Category: My Life

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

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 …

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 …

Jan 12, 2015
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on My New Steam Mop

My New Steam Mop

Buying gifts for me is a challenge. I don’t want much, and am perhaps a teeny bit hard to please. When I do want something, I tend to just buy it myself. If I’m not happy, it’s nobody’s fault but mine. Devoted readers of this blog may recall I get off on clean floors. My vacuum cleaners — an upright for carpets and a canister for everything else — do a great job. The performance of my vintage string mop, however, has been disappointing. When my sister asked what I’d like for Christmas this year, I said one of those steam mop thingies. A lack of clarity might explain why I’m so hard to please. Knowing me as she does, my sister followed …

Dec 22, 2014
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on A Crotchety Christmas

A Crotchety Christmas

Christmas is a very special time of year. Competing with the grandeur and spectacle of the yuletide celebration is a tall order. No other holiday celebration even comes close to the month-long festival of parades, television specials, religious services, community events, parties, dinners, and gift exchanges taking place in the Christmas season. Bah humbug! I’m over it. Somewhere along the way, my Christmas spirit flew the coop. Good riddance. I’ve moved on, and left no forwarding address. I quit decorating years ago. My ex (and the one before him) were responsible for any decorations in my house. Dragging all that crap out, untangling strings of lights, and then taking a day to put it all back up was too much trouble. …

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 …

Oct 13, 2014
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Writing: Career or Hobby?

Writing: Career or Hobby?

Getting the contract for my first novel was like winning the lottery. Rather than the years-long, rejection-filled path traveled by most writers, I’d found success right out of the gate. Until Thanksgiving was going to make me rich! My preconceived notions about publishing a novel were a tad off. Two years, two more novels and a short story later, my vast fortune has yet to materialize. Turns out, getting published is the easy part. With hundreds of new titles coming out every week, catching the attention of book-buying readers is a much bigger challenge. Good thing I kept the day job. I’ve loved to write for as long as I remember — at first mostly letters to friends and family, and later, in my journal. …

Aug 15, 2014
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The Nature of Change

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 …

Aug 04, 2014
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on He’s Back…

He’s Back…

Six years ago — for no good reason — I started blogging as the Crotchety Old Man. My musings revolved around things that pissed me off, like pet owners leaving dog poop on my lawn, bad drivers, and poor service. Writing to entertain was a lot of fun and a nice change from the kind of writing I did for myself or on the day job. Back then, I’d spend an hour or two cranking out new posts a few times a week. Instead of a regular schedule, I hit “publish” the second I finished, no matter the hour or day. When coming up with ideas for something to write about became difficult, I turned to my past for inspiration. After a series about my wild-assed youth, friends encouraged me to …

Jun 02, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Five Steps to Becoming a Successful Author

On this date just two short years ago, with a lot of encouragement from my friends in the Athens Writers Workshop, I submitted a query for my first novel. I waited for the “not what we’re looking for at this time” message to file with the rejections I’d already received for Glass Houses — my still unpublished memoir. Instead, less than three months later, the fine folks at Dreamspinner Press sent me a contract for Until Thanksgiving. When I signed that first contract, my expectations about overnight success as a published author were a tad unrealistic. I haven’t quit my day job. You won’t find excerpts from my books in The New Yorker. Terry Gross hasn’t interviewed me for Fresh Air, nor has Oprah called. Even …

Feb 24, 2014
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on My New Fireplace

My New Fireplace

Fireplaces have never impressed me much. I can’t even recall my first indoor encounter with burning logs. Until I was older, none of my relatives had working fireplaces. My first childhood home didn’t have a fireplace. The second — the house my father died in — didn’t have a fireplace when we moved in. A few years later, Dad knocked out a wall in the dead of winter to add one to the basement he’d just finished. The fireplace Dad built is constructed of street bricks, manufactured in the 19th century and salvaged by Dad over many years as roads in downtown Lexington KY were repaved. The massive bricks, about ten or twelve inches wide, five or six inches deep …

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