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!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Murphy's New York a go go 2 is going on hiatus. I've got some things to work through right now, and, who knows, maybe I'll be back before you know it. But for right now, I'm taking a break. Maybe Missy will take over. See Ya.

Internet Celebrity

Well, Jay-Bear gave me a great idea for a writing prompt for my class. The internet celebrity is a phenom that I find amusing and sometimes disturbing. Obviously, I like the Internet and don't think twice about posting things I find interesting (me!) or amusing (me!) or profound (me!).

Of course, there are things I leave out. Like right now on this rainy morning I have a lingering sadness that started yesterday. I can't pinpoint it, but I suspect it has something to do with the lack of sunlight we're experiencing right now.

But enough about me; back to Jay Bear's great idea. I'm going to have my creative writing class become internet celebrities. Today I'm going to give them paper, colored pencils, and markers and have them construct a depiction of a web "something" devoted to themselves. I think it'll be a good exercise in thinking about public and private selves and what it means to put yourself out there -- which should transfer nicely to writing for an audience. It won't involve too much text, so it should be a nice way to get started.

Yesterday I had them generate lists of words that they felt describe them. The trick was that the first list had to be verbs only. That was tough for them, so when they got to the second list adjectives seemed a bit easier. Then, you guessed it, nouns and noun phrases were last. Then we wrote, using words from each list. I don't know what they wrote. I wrote a little piece about Dr. Sigh (my pediatrician) writing that I was volatile on my chart when I was a little kid. I read mine out loud; they weren't ready yet.

Today we'll talk about David Sedaris and do my Jay-Bear inspired exercise. We certainly won't go outside to write because it's pouring rain. Let's hope the 3 hours and 15 minutes will fly by.

I have a ton of writing exercises, and many of them have come to me in the car on the way to work; a few I've thought of after a glass of wine or two. Some come from books and get modified to make them more fun. One comes from Pin, so she's exempt from the following challenge:

What would you do with a creative writing class if you had one?

C'mon peeps, step up to the plate. Use your imagination and think of something that would get a class motivated and writing. No nudity allowed, no illegal substances either. Whatcha got?

If you need inspiration, read "The Learning Curve" by David Sedaris. He's my model for teaching creative writing.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

First Day of School

Betcha thought some old post had resurfaced, but no, it's true. Today is the first day of the first time I'll teach summer school since I started work at SUNYIT. My creative writing class has three people in it. They are paying for Dennis the house painter to transform this old house.

I was going to teach technical writing online, but that meant eight weeks of an obligation to log on and read posts and grade, and well, there's not that much summer to be had. So, under a new deal, I'm allowed to keep my class open even with three students at $350.00 a head. That means $50.00 leftover for paint, since I'm exploiting the house painter horribly and he's only making $1,000. to paint my house. I had four students at one point, but somebody bailed. Don't worry; I know the paint will cost more than $50.00.

I have a long history with summer school. I started my college career in Latin American History with Jack Owens at ISU, four days a week, three+ hours a day. He's a nice man (a real dog lover), but man was I tired after about 3:00, and we still had 90 minutes to go. After that four weeks was over, it was American History Part 2 and Philosophy, for another four weeks. That habit of two or three summer classes was repeated every summer for my undergraduate career. I read Paul Churchland while Big and Pin took swim lessons. Later, I did linguistics to make up some of my "deficits" when switching from El Ed to English for my M.A..

I like summer school. On a big, busy campus like ISU summer is quiet and peaceful. When I first started summer school, the place was always populated by army officers come for training. One of them had a little crush on me, I think. She would always smile and ask me how I was that day.

As a teacher, some of my best classes were summer ones. The last class I taught for ISU was in Idaho Falls (satellite campus), and the students all pitched in and gave me a going away to NY present. I always tell people that lavender foot cream was part of the gift because they'd all been smelling my horrid feet in sandals for eight weeks. They were great students and fun to teach.

Today I'll meet some new great students, and we'll have a blast. We'll do David Sedaris and laugh, and we'll do some serious memoir too. And Jess, we'll do the chocolate chip cookie exercise. Remember that?

So, don't worry. They're not just paint money to me, these students. In the languid summer afternoon hours, they'll become a community of writers, and anybody walking by the classroom will hear bursts of laughter or see students thoughtfully commenting on each other's work. Besides, they only have to put with me for four weeks, and my sandals are a lot (well, a bit) less smelly than they used to be.

I have to remember as I get ready to teach summer school that as interesting as I am to listen to for hours at a time (ask anybody!) we'll all need a few breaks. And we can write outside, something not always easy to do in CNY. So, wish me luck!

Happy Tuesday and Peace,
Welcome Jaybear. I hope MNYAGG will be as amusing as you'd hoped it would.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

You think you got it rough . . .

It's one of those days when I can't decide whether I want to go out to breakfast or dinner. I know, sounds like a dilemma. Is it Outback (I fell prey to a commercial) or a big breakfast at Creekside Cafe? Being middle class is full of such dilemmas I've learned. Apparently not knowing how to cook anymore aggravates the situation.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day, a day that always causes the same thought to cross my mind, and I'll warn you it's a morbid one. I always think what if Mr. Murphy hadn't made it safely back from the Philippines, where he served during WWII. He was on a boat (his term) and really didn't see too much action, but once a kamikaze flew toward them, only to change his mind at the last minute. Mr. Murphy has some chilling pictures of Japanese soldiers surrendering to American forces. He has a rifle in the attic and his old uniform. His fondest memory of the war is that once the whole ship got ice cream. The boat is where his hearing loss started, from firing the big guns.

He thinks it's funny I'm in a peace group because he never questioned what he would do when WWII started. He was too old to be drafted, and the first time he volunteered they sent him home to take care of his widowed mother. He was about 32 years old, and he went back to try again. The second time they took him. He was older than everybody else he served with. He could have stayed home, could have met my mother sooner. He's got that old fashioned patriotism, I guess. He tells me he wanted to go because all his pals were going. He's funny that way.

So, on Memorial Day I allow myself my morbid thought, even though Mr. Murphy downplays the drama and danger of war. I think when I do the peace vigil there will be a few more fingers raised today than usual. Memorial Day brings out something strange in people.

Have a Good One,

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Home Again, Home Again . . .

Well, I made it -- I survived a holiday weekend going up the thruway with thousands of vacationers who had to race at breakneck speeds to the Catskills and Adirondacks. I saw some stuff that would make your blood run cold, some stuff that would make it boil. Almost without exception, every time somebody did something reckless and downright stupid, s/he drove a car with Jersey plates. I'm just sayin'. So Jess, wait until you get here to do your driving test.

While in NJ I:
-- took my mother to the dermatologist
-- cut my mother's and father's hair (which includes eyebrow, ear, and neck trimming for my father; boy can that man grow hair, just not on his head)
-- took my mother and aunt out to lunch (my mother rarely gets out of the house)
-- got nine, eight, and then unfortunately seven hours of sleep (dead end street)
-- went to Jersey Boyz with 20 or so people and played trivia (excellent mojitos)
-- celebrated my niece Jill's birthday at said Jersey Boyz, where, btw, our team took third in trivia

So now I'm home and it looks like the lawnmowing fairy (who'd kill me over the "fairy" part if he read this) has taken care of the lawn. What a life! I'm pretty lucky to live here. Remind me that I wrote that come winter when I'm blogging about how I'm hanging by a thread and taking 50,000 units of vitamin D just to make it through the day.

The pics are of my parents' house, the home to which they brought from Englewood Hospital many years ago, the home in which I grew up. I could tell you stories about that house, and I will, but not now. It wasn't a bad place to grow up, especially if you liked all your neighbors knowing all your business.

I'm glad to be home. I'm glad Rick mowed the lawn. I'm glad that it's outdoor ice cream season, and especially I'm glad for Creekside Cafe Creamery. Enough, starting to sound like a testimonial.

Happy Weekend

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm tawkin' pizza

I'm tawkin' Jersey pizza. I'm tawkin' two and a half pieces a sawsage pizza and one piece a cheese. I'm tawkin' about a little slice of heaven. Greetings from the Garden State.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mid Life Crisis?

Not mine -- been there, done that. I'm talking about Mr. D, Do, Do Do, Dr. D., he who goes by many names, among them Dorian (sung to the tune of Gloria). My friend Dorian turned 30 yesterday, and I finally spoke with him after months of unreturned phone calls (Do, I'd all but given up).

Dorian's been my friend for years. I met him when he was not yet 20 years old. I was past that age then, and it appears I am still almost 20 years older than him. He was in my creative writing group at ISU. No, he wasn't the one who scared people off; that was Mark Brown. And he wasn't the one with the crazy red hair and all the political and social fanaticism; that was Jeremy Petersen. And he wasn't the middle aged chic with the really bad poems; that was me. Dorian was the fair haired boy with the ready smile who didn't have to always take things so seriously. What was he doing with us?

Over the years Dorian's friendship saw me through a lot of, let's just say good times and bad times. I was a little worried when I moved away because we're both pretty "in the now" kinda cats, and doing a long distance friendship is complicated. He came to visit me here in NY, one of the few people from Pocatello who has, but of course it's not the same as it used to be when we could just go for a hike, just go to eat, just put off responsibility and go at the drop of a hat. But it's fine. It's just good to know that even though he's an old dude (he mentioned hemorrhoid cream on the phone) and I keep getting younger, we still have a lot to talk about.

So, Dorian Dude, Happy Birthday Dude. Dude, it was great talking to you Dude.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Geek Repository

I should've known that asking about your favorite Star Trek would bring out the total geek in one of you whose name begins with C. Just sayin'. I like that my blog can be an educational place, where Jess can learn about the nuances of Trekology.

So I saw the movie, and it was great. It was like watching Lost only in Space -- get it, Lost in Space? I mean JJ Abrams ought to direct my life; I'd be in great shape from all that running around. And I look pretty good in a mini skirt. Yes, they're still wearing mini skirts in space. I don't know about that. And JJ Abrams' answer to the mini skirt question was bull. Neil Conan should have followed up a little better on that one, but the Talk of the Nation interview was a feel good one, I suppose.

Today I will not be going to the Adirondacks as vaguely planned because it is cold and nasty looking. By cold I mean 31 degrees last night. What a crazy summer. But I'm undaunted. Last night D and I picked up my very large light up palm tree from a friend's house, and it will make my back porch a tropical oasis.

So think of me today as you're sweating in Portland or freezing in New York. Summer's here -- somewhere.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Friend or Pho?

Yeah, that's cheesy. But if you haven't eaten at Pho Mekong, you haven't experienced one of Utica's finest dining traditions. Pho Mekong has been in this area approximately as long as I have, and it's a place where D and I have been going since the bloom of our relationship was on the rose, so to speak. The food is flavorful and interesting, with pho, spring rolls, bun (which I just learned means vermicelli) dishes, and a soup that has pineapple and tomato as well as stir fries of various types. The spring rolls are the best I've ever had, and I've eaten a lot of spring rolls in a lot of places, east and west. The lady (cute and running a restaurant on her own) who owns Pho Mekong is really nice too, so that makes it a great place to eat.

Last night D and I went to Sunny, Utica's new pan Asian restaurant. Let me say that sometimes I'm suspicious of the whole pan Asian thing, but this place is great. We had a Cambodian Farmer's soup and spring rolls with pork (you can choose your meat) and (yeah we ordered too much food) a Thai chicken dish and (yeah, there's more) a beef dish served on lettuce with tomatoes, cilantro and a vinegar salt and pepper sauce. It was great. The lady (cute and nice) who owns the place is really outgoing and again making a go of it (I hope) as a small business owner in Utica.

So support these places people! We need to have some food in Utica that doesn't come with marinara sauce. Not that I'm opposed to a chicken parm, as you know.

In other news, today is Star Trek day. I'll be sitting in a cushy seat at the Marquee theater (not in my pajama bottoms cause it's an afternoon show) watching the new movie and hoping William Shatner dropped a few pounds and that Leonard Nimoy doesn't have a musical number. I really should dress up, but I don't have anything trekkie enough to embarrass D. I guess I'll just have to settle for bringing my Phaser (set on stun, of course).

Tomorrow is Jockeybush Lake day, unless it's raining. I've found a new lake in the Adirondacks to hike to, one that looks pretty enough to rival Nine Corner Lake in beauty. Anybody wanna go with me?

So, let me ask you a question. What Star Trek is your Star Trek? I have a hard time with this one. I watched the first show (now deemed Star Trek Classic) as a kid and didn't get it at all. I only watched it because my two much older brothers did. Mrs. Murphy might not have approved it for viewing. I think the Next Generation was great, well, I thought so at the time. Viewing them now reveals that Jonathan Frakes was apparently made out of wood. Just sayin'.

What Start Trek do you like? Or do you favor some other space series? Star Wars? Lost in Space? TV or movie: makes no difference to me.

Happy Sunday and
Peace to all of us

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I have to say that weekends are a little different when I don't teach. For one, the laundry is done, and I don't have to try to cram a week's worth of it into two days, no easy feat if you want to line (or in the winter, radiator) dry stuff. My house is also fairly clean. Most impressive are my newly weeded flower beds, done yesterday afternoon.

Also, I don't have to hurry and get this post up so I can get to grading. Yes, there is no pencil in my hand. So, do I (like D) feel a little odd without the accoutrements of my profession? Nope, not a bit. I'm living the high life, not doin' nothin', usin' bad grammar, got dirt under my fingernails. Well, I am reading a book.

Last night I ate a chicken parm at Creekside Cafe in Washington Mills, where the food is good and big, big, big. I'm a big eater, but I couldn't finish it. My companion ate a fish fry made of a fish the size of a large fish. He finished it.

I have to say I hit the jackpot when I moved here, as far as cheap places to eat. And, they're not all Italian. Tomorrow I will post pictures and a rhapsodic little piece about Pho Mekong, Utica's only Vietnamese restaurant worth eating at. And maybe I'll have something to say about the new pan Asian restaurant we're going to tonight.

What's your favorite cheap place to eat? If you're from Utica, I'm especially interested, but Clark might have some great Idaho places to write about, and hey I'll get to the Gem State again someday.

Happy Saturday

Friday, May 15, 2009


As I write this I'm watching the movie Doubt. Technically, I watched it a few nights ago at D's house, but since I fell asleep (as usual) it appears I missed quite a bit of it. I have to say the movie makes me a bit uncomfortable. Priests and nuns, boys and girls, Catholic school: this movie has it all.

I think it's good when movies make us twitch a bit. After eight years in Catholic school this movie is making me twitch a lot. There's a scene where a child gets "disciplined" for inadvertently touching a nun -- been there. There's the poverty of cuisine in the convent -- something I used to think about as I walked between the convent and St. John the Evangelist church and saw all those Campbell's soup cans lined up in the window. Nuns don't eat haute cuisine. In this movie, priests do. There's the issue of what happens when those brides of Christ get too old perform their duties.

Most of all there's the fear that children feel in church and in the classroom, as they are under constant scrutiny. Nuns are strange mother figures; I can tell you that. They are, I'm sure, much reformed since back in the day when Sister Patricia got so carried away with her yardstick slapping the desk routine that a picture of Christ fell off the wall behind her. What a sight!

Anyway, suffice it to say that this movie, even though it has sexy Phillip Seymour Hoffman in it (gerrrrowl, he's a hottie) is having quite an impact on me.

How about you? Any movies that make you winch, twitch, think too hard, or otherwise hit close to home?

If you want to hear more Sister Patricia stories, ask my therapist.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The difference between Pin and me

I thought I'd put up another picture from my hike the other day that illustrates a real difference between my daughter and me. While I was snapping (well, there's not really a snap to my digital camera) pictures of beauty and springtime bliss, Cath was taking pictures of a dead animal that had expired in the woods. There's a clear difference in how we view nature.

I'm interested in any guesses you have about what said animal might be. Whaddya think? For Clark, I know it must be a real shock to see spring here. That's why I came back East. Want a job? I'll hire you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What a difference!

I'm posting pictures from a walk last night. They're of the same place I went to three weeks ago, when it was bare and barren, so you can scroll down and see the difference. Now it's really spring and everything is, well, you be the judge.

I probably won't be posting for a few days, going on a little trip with Pin and Luscious, but you never know.

Monday, May 11, 2009


That's what my ILL book is. ILL is Interlibrary Loan, for those of you who don't have to or don't want to use it. When I get an ILL book, no doubt the librarians at the Cayan Library at SUNYIT know it will come back late. Perhaps our really smart librarian Ron Foster alters the due date in an attempt to actually get the book back from me.

I should have known better than to ILL a book during the semester. I'm talking about Murder Most Foul (no, I don't know how to underline in html), the book I've been reading since March. It's really good, and today I will take it to the library and see if I can renew it. It says on the slip that it can be renewed, but of course it can't be done online now because it was due on May 6th.

In other news, I am a little sad today because, I don't know why, I'm just a little sad. So, if you want to answer any of my old posts that ask you stupid or inane things just to entertain me, please do so. It'll cheer me up.

Happy Monday?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

mothers day

I made up a mothers day joke.
hey squash...get on the Yamtrack.
it's a french mothers day joke.
missy smells bad.
I think my mother may be a product of my imagination...
I have a picture of her and she resembles a gumbie. HUMM questionable?
happy mothers day mom.

Mother's Day

Today MNYAGG will have two posts. I told Pin, who is sleeping next to me, that she must post about her mother. Yes, I'm forcing a tribute to myself, so tune in later to see what her maniacal little mind comes up with.

In the meantime, I'll put up a post about a real mom, my mom Catherine Cecilia Lamb Murphy, who:

-- is smart as a whip even at 89.
-- has strength and endurance that have been sorely tested and earned her the name (bestowed by Bighead) the fightin' Mrs. Murphy.
-- had her most high strung and difficult child at 40 and still managed to love me, even though I was a huge pain in the butt.
-- this may sound like a criticism, but it's not meant to be, used to get exasperated and say "Patricia, you have too much imagination," which resulted in me privileging imagination and becoming the cartoon character I am today. Nothing like a little rebellion.
-- may not have been a gourmet cook when I was growing up, but made lamb potpie that was lip smackin' good.
-- wanted to become a nun, but I'm kinda glad married Vinnie Murphy instead.
-- calls me Luvva on the phone sometimes, just like her father used to do.
-- makes me realize that religion can be a source of comfort and inspiration to some.
-- loves me, the only divorced child in the family. I think she likes the rest of my siblings too.
-- was always (as far as I can tell) a caring and respectful daughter. I wish I could say the same.
-- used to tell me to make sure I told people that I didn't run away from home when I was 15, and that's not why I lived alone in Idaho.
-- will forgive me when I call later and tell her I forgot to get her a Mother's Day card.

If you're a mom, happy Mother's Day. If you're like a mom to someone, Happy Aunt Grace's Day.

Friday, May 8, 2009


I did my grades on a spreadsheet for the first time this semester. Or did I? As I write this I'm getting ready to calculate grades with a calculator because I didn't put any values into the spreadsheet when I set it up; therefore, it's not going to calculate anything. Now, D says I can do it after the fact, and Martin said at dinner last night that I can put in, for example, my, well I don't know what he said because it was mathematical. So, I'm going to get out my calculator and get to it. It should be fun because there are 15 graded assignments in business communications.

I can't complain too much because it was a great semester. I enjoyed the students and made it through about half of the tenure process intact. But my big news of the day is that I slept nine hours last night. If you know me well enough, you know that's cause for celebration.

My ugly shoes arrived yesterday, and they're just as ugly as I thought they'd be. Which got me to thinking . . . and here's a question: what's the ugliest apparel item you own? Why do you own it? Do you wear it? How do you feel when you wear it? It is conventionally ugly, or do you like it because it's ugly in an unconventional way? If yes to the latter part of the previous question, is it really ugly at all? Maybe it's art.

Whatcha got?
Happy Friday

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Missy Update

Yesterday while I was blogging about the bread Missy had eaten the day before, Missy was downstairs getting what was left of a loaf of D's delicious coconut bread off of the microwave. I'm just sayin'. I only report the news; Missy makes it.

I am officially done with my grading and ready to calculate grades, and there's only one day left until Pin arrives. That's the big news. The really big news is that Big Head (or Biggie Head with Fries as I sometimes call her) is 28 years old today. Here are some things about Alicia that I love so much:

-- she reminds me that one can be quiet and thoughtful and still be fun and funny
-- she literally changed my life and made me the person I've become, for better or worse
-- she was and is (don't tell her father) my first true love
-- she knows that I have huge flaws as a mother, and she loves me anyway
-- unlike Pin and me, she doesn't have stinky feet (hey, that can be important)
-- she is cuddly like there's no tomorrow, lemme tell ya
-- she is artistic and creative in ways I am not; therefore, I stand in awe
-- she will always love me, even if I spend every cent of her inheritance and wind up living off her, senile and sitting in my own filth
-- she loves languages, is good at them, and wants to work abroad, and I think that's schones gut

I could go on forever, but I won't.
Happy Birthday, Alicia Vida

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

So Pin and I were talking . . .

and she was saying things like "well, maybe you're not paying enough attention to her" and "have you been gone a lot lately?". This in response to the fact that Missy ate a loaf of bread WHILE I WAS IN THE HOUSE.

I'm used to finding a bread wrapper on the couch when I come home, and yes I even think that it's fair game if I'm dumb enough to leave bread (or anything else) on the counter, but that's when I am gone. I was UPSTAIRS EATING BREAKFAST. I give up! I hope Pin can have a chat with Missy when she gets here.

On that note: two days until Pin gets here to honor me for Mother's Day. I am so excited. We have an awards banquet on Friday night (free food and actually good food) and then graduation. Not bad, but I better get through the rest of my grading. Here's an update: papers are done and resumes and cover letters underway.

So, answer me this: am I wrong to deny Missy access to counter food? Am I a bad dog owner who doesn't pay enough attention to her pet? I swear I have not gotten Pedi Paws out in over a week. I walk her every day. I think (I'm pretty sure) I feed her enough. I bought her a toy that is a squeaky dismembered foot (not a real one). What more can I do. Suggestions?

Happy Wednesday
I'm going back to grading

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More grading

What are you all doing?

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's Me Again

and I've got a few things to get off my chest, so I thought I'd do it while that woman is busy grading papers. Honestly, she's a beast. In the last 24 hours, she has:

-- given me yet another bath, and now I smell like a tangerine. She says she did it because I rolled in something. My reply: I'm a dog; I roll in things. What's your problem lady?

-- harassed me with Pedi Paws yet again in some futile attempt to get me to acquiesce and become a mindless dolt like those dogs in the commercial, slobbering happily while some maniac grinds away at my claws with Satan's tool.

-- perhaps even worse, harassed me with a hand held fan she got at a school "function" (she's so pretentious that she uses that word a lot) and then laughed when I couldn't help but bite at the whirling plastic blades. No, I wasn't injured, but it's the lack of dignity I suffer when she laughs at me for not being able to resist the contraption.

-- told Lu that we would board his extra cat. Now that's not bad in and of itself, but she told him I wouldn't eat it.

-- and the last and perhaps most egregious of her offenses: she told Aunt Cathy, who owns a kennel, that I'd be coming to visit while she goes to Pin's house for five days. Don't get me wrong; I love Aunt Cathy's, but not going to Pin's house is unbearable. They understand me there.

So, you can see I've got it pretty rough right now -- rougher than usual even. I know she said she was going to (you can tell it's me writing because she would have said gonna. And she purports to have a doctoral degree in English!) post backyard pictures, but she'd so dumb (how dumb is she?) that she left her camera at D's house. What a doofus!

Well, at least you didn't have to read her schlock today. I'm going to go take a nap now. When I wake up I'm going to bite her because I think she's getting out the flea and tick medicine today.

Catherine, if you read this, please consider taking me back to Massachusetts instead of her. We'll put her in the kennel. It'll be good practice for when you have to put her in a nursing home.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Grading Papers Gets In the Way of my Blogging

So what's a girl to do? I have two classes worth of papers and one class worth of resumes and job application letters. They all have to be done before Pinhead gets here on Friday. I know it's not much compared to what Clark grades; you can look at his blog, a minority report at http://cdraney.blogspot.com, and see what a real professor does. But Clark's a saint -- or he's crazy.

So I'll post pics after I'm done with a bit more grading. I know people are sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for pictures (he he).

I turned my furnace off, and it's 55 degrees in my house. I'm holed up in my bedroom with a space heater reading about the business of social networking sites.

What are you doing?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Ugliest Shoes

I'm awaiting the arrival of the UPS man (oops, person. It's just that my dad was a UPS man for 48 years, so that's what I'm used to saying) who will bring perhaps the ugliest shoes I've ever purchased.

Yes, along with my knee sock fetish, I have a bit of a shoe thing. Last night's reading saw me in black knee socks and red shoes -- quite appropriate I think. This summer I'll be hiking around in Simple Shoes Low Trekkers, and nobody's gonna deem them sexy, although one of you has already expressed the sentiment that they might be. They are made of recycled materials, so I wanted to give them a try. Simple Shoes has really cute shoes too, but these were on sale and I'm cheap. I walk a lot, so I have to replace shoes somewhat frequently, and I try not to get anything too ugly. I also have an unnatural prejudice against white shoes of the "athletic" type, so that limits my choices.

Well, you can look at my shoes and be the judge(s). Sexy, not sexy? I know how I'd vote.

Happy Saturday

P.S. I'll be posting pics from last night's reading and music extravaganza soon. Thanks to T and her mobile, there's already a shot on Facebook. Suffice it to say that I had a great time, and our readers were fun and funny. Right now it's paper grading time, something I successfully avoided all day yesterday.

Friday, May 1, 2009

On With the Show!

Well, National Poetry Month may be over, but I'll be reading poetry tonight at the College Street Cafe in Clinton, NY (34 College St) at 7:30 with my writer pals. And the Fig Mints of Your Imagination and House Blend will be joining us to provide some music. You should come have a great time with us.

In other news, Issue 5 of Breadcrumb Scabs is out and contains four of my poems. You can download it. I'm going to buy some copies since it's rare these days to actually get published in a mag that has a print version.

Last night Patrick and I went to walk along the canal -- Erie that is -- and I got to see a whole new part of my little world. It started out with a drive past junkyards and ended up at a lock. We saw a family of geese and a log that resembled an alligator. We could see Utica from the trail, and when we were walking back the dome on the old SBU (Savings Bank of Utica) building was lit. It reminded me why I live here, what I knew I would see in this place even though I came here in February for the interview. I'll quit before I wax too rhapsodic. Besides, I have a lot of papers to grade and some flowers to plant.

This weekend I'm going to post pictures of the reading and pictures of my big backyard (if the rain stops). There -- I set a goal. What are you doing this weekend?