Category: My Life

Jun 29, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Road Trips

Ten Extra Pounds, Part 4 Gaining weight two weeks in a row had me concerned. Exercising only on weekends wasn’t offsetting the damage. Try as I might, however, I couldn’t get back to my normal routine. I had to go to district meetings in each quadrant of the state. The coordinators in each district put me on the program right before or after the noon hour. I go along for lunch to network and catch up on all the real news. I drove 200 miles (one way) to Tifton and, two days later, over to nearby Watkinsville. Driving makes me hungry. In both towns I ate chips and salsa like I’d never seen food before. In Watkinsville, a plate of …

Jun 22, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Working It

Ten Extra Pounds, Part 3 A six-mile run and a generous reward system caused me to gain a few pounds. No reason for concern. Nine times out of ten, I lose weight the week after a bad weigh in. Persistence is the key to success. Getting back on track became my top priority. The universe, however, conspired against me. Back-to-back buffets at the office got my week off to a bad start. There’s always too much food. I do what I can to make sure nothing goes to waste. A caterer prepared trays of sandwiches, chips, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies for our faculty retreat. The hummusy-tasting pimiento cheese sandwiches were a tad dry. The chips were easier to resist …

Jun 15, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Just Rewards

Ten Extra Pounds, Part 2 Last week, I confessed to gaining ten pounds. Mom suggested the extra weight was muscle from working out so much. Isn’t she sweet? Exercise did play a role. Working out explains maybe one or two pounds – and that’s being generous. Running is to blame for the remaining eight or nine extra pounds. Ironic, I know. Running three miles several times a week has kept the forty pounds I lost a couple of years ago from coming back. Eventually, to get the same result takes more effort. So I stepped up my game and ran six miles. Running twice my usual distance made me feel invincible. For the next week, I ate like I was seventeen …

Jun 08, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Weighing In

Ten Extra Pounds, Part 1 I weigh myself throughout the day and record my weight once a week. Vigilance works. Checking the scales enables me to act before an extra pound or two turns into ten. Since 2010, I’ve paid twenty bucks a month to track my weekly weight online. Yeah, I could do the same thing for free with a spreadsheet. Paying keeps me honest. Mostly. Every week, I record my best morning weight from Sunday or Monday — whichever is lowest. Since losing forty pounds more than two years ago, my weight has stayed about the same, plus or minus no more than five pounds. At least I’m consistent. Lately, things have gotten out of hand. Despite my watchfulness and …

Jun 01, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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My Feeble Eyes

In 2010, the retina specialist discovered macular degeneration in my left eye. The macula is the central portion of the retina. It focuses central vision for reading, identifying colors, recognizing faces, and seeing fine details. Only about ten percent of cases — including mine — reach the advanced stage. With advanced macular degeneration, also known as wet macular degeneration, abnormal vessels leak blood or fluid into the macula. There is no cure. Every four to eight weeks, I get an injection to slow the pace of deterioration. Eye shots aren’t as bad as they sound. The worst part is the metal clamp used to hold my eye open for the shot. You may have seen the device in Clockwork Orange. In 2010, I could see three …

May 18, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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A Taste of Retirement

Submission deadlines make me nervous. Working without an outline and only vague ideas about where the story might go means I could hit a wall at any time. Prompted by a May 1 deadline for Whippersnapper, I took a week off from the day job in mid-April for a taste of what life will be like after I retire. I finished the first draft Tuesday evening. Wednesday and Thursday I worked on revisions. Friday and Saturday I wrote the dreaded synopsis the publisher requests with every submission. Vision issues keep me from writing for more than a few hours in one sitting, so I had time to do other things. The weather sucked. Aside from a few sunny hours on a couple of days, rain made doing much of anything outside difficult. …

May 11, 2015
By Michael Rupured

My Best Friend

According to wikipedia, a friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people. That casts a pretty wide net. I’m fond of a whole lot of people. Lucky for me, some of them feel the same way about me. By definition, that makes us friends. I’m grateful for each and every one of them. Many date back to grade school. Just knowing someone that long is special. In a world where everyone comes and goes so much, more than forty years of shared history carries a lot of weight. Like a mother with many children, I love my friends equally. Naming a best friend is risky business. I’m taking the risk this year and doubt any runners up will take offense The 2015 recipient of …

Mar 23, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Birthday Presents

For my 57th birthday earlier this month, I gave myself a new car and a trip to Orlando. The new car was somewhat of a requirement. The PT Cruiser I bought in 2005 had enough miles on it to make me nervous about driving to Florida. I’ve known for months what kind of car I wanted to get. My PT Cruiser was the first convertible I’ve had the pleasure of owning. Driving with the top down is possible at least a few days every month here in Georgia. Wishing I’d bought another convertible seemed more likely than wishing I hadn’t. Refusing to pay more for a car than I paid for my first house ruled out a lot of options. A car is a means …

Mar 09, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Finding Myself in My WIP

A bit of me goes into everything I write, sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. Reading my novels gives you some idea of who I am and how I see the world. Mental health professionals who read all three probably see enough to offer a diagnosis. Since penning my first novel, I’ve struggled to figure out who I am as a writer. For no good reason, I thought me the writer was somehow different from who I am as a person. Whippersnapper has shown me they are one and the same, and in the process, freed me from self-imposed constraints. It’s more “me” than any of my previous books have been. People say I’m funny. Telling humorous stories is a family tradition and as essential to who I am as big feet …

Feb 09, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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A Man and His Hat

Growing up, I rarely wore a hat. Covering my head messed my hair up too much. If it got really cold, I’d break down and put on a sock hat or pull up the hood on my sweatshirt. You do what you gotta do. Until he got older, my father never wore a hat either. In sub-zero weather, he’d don a tan, fleece-lined aviator hat — the kind with ear flaps, which he never, ever pulled down. Otherwise, aside from the fire helmet or visored uniform cap he wore on the job, his head stayed uncovered. Comes a time when every man needs a good hat. Dad’s codger hat (his term) was a Greek fisherman’s cap made of wool — black, I believe, though it …

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