Category: Travel

Aug 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Stop the World!

Swapping the vacation my partner and I had been looking forward to for Dad’s funeral ended up being a good thing. We were already off work, and since we were driving anyway and had a free place to stay at the beach, changing our plans at the last minute didn’t cost anything. Any other time would have caused problems and posed challenges. All this to say I’m not unhappy that we gave up a relaxing week at the beach. Things have a way of working out for the best. Already exhausted from the previous weeks activities, I spent the weekend catching up on laundry, mowing, and other chores. My writers group met Saturday, and I managed to squeeze in a …

May 28, 2012
By Michael Rupured

They’re Back

The same ten pounds I’ve battled for the last twelve months have returned. Since we had to go out for anything we ate, I expected to maybe lose weight on vacation. I hear you laughing, but it’s happened before. Honest. After we got home, I stepped onto the scale–naked–so whatever number popped up would be all me. I admired my new tan line in the bathroom mirror as I waited for the digits to stop flashing. I weigh EXACTLY the same as I did this time last year–before Weight Watchers, the gym membership, and my new running habit. Wah! I blame the tan. It couldn’t possibly have been anything I ate. Isn’t seafood good for you? Or maybe it was …

May 23, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Beach

The farther north you go in Florida, the more southern things become. Northern Florida definitely has its own flavor. And nowhere is that more true than here in Panama City Beach, queen city of the Redneck Riviera. Like coastal towns throughout the southeast, the town boasts a healthy assortment of hotels, restaurants, and shopping areas. The restaurants lean more toward sit-down and order-from-the-menu than all-you-can-eat buffets. The menus revolve around seafood–fried mostly–at prices I’d call reasonable.  Go-cart tracks, miniature golf courses, human slingshots, arcades, and more offer alternatives to the pool and beach scenes. The beach is beautiful with dazzling white sand and clear turquoise water as far as the eye can see.  Sinking into the light and fluffy sand …

Feb 07, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Pushing My Buttons

I’m the unpaid executive director of a small professional association. About my only duty is to plan the every-other-year conference. I’ve been in the role for nearly ten years and consider it a labor of love. Our little association has no officers, membership dues, newsletter, or paid staff. Just me and whoever I can con into helping persuade to help me. On the plus side, I can do pretty much whatever I want without worrying about losing my job. The next conference is coming up at the end of this month. We selected Charlotte for the 2012 conference. Okay–it was really my decision. I worked through the local convention bureau to line up our hotel. Chattanooga was the site of our …

Jan 26, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on What on Earth Did I Do?

What on Earth Did I Do?

Since the first of the year, I’ve been running like crazy. Seems like there’s never a spare moment to just kick back and relax. Well, that’s not entirely true, but I sure don’t have the kind of downtime I had just a few years ago. Four years ago, we didn’t have any dogs. It’s not that our little chihuahuas are terribly demanding. About all they require this time of year is a few trips a day outside. They really need daily walks, but it’s dark by the time we have the chance, and Toodles is afraid of the dark. In truth, even in bright daylight, she’s afraid of practically everything. So during the short days of winter, Tico and Toodles …

Nov 23, 2011
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Off the Beaten Track

Off the Beaten Track

Counting grad school, I’ve worked in the same small academic field of study for nearly three decades.  Because I’ve skipped it for the last few years, the conference I attended in Jacksonville, Florida last week was a homecoming of sorts.  It was also a wonderful opportunity to catch up with colleagues I’ve grown close to over the years. These friendships are special. Aside from our common interest in family resource management (the broad term for our field of study), we have similar jobs. We also share many of the same interests, challenges, and frustrations–and of course, know a lot of the same people. In other words, we have a lot to talk about. Early in my career, attending one of …

Oct 17, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Things Missed

As you may have gathered, I had a rip-roaring good time during my visit to Kentucky.  It was fun catching up with friends and family I haven’t seen for too long, eating food from my past that’s not available here in Athens, and dancing until after midnight.  I’m exhausted, bloated, and three pounds heavier than I was before the trip. Though I did much better than I usually do when I go home, there were quite a few people I didn’t get a chance to see.  Some I hoped to see at the reunion but they couldn’t come.  Most the rest were family members. More time would have been nice but simply wasn’t an option. Lexington is the thoroughbred horse …

Oct 16, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Home Again–Days Three & Four

After staying out until after one o’clock and then laying in bed for an hour or more reflecting on everything that happened at the reunion, getting up Saturday morning was a chore. Sleeping in wasn’t an option. I had plans to hook up with my cousins for breakfast at Frisch’s–another crappy place I like going to whenever I’m in Lexington. I got to Frisch’s a few minutes before nine o’clock with no idea of who or how many people were coming. My cousin Marilyn showed up first with her husband and darling grandson in tow. We waited a few minutes and then got a table. Over the next twenty minutes, dozens of Glass cousins and their children and grandchildren turned …

Oct 15, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Home Again–Day Two

After completing week four, day three of the Couch to 5K running program on the treadmill yesterday morning, I got cleaned up and headed downstairs for the free breakfast buffet at my hotel. Meh. There were no danishes or donuts or pastries. I had a reasonably healthy breakfast of scrambled eggs in a flour tortilla with a couple of strips of bacon (the real thing, not that turkey crap I’ve been eating), and some canned peaches and pineapple. I made up for my healthy breakfast at lunch. My dear friend, Robin, picked me up at the hotel. She’s an important but minor character in Glass Houses who, as it turns out, knew even then that I was gay. It’s probably …

Oct 14, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Home Again–Day One

Yesterday I woke up sore from thirty brutal minutes spent with my trainer Wednesday afternoon. I’d planned to get my Couch to 5K run in before leaving for Kentucky, but between my sore butt and legs and a desire to get on the road early, I decided to postpone the run. I ate my usual breakfast of Greek Yogurt and berries.  Having packed everything but my toothbrush and deodorant the night before, I left the house at exactly eight o’clock–thirty minutes later than I’d hoped, but still plenty early. My GPS said I would arrive in Lexington at two-twenty-six p.m. I popped the first of twelve disks into the CD player to listen to John Grisham’s “The Confession” and headed …

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