Category: Changing Times

May 15, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Field Research: Meet the Apps

As promised, here’s the first of several reports on my field research about gay hook-up apps. As this research breaks new ground, my focus has been on in-depth personal interviews rather than surveys. Yeah. Serious stuff. My readers deserve the best I can bring to the project. I’m still in the data collection phase, but wanted to lay the groundwork with an introduction to the apps. There are tons of different hook up apps with new versions coming online every day for different subsets of the gay population. My research focuses on three — Grindr, Scruff, and GROWLr. GROWLr is for bears, cubs, otters, chasers, daddies, and chubs — over-sized and/or hairy men of any age and the men who prefer …

May 13, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Field Research: Could He Be … THE ONE?

Technology has changed dating — gay and straight — forever. Some of you may have used a computer to meet the love of your life, the second or third time around, anyway. But for most readers of this blog, any phone involved in meeting a love interest more likely involved a rotary dial than a touch screen. Before I plunge into a discussion about hook-up apps, here’s a little background to bring my long-married readers up to speed. No matter your sexual preference, meeting someone datable is tricky stuff. Back in the day, alcohol played a critical role. Waking up with a hangover next to the apparent man of my dreams, my first thought was more often,”What the hell was I thinking?” than …

Apr 15, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Me and My Telephone: A Love Story

I started my long-term relationship with the telephone back in elementary school. Things got serious in fifth grade when I went steady with Vicky Thompson — my very first girlfriend. I don’t remember how long she wore my ID bracelet. Outside of school, I may have seen her twice, at most. The lion’s share of our tender love story played out over the phone in nightly, hours-long calls. My family kept the phone lines hot. Mom touched base with her sisters, sisters-in-law, high school classmates, and others via the wall-mounted phone in the kitchen every morning while she drank her coffee. After she’d cleaned up around the house, decided what to cook for dinner, and ironed as she watched her …

Apr 02, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Carbon Copies, Typewriters, & Dot-Matrix Printers

Technology moves so fast, it’s easy to forget how we used to do things. Back in the 1980s, a Ph.D. student from Ohio State University paid me to type her dissertation. She’d finished her coursework and was living in Lexington, commuting back to Columbus as needed to meet with her committee. Experiencing the process with her was enough to keep me from ever pursuing a Ph.D of my own. Volkswriter had just replaced WordStar as the word processing software of choice. Each of the dissertation chapters was saved on a separate five-inch floppy disk. I’d print out drafts on the dot matrix printer for her to ship to her professors.  She’d come back a month or so later with a …

Mar 15, 2013
By Michael Rupured

My Miraculous Recovery

Yesterday I had surgery — inguinal hernia repair. The operation went well. I feel great today and am getting around fine with little to no pain. In fact, I feel so good, the biggest challenge of my recovery is going to be keeping myself from doing too much. I had my pre-op appointment at the hospital Wednesday afternoon. They ran an EKG, updated my medical history, and told me what I needed to do the night and morning before the operation. The bottom line: nothing to eat or drink after midnight. No surprise there. The surprise came when they said my procedure was scheduled for 10:30. WTF? I was expecting to have to be at the hospital by six or seven. Since …

Mar 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Cloak of Anonymity

Athens was all astir last weekend about a bunch of random shootings on my end of  town. Several moving vehicles had windows shot out. A jogger and an eleven-year old girl were hit, too. The weapon: a high-powered BB gun. The incidents got front-page coverage in the local newspaper two days in a row. I’m guessing the story will appear on tomorrow’s front page, too. Today the police caught the thugs responsible for the shootings. You can read the full story here. Yes, I hope these two little boys get what’s coming to them. I also hope the consequences of their actions are severe enough that this will be their last run-in with the law. I’m doubtful, but hope springs …

Jan 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Potty Mouth

The use of colorful language is not foreign to me. In certain settings I may occasionally use words that would, were I fifty years younger, result in certain punishment.  My parents were more likely to spank me and send me to my room for an extended time-out than to wash my mouth out with soap. Mostly this taught me not to cuss in front of them. Using foul language is rarely attractive. I say rarely because I learned a long time ago never to say never. In certain circumstances, cussing can make a difference. When you stub your toe really hard, blurting out a nasty word somehow lessens the pain. Otherwise, gutter talk reflects poorly on the speaker. When I …

Sep 02, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Hypocrisy in Action

The selection of Chaz Bono as a contestant has certainly generated a lot of buzz about the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars. In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, Chaz underwent female-to-male gender transition a few years ago. For the totally clueless, his parents are Sonny Bono and Cher. Conservative religious groups like One Million Moms (an affiliate of the American Family Association, identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group) are asking like-minded thinkers(a term I use loosely here) to boycott the show. Apparently, they’re afraid that seeing a transgendered person on television will cause their child to become dissatisfied with his or her current gender. Never mind the message of intolerance the …

Jul 26, 2011
By Michael Rupured

My Gay Wedding

I “came out of the closet” nearly thirty-two years ago at the tender age of twenty-one. Thanks to the pervasive homophobia that existed then, coming out really did a number on me. Much of the struggle to come to terms with my identity is chronicled in my memoir, Glass Houses. Back then, you didn’t hear much about the gay agenda. In fact, you didn’t hear much about gay people at all. Except for a few brave souls on the fringes of society, being gay was a dirty little secret. Being out as a gay person meant ridicule, bullying, or worse. Thirty years ago I never dreamed that gay people would one day be permitted to legally marry. Today gay marriage …

Jul 24, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Tomatoes: A Great Investment?

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 didn’t usually appear until 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. The surplus was quickly snatched up by coworkers and neighbors. That was thirteen years ago. Since then, thanks to deer, drought and/or excessive heat,  I’ve had precious little luck growing them. …

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