The Crotchety Old Man

Aug 20, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My New Normal

Too much has changed in the past month for my life to ever return to normal. I lost my father. But the end to his suffering and his inability to do the things he wanted to do prevent me from being sad. Mostly, I feel a profound sense of relief–like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. The end turned out so much better than I ever would have expected, and for that I will always be grateful. Then I got the life-changing e-mail message from Dreamspinner Press. That was five days ago, and I’m still firmly anchored to Cloud Nine. My cheeks hurt from the giant and ever present grin on my face. I don’t think I’ve …

Aug 16, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My Wildest Dreams

I wrote Glass Houses in 2010 and thought it was an absolutely brilliant memoir. My first choice agent rejected the manuscript. Then I tried a small gay publishing house that also turned it down. Solid in my conviction that the manuscript was perfect, the problem had to be with the blurb, synopsis, and query letter. I joined a local writers group for help. In the next few months I learned enough to see that my memoir had a lot of technical problems. I decided to set it aside until I could figure out a way to fix the major structural issues. Leaving it behind was okay. Writing the memoir changed me in a lot of ways, with one of the …

Aug 16, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Campaign Promise

Campaign Promise

The other day I read that a blog like mine should steer clear of politics and religion. Venturing into either arena is likely to offend people who might (one day) buy my books. Well, as you know, that ship has sailed. My carpool pal and I discussed this issue on the way to one of our meetings. I wondered if I’d gone too far. (Moi?) She’s so wise. Beautiful, too–a girdle-free version of Joan on Mad Men. She pointed out that since I write gay novels, anyone offended by something on my blog probably wouldn’t buy my books anyway. Good point. This year it’s a moot point. I’m sick and tired of Campaign 2012. My mind is made up, and has …

Aug 14, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Tales of a Slow Learner

Sometimes I’m a little slow. It’s more a matter of application than intelligence. Drawing me a picture helps…usually, but it can take a while. I still remember the day in high school health class when I suddenly got every dirty joke I’d ever heard. I laughed until my cheeks ached. I blame my sun sign–Pisces. The symbol is two fish chasing each others tails. It’s supposed to be a metaphor for our ability to see both sides of an issue to the point of indecision. We Pisces are also prone to dreaminess and have a tendency to live in our own world. Frankly, I’d stay there if the demands of the real world didn’t get in the way. It’s a …

Aug 11, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Reviews Are In!

Several years ago I started renting audiobooks from Cracker Barrel for road trips longer than about three hours. Then I started downloading them on my iPod Nano to listen to when I run. Now I’m in the middle of a book just about all the time. The hours I once spent reading books I now devote to writing–either for this blog or adding to my work in progress. Reading and critiquing submissions for my writers group takes a lot of time, too. Throw in the blogs I keep up with, my New Yorker magazine subscription, the daily newspaper and crap I have to read for work and I really don’t have time to read a book for pleasure. Thanks to …

Aug 10, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Hasten My Retirement

Successful blogging tip number one: Never add blog posts on weekends. People read blogs on weekdays during working hours. Posting between two o’clock Friday afternoon and nine o’clock Monday morning is the blogging equivalent of masturbating–a solitary act that nobody will know about. Unless, of course, it goes viral on the internet. Advice for becoming a successful blogger is readily available. Now and then, I read the suggestions. The bottom line is that to be successful, one needs to go beyond merely writing interesting posts. It’s all about the marketing. I’m supposed to spend hours every day reading and commenting on blogs like mine in a shameless attempt to lure readers here. Perhaps it works. I just don’t have that kind …

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 …

Aug 04, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My Dad’s Garden

I’m pretty sure gardening is genetic. Whether a recessive gene or one of those that lie dormant until needed, I don’t know and couldn’t say. But I know beyond a doubt that my love for gardening was passed down to me from my father’s side of the family. Dad’s mother kept a vegetable garden in the backyard of her little house on Park Avenue in downtown Lexington. She may have grown a few zinnias for cutting and maintained a beautiful collection of African Violets in her dining room. But Granny was first and foremost a vegetable gardener. Space was too precious in her little garden to waste on pretty things. Granny planted new crops in late winter, early summer, and late …

Aug 02, 2012
By Michael Rupured

A Joyous Occasion

The last few weeks have been a trying time for me. Work is off-the-chain busy, the heat is driving me crazy, and I said goodbye to my father. I’m off my diet, haven’t been exercising, and have consumed more coffee than a person should drink in a year. Throw in a culture war around a silly chicken sandwich and you can maybe see why I’ve been a bit on edge. I’ve had entirely too much experience with death. We’ve buried four grandparents, more than twenty aunts and uncles, and three first cousins. Losing someone is never easy. But I do think that with experience, dealing with death is less traumatic. The last time I saw my father, he told me …

Aug 01, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Waffled Like A Chick-Fil-A Fry

When the Battle of Chick-Fil-A started, I prided myself on what I believed to be a moderate position. Since they’d never refused service to a gay person (to my knowledge) I decided to keep stopping in for my unsweetened tea with a splash of sweet. What they do with their profits is really none of my business. I posted a blog to that effect last Wednesday. The comments here and from my Facebook friends were overwhelmingly positive. People applauded me for being a free thinker, for refusing to kowtow to the demands of the activists. In a polite and respectful manner, a few younger gay men let me have it. I understand their impatience and am even glad for it. But …

Jul 29, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Goodbye, Dad

My father passed away this morning. My sister called me to tell me the news. I knew when I saw her number on the callerID that he was gone. Now I know what the expression “overwhelmed with grief” means. His death wasn’t a surprise. In fact, I welcomed the end to his suffering. There was nothing left unsaid between us. I’d told him goodbye and that I loved him two weeks ago. I thought I was prepared. I’m in a daze. I keep thinking about him and moments we shared throughout my life. I’m dehydrated from crying so much. Feels like he planned the whole thing. He had me come in two weekends ago. My sister came in to say her …

Jul 27, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The Path We’re On: A Short Story

The Path We’re On: A Short Story

Nobody could say they didn’t see it coming. Signs pointed toward the showdown back in 2000, when the GOP stole the election from the Democrats in an election that taught us about hanging chads. At the time, everyone thought the showdown would take the form of a hotly contested election. Nobody really thought things could go this far. For years pollsters had been commenting on the increasing polarization of the country. Red and blue states divided up into red and blue towns. Reds patronized red businesses and blues stuck to blue businesses. Reds opposed immigration, tax increases, abortions, gay rights, birth control and regulation of any kind. Blues were a more diverse group, which often interfered with attempts for a …

Jul 26, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on On the Other Hand…

On the Other Hand…

In yesterday’s blog, I came out as a Chick Fil A and Target fan, despite company support for anti-gay groups. If Chick Fil A’s CEO doesn’t shut up, I might change my mind. Unless you’re Mitt Romney, we’re allowed to do that in America. Today I’m going to blast an organization for their antigay and homophobic rhetoric. Think I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth? I don’t think so. This is different. This one is personal. In 1974 the Boy Scouts of America bestowed upon me the rank of Eagle, an honor received by only about five percent of Boy Scouts each year. I worked hard to satisfy the requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, …

Jul 25, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Me and My Tea

I happen to like Chick-Fil-A. There. I’ve said it. I’m a gay man and I like Chick-Fil-A. In fact, I prefer it over all other fast food options. The restaurants are always clean–including the bathrooms, the employees are courteous and helpful, and they always honor my request for unsweetened tea with a splash of sweet. No doubt you’ve seen news stories about Chick-Fil-A donating bazillions of dollars to anti-gay causes. Left-leaning cultural warriors are outraged, demanding that consumers boycott the restaurant. They’re certainly entitled to an opinion. Those same left-leaning warriors tell me to shop at J.C. Penny instead of Target. The former features gay couples in ads, the latter provides financial support to anti-gay causes. I like Target. I …

Jul 22, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Keep on Keeping On

A bunch of age-related health issues hit me around my fiftieth birthday. My BMI (Body Mass Index) was well over 30 (obese), my activity level was zero, and the scale had drifted close to 250 pounds. Even my dress pants had elastic waistbands. Middle-age had caught up with me, taken up residence around my waist, and given me brand new man boobs that jiggled when I walked. A close call with cancer and a simultaneous brush with adult-onset diabetes were a wake up call. My lifestyle was killing me. Unless I wanted to go on disability, wear a shirt for the rest of my life, and ride around in one of those motorized carts at Walmart, things had to change. …

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