015
By Michael Rupured

I Pod Now

I drink a lot of coffee. Caffeine is my drug of choice now, and my last remaining addiction. Just the thought of giving up my Joe gives me a headache. Over the decades, my coffee tastes and preferences have evolved. I’ve been a devoted and loyal customer at different times for Maxwell House, Folgers, Chock Full o’ Nuts, and Eight O’Clock. I drink mine black. A cup of flavored coffee is okay now and then, but not a pot, so I never buy any. I stepped up to whole beans eight or ten years ago. Freshly ground coffee smells wonderful, and tastes better too. Within a few weeks, I replaced my grinder and drip coffeemaker with a Grind N Brew …

Sep 07, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Old Habits, RIP

Change is a fact of life. No, I don’t mean nickels, dimes, and quarters. I’m talking about things being different than they were before, largely as a result of progress. Thinking about changes in my own life, I came up with ten things I don’t do anymore — some thanks to progress, others due to advancing age. Print Photographs. The days of having rolls of film laying around waiting to be developed are over. Now I’ve got hundreds of pictures I never would have taken before that, unless I post them on Facebook, nobody will ever see. Damn smartphones. Fry Chicken. To tell you the truth, I’m not much intro frying anything these days. Health has less to do with my frying …

Aug 24, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Dad’s Garden

I’m pretty sure gardening is genetic. Whether a recessive gene or one of those that lie dormant until needed, I don’t know and couldn’t say. But I know beyond a doubt that my love for gardening was passed down to me from my father’s side of the family. Dad’s mother kept a vegetable garden in the backyard of her little house on Park Avenue in downtown Lexington. She may have grown a few zinnias for cutting and maintained a beautiful collection of African Violets in her dining room. But Granny was first and foremost a vegetable gardener. Space was too precious in her little garden to waste on pretty things. Granny planted new crops in late winter, early summer, and late …

Apr 27, 2015
By Michael Rupured

On Bruce Jenner

Watching Bruce Jenner win the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics stands out in my memory. I’m not a decathlon fan, but something about Bruce caught my attention. Becoming “the greatest athlete in the world” was special. After the Olympics, his star faded. Like most celebrity athletes, he turned up now and then for cameo appearances on television and in movies. I didn’t pay much attention to him. The next time I noticed him was on the Kardashian’s reality show. I’m not a fan of the Kardashian clan, and have always wondered what they did to warrant so much attention. His connection to them came as a surprise. I did catch a few episodes of the show. The shocker for me was …

Page 2 of 512345