The Crotchety Old Man

Jan 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Potty Mouth

The use of colorful language is not foreign to me. In certain settings I may occasionally use words that would, were I fifty years younger, result in certain punishment.  My parents were more likely to spank me and send me to my room for an extended time-out than to wash my mouth out with soap. Mostly this taught me not to cuss in front of them. Using foul language is rarely attractive. I say rarely because I learned a long time ago never to say never. In certain circumstances, cussing can make a difference. When you stub your toe really hard, blurting out a nasty word somehow lessens the pain. Otherwise, gutter talk reflects poorly on the speaker. When I …

Jan 06, 2012
By Michael Rupured

A Welcome Sight

Winter is the time of year I most appreciate living in the Deep South.  Today the temperature was in the upper sixties. The forecast calls for similar highs well into next week with lows only in the middle forties. It’s the one time of year I don’t mind temperatures here being twenty degrees warmer than much of the rest of the country. When I lived in Kentucky, crocus were typically the first flowers of the season. Snow crocus typically bloomed in mid- to late-February, but sometimes bloomed as early as late January. They were followed a few weeks later by giant crocus, which preceded the bright yellow blooms of daffodils. Daffodils bloom weeks–sometimes even months–before crocus here in Athens. Last …

Jan 01, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Out With the Old, In With the New

Resolutions have never really worked for me.  If you were to read entries from late December and early January in the journals I’ve kept for thirty years, you’d see me resolving to give up essentially the same bad habits every year. The amusing part is my certainty, each and every year, that THIS year I’ll finally keep my resolutions. I like the idea of resolutions.  Coming up with them is like doing a performance appraisal on myself and my ability to handle life.  Resolutions are things I need to do differently or areas in need of improvement. Despite my lack of success in keeping them, I make resolutions every year. Sometimes I call them priorities instead of resolutions.  Changing what …

Dec 28, 2011
By Michael Rupured
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White Bread

Having gained nearly 25 pounds between us over the last two weeks, my partner and I decided to keep Christmas dinner simple this year. We didn’t have any dressing, vegetables with cheese sauce, sweet potato casserole, corn pudding, scalloped oysters, yeast rolls, mashed potatoes or gravy.  Nope. Just roasted turkey breast, cranberry sauce, and green beans, lightly seasoned straight out of the can. The best thing about roasting a turkey is having enough leftover for sandwiches.  I prefer mostly white meat, plenty of mayo, and an optional leaf of iceberg lettuce on white bread.  On occasion, I enjoy a healthier version with cranberry sauce instead of the mayo. White bread was an early casualty of our healthy lifestyle. We switched …

Dec 23, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Wooomp…There it is!

The weeks since Thanksgiving have been chocked full of celebrations. Each and every get together has tested my commitment to a healthy lifestyle.  With just a few more days of the season remaining, healthy living is way behind in the polls. I started the season strong. The week of Thanksgiving I ran three times, hit Zumba on the days I didn’t run, and worked out with weight machines two or three times a week.  Even with the big holiday dinner and all the leftovers, I lost .6 pounds. The night after I ran my first 5K, we went to a friend’s house for a dinner to celebrate a birthday. The food was awesome. I was especially taken with the sausage-stuffed …

Dec 21, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Zumba Challengers

I’ve been hitting Zumba classes with the girls three or four times a week for several months now. Yeah, my partner comes to class with me. And a little old man showed up for one of the Zumbathons. Otherwise, the only men around mostly crowd around the windows to watch. I figured they were watching me and laughing. When I said so, my partner suggested they were more likely watching the women doing mildly suggestive dance moves. Oh. Another item for the list of things that wasn’t about me at all. The guy who hooked me up with my gym membership came to Zumba last week. We’ve been teasing him about coming to Zumba for months.  He adamantly insisted Zumba …

Dec 21, 2011
By Michael Rupured
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Our One-Woman Neighborhood Association

For most of the last fourteen years, our neighborhood association didn’t do much. Newsletters showed up in my mailbox a couple of times a year with contact information for the current officers, a plea for volunteers to chair one of several committees, and of course, a gentle reminder that paying membership fees (a minimal $10 to $25 per year) was not optional. Life was good. Then the association started hosting potluck cook-outs several times a year. We went for a while. Hated it. Don’t get me wrong–I like my neighbors, especially those I never see or hear. What’s his name and his wife seem nice. I wave when we pass each other on the street. Stopping to catch up on …

Dec 18, 2011
By Michael Rupured
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Finished…Mostly

Ten months ago, I started submitting 5,000 word chunks of my first novel to my writers group. As a novice writer, I was eager for the feedback of more experienced writers. Their numerous suggestions continue to help me to be the best  writer I can be. Tonight the group critiqued the last six chapters of Addicted. Rather than the usual 5K, I submitted two additional chapters (an extra 2,500 words) so everyone could see how the book ends. The ending came hard for me and I was anxious to hear what everyone had to say. Writing Glass Houses was easy. I’d lived the story.  I just needed to tell it in an interesting and entertaining way. My only constraint was …

Dec 14, 2011
By Michael Rupured
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An Avalanche of Catalogs

Since Thanksgiving, the mailman has deposited forty-nine copies of thirty different catalogs in our mailbox with more arriving every day. I was going to wait until Christmas Eve to blog about them, but my partner had a sudden attack of “clean this damn place up” and tossed them in the recycling bin. I take that to mean today is the day and dug them back out to write this post. We received one copy of eighteen different catalogs.  Some of these, like American Girl, Mindware, and Catalog Classics we ordered from last year. Or maybe it was Catalog Favorites. Having recently made purchases from these companies, I can understand why they would send me a copy of this year’s catalog. …

Dec 13, 2011
By Michael Rupured
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Things I Like About Christmas

To balance yesterday’s overly negative (but entirely true) post about some of the reasons I hate Christmas, I decided to dedicate today’s post to things I like about the biggest holiday of the year. No doubt you’ve already noticed I said “like” rather than “love”. Call me jaded if you like, but in my old age it takes more to move the needle from like to love. The other thing you’ll notice is that there are only eight things listed. I tried to come up with twelve but failed. Sure, I could have included getting presents, but that’s just tacky. I thought about adding sweet treats to the list but didn’t because I hate the result and alluded to them …

Dec 12, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Twelve Things I Hate About Christmas

Christmas is not my favorite time of year. Back when I was a kid and into my teens and early twenties it was.  There are at least a dozen reasons why my attitude has changed to Bah Humbug. Here’s a sampling. Crowded Stores. From Thanksgiving through the day or two after Christmas, going shopping is a nightmare. I’m a browser and used to enjoy spending a lot of time looking over a particular display for just the right item. Not any more. After getting bumped into half a dozen times and dealing with aisle rage, I’ve learned to keep moving. Traffic. Just getting to shopping outlets is a pain in the ass. Anyplace I’ve ever lived, traffic backs up for …

Dec 07, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Progress!

Yesterday I had my weekly appointment with Armand, my personal trainer. I told him I was getting frustrated and discouraged by my lack of progress. He begged to differ, saying he could tell a big difference since I started working with him two months ago. I wasn’t convinced, so Armand decided to take all my measurements again.  I was pleased but not overly impressed that my percent body fat had dropped by a full point since the last reading. Then he pulled out the tape measure. My calves are two inches bigger than they were two months ago. My thighs and waist are unchanged. My chest, shoulders, and arms each increased by at least two inches. Wow, I guess I’ve …

Dec 06, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Please Take Care of Yourself

Yesterday I learned that a dear friend has colon cancer. I don’t know how involved it is or what the treatment plan will be. Additional tests later this week should answer those questions. Until then I’m trying not to over-react and hoping for the best. In addition to eating a high fiber diet, the chief means of preventing colon cancer is the colonoscopic exam.  By age fifty–if not before–everyone should have one.  Yeah, it’s unpleasant–but not nearly so bad as say, dealing with colon cancer. Shortly after my fiftieth birthday I had a colonoscopic done. The doctor removed two polyps and biopsied a questionable lesion. The lesion was precancerous.  The doctor scheduled me for surgery to have the lesion removed. …

Dec 05, 2011
By Michael Rupured
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Bargain Tuna

Since starting Weight Watchers back in May, I’ve significantly increased my consumption of canned tuna.  It’s cheap, a good source of protein, and barely makes a dent in my daily point allowance. What’s not to like? I come home for lunch every day for a leafy green salad. I usually add some fat-free shredded cheddar cheese (one point), some croutons (one or two points, depending on the brand), and use olive oil vinaigrette (two points) because it counts for the healthy oil I’m supposed to eat every day.  Five points for lunch means I can definitely have ice cream before I go to bed. While I say ice cream, in truth, it’s low-fat frozen yogurt. Instead of the five points …

Dec 03, 2011
By Michael Rupured

My First 5K Run…Ever!

My first 5K event took place in January of 2009. I signed up to run in the Chilly Dawg because it  was sponsored by my employer.  The plan was to walk it, but I quit before I even reached the half way point. This morning I ran in the Sleighbell.  Having failed miserably at my first 5K, this time I was bound and determined to finish. To guarantee my success, I trained for three full months.  For the last month, I’ve set my pedometer to 5K at least three times a week and have had no trouble going the distance.  I was ready. The temperature was a brisk 34 degrees when I got up this morning. I put on my …