Category: Changing Times

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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 …

Apr 20, 2015
By Michael Rupured

My Dual-Career Household

University faculty positions are very demanding. Many of my colleagues work all the time. I don’t. Balancing work and my personal life has always been a priority, and in my opinion, the reason I’ve managed to stay productive. My writing career is also very demanding. Penning a novel takes time. The publishing process adds additional time demands. Promoting books, maintaining my web site, and engaging on social networks adds still more to an already very full plate. Since becoming an author, striking a balance between work and my personal life is no longer possible. After getting home from the day job, I spend several hours on my writing career. I try to make exercising a priority, but otherwise, I work all the time. Fortunately, my faculty position …

Jan 26, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Best Pants of All Time

Next to Philip Potter — the man at the center of the holiday series — Harold Clarkson is the character from my novels readers comment on the most. Harold plays a supporting role in After Christmas Eve and Happy Independence Day. His fans are especially impressed with his fashion sensibility. Because of Harold, readers often ask where I learned so much about hair, makeup, and clothing styles. Like every gay man of a certain age from the south, female relatives taught me everything I know. My mother and her sisters had strong opinions about how “well-bred” individuals should and shouldn’t look, and no compunction about voicing them. Until I was old enough to buy my own clothes, Mom was responsible for my wardrobe, often in a coordinated …

Dec 01, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Guilty Pleasure: Home Renovation Shows

Until Trading Spaces caught my attention, I didn’t watch home improvement shows. Paige Davis, the host, was absolutely adorable. The show’s stable of designers worked miracles overnight on a limited budget, with notable exceptions, most by designer Hildi Santo-Tomas. While You Were Out was good too, mostly because of hunky Evan Farmer. After Paige and Evan left, I quit watching both shows and moved on to shows about food. The pendulum of my interests has swung back. Home improvement shows once again dominate my TV viewing time. These aren’t the decorating shows of the past where paint, wallpaper, and fabric were used to transform a few rooms, with frequent complaints afterward about shoddy workmanship. Designers on the new shows gut some or all of the target …