Category: Changing Times

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
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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
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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 …

Dec 23, 2013
By Michael Rupured
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Fake-umentaries

I like documentaries, perhaps because learning something makes me feel less guilty about watching television. When I was a kid, my favorite show was Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins, though in retrospect, I may have had a crush on his assistant. I looked forward to a new National Geographic special as much as any situation comedy or drama. Jacques Cousteau rocked my world. My taste for documentaries is rather eclectic, including historical, geographical, scientific, and biographical. Long before I thought about writing a novel, I watched all the documentaries about serial killers. I’ve seen bits and pieces of numerous documentary miniseries, but don’t think I’ve ever caught every episode. Though I haven’t watched them for a while, …

Dec 09, 2013
By Michael Rupured
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DVR Changed My Life

For longer than I care to admit, my evenings revolved around the television. I had shows to watch every night of the week. Picking favorites for some nights was easier than others, but somehow, I always found something to watch. Looking back, the quality of my viewing selections makes me cringe. I couldn’t stay awake late enough to watch the top-rated ten o’clock dramas. So I filled the hours with banal situation comedies, an endless variety of reality shows, VH1 Top 100 countdowns, and occasional episodes of Jerry Springer, Cheaters, and Dr. Phil. You know — must see TV. Years ago, I changed my cable package. As part of the introductory offer, the company threw in a Digital Video Recorder (DVR). No …

Oct 21, 2013
By Michael Rupured

The End of Gay Culture?

Since the beginning of time, doing gay things hasn’t necessarily made a person gay. You know — boys will be boys. Stuff happens, especially when the guys are far away from womenfolk fighting wars, doing time in prison, hunting, fishing, or hanging out drunk at the frat house. Beyond those who took the occasional walk on the wild side, I suspect even cavemen had an eccentric uncle, tolerated because he grilled amazing bison steaks, made the best loincloths, and showed no interest in diddling the women. What he did in his own cave was his business. And because of his…cooking skills, the men invited him along for hunting expeditions. Really I have no idea what gay people did prior to …