Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary
My Loves

Vincent Murphy

Central New York

Central New York


Come On!


I miss my Missy

Better Days

Better Days
they'll come again

Alicia Vida Billman

Alicia Vida Billman
is 29 today

This says it all!

This says it all!
Friday noon, you're coming home with me Vinny.

Vincent Murphy?

Vincent Murphy?

Tuesday nights

Tuesday nights
are gonna change in May

Mr. Murphy

Mr. Murphy
waiting for his haircut

When I get bored

When I get bored
I take pictures of myself in bathrooms

Graphic Boulevard

Graphic Boulevard
blown transformers and a tree

Cars in Bergenfield

Cars in Bergenfield
didn't do well

House on Queen St

House on Queen St
with a for sale sign in front of it


Storm 2010

Vincent Murphy

Vincent Murphy
and his look alike Bob Murphy

Off my back porch

Off my back porch
Don't worry I didn't take this pic while falling

Down Kellogg Street

Down Kellogg Street

Up Kellogg Street

Up Kellogg Street

My house, our cars

My house, our cars

Winter 2010

Winter 2010


I want summer back!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yeah It Snowed Yesterday

making a line in my new poem about the last snow of winter null and void. What a crazy place I live in. But today's going to be better -- 52 I hear. It was a little disconcerting to see snow, especially since I put a rosemary plant out on the porch. Welcome to CNY Rosie.
My friend Patrick commented yesterday about how I name my cars. I replied "who doesn't?". And who doesn't name appliances for that matter? And whose appliances and vehicles don't have their own theme songs? I have:
Ruby, my car who has three theme songs
The Breadman, my bread machine with a Barry White theme song
My laptop, F!$*?* 7, who doesn't have a theme song yet, now that I think about it
Zogirushi, the coffee maker with a theme song to the tune of Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto
Pedi Paws will whir to the tune of "Lollipop, Lollipop"
Don't your major and minor appliances have names and theme songs? If so, what are they? If not, what's up with that?
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Guest Blogger: Missy

I know that every day Murphy puts up cutesy crap that attempts to make it sound like she's cool and fun and smart and witty, but today I'm here to give you the real lowdown on what it's like to live day in and day out with that little psychopath. Here are just a few of the things she's done in the last few days that prove she's crazy:
spent $20.00 on Pedi Paws, the as-seen-on-tv pet nail trimmer/stroke-inducing torture device after seeing apparently drugged up dogs happily getting their nails trimmed in the commercial.
bought wildflower seed and left the box on the living room floor, then was surprised when, upon coming home, she found that I had opened the box and the plastic and consumed an unknown amount of seeds. Now I could have black-eyed Susans growing in my tummy.
had the neighbor cut down my apple trees, under which I stand in fall gobbling apples like nobody's business. Now I'll only have deer crap to look forward to.
is calling the vet for an appointment today, I just know it. She says we're trying yet another vet, since I had to be muzzled last time. So, what else is new? Catherine says we're going to go to every vet in the Mohawk Valley until we find one I like. Surprise! I don't like vets! I didn't like the one in Waterville and I didn't like the bald guy in New Hartford. Would you like people who stick you with needles and put thermometers . . . never mind.

These are just a few of my complaints, and they're some of the relatively minor ones. But you know what? I kinda like this blogging thing. It feels good to get some things off my chest. And don't you think my post is more interesting than Murphy's?

Murphy's New York a go go is mine!
Happy Monday

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Here's what got done . . .

Well, I did plant irises, and I raked the front yard. No need to trim the apple trees; they're cut down. Neighbor Jeff and his chainsaw took care of them. Now buddy Rick needs to come get his pig smoking apple wood. Daughter Pin thinks my life sounds weird. Chainsaws and pigsmokers: hey it's central New York.

Good thing I got it done yesterday. Today is cold and rainy so far. Good day to watch a documentary on Aileen Wournos to see if I want to show it to my analytical and research writing class. I think I do. It's one thing to see Cherlize Theron and Christina Ricci being bad girls, another to see the real things.

My class theme is crime and media, so the students read about representations of crime and criminals and watch a movie or two. I get the crime junkers in this class often, soc, psych and cj majors. They are fun and smart and they make my life easier. So far, I can't find movies to show in business communications: any suggestions?

D and I had Indian food last night at the new place in Clinton, which was hopping and fun and the food seemed better than at the same restaurant in Utica; go figure. Clinton is the place, maybe, for happenin' stuff.

Well bloggers, have a great Sunday and remember there's an old post about foods and places that I still want comments on, Clark.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Backyard Inventory

Here is an inventory of the things that need to be done in my yard this weekend:
trim apple trees
rake up things that look like giant black pea pods
clean up flower beds (if I can find them)
get rid of dead bodies (put that in to see if you were paying attention)
plant iris bulbs
haul fallen limbs to curb
talk Rick into doing all of the above instead of me
We'll see how far I get. I'm going to see if the wheelbarrow I inherited with the house (it's under the house with god knows how many mice and spiders) is functional. It's vintage, so maybe I should sell it (D's idea) to an antique dealer instead to pay for my yard work.

If you're around Clinton, I have an extra rake. Pizza's on me.
Happy Saturday

Friday, March 27, 2009

Still Waiting . . .

for responses to my post "Pictureless" on March 21 that asked for those food descriptions. Clark, did Idaho close up shop? Jess and Carlie, thank you for the responses. Perhaps someday I will try tomato pie.

So, I'd like to say that it's going to be a great weekend for trimming trees and cleaning the yard. I'd like to say that as I haul limbs to the curb and rake and uncover and recover my yard, the following songs will make up my soundtrack:
Walking On Sunshine (Katrina and the Waves)
Another Sunny Day (Belle and Sebastian)
Sunshine of Your Love (Cream)

But I bet it'll be more like this:
Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head (B.J. Thomas)
Soft Rain (written by Janet and Douglas Cox, performed by various artists)
If All the Raindrops Were Lemon Drops (who knows?)

Notice there are only three songs on the sunny list, three on the rainy one. Yes, it's reader participation time. It's a good way to make up to me from the poor responses to pictureless. So, c'mon people, what songs would go on a sunny weekend soundtrack; what songs on a rainy one? It might snow on Sunday, but I refuse to entertain a snowtrack.

Happy Friday to all!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I was over at myspace

updating my profile and I noticed the following:

In the who knows how long (a long time) since I updated my profile my mother turned 89, my father 98.

I have only read one, maybe two new books since I updated my profile.

Apparently I haven't watched any good movies since my last update.

I have blitzed through almost six years of Ballykissangel since I last updated.

I have had the same puke pink layout for far too long.

I have, I think, lost a friend or two, such is life.

I had to decide whether or not to update the war anniversary from five to six tears, and since that just depressed me I didn't, choosing instead to include "people who like peace" in my profile.

This isn't in my profile, but during the time I didn't read much of anything you could call a book, I probably graded hundreds of papers and business letters.

It's good to see who you are in various settings, yes? If you haven't already guessed, the reason myspace gets so little attention is that murphy's new york a go go 2 gets so much. You should try it -- take a trip through your various internet loci and see what's there. Lemme know what you find, okay?

Happy Thursday

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm still waiting . . .

for responses to last Saturday's post about food. C'mon people, let's give it up now. Yeah, I'm a little feisty after yesterday. Here's a little imaginary list of things I'll do after I get tenure:


Of course, I'm joking. I'll still do stuff. But, I'll stop wearing my bulletproof vest all the time.

Happy Wednesday

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

And the winner is . . .

me. The vote was yes.

Well, this is it . . .

the day the School of Arts and Sciences at the SUNY Institute of Technology decides my fate. Yes, it's time for the tenure vote, well one of them. Aunt Grace is saying prayers; Aunt Grace is always saying prayers, actually. Well, it can't hurt.

The meeting starts at 12:30, and if we go in alphabetical order, it's Daryl Lee in the "batter up" position first. He's a shoe in. Then me, then Laura (Laura's also a sure thing). Good luck to both of them. So think of me around 1:00, when I'm sitting in my office eating Girl Scout cookies and trying not to freak out.

No matter what the outcome, I'll be tipping a glass tonight. Well, if the answer's no, maybe I'll be tipping a bottle.

What's on your schedule today?
Happy Tuesday

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday, Monday

Here's a little wish list for the week ahead. I wish
-- that it would be warmer than 12 degrees in the morning
-- that I was doing my taxes instead of just talking about doing them
-- that the yard fairies would come to my house and not leave a bill
-- that it was too warm to wear all the cheap sweaters I bought at Kohl's yesterday
-- that it was warm enough to do a full hour of the peace vigil
-- for peace
What do you wish for this week?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Self Indulgence

So I wrote a new poem this morning. I thought, hey, how self centered can you be Murphy, putting up some schlocky poem? Then I thought, hey it's my blog. I hope I didn't spell Moroni wrong. Clark, the demeanor line's for you.

Poem Written on the Back of an Observation Report

Well, the last snow of spring caused my eyes to blink, look up to the sky, and wonder
If this winter will ever end. Life’s a day at a time here in this place of snow-encrusted yellow flowers.
The academic achievements written down and collected to be examined and speculated upon.

It’s a strange time, this waiting to be tenured –
For what? A pay raise? Protection? From whom?
The student who doesn’t like my grading? My teaching? My demeanor?
I’ve never really kept my mouth shut anyway.

Once, in a land of bone dry, I prayed for rain – in my own way.
Hunkered down in a basement apartment, I dreamed of trees and moisture,
Found my way in a place so alien and austere, where Moroni’s horn cast
Its shadow from a salt lake northward to a desert high and tan.

Now I’m here where lakes cause an effect that can only be measured
In stanzas of grey and low light, where mornings I read under a broad spectrum of uv rays
Just to keep the day in check, where night is just a little darker than day some days.

In spring the trees come back hesitant, no wonder, in a place with so many false starts.
Marked by the rake that replaces the snow shovel, spring has its own tools waiting
For my opposable thumbs encased in work gloves.

The lawnmower waits in the shed alongside the weed whacker I can never start.
It’s all about tool usage – this life of chalk and dry-erase markers, the red pens
I never use on student papers, the new car that waits to take me to my office, where I:
plan the classes
grade the papers
make the phone calls
hire the teachers
send the emails
eat the pretzels
console the students
And sometimes give them the very bad news that while they were failing the class I was writing a poem about tenure and the spring that waits to come.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I didn't have a camera for so long that I guess I forget I have one now. My goal last night was to take pics of the Friday night fish fry at the Creekside Cafe and post them here with some commentary about how sweet it is that we in CNY have this tradition. Fish fry happens all year, but it really takes on significance when Lent rolls around and Catholics forsake meat on Fridays. During Lent, every restaurant, bowling alley, church and just about any building in CNY with a kitchen is cranking out this delicacy. It's battered and fried haddock served with fries and slaw, and if you're paying more than ten dollars for it, you're getting robbed. The piece of haddock you'll get is HUGE, and the fries and slaw just add to the overall deliciousness of the dish. If you ate fish fry every day, you'd probably keel over in a month.

Writing this post has reminded me of all the good eats we have here in CNY. I'll be honest, I don't eat all of these area specialties, and one of them I haven't even tried, but here they are with no descriptions:
-- riggies, either chicken or vodka
-- tomato pie
-- pusties
-- spiedies (more a western New York thing, but you can get them here too)
-- greens
Okay, dear reader now it's up to you to provide descriptions of the aforementioned dishes.

Idaho has its delicacies too, and some of them I sorely miss. If you're reading my blog from the Gem State (Clark and maybe Ginger), can you tell our readers about the following delicious dishes?
-- Indian fry tacos
-- funeral potatoes (probably more Mormon than Idahoan, but oh so delightful)
-- chokecherry syrup or jam
-- Basque sheeepherders bread (from central Idaho)
-- huckleberry syrup or jam
-- fresh trout (rainbow, cutthroat, brook, any kind really)
-- Pollo Asada (clearly not just Idahoan, but certainly not on any Mexican restaurant menus around here)
What did I forget? There are plenty of potato-related dishes, from ice cream to chocolate covered potato chips, but I've never had the urge to partake in any of those.

Well, have fun with this post. It'll make you hungry. Maybe for a garbage plate at Betty's Cafe in Marcy, NY? That's where I'm going.
Happy Saturday

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Five, No Six Questions for You

As we careen into the last part of the semester here at SUNYIT, it occurs to me that teachers and students really do operate on a different sort of "time". We have semesters and breaks, summers "off" that mean we do all the things we can't do during the semesters, and weird times (like weekends and the wee hours of the morning) that we work on things for classes.

In effect, when you go from being a college student to being a college teacher not much changes as far as the overall schedule of things. But, what if . . .

you're reading this and you're neither a teacher nor a student? What if you were a student until somewhat recently and now you're in the "real world"? Wanna answer five questions? You know you do. Here they are:

1) What is the most similar thing about being in college and being in the "real world"? I always put those two words in quotes because I'm not sure such a thing exists.

2) What is the most different?

3) What do you miss the most (related to curricular stuff, please, not beer bongs, beer, or bongs) about college?

4) What do you miss the least?

5) If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently? Different major? More partying? More studying?

6) What is a favorite college memory?

Yes, those of us who teach college can also respond, whether or not we believe that what we do involves any sort of real. You don't have to answer all of the questions; it's not a quiz.

Happy Thursday

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ruby Roundup and Happy St. Patty's Day

Ruby and I are home. The technician couldn't find a thing wrong with her and thinks she got some bad gas. Makes sense, since all the "troubles" (trying to use Irishisms today) started right after a fillup.
Happy St. Pat's to everybody. When I'm a wee bit more awake, I'll put up some pics from the parade in Bergenfield. Until then, here are five St Patty's Day thoughts/memories/ideas (totally random):

My last name is from the Irish O Murchadha, which means sea battler.
My great grandfather's name and my grandfather's middle name, Tadhg, is an ancient Irish word that means poet.
My grandfather (although he was from County Cork) had no accent because he rid himself of it it when he came to NYC. He left Ireland because of some problem. Family lore (in other words my brothers told me) had it that he was IRA. My father says he was stealing chickens.
Once my mother got real soda bread from a bakery, the kind that isn't made with extra butter and an egg and raisins or currants, the kind with caraway seeds. I learned that authenticity is not always a good thing.
I'm sure for beer lovers Guinness is lovely, but for me it's better in Vidarella's Guinness brownies.
Since green is the new black (something Pinhead and I decided) it should be easy for us all to find something to wear today.
I spent many childhood hours looking for leprechauns and four leaf clovers, especially on St. Patty's Day.

Happy St. Patrick's Day everybody.

Do you have any St. Patty's Day thoughts you'd love to share?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again

Well, actually Lodi is a few towns away, but yes, I'm stuck in New Jersey because Ruby had to be towed to a Kia dealer on Friday and she's still there. I really hope I get my car back today, especially since I have two classes to teach tomorrow.
But since I'm here, I might as well say thank god for family and friends. My parents are putting me up, my aunt and uncle fed me yesterday and treated me like the little princess they always have, and Pri picked me up and took me to her house and we talked and talked. So life isn't so bad when you have this kind of great stuff in your life. And I even have pics of the Bergenfield, NJ St. Pat's Day parade to post.

How's your Monday?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Greetings from the Garden State

Anybody who has known me for more than a week or two knows that I have some real problems with my place of origin, the big NJ. I hate that many people in the garden state look angry, drive angry, etc. I'm a sensitive little thing, and I like it when people look happy to be where they are.

So going to NJ is confusing sometimes. But some things are NEVER ambivalence-inducing. Here are five things about NJ that are love-inducing, and yes, they all involve food.
1) Yesterday's bagels from Dumont hot bagels (way too big but delicious anyway)
2) Last night's pizza from Victor's in Teaneck (the best pizza I've had in a long, long time)
3) Today's soon-to-be-purchased crumb cake from B and W Bakery in Hackensack (omg, the crumbs are two inches thick)
4) Tonight's Chinese food from Beijing Duck in Bergenfield (last time it wasn't as great as it usually is, but I'm giving it another chance)
5) My family (no I'm not gonna eat them, but I love sharing food with them, especially now that they're so old they don't just order a pie at will)

So that's it from the garden state. Can you see why I was a fat teenager?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring Break Party at my house, Dudes!!!!!!!!!

Actually, no. But it is still pretty exciting. My Spring Break song . . .

I'm goin' to Massachusetts
Massachusetts here I come.
They got a crazy little Pinhead there
And she's really lots of fun.

Yeah, the last line's lame, but I got some packing to do.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dear Chevon,

Dear Chevon,

I know I named you something else at birth, and at the time I felt I had good reason. But you're older now, and I think it's time you accepted the fact that you should undergo a name change. To Chevon -- a most beautiful name in keeping with our Irish heritage and born of your mother's ongoing Ballykissangel obsession.

Since you never/rarely read your own mother's blog, it should be interesting to see how long it takes you to figure out whether your name is being changed from Pinhead or Bighead. Either way, remember you're half Irish and that means you get to be a wee bit smug from now until March 18th, especially since you, like your mother, know nothing/little about Ireland other than the food's mostly bad and the sun shines less there than it does in even Portland/Utica/Massachusetts.

I hope your sister Moira appreciates her name change too. BTW, the dog formerly known as Missy is now Fiona.

Your Sainted Mother
P.S.: I hope you both remembered to call Poppyseed yesterday.

What's she building in there?

Maybe it's spring, maybe just me, but I feel lately like I'm "cooking things up" for lack of a better term. I see projects all around me (the front step needs to be rebuilt; the basement steps need to be rebuilt; the chimney needs to be rebuilt), but for some reason it doesn't bother me too much.

There's always a lot to do and I never get half of it done, but at least with spring on its way there are days ahead that won't be bugger-freezing cold. What allows this optimism to shoot up and out of the earth like spring herself?

Okay, here's the real deal. I'm doing an editing job for an acupuncturist and it's totally zenning me out. I'm getting chill and empowered just doing the copy editing. I foresee a whole new me acquired vicariously. I foresee this feeling of contentment descending and enveloping me. I foresee . . .
it not lasting, but maybe I'll get a few moments of calm outta the deal.

Here's some news. NYRI might be over, done, toast, but baby it ain't over til it's over (allusion guess, anyone?) Yes, folks should not put away their "STOP NYRI" posters yet. For anyone who reads a go go 2 from afar, I'll oversimplify: New York Regional Interconnect bad, central New York villages not getting destroyed and no power towers running down Genesee Street in Utica good. It's more complex than that, but hey this is my blog and I get to misrepresent all I want -- booyah!

In other news, I seem to have fallen into the pit of early spring break malaise I am often prone to. Ask any college teacher if his/her students check out the week before any break starts, and s/he'll tell you yes. Ask this college teacher "hey Murf, do you check out the week before spring break?" and I'll tell you yes. I have made virtually no progress on a set of papers I got last Thursday, and yesterday I realized I hadn't prepped anything for my bus com class (2:00) at 1:30. It was a good class, which sometimes happens when I fly by the seat. Clark, did Roger Schmidt ever give you his sage advice about prepping? It's brilliant and scary.

Well, I'll close with a tribute of sorts. Mr. Vincent Daniel Murphy, aka my pops, turned 98 yesterday. Last night I called him and we laughed our heads off. He's the sweetest man alive and I love him. Enough said.
Happy, happy day
Anybody wanna grade some papers?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Tis the Season

Here's the total so far:
one purple pair
one purple, gray, black, and white striped pair
one brown and tan striped pair
one brown pair with big tan polka dots
one black pair
Yes, in a nod to the spring that seems like it will never actually get here, I officially declare non woolen knee sock season open.