Category: Changing Times

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 …

Nov 24, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Social Network Fatigue

Once upon a time, the only social networking options were snail-mail, rotary dial telephones, and face-to-face. Travel costs and long distance telephone charges made letters the preferred means for keeping up with out-of-town friends and family. When not in class or hanging out with local friends, I spent hours on the telephone talking with them. Yeah. I can be kinda catty chatty. I got my first email account in the 1980s through work. In those early days, all messages were business-related. Spam hadn’t yet been invented. Gradually, folks stopped worrying about nosey employers. For family and friends with an addy, email became the preferred means of communication. My first home computer, purchased in the 1990s, came preloaded with AOL. Dial-up access ruled out …

Nov 03, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Real Time

Time is my master. I’m a slave to the clock and my calendar. Whether I go to work or get the day off, my schedule is full from the time I get up until I go to bed. The time change twice a year totally rocks my world. Smartphones, computer displays, and cable boxes are arbiters of the correct time nowadays. They spring forward and fall back automatically, and synchronize with millions of devices all over the world. I wonder about the impact of this massive time sync on society. For hundreds of years, clocks were set by the location of the sun in the sky. Before the advent of instant mass communication and transportation options faster than a horse, differences from …

Oct 20, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Life After Fifty

My mother is the baby of eight, and my father was one of the later arrivals among ten children. Throw in the folks they married and the children the respective couples had together, and I grew up around an awful lot of people with widely varied views about what makes for a good life. All influenced me in one way or another, but none so much as Aunt Toodles. Long before she reached the half century mark herself, my beloved Aunt Toodles insisted life begins at fifty. That’s when she married for the first time — on Valentine’s Day no less — swapping a lengthy wild-child past for a self-proclaimed role as grand matriarch of the family. I love her more than ice cream and …

Aug 15, 2014
By Michael Rupured

The Nature of Change

I’ve kept a personal journal since 1979. Writing in my journal is a hobby of sorts — a place to express myself without worrying my words will offend or hurt someone else. Believe it or not, the entries — while documenting my particular style of crazy — are repetitious, pedestrian, and boring. Writing stuff down helps me figure out what I really think. Talking shit is easy. The uttered word vanishes from view as I move onto the next thing. But opinions, desires, dreams, and ideas expressed on paper are different. The words linger, forcing me to take a closer look — especially when something doesn’t quite ring true. Last weekend I came down with a bug that knocked me for a loop. I don’t get …

Mar 24, 2014
By Michael Rupured

My Clean House

Jennifer Senior, author of All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood, points out in an interview I heard on NPR that the housewives and homemakers of the sixties have morphed into today’s stay-at-home moms. The emphasis has changed from keeping house to parenting. Staying home with the kids has become a luxury. Whether they work or not, moms are too busy to clean house to the standards of earlier generations. My mother kept house like nobody’s business. Most of my sixteen aunts did too. The few who didn’t worked outside the home and/or had lots of kids. Rather than judging a sister or sister-in-law for falling down as a homemaker, the non-working aunts felt sorry for her. Bless …

Mar 03, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Ten Things I Never Do Anymore

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 …

Feb 14, 2014
By Michael Rupured

The Secret Lives of 20th Century Gays

Thanks so much to pals Julie Lynn Hayes and M.A. Church for organizing The Power of Love blog tour. Click here for links to all the participating blogs. All the authors are giving something away, so you’ll want to visit all of the participating blogs to see what to do for a chance to win free stuff. For every five commenters on my blog, I’m giving away an autographed copy of Until Thanksgiving or After Christmas Eve. For a chance to win (U.S. residents only), comment on this post by midnight, February 16, 2014. Please note, comments are moderated, so if you haven’t commented on my blog before, your comment may not appear right away. Include an email address so I …

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