Category: Changing Times

Apr 04, 2020
By Michael Rupured

Teaching to the Grid

The two-week suspension of instruction to enable faculty to transition to online teaching ended a week ago Friday. Students returned to class Monday. My first class was Tuesday. It didn’t go well. For starters, students couldn’t hear me. I have to lean in close to see anything on my laptop. Students watched a closeup of my forehead as I frantically scrambled through settings trying to figure out what the hell was wrong. Students tried to help without success. One day, I’ll laugh about it. Ended up dialing in. Had to use my phone to talk and my laptop for everything else. Didn’t help that my first online lecture was new to me from slides used by a guest speaker last …

Mar 27, 2020
By Michael Rupured

Three Down, so Far

I just wrapped up my third straight week at home. So far, so good. How much longer sheltering in place and social distancing will be the norm is anyone’s guess, but I don’t expect to return to business as usual any time soon. For the foreseeable future, staying at home is my new normal. The first week I took off for Spring Break. With my teaching schedule, opportunities to use vacation days are few and far between. After a crazy busy start to the semester, I was ready for some R & R. Other than doctor appointments on two days, my only plans were to get some sun, resume my long-suspended exercise routine, and spruce up the yard for spring. …

Mar 22, 2020
By Michael Rupured

The Best of a Bad Situation

The global corona virus pandemic is the most frightening situation I’ve ever experienced. The virus could but isn’t likely to kill me, but with no one to care for me should I fall ill, avoiding possible contagion is my top priority. Consequently, I’m homebound for the foreseeable future. Were I to get sick, friends would take care of me. Tony and Jesse have looked after me for years and rescued me too many times to count. They’ve drug me along to lots of events since Andy died which has expanded my circle of local friends. I’m grateful, and owe it to them and others who’d help me to minimize my risk of exposure. Staying in the moment is my second …

Aug 01, 2019
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Climate Change & My Garden

Climate Change & My Garden

More than thirty days with little rain and highs above 90 degrees have taken a toll on my little garden. After much deliberation, debate, and a water bill three times the usual amount, I decided to withhold life support. Since pulling the plug, we’ve had some rain — not much, but enough to keep things alive a little longer. How long remains to be seen. Hot, dry conditions will likely persist into October. Keeping my summer garden alive is not a new struggle. Heat, drought, and an abundance of deer have long conspired against me. Though I grow tomatoes every year, ripe fruit are nearly as rare as snow in summer. By comparison, my first winter garden was a nearly …

Jul 03, 2019
By Michael Rupured
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LGBTQ History: Missing Pieces?

June 2019 was the best LGBTQ Pride Month ever. The level of media coverage was unprecedented, and several excellent shows were aired. All in all, I was blown away and thrilled for our history to be so widely shared. Coming out in 1979 sparked a life-long interest in gay history. I realized while doing the research for No Good Deed and Happy Independence Day that the history I’d gleaned from magazines, books, and the grapevine was more than a little incomplete. Documentaries aired during Pride Month filled in even more blanks. The Lavender Scare (PBS) is an excellent overview of gay history in the United States. Homosexuals have been around forever, but didn’t emerge as a social group until early …

Jun 05, 2019
By Michael Rupured
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No More Garage Sales

Late last year, I set a goal to have a garage sale in April or May — before it got too hot. Setting the goal lit a fire under my butt to finish organizing closets, cabinets, and drawers, but the garage sale ain’t happening. In fact, I may never have another garage sale again. I do a mean garage sale. Lots of signs and ads attract a big crowd. It’s not about getting the best price or what things are worth. The value to me is zero or it wouldn’t be there. Getting rid of stuff is the objective. Any proceeds are icing on the cake. “Keep, sell, donate or toss” was my mantra as I slowly worked my way …

Oct 15, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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Gaydom’s Golden Age

Never has there been a better time to be a gay man in America. Well into the 1960s, homosexuality was a sin, a mental illness, and a crime. Police routinely raided gay bars and often published names in the local newspaper of anyone arrested. Gay liberation has been one of many fronts in the decades-long fight for equal rights. We’ve come a long way in my life time. Police stopped raiding bars (mostly) in the early 1970s but continued to publish names of men arrested in sting operations. Local gay bars became a safe place to meet other gay men. By 1979 when I exploded out of the closet, Lexington’s gay bar was packed six nights a week.  The crowd …

Sep 03, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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My Southern Heritage

I grew up in Kentucky and have lived in Georgia for twenty years. My ancestors have lived in the South for centuries. By any standard, I am a a bona fide Southerner. Pride for our Southern heritage is universal in my family, but stories about the Civil War weren’t part of my upbringing. I heard we’re kin to Robert E. Lee and John Wilkes Booth, but nobody in the family has any old photographs, letters from the battlefield, or other Civil War memorabilia. My DNA results shattered the myths I’d believed all my life. We are not related to Lee or Booth, and records linked to my family tree reveal ancestors who fought for the Union, but none who sided …

Mar 19, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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Comes the Time in a Man’s Life….

Sex in later life is not without challenges. Men of a certain age sometimes experience equipment malfunctions. The mind is willing, but essential parts refuse to cooperate.  Over time, once in a while turns into more often than not. Sigh. Prior generations accepted male performance issues as a natural part of the aging process. That has changed. Thanks to the makers of Viagra and similar drugs, impotence has become a treatable illness with a new name: Erectile Dysfunction. The ads crack me up. My favorite features an attractive older man tossing a football through a tire swing. Get it? Eventually, I worked up the nerve to broach the subject with my doctor. She told me to see a urologist. Fear …

Dec 24, 2017
By Michael Rupured

My Personal Relationship with Santa

The arrival of the Sears Christmas catalog kicked off the holiday seasons of my childhood. The massive tome offered everything I ever wanted and served as a reference for my annual letter to Santa. When I was old enough, Mom said Santa needed the page number and item number for everything on my list. Santa kicked off his U.S. tour with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York, followed a few days later by the Christmas Parade in Lexington, Kentucky. He rode in his sleigh with eight tiny reindeer atop the biggest fire truck in the city. Dad was on the fire department, so I got to ride on the truck with Santa and toss candy to the crowd. That’s right. …