Wednesday, May 31, 2006

World Cup

I get that people like soccer. If that's the case, then they should probably watch the World Cup. Having said that, I'm not.

I just don't care. I've never seen the evangelistic fervor more prevalent than in a soccer fan telling me how horrible it is that I'm not going to watch the World Cup. "It's the most popular sport in the world!" Really? I'd never heard that.

I hear the same thing from NASCAR fans. I wonder, can so many people with so few teeth be wrong?

I've decided to go with the - it's very popular - ergo, it's very good.

For years Baywatch was the best tv show in the World.

You have your pick for best singer of all time - Mariah, Michael Bolton, the Spice Girls...

Fahrenheit 9/11 is the all time best documentary.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the all time best movie.

The Da Vinci Code is the best movie in the world right now.

Elvis has the most popular stamp ever sold - well, that one really does make sense...

O.K., I get it....a lot of people like the world obviously it's the best...that just stands to reason. Popular = Awesome - just ask Britney Spears

How can I argue with that logic?

So let's all go out and celebrate our teams victory with a knife fight in the parking lot, followed by looting and setting our cars on fire.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

natural born griller

The day o’ grilling was yesterday. Had a mediocre breakfast (the food) with some fun people…followed by a cookout with fun people….followed by a cookout with fun people. Three meals + Zero in my house + two from the grill = Pretty good day

There’s something about food that’s cooked outside on a grill that just makes it way better. You’d think we’d have the same technology indoors…but we don’t. If you say, “what about the George Foreman Grill?” you should probably go sit in the corner.

Is it the not quite clean, not quite non-rusty quality that makes the hamburgers so delicious to my stomach? Can you imagine eating something that was prepared by a pan that was left outside and then cleaned with a steel brush? “Yeah, we brushed off the rotted beef that was left on here from the last time we did this”

Is it the idea of an open flame? Maybe this thing will explode….I feel like the Baldwin brother (they’re interchangeable) that was in backdraft every time I grill out.

I love the grill. Not my grill….it’s currently the home of 27 birds from around my neighborhood. I’m also one propane tank short (it’s in State College being used by people far more in need of grilling than I) I was so into grilling for awhile that I actually made tater tots on the grill once. Brilliant!

Thank you grill. I love your wonderfulness.

A haiku

Powered by Propane
You’re anything but profane
I’d like mine well done

watch out

I don't watch American Idol because I don't like karaoke.

I don't watch E.R., C.S.I., or 24 because I like words in my titles.

I don't watch Desperate Housewives because I don't like soap operas.

I do watch the Apprentice, but I'm not sure why???

I don't watch sunsets because I'm a guy and I forget that they happen just about every night.

I do watch the clock, because I want to show up on time.

I don't watch clowns, because they kind of creep me out.

I do watch mimes because it's fun to think of my friend Courtney doing mimery (it's a word) on the means streets of Chicago (or chi-town as Romey would call it)

I watch Griff when he's hearing about a surprise and gets all excited, because that's the best.

I watch Annie when she's laughing really hard or being funny, because that's also the best.

I watch Coop as he takes a few steps and then falls.

I watch golf when Tiger Woods is playing, because like all the Red Sox fans that have popped up in the last couple of years...I love riding the bandwagon.

I watch Seinfeld re-runs even though I've seen them all 27 times.

I watch for awkward moments throughout my day...and love them.

I don't watch Fear Factor because eating gross food while wearing a thong isn't something I like to watch.

I probably ought to think through the stuff I watch and don't watch. Or better yet, I ought to think through the stuff I tend to focus on...

Phil. 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I can't believe I just saw that...

I slow down a little when I see an accident.
I rationalize it as a reminder of what could be. The reality is there's just something both cliche and true about looking at a car accident. You can't not. I do this with a lot of things...

If I were running into a mall to get my glasses fixed and saw a stage in the food court with some guy competing in an air guitar contest...I'd have to watch. I just would.

Someone tells me that Craig cut all his hair I stop by his office to see.

I'm in my car in the middle of the day and Jim Rome is on the radio (he's the Jim J. Bullock of sports talk radio)...and I pause to listen. "Jason from the D, read your prepared statement while I make one comment 17 times in a row - rack 'em and out"

I'm flipping through the channels and see on the Jimmy Kimmel show a clip that young Dan Kalbach told me about earlier in the day...of what's his name -the gray haired fella - winning the world's greatest karaoke contest and then a crowd shot with David Hasselhoff crying. Brilliant!

Hasselhoff, car accidents, bad haircuts or Jim Rome - they all suck me into their black hole of - I can't believe I'm actually watching/hearing this... What is that all about?

Friday, May 26, 2006

the politics of faith

Does your faith play a role in your political views?
Do your political views play a role in your faith?

I'm guessing one of these seems really obvious to you. Some of you might be thinking, 'why would he even put that other question up there?'

I can only speak to the Christian experience here...

I've seen a lot of people change their voting habits after making a decision to be a follower of Jesus. I'd say I've seen dozens, if not hundreds. You'd have to come to the conclusion that their faith took priority over their politics. Because of that priority, their political views changed. (in these instances)

I've also seen people who grew up with political leanings - and they generally ignore the basic views of their faith when it comes to a few issues. (they're not changing their vote for nothin')

I'd argue that their politics are their faith. They're not placing their faith in anything. They might agree with a lot of the basics of their faith....but ultimately they're following their politics or themselves.

"It's nice that this religion agrees with me on these points. I don't agree with them on these.
Basically I believe in me...and it just so happens that this faith agrees with me a bunch." My faith is in myself - or my political party - or the political party that I grew up in (it happens) and I could never switch...

I just think it's interesting....

I also think The Office is interesting....and by interesting I mean the best show on tv right now.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

two men walking

two weeks ago I had one walking son and one crawling son. Today I have two walking sons. In two weeks I'll have two walking sons and one sleeping and crying daughter.

I remember having a bunch of people in our living room cheering on Grif as he tried to roll over. It was like watching a game winning field goal. We're all on our feet...just jumping up and down yelling for him to tuck his knee under the other and flip over.

We've been cheering on Coop as he took his first two steps in a row....then 4...then 8....the new record is 24 steps in a row. He's pretty much just walking around now. He's just not as good as I am yet. (I'm really good) We're going to go through Griff learning to ride a bike, Cooper learning to talk, Griff learning to spell, the new baby sitting just keeps going and going.

So what is there out there for me? Do I stop learning/growing?

At some point we all slow down...

I wonder how much of it is expectations?

There's very little expectancy for many people. They just kind of drift...and then wonder why life's so boring...why things aren't better. They rarely have a group of folks around them cheering them on as they attempt to try something new. Maybe that's part of it. I meet with a group of folks every couple of weeks - I meet with a group of guys once a week - I have a few friends that continue to press in on what's going on in my life...and it's still hard.

I'm still in that new to town phase. I have a few friends that I see once a month or so that challenge me toward bigger and better things. The two groups of people I meet with regularly I'm still getting to know. Things might never progress....but they seem to be. I think a part of this is just putting yourself out there. Part of it has to be risky. There has to be a risk of time, emotional energy, reputation, and the possibility of something better.

The bottom line is we all need a cheering section. We need people to kick us in the butt when we're being stupid....people who we'll listen to because we know that they love us and want what's best for us. We need encouragers. We need leaders. We need wisdom.

I want to press on...and it's hard enough on my own. I need the people in my life to keep me going.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Greats

I just got a call from a friend...and he mentioned Bob Saget (Sags). The thing that troubled me was that he was the third person this week to talk about how I love Sags.

A couple of people have asked if I, Sean Michael Murphy, was being sarcastic.

I'm not sure I even know the definition of sarcasm. I know that Fuller "teaches" a class on sarcasm, but I've never taken the course.

Some people look at my link to the greatest actor of our generation and think that it's possible that I'm being tongue in cheek. Again, I don't even know what that expression means.

Is it so hard to believe that I could love David Hasselhoff, Bob Saget and Oprah? Think of all that they have contributed to society. The Baywatch trilogy alone would guarantee D.H.'s spot on the star walk of fame. Sags with America's Funniest Videos and Oprah with her gut wrenching specials on "I'm a cross dresser" and "Oprah's going shopping!"

I'm just proud to be a part of the Sags/D.H./O generation

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

microwave love

toaster oven or microwave?

Clearly the toaster over makes better delicious treats... but the microwave oven beats it for best small kitchen appliance.

The toaster oven makes things crispy on the outside and warm on the inside. The microwave makes things warm on the inside and soft on the outside.

Clearly crispy on the outside is better, we'd all agree on that.

So why the microwave? It's faster. It's easier to clean....ergo, it's the best.

It's the same reason that McDonald's is the best restaurant. You can argue that the food is better at Damons (the real place for ribs) but you've been to McDonald's more than you've been to any 5 other food establishments. Maybe you don't think they have the best food...but you vote with your feet (or your car, in the drive thru lane) There will be many food critics in the drive thru lane of McDonald's today...probably with dark glasses on.

I love things that are fast. If I'm not in a hurry, and I'm just hanging out, I want to make something really quick so I can hurry up and sit on the deck and look at my sad, sad lawn/dirt. I want to quickly warm something up so I can play Grif in PIG (I should mention that I have a deadly outside shot from the sewer grate)

I'm fundamentally impatient. I hate lines. I hate it when I'm sitting around waiting for someone who cares more about what they're doing than what I'm they make me wait while they show up to stuff late. I also hate snakes (kind of off subject....although it's right on the "what Sean hates" subject)

I read somewhere that " is patient, kind, doesn't boast...." (probably heard it at a wedding or two) I wonder if they start with the patient one first because they know the impatient people aren't going to finish the sentence. "O.K., love is patient, love is kind....blah, blah, blah....alright, I get the point..."

Ultimately I get mad when people are late, or slow in line, because I love me. I love my time. I love my schedule. That doesn't always translate to me loving others. It's loving to consider other's schedule as important...and to be on time. It's not loving to get so wrapped up in it if they don't choose to care about my time. My pride makes me impatient. My pride gets so wrapped up in how others treat me.

Long lines will happen. People will get stuck in traffic. Life gets busy.

So I'm left with the question....if love is patient, does that mean I'd be more loving if I used the toaster oven - or better yet, cooked everything around a campfire?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Day off

It's 7 a m. I have the day off. Coincedentally, I also have a sunburn.

I spent the day carrying around heavy objects and giving little kids tickets at a block party yesterday. After five or six hours of that, there's nothing better than heading out and speaking to a group. (on the off chance that I have any emotional energy left over once my physical energy is left on a grassy field soaked in snow cones) By the time I came home I was dreaming of this day off.

So here are my plans. - Nada. Zip. Zilch. Playing with Griff after that. Playing in a fund raising golf tournament at noon (good to get out in the sun for five hours when you have a sun burn) and then I'm heading to a small group to speak to them about stuff that will change their group, their families, their friendships, and their very lives as well....or about my favorite Seinfeld episode. I'm guessing they'll want to hear about the second one, but no one will admit it.

And then I'm going to go home, go to sleep and dream of my next day off.

You'd think I would have figured out a better plan. I like that first half....but I'm awful at golf and it's not the best follow up to a day where I wreck my back and scald my forehead.

There's probably something to this whole idea of a Sabbath. The closest I get is when I see an Ozzie Osborne interview (too obscure a reference?)

Everyone feels too busy. I think part of it is people can be bad at prioritizing....and part of it is procrastination...and part of it is there's some sort of insecurity that people feel goes along with non-busyness.

I am busy = I am important.

Maybe I need to set up my hammock, send in my check for the tournament, have Adam fill in for me (he's really not awful at golf - he'd own Fuller) and see if my friend Darrel can go ahead and run that small group???

it'll never happen, but it's a nice thought.

Friday, May 19, 2006

the big stuff

Major in the majors and minor in the minors....let's not get wrapped up in the trivial stuff...let's zero in on what's most important....keep our eyes on the prize....go down if you're hurt.
I've heard them all.

Brennan Manning talks about a couple that won $111,000,000 in a powerball jackpot. Apparently you get 180 days to claim your prize after a lottery drawing. Brennan imagines the possibility of them saying, "let's go claim it after the Brewer's game" They get so wrapped up in the game that they say the same thing the next day. Pretty soon they're engrossed in a pennant chase and the deadline passes them by.

How would you judge them? Foolish? Brennan agrees...and says that he'd also have compassion and understanding. He's done the same thing...only he's passed up his fortune seeking alcohol. His point isn't the evils of alcohol, it's that he's missed so much seeking after so little.

The enemy of the best is often good.

We forfeit the stuff that should be our top priority for stuff that might be very good....but it's not the best. It's easy to rationalize good stuff. You can point to it and no one will argue that it's good. "He treats me better than anyone I've ever dated" "at least I'll be able to help people with this job" "maybe I'll get on the Price is Right"
I hear it all the time.
I say it all the time.

There are some things in my life that I just know are more important than others. Typically, though, I'll pick what I want to do. It's just an added bonus if what I want to do is a good thing.

I lose out on the fortunes of life chasing after the brief glimpses of mediocrity. Time to take a few minutes and re-re-prioritize...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

American Idol

You'd think Billy Idol would be a natural for that show. He's British, so that's not helping his cause among over 50 Irish males who watch the show...both of them...but you'd think Simon would be on board.

I've read two recent quotes from Simon that I liked:
"you can't really be a rocker on American Idol"
Seems like a no-brainer. If you're singing pop tunes on a tv show while 15 year old girls phone in to see who're not rock n' roll.

"it's a variety show Paula, relax"
He was reacting to Paula breaking down in tears while muttering through her prescribed cocktail of painkillers and anti-anxiety pills "you are everything good about this competition"

I know he says stuff for shock value. I know he's known as the honest one. I know he wears shirts that Griff couldn't get into. I know he drives a car that cost over a quarter of a million dollars...and that would feed 695 kids for one year - but I buy stupid stuff for my income bracket too.

Makes me wonder. I saw his car on some show and just couldn't get over the fact that someone would pay so much for a car. A car. If I need to get to Target, I can do it just as quickly as Simon in his $250,000 car. I can listen to c.d.'s, the radio, have conditioned air, recline my seats...his are nicer....but $250,000?

His car can probably go 150 m.p.h. and mine might be able to go 100. How often do you need to go 150?

His looks nicer. That's one thing about me that isn't so guy...ish. I don't care at all about cars. They're utilitarian. They get you from here to there. They're a mode of transportation...not an expensive house.

But I wonder what someone living in a country, making 35 cents a day, living in a hut made of mud and bark, would think of how I spend my money. They make so much less than me....I spend money on jeans that look just like the other 7 pair of jeans I already own. That would feed a family of four for a month. I know people that are constantly harping on the rich for not giving more (as though they know how much those folks are really giving) and I continue to wonder how much of their income they waste on cable, cell phones, movies, clothes, shopping in general, eating out.... I guess we all live in glass houses.

I saw a kid pull Griffin into his group to play the other day. It was amazing to see someone love my little boy like that. It was literally like he was loving me by treating Griff that way. I think that's a bit like what Jesus means when he says, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

until I start living sacrificially...I guess I ought to keep quite about others...and start loving the "least of these..."

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

list wishin'

I'm a little confused by wish lists. I'm starting to see them pop up on people's blogs (and no, I'm not talking about yours) and am wondering if it's just an elaborate list of things they'd love to have - complete with pictures and links....or just blatant pandering for someone to buy them something.

I tend to resist registering for gifts. I love walking around the store with the bar code reader and zapping things...but it feels a little less giving/spontaneous/loving if I'm buying something for someone off a list they made for me. It's the ultimate example of just checking a box.

It's your birthday - check here and the gift will be sent to __________. Would you like us to send a loving note aw well? It's almost like I should just send them $30 on the day they're going to register, and tell them, "why don't you just buy something while you're there...and this way you'll be able to take it home with you"

So I've made lists on this blog before
- all time great actor - Hasslehoff
- all time great comedian - Saget
- all time great person/saint/genius - Oprah

but a list of things I want?
I'd like twenty dollars
I'd like fifty dollars
I'd like The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society
I'd like a second floor laundry
I'd like two hundred dollars
I'd like glasnost
I'd like Ed to come back on the air
I'd like reflection free glasses
I'd like a healthy baby girl
I'd like a mulching lawn mower (and someone to push it back and forth over my lawn)

I love a good list as much as the next guy (you should read his) so who am I to complain?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

coming to a saturday morning paper near you...

Happy RGS Day!

A great day for the world. It was on this very day, May 16th (or dieciséis de Mayo) that Congress approved the nickel.

That's pretty good right? Not quite good enough to make this a great day though....or is it?

On this very day, Tracey Gold was born. That young lady taught us more about eating disorders and drunk driving than just about any actress before her. She paved the way for Lindsay, Halle, Courtney, Paris and a slew of others to follow in her footsteps.

What about from the world of music, you ask.... I give you Janet, Ms. Jackson if you're nasty.

Sports? I give you Jack Morris, Gabriella Sabatini, Thurman Thomas, Olga Korbut, John Salley and Ty Armstrong (baseball, tennis, football, gymnastics, basketball and golf - 4 of which are sports)

This is starting to sound like an awesome day...but let's not forget:
We lost both Sammy Davis Jr and Jim Henson on this day. We will never again have those cute little floppy legs dancing around on stage while singing with a funny, side of the mouth voice again...

On this day the Cincinnati Reds played their first game ever - winning by the narrow margin of 41-7

Rootbeer was invented on this day.

Joan of Arc became a Saint

This was the date of the first Academy Awards (a guy playing someone with a learning disability won for best actor, a surprise entry won best supporting actress, a film with a political agenda won for best picture and Meryl Streep won best Actress)

All of this is but a footnote to the history changing event that happened on May 16th, 1956
Young Robert James Saget was born - forever changing the history of situation comedies in America and throughout the World.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Periodic Reviews

I think I need to reflect more often. I don't mean to cover myself with aluminum foil and make like a mirror (again) I think I just need to refocus every once in a while...and the best way for me to do that is by reviewing what's going on in my life.

What are the things that are most important?
What are the things that are most important to me?
What are the things I'm spending my time on?
What are the things I should be spending my time on?
Who am I spending time with?
Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?

I think we tend to drift...time just passes...we move around, but not necessarily forward. We don't just drift into what God has for us. We don't drift into the life that's meant for us. We don't drift into passion, risk, purpose. When we just sort of drift through life...we end up about where we started.

I think it's time for what most companies would refer to as a Periodic Review. Maybe I should take a day and re-prioritize.

There's a verse that touches on this in the book of Hebrews. "...And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds..." It's often quoted in relation to how we grow together, we keep each other strong, we pick each other up when we fall and we kick each other in the butt when we're being a screwball. I think a key word in there is consider.

I don't often consider...others. I don't often consider...long term consequences. I don't often consider...things that will change the course of my day, week, month... It's hard for me to think of others because I rarely set aside the time to actually think of others. It's nowhere on my agenda. You won't find it on my palm pilot. I wonder if I'd be better at that if I scheduled in some time to just sit and consider how to spur Steve on towards love and good deeds? I don't need to schedule in time to fix people....I do that on my own time. I need to spend time thinking about how to love Wes in ways that will matter to him.

I'm must better about just doing. I do stuff. I do what comes at me that needs doing. That's kind of how I go through my day. What needs to be done? Then I go do it. I take what life hands me. I'm not seizing the's seizing me.

Because of this, life just kind of drifts by. Life happens...I get a little older...I have good conversations and bad ones...I watch some some books...and just kind of drift.

So maybe it's time for a little reflection. Possibly a life review is in order. It's time to re-prioritize...and to march forward.

Left Home Alone Behind

Young Kevin wakes up only to find that Buzz has taken his pillow and blanket off his bed and used them, along with his own, through the night. Turns out it gets pretty cold when you leave the window open. Buzz had done that too.

Kevins first words that morning - Buzz, why did you leave the window open?!
What are you talking about, mutant? Buzz had a way with words. I'm wondering why you left the window open?
I was hot.
So why did you steal my blanket and pillow?
Because I was cold obviously!

And with that, Buzz went down for breakfast. Why does everyone treat me like this? It was the same question Kevin woke to every morning. He debated not even going down for breakfast, but his hunger won out. As he headed down the steps he heard something fall and wondered what Buzz was messing around with now....

and then he saw the strangest thing he'd ever seen. There were piles of clothes all over the kitchen. The t.v. was on in the living room, but there was only a pile of clothes watching it. Strange... He then saw the bowl that he heard falling as he came down the steps. It had splattered pancake batter all over the floor and wall. What the heck was going on?

Kevin ran all over the house wondering where everyone had gone. It was almost as if he had been left home alone...but this time was different.

He quickly started calling everyone he knew, his Pastor, his Deacon, his Elder, his Sunday School teacher, his Vacation Bible School friends, his Youth Group Leader, his old Youth Groups Leader from 6 months ago, his Youth Group leader from a year ago, his Youth Group leader from a year and a half ago, the worship leader, the organist, the church secratary....NO ONE WAS HOME!

It was then that he noticed a strange shadow outside his window. Someone was here! He raced to the window to see if this was all an elaborate prank. It was then that he noticed two people who had tattoos and rock and roll t-shirts on! They were obviously up to no good. What to do!?!?

That's when Kevin started laying out the traps. I'll surround the front door with tracts. I'll play my Michael W. Smith album at full volume. He ran upstairs to put on his "God's warrior" dog tags and then prepared for battle.

The two hoodlums had taken the tract trap. They leaned over to pick up the twenty dollar bills only to see that they were a four step plan for their eternity. As not disappointing as that probably was, they moved toward the door. Hearing the pleasant sound of " place in this world..." they couldn't help but work their way upstairs. It was then that they met the business end of a King James Study parallel Bible, Family Heir Loom Edition. As they flopped down the steps they couldn't help but think, "I wonder where I can get one of those handy books?"

As Kevin looked down the steps he shouted with all he could muster, "I will devote the rest of my life defending the remnant!"

It was then that the bad guys woke up, slapped him silly, and went about looting the house.

Friday, May 12, 2006

keepin' time

There's just something about a big 'ol clock that I love.

I'm not talking Big Ben big...(remember, they oppress my people) Just a clock that's noticeably larger than your every day, run of the mill clock.

I used to fear the digital watches (and have since worked through that phobia to the point that I'm sporting one as I write this very run-on sentence) I used to have a big clock that would break every few months...but I loved it.
I loved it like a second cousin that you don't necessarily call that often, but it's fun when you get to a family function and think, "Oh yeah, Craig is going to be here"
-and it's not quite a sentence that you finish with an exclamation point...but it's close.

Since we've moved to the Dub-C, we've purchased a second large clock. It's not quite the same...for one, it works....and for some reason it just doesn't seem as large. I think it's the muted colors. I've also notice that it's two minutes fast. That drives me nuts (my favorite punch line to a pirate joke, coincidentally).

I need to be surrounded by non-digital clocks that run on time.I read a poem about time once...and my professor said that this particular poem inspired him to never again wear a watch. I don't know how he does it.

I know that a lot of people don't wear watches anymore because they have clocks on their cell phones. I just can't do that. First of all...they're phones and not to be trusted, and B, they're in your pockets.

If someone says, "Quick, I've got to know what time it is in the next 2 seconds or that boat will explode and we'll lose a month's supply of tartar sauce!" I'd save the boat...and you cell phone clock watchers (aren't puns awfull?) would be soaking in tartar sauce.

In the old west, the guy with the gun attached to his wrist always beat the guy who had to pull one out of his just makes sense.

My Work

Acknowledgements from a book I'm reading:

I want to thank the following people for their invaluable contribution to this work:

Bill Wilson for his researching expertise and completing the first draft;

Bob Hostetler for his winsome writing ability and crafting a story that wove the research throughout;

Dave Bellis....for guiding this project to completion;

and a few other people for a few more things.....

My synopsis - I'd like to thank a bunch of people for writing this book that has my name on it.

In that spirit I'd like to thank the following people:

I'd like to think Maya Angelou for her help in compiling the work that makes up my first book, I know why the caged bird sings

I'd like to thank Norman Mailer for his thoughts on my book, the Executioner's Song

Thank you to the French for their assistance with my Statue of Liberty

Thanks to Thomas Jefferson for lending me his pen when I wrote the Declaration of Independence

That flood was helpful for the Grand Canyon, and with that I'd like to thank God for all the water in helping me to put that together

I'd like to thank Dan Kalbach, as a member of the Michael W. Smith Fanclub (the president actually) for introducing me to Mike Dub (as he calls him) and Michael for singing the song that I wrote - Friends are Friends Forever (although he sang it without the line, "unless they kiss your girlfriend when you're out of town at a soccer tournament")

I'd like to thank Steven Fuller for naming his church D'Vine, and for that...I can take no credit.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

time to get going

There are two kinds of people, those who finish what they start and so on. --- Robert Byrne

I love the newness of a fresh idea. I love the direction that something totally original takes. Even if the fresh idea gets squashed, there's at least a moment where there's some momentum.

There are two kinds of visionaries - the person that gets big ideas....and then has someone around them that can help make those work. They're the ones who ask questions like, "What's your budget?" and "How many people will need to be involved?" Who they pick to support them is a huge part of the eventual success or failure of that visionary.

The second kind of visionary usually has someone around them that says, "We could never do that" or "there's no way that'll work" and they don't. It's a thin line between someone who helps to reign in stupid ideas and someone who just vetoes everything you attempt.

When I see some of the great leaders that have impacted my life, I can usually also see the person right next to them that really makes things happen. I know some incredibly talented folks out there that have creative ideas that could really amount to something...and nothings really happening. In every case these people with the big ideas are lacking that key secondary person. Some of them have yes men. They have friends that are fanning the flame of a new idea...but they can't really practically help the execution of the idea. Some of them have people who could really help...but they've got this creative A.D.D. that keeps them from focusing on their big idea for more than 18 minutes.

We need some sort of temp agency where you coulc call an office and say, "I need someone with a brain, who can help implement some new ideas...and won't say no to everything....but won't say yes to everything...and will help me to rally people around this new thing."
"Um, I have Sheila....and she can type 78 words a minute"
"No, I don't need typing. I need an assistant visionary"
"Oh, um....Tim is familiar with Word, Publishing and was a construction foreman"
"never mind"
So the question for me is, "what about the non-visionaries?" What if someone isn't a visionary or a great support person? Is it possible that some folks aren't either? Maybe worker bee is a third category. They'd be the folks that help work out the ideas presented by the leader and implemented by their right hand person. Personally, it'd be helpful to know where one fits in such a scheme.
Maybe I'm being presumptuous, but I think many of us want to be a part of something great. So maybe a little time dreaming, a little time figuring out where we fit...and then we start. Could it be this simple?
"If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves."

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I started writing this thing in the last couple of days of July. At first I felt like I was writing to myself...but then I started seeing the counter jump, and the profile views, and occasionally somebody would leave a comment.

There have been comments that have left me confused, frustrated, indifferent and a bunch that made me laugh or smile. Here are some of my favorites.

Steve said... I was having these exacts thoughts today. I think we are soulmates...Marry me?(I'll show you how much I can bench on the honeymoon.)

Dan K. said... "Sometimes that one dot can make a difference as to which way the line goes."Chew on that Socrates.

Mike Brown said...
I always say "good providence" instead of "good luck."It makes me sound more spiritual and it has more syllables, so it makes me sound smarter. Also, it makes people think that I'm also a dirty calvinist, which i am.So, on your first day of work, Good Providence.

Wes Brooks said...
does T minus = Today minus?

spence said...
speaking of cell phones...can a brother get your new number? i've missed you and haven't been able to call...

Dan K. said...
If it is a son...Steven Curtis Chapman Murphy.It's got a nice ring to it... or Duke O. Earl Murphy.

Stacy said...
Sadie thinks you ought to name her Belle, too. "We bof like da same name, right, Dad?"I think the baby has your eyes...

Kande said...
I wonder about a guy that has a link to the oragami boulder on his blog...

Peggy Murphy said...
Your Dad and your (soon to be) three kids so they could get to know each other. What a kick that would be!

stinkowoman said...
How is it that a dead guy still kicks my butt on a continual basis?!

Dan K. said...
Is your kid pigeon-toed? Bummer.

Steve said...
Sean, you are crazy. That's why I like you.So can we count on you and Dressler being there Sunday with your picket signs?

The Grizz said...
LMAO that's really friggin' awesome. My freshmen, who are writing collaborative stories, are wondering why their teacher is giggling at a computer.

Kevin said...
alright jana...never mind. murph has bettis as his personal pic...not on this post. i'm a moron, you're smart.i'm stupid, you're intelligent.i'm not witty, you are i'm a bengals fan, you're a steelers fan...etc...etc...

annie said...
sorry to the ladies but he is all mine and i love him more than i can even understand. i love his heart, his passion and the way he loves his family. and we have cute babies!

The Grizz said...
I once filled the dishwasher with liquid dish soap. It caused a sudsy flood of bubbles to fill the kitchen and start leaking into the downstairs. Hold old is Griff? I ask because I was 22 when I made that mistake. And while I can wait to have kids of my own, I long for the days when I can comprehend what it is parents talk about when they try and describe the emotions they have for their children.

Wolfenberger said...
Words cannot describe how disgusted I am with myself that I even know what the hell you are talking about there.

Steve said...
Hey're fired!Hahahahahahaha!Wait, isn't that still cool and funny? It's not? Oh. This is awkward now. So awkward.

Dan K. said...
You're right.Bocce ball is not a sport. It is an art.

carissa said...
bring on the rain! i don't know the dresslers and i do know you. go reds!! does john franco still play for them?

Steve said...
I like 'splosions.MI:3 has 'splosions.End of story.

Peggy Murphy said...
"Melon ball my trachea??" what the heck does that mean??

This feels like one of those episodes of M*A*S*H where they just showed clips from previous episodes. I always hated those shows.

oops....ah well, gotta go plan out a four week workshop

Sunday, May 07, 2006

not the hall of fame...

There's this, "Remember when SNL was funny?" line that floats out there any time you bring up the show. I'd challenge you to go back and watch entire shows from the first few seasons. It was revolutionary (at least on tv) and ground breaking...but a lot of times it wasn't that funny.

Some of their characters were awful. There just happened to be this late night sketch comedy void...and they filled it. They had characters that they didn't even pretend to do makeup or wigs to have them look somewhat like the people they were portraying. You'd know who they were pretending to be because they'd say things like, "Hi, I'm Gerald Ford" and then move on from there.

Chevy Chase was great - but was only on for one season. Bill Murray was great (even though he didn't make the original cast...and was a replacement for Chevy Chase) but not all time top 10 great (although he'd make my list of top 10 movies after SNL....a very short list) Gilda Radner was great, but she just didn't have as many great characters as any of my top 10.

Chris Rock is a great standup, but he was painfully bad on SNL. Adam Sandler was third grade humor. David Spade had the Hollywood Minute (which he's is trying to revive now) but his other stuff wasn't that good. Joe Piscapo actually had some great moments, I just couldn't quite put him on the list...because he's Joe Piscapo.

Julia Louise Dryfus, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Michael Hall, Randy Quaid, Joan Cusack, Damon Wayans, Sarah Silverman, Janeane Garafolo, Gilbert Gottfried and Ben Stiller - they were all cast members on the show - and you didn't remember any of them....weird, huh?

There were some really funny people on the show that just weren't that great on the show. They were in a slump? Maybe they just didn't have a voice on the show. Eddie Murphy was on for an entire season before they started putting him in skits...some of the above folks just never did much.

Here is my list of folks that I still don't understand how they ever got on the show in the first place:

Garrett Morris
Denny Dillon
Charles Rocket
Tony Rosato
Beth Cahill
Kevin Meaney
Julia Sweeney
Melanie Hutsell
Colin Quinn
Kenan Thompson

so close to putting Tracy Morgan and Horatio Sanz on this list...

live from the Dub C

So everybody played baseball or football or soccer or had tea parties when they were little.

A bunch of those people ended up playing something in High School.

A few of them went on to play that in college.

Just a handfull of people can say they've played professionally....unless it's baseball. (I probably have 7 neighbors who played in the minors...and one who happens to be the UFC champion of the World -someone from Mars comes here and wants to face our World's best...they're coming to Saratoga Farms)

I'd argue that there should be a sketch comedy hall of fame. It's much harder to get to the top level of sketch comedy. There are probably less than 100 people on SNL, Mad TV, the main stage of Second City, The Upright Citezens Brigade and the Groundlings combined.

The reality is...if you make it to the main stage at one of the smaller might have a shot at SNL. If they don't make it to that, then they go on Mad TV. could argue that you could draw your Hall of Famers from SNL.

The problem here is all the folks screaming , "what about Monty Python?!"

relax, it's just a stupid list...

I'm just going to do my best of SNL list (you can argue whether or not that makes them the best overall amongst yourselves)

John Belushi - great presence, characters, eyebrow
Eddie Murphy - great characters, impressions
Martin Short - great characters
Dennis Miller - I just love his stand up...and I'm making the list
Dana Carvey - characters, impressions
Phil Hartman - great impressions, straight man
Mike Myers - great characters
Chris Farley - best physical humor ever
Will Farrell - made every skit better
Amy Poehler - by far the best female

and that's my top 10

But what about ______? you ask....I'll get to that list later.

Friday, May 05, 2006

love hate

They say the opposite of love isn't hate - it's indifference.

A great description of what God does to our struggles/problems/sins/foibles is that He separates them from us "as far as the East is from the West" On a globe, if you go North for long enough you end up going South...if you go just keep going (no real point here...just talkin')

People often talk about vanilla and chocolate as though they're opposites.

Sweet and Sour

Black and White

Hot and Cold

The greatest baseball team of all time and the softball team I just watched. We had fun though. It's interesting to watch people just having fun while losing a game 22-5. I'm pretty sure that they really didn't care.

Horrible, horrible things happened on that field today. Still, they played on. Loading the bases with walks...and then walking in a few. The catcher throwing a slow roller to the pitcher (instead of first base), who then threw the ball into left field.

Somewhere Ty Cobb was crying (and making racist remarks at somebody while driving his sharpened, steel cleats into their leg)

I wonder how I would have done on that field. I wonder if I'd have given up...and just enjoyed playing. I could just sit back and enjoy the show....and every once in a while get to bat. That's one of the problems with could literally play for hours and never catch or throw the ball. You could just hang out in right field and think pleasant thoughts. It's an incomplete sport because of this, I believe.

Wrestling is probably the opposite of baseball. You can't wear cleats, stand around, chew seeds, wear sunglasses, or yell out "can of corn" or "cup of cream cheese!" for no apparent reason.

I still don't quite get the infield fly rule...just let them play it out...they should bear the burden of popping up a ball in that situation.

That'll be part of my campaign speech for the commissioner of Major League Baseball....someday...oh yes...someday...

Murph's Hierarchy of needs

Level one - Physiological - I need to breathe, eat pizza, sleep, drink diet coke and regularly bathe.

Level two - Safety - I need to know that I will not be trapped in an enclosed space for prolonged period's of time. I need to know that there will be no line, ballroom or interpretive dancing, no prisoners threatening me with a shiv and at no point will Chuck Norris melon ball my trachea.

Level three - Love - I need Annie and the boys around me. I also need to know that at any time I could access the comedic stylings of Mr. Bob Saget

Level four - Esteem - I need to be secure in the knowledge that I'm the thinking man's Alec Baldwin.

Level five - Actualization - I need to feel like it's the right thing to do - spending 3 minutes writing a blog while on the company's dime.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I guess it's an age thing?

some ideas, words, expressions and things continue to puzzle me...Ink Pen - do we still need to call it that?

Fashion Model - A friend of mine called a model a fashion model the other day...kind of struck me as funny. As though if he'd said, "she's a model" we would have wondered, "I wonder if he means a model airplane, or a model student or a fashion model?"

eye glasses - you never hear anyone say glasses without figuring out what they mean. "I can't find my glasses" "do you mean you can't find the glasses that you fill with a liquid and drink out of?"

Jim Rome - he has full 5 second gaps of silence on his show, he doesn't talk to people (unless he's sucking up to his athlete guests) and he just has people call in and read a couple paragraphs about C-bus crashing at the slam dig wit the trip to his crib...that is whack....war the c-town cropdusters - out!" Huh? Seriously? People listen to this?

Anyone who doesn't love the collective works of:
Mr Bob Saget (Sags)

Mr. David Hasslehoff

All of the great Carmens (Carmen the incredible singer/actor, Carmen San Diego, Carmen the opera, Carmen Electra - triple threat, Dancer, Actress, Marry-er of Dave Navarro, Carmen Miranda - that's a real person, right?)

I don't get why Ed was cancelled.

I don't get why cheese makes me feel so icky and tastes so good.

I don't get why my lawn hates me.

I don't understand why Steve hasn't written pages 3 and 4 of "Grads" yet.

I don't get the appeal of most winter olympic sports.

I'm still struggling with stucco, mustache's, the color of most of the houses in Miami, why people use pencils, why we don't have a national day of The Office, why the NAACP still keeps the CP, astro turf, the D.H., or why the Pirates are so freaking bad at baseball.

If anyone can explain any of these things...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Some people read this blog and get a picture of who I am. If you read it long enough, you'd pick up the fact that I have two kids, one on the way, an awesome wife, a sweet miniature van, work at a church with a goofy name, have a phobia of plastic forks and am one of the millions who love Bob Saget.

You'd know all of this...but you still might not know me. You'd have a mental picture of who I am. You could argue that you are familiar with my work. It's not the same. It's just a shadow of who I am...kind of like an emblem or a symbol.

There are certain emblems that make me sick - take the swastika...just makes me feel kind of gross just looking at it....but it's just a symbol. It's not a Nazi - it's their symbol.

Let's pick a slightly more upbeat image - my wedding ring. I'm wearing my third ring since I've been married. I never liked the gold one...just thought that's what you're supposed to wear - so then I bought a cheap silver one once Annie said she didn't mind. Then it started falling off whenever it got I bought the third one.

Every once in a while I'll take it off to spin on a table (that's what guys do) and occasionally someone will look at me in horror. "it's the symbol of my love for Annie, it's not my love for Annie" is my quick reply. It's just a symbol.

I'm not my picture. I'm not my blog. I'm not my Irish heritage. I'm not even my name. I'm a combination of all of those things and hundreds of thousands of others. You could say that I'm 32 flavors and then some...

Monday, May 01, 2006


"I like their work, I just don't like them that much."
How important is that exactly?

Here's why I ask...I really like Woody Allen's books, stand up and movies. He's also kind of a goofball. He was a goofball before he started cheating on his wife with her daughter...but nobody knew it.

I like some artists that are just screwed up. I hear them on talk shows or read them in interviews and they make me want to melon ball my trachea.

So should the point be the art? Can you separate the art from artist? I know people that would rather chew aluminum foil that say they liked the movie that a republican was in. I know people that refuse to watch anything with Charlie Sheen, Alec Baldwin or Sean Penn because of how they vote. Can you honestly say that Men at Work, Miami Blues and Shanghai Surprise aren't incredible movies?

The same question pops up in sports. I wonder how I'd feel if the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers picked up Terrell Owens? When the team that I'm behind is out of the picture (take the Pirates for example....seriously, would someone take them?) I tend to root for the team that doesn't have the players I can't stand. That means I like whoever doesn't have the linebacker that does a backflip every time they make a tackle for a 4 yard gain. It's hard to like a team that has a wide receiver that moon dances when he makes a 13 yard reception on third and 15. "O.K., we get like attention. This is where you get your affirmation and love. That's why we were all cheering and wearing your stop it"

Maybe in sports it kind of works...because you can root against someone. How does that play itself out in movies? Should someone who hates Scientology root for M.I.3 and Fat Actress to get crushed at the box office and in the ratings?

these are the questions I have for you...

Monday Monday

It was a pretty good weekend.

Went out with a couple of couples on Friday - followed by Brian Regan and milkshakes - followed by me wondering why I ever let dairy into my system.

I worked for about three hours on Saturday, but it didn't really feel like it. I was then on the golf course ...the miniature golf course. This is where I barely beat my 5 year old, and where I tied my 8 months pregnant wife who also had a one year old in a backpack papoose kind of thing (that's right, she was carrying two kids...and tied me)

Still, I don't wrap up a lot of my esteem in mini-golf. If she were to beat me in racquetball while carrying two kids...then it'd be on.

This was followed by several hours of holding down the couch and praying that it'd rain so I wouldn't have to mow the lawn. My lawn looks like we had a biker rally out front - I have about three hundred pounds in grass seed on it...and nothing. You can sprinkle some on a ceramic head and in two days have a chia head, but put it on my lawn, water it, fertilize it, speak nicely to it...and nada.

Sunday was good...not much to report...bought Griffin a basketball which I'll unveil when he's being especially exceptional... I saw Coop take two steps in a row, and there's a rumor floating out there that he's taken 4 at once. Peggers and Suser are back in town (great), no meetings tonight (nice), my bathroom is leaking through into our kitchen (not so great), our air conditioner is working (good stuff), but it turns out our heat no longer works (hmmm...worry about that in the winter?). Overall, life is good...that's my message.

I know I'm just recounting my weekend as though I was writing some kind of log, on the web, but this is just what I was thinking about....and you know my 3 minute rule.