Category: Southern Living

Jul 13, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Full Circle

Ten Extra Pounds, Part 6 This is the sixth and final week of my 10 Extra Pounds series. Since starting the series, I haven’t lost any weight. In truth, I’ve continued to gain. At least the pace has slowed. Ten pounds makes a big difference. My clothes are a bit too snug. On my runs, my knees, ankles, and shins complain. The extra weight added almost three minutes to my pace for a mile too. Graphs on the web site where I record my weekly weight revealed a pattern. I put on ten or more pounds this time of year in each of the last three years. December or January I could understand, but May and June? I told my …

Jul 08, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Rehabbing A Good Time

A week ago today, my friend woke up in a longterm rehab facility in the middle of nowhere, Georgia. The first thirty days, he’s not allowed visitors. Getting him there took some doing, and I’ve been anxious about whether or not the program is a good fit for him. I got a letter Monday. Yeah, a real letter. For those of you under forty, a letter is a really long text message, handwritten on paper in a dead language known as cursive and delivered days later by a U.S. Postal Service carrier. Here’s the first paragraph of his letter: I hate this place! Please pick me up as soon as possible. It kills me to be here! The food is …

Jul 06, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Make it Stop!

Ten Extra Pounds, Part 5 Concern about ten extra pounds motivated me to act. Mostly, I worried. Unfortunately, as an emotional eater, my response was counterproductive. I ate like there was no tomorrow. Most days, I do fine from the time I get up in the morning until supper. Travel and catered meetings aside, my problem is post-supper grazing. I’ll snack until bedtime and then get up two or three times a night for more. On travel days, delivery is fast and easy. A sandwich from Jimmy John’s is my go-to choice. Sometimes I get chips, sometimes not, but I always get at least one of their delicious chocolate chip cookies. After my day in Savannah, I split a large …

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 …

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 22, 2014
By Michael Rupured
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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 31, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Spooktacular Blog Hop

Happy Halloweeen! Thanks a million to writer pals Julie Lynn Hayes and M.A. Church for organizing the 2014 Spooktacular Blog Hop and Giveaway. I’m excited about the opportunity to meet new readers and honored to be associated with so many wonderful writers. Everyone is doing their own giveaway. CLICK HERE to visit all the participating blogs to enter. You’ve got nothing to lose, and you might even win! I’m giving away an e-copy of one of my three novels (Until Thanksgiving, After Christmas Eve, or Happy Independence Day) to three lucky winners. To enter, leave a comment below. As a kid, I really got into Halloween. Mom wasn’t terribly creative, so my costumes were always one of those highly flammable …

Feb 03, 2014
By Michael Rupured
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OMG Scarlett! Snow! In Atlanta!

Last week, the mess in Atlanta from the big winter storm caught the nation’s attention. All the finger pointing suggests someone here in Georgia caused all the problems. I hope they find the bastard. I got stuck in Savannah, my favorite city in the US. I probably could have driven home on schedule Wednesday afternoon without any trouble. But most of the trip is on a two-lane highway, and information about road conditions in rural Georgia was hard to come by. So I decided better safe than sorry and stayed put. Snow disasters are inevitable here in Georgia — no matter what anyone does ahead of time — especially in and around Atlanta. Had I sat in my car on the interstate for …

May 22, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Vacation!

Going on vacation means different things to different people. For me, it’s not a vacation unless a fog-free beach and non-frigid water are involved. Perhaps because of my upbringing, I tend to favor the beaches of South Carolina and Florida. We haven’t been on a vacation in ages. Sure, we’ve traveled some for work and to visit family. But a trip to the beach just to get away from it all for a few days hasn’t been in the cards. I blame my partner’s desire to finish his college degree program. Before graduating a few weeks ago, he took at least one class every session–including summers–to graduate as rapidly as possible. Throw in my hectic work schedule and there really …

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