Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 and beyond...but mostly this is about 2010

in 2010 I resolve to:

-find another cereal that has both, been tested by kids...but also is approved by moms

-fight injustice, and possibly Pauly Shore

-teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, and then buy them a diet dr pepper

-end more sentences with prepositions

-watch the Bearcats win, what I'll refer to as, the National Championship

-star in a buddy commercial - one fun loving cop and one older, cranky cop...both of them trying to fight crime and also enjoy a delicious turkey sandwich.  I'd like to play the fun loving, younger cop.  I think I can pull it off.  (I should mention that I love turkey sandwiches...that's not even acting for me.)

-launch my delicious vegetable based beverage - V9 "Like v8, but extra...and ours doesn't have that stupid fruity tomato in it!"

-watch Isaac win best supporting for Hitting the Nuts

-finally win a thumb wrestling match with Chris Day winner takes all.

-go on a double date with Jarnsie

-see that new Sharlock Holmes movie

-take my mixed creative arts dojo to the next level.

-buy Fuller and young Bradley matching segways

-punch someone in the larnyx (possibly Pauly Shore)

-kick it old school like an old fool

-Remake the Rodney Dangerfield classic "Back to School" with Daniel Day Lewis in the lead role.

-reconfigure my 3d breath right nasal strips with even more creative and hilarious raccoon pictures.

-continue to increase my horizontal leap

-convince the producers of Glee to figure out a way to not make their songs look so lip synchy (it's a word) and maybe the cheerleaders don't wear their uniforms to school every day?

-take over for Oprah

-start a seven man Weezer tribute band including at least one Jonas

that should do it...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Question me?

If you were a dog, what are you thinking about?
Sure I'd want all the kibbles you could throw at me if I was a dog...but bits?  I mean...come on...we can do better people.

My New Year's plans?
Three words - Ryan Seacrest on television

Anything confusing about going to the gymnasium?

1.  Old guy on the treadmill wearing jeans.  I gotta think chaffing would enter the equation
2.  Different old guy sitting on a bench un-ironically wearing a white terry cloth headband and staring at the mirror for upwards of thirty minutes.  If anyone would notice how insane that look is, wouldn't it be him?

Oscar predictions?
I predict the awards show that catches guff for going too long still won't realize that adding five best picture nominations to the show actually makes it longer.  I predict two Kanye West jokes.  I predict Quinton Tarantino will wear a really ugly tuxedo.  I go along with Clubber Lang in my prediction of pain.  I predict Christopher Waltz will win best supporting actor.

Anything new in your life fella?
Some of my friends promised to get married this past week.  Brad and Leah are getting a cool sister legally, and Katy gets to see Steve cringe at family functions when everyone wears Steeler's jerseys.
Also, the word guff.

Last words?'re welcome                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Monday, December 28, 2009


If I ever take the time to put a list together of the men who have had the greatest influence on my life, Brad Johnson would be right up there near the top.  I became a follower of Jesus in 1988 and Brad was one of my earliest mentors in what I still refer to as the time when I grew the most in my relationship with God.
I've never met someone who was better at firing up or motivating a crowd.  He took a group of college students and literally helped to change the trajectory of thousands of lives.  Brad was the area director for Young Life on the east side of Cincinnati for years, and there are still tons of areas, and even regions, that are led by people who were under the leadership of Brad.  We were at a conference where they asked people to stand up if they'd been led by Brad, and then people who were led by the people standing were asked to stand...and so on.  Roughly 700 people (out of maybe 720) ended up standing.  Sadly, I don't often see the same kind of mentor-ship or influence out of the church world.  It's easier to speak from a stage and hope people follow - it's more exciting to put on the big events...but I'm just not sure that we'll see the same influence in the long run.  We could learn a lot from Brad.
He was great at leading a crowd too.  He's one of the top speakers I've ever heard.  He's absolutely the best leader of small to medium sized groups that I've ever seen.  I'm not sure that I've ever had the opportunity to see anyone lead quite like Brad.
Beyond his abilities, Brad is just a good guy.  As I was leaving his area to move out of town Brad found out that my car had broken down.  He decided that we were going to fix it.  When "we" fixed it, we drove to Columbus and Brad bought all the parts and then proceeded to replace my clutch.  I can say that I helped to put in a clutch, because I stood next to Brad and periodically would hand him a wrench.

It said tons to me that he was willing to leave town and help me out, even in the midst of me leaving his area.  He's one of the greats, and I'm a better friend, husband and father because of my time spent with him...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve

Went to the Vineyard Christmas show last night and I'll give you a few of my personal highlights.
-Pre-show meal with friends
-Went with my beautiful wife
-No Murphy pooped their pants
-Brad's intro of Simeon
-Simeon mocking my benign tremor
...and his monologue was pretty solid too
-Watching my kid's two favorite moments
     a.  when they lifted the swing back into the ceiling
     b.  their bedspread on the stage
-Seeing local weblog friends Rebel Pilgrim, Bshaw, driving, j-money, fuller, lawgirl, dwork, my gal, and also that one blog that I love but don't have room to mention here.
-The opening cartoon
-Seeing my friends be awesome
-Cooper picking up piles of spent streamers, throwing them up into the air and proclaiming, "It's a trash miracle!"
-I believe there are still some seats available tonight and tomorrow night..I'm just saying...

Monday, December 21, 2009

a fella

Annie and I had dinner with some Evan and Kim Griffin the other night at Chinatis (maybe the best pizza in Cincinnati?) and had a great time with some of our oldest friends. (take that however you like)
I've known Evan for twenty years(ish) now and there aren't three people I look up to more than him.  He's a little hard to describe, but if you know Fulller - think of an older, wiser, more athletic and insightful guy that's less sarcastic, less commitment phobic, about the same height, visits less churches and doesn't wear elf shoes.  Notice I didn't say sexier or with less hair.  I'd say they're equal in both departments.  Boom!  (too strong? I mock those I love)
Annie says that every time I meet with Evan it costs me twenty bucks.  That's because I always walk away with a ripped up napkin with the name of a book I've "got to read Murph".  He's the boy who cried book.  Every book is the greatest...even if he hadn't finished it yet.
I'll buy whatever book Evan tells me to because Evan has earned the right in my life to gently encourage me to think about some new things.  I've watched his life enough to know that maybe following after some of the same things Evan seems to go after might not be a bad way to go (Heb. 13:7ish).  He's been a great example to me of an older (much) guy who loves his wife, family and friends in a way that's uncompromising, full of grace and tons of truth. 
Evan has had more impact on others than anyone I've ever met.  He's had more impact on people than any organization or church I've ever seen.  He's talked about this idea of one on one time and investing in people's lives for so long, that now I get to see some of the fruit.  He's impacted tens of thousands through himself, and the people he's mentored doing the same...and so on...and so on.  He's not about events, he's about conversations...and most of us could learn from that.  It takes longer in the short run...but over time, it just wins...

When Annie and I were thinking of names for our first little Murphy, Griffin came up because of the influence that Evan Griffin has had on my life.  To be honest, if Evan's name was Gern Blansten...I'm not sure we would have gone that way.  It was a combo of influence and a great name, but I'm not sure what more I could say about Evan than that our Griffin was named with the hope that he too would live out his life for others, and impacts tens of thousands...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Adding to my resume

It's a new day in Murphy family sports.  Oh sure, I've coached High School wrestling (Mustangs, Middies, Warriors & Indians) and High School football (Middies & Lions).  I've even coached t-ball (Wildcats).  These were all sports in which I had a decent amount of experience.  It just makes sense, you want a coach who knows what the heck he or she is talking about.

That will not be the case with the Cheetahs.  This is a team of 3rd & 4th graders who just found out their assistant coach doesn't know a pick and roll from a box and one.  Oh sure, I can knock down J's and take it to the hole all day long.  I got crazy, stupid hops and can take a charge like a champ...but I'm just not sure I'm the fella for this job.

Griff had his first practice and the coach all but begged for someone to assist his coaching.  The second practice had no one step up, and I was performing improvisational "comedy" for Steven Joseph Fuller...and a few others.  (somewhere off in the distance I could hear the soft humming of Cat's in the cradle...I think it was Joe).  Third practice comes around and I'm the schlep that steps into the coaching void.

A couple of things to note:
1.  The team I assistant coached in State College, Pennsylvania?  They're in the state championship this weekend.
2.  The team I'm assitant coaching this year in the Dub C?  So far...undefeated.

Coincidence?  I think not

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Cooper played Joseph in his Preschool production of the Christmas story.
My unbiased review follows.

The stage was set up nicely and the costumes were spot on.  The backstage crew obviously had put some time and energy into this show.  That's about all it had going for it for most of the first act.

Unfortunately there was a bit of miscommunication between the narrator and the Angels.  I personally believe it was a problem with direction, and not necessarily the talent or casting.  Right about when people started looking at their watches and shifting uncomfortably in their seats...a star appeared.  Not a constellation...this wasn't the star that shown over Bethlehem.  No, this was the star that shown over the Dino-Fours production of the Christmas Story.  Young Cooper "Coop" Murphy walked out onto that stage as though he owned it.  For that brief moment the audience had a collective moment of clarity.  We knew we were witnessing greatness.

This was a young Beethoven sitting down for the first time at a piano.  This was El Greco picking up a paintbrush....Carrot Top sifting through the trash... 

When Joseph asked if there was room for even one more at the Inn, you felt the chill in the air.  That chill?  Desperation...

I watched Quentin Tarantino smack John Travolta across the face after he witnessed Coop become Joseph before his eyes.  There are rumors that Phil Hoffman is quitting the business.

It was a performance for the ages - but alas, it was a one time only engagement....

I did hear that he'll be playing the part of Santa's elf in next year's production of The Santa and I...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Judge this

They say that you can't judge a book by the cover.

First of all, they should stop telling me what to do.
They often steal balloons from small children and it seems pretty hypocritical of them to go around pronouncing what all of us should and should not do.
They are jerks.

I should also ask them why not?  What if the book is covered in dead baby seal skin?  Should I ask a few questions, or dare I say make a few judgments about the book then? (side note - that's why I'm not so sure about Fuller's book).

My rules of thumb:
Don't buy a book with cartoon pictures on the cover
Don't buy a book if they use the words slacks, oily, dance, sassy or Coulier appear on the cover.

They might call that judgmental, but they are stupid and I just happened to know that they voted to keep Ron Pallilo out of the Sweathogs reunion in 1987.

So why would I listen to them?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

'tis the season

My friend Brad produces three things very well:
1.  Christmas productions
2.  a dead on Funky Bunch impersonation
3.  restaurant quality eggs Florentine

The first one is great because it's become a yearly tradition, it's free, and it's always a great night out.  The second one is problematic because you still need to find a decent Marky Mark impersonator to make it fly...and man, you should try those eggs.

Having said that, I'd love to see you at this year's Christmas Show at the Vineyard Community Church (in beautiful, downtown Springdale, Ohio).  Tickets are available for Monday, December 21st - 23rd - two shows a night.  I've heard that it's a little bit of music, a little bit of comedy and a little bit of visual deliciousness.

Seem like a no-brainer...

Monday, December 14, 2009


I'd like to take the time to thank/highlight/mention/write about some of my favorite people and/or the people I'm most thankful for.

I'd do it on Thanksgiving, but I'm not going to let that holiday be the boss of me (same goes to you Flag Day!).

It would make the most sense that I'd start with my beautiful bride. There is no one that is more favorited (it's a word) or that I look up to more, or that I'm more thankful for. Having said that, I'm not going to go in order of preference because I don't want to rank people- because that's not what this is about either. I can just see people asking me why I ranked Annie above Jesus or Hasselhoff below anyone...

Anyhow, today I will tell you about my friend Stacy.

I should tell you right from the start that young Stacy is actually a guy. I'm not sure if his parents were fans of Stacy Keatch or if there was some sort of bet lost...but they went with a girl's name. Maybe to toughen him up through grade school?

Not really the point. Stacy was a great friend to me while we were living in the Keystone state. There was no one that was more encouraging to me as I was struggling to figure out the ways of the Pennsylvanians. He was honest, kind, funny and a great example to me in how he loved his family, ministry and the people around him. I'm not sure you'll find a better listener in the state, or a more humble man either. Those two qualities seem to go hand in hand and he was a daily reminder for me of just what they look like.

The world would be a better place with more guys who have girl's names...that's not really what I wanted to say here....let me start over.

The world would be a better place with more fellas like Stac around. I'm a big fan, and I couldn't be more excited about the little girl from China that will soon find a new father in State College, Pennsylvania. She really couldn't do any better.

So thanks Stac, you're one of the greats...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mob Rules

Tomorrow at 11AM, a silly amount of people will meet up at Fountain Square to dance, dance, dance.

But Sean, I'm not sure I know how to dance.
You don't have to.  It's like square just follow the instructions on this instructional video

I'm just not sure I have the guts to show up and dance in the middle of downtown.
That's why you bring a friend, co-worker, relative, neighbor or Bob Saget...maybe even your whole small groupIf this things goes south, you just laugh and blame it all on MSG. 

It seems like I can do this, but what's the deal with Tiger Woods?
He's pretty good at golf, and maybe we should pray for the fella...

Back to the whole dance thing.  Is this like dance, dance revolution?
No, that's just silly.  We're not really revolting so much as having fun with 999 of our closest friends...

I'm pretty busy, I'm not sure I can make it.
Too busy for 45 minutes of unfettered joy?  Too busy to be a part of something bigger than yourself?  Too busy to capture a moment, a snapshot of something that will live on until someone loses this video years from now?  I think we both know the answer to that question...

So obviously I will see you on Fountain Square. Saturday, December 12 at 11am.
Remember to invite your friends.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What up G?

I bought a new cellular telephone this week.  The old one is no longer with us.  It was a happy funeral.
Sadly I will miss all my old contacts.  They're gone.  I respond to every text message with, "now...who is this?"
I went AT & T, Cincinnati Bell, Verizon and Cricket.

Verizon has the best coverage, Cincinnati Bell has some decent plans, AT & T overpriced phone, and Cricket made me run home to take a shower.  They had a t-shirt on their wall (among many others) that said, "I fart on first dates".  So there's that...

Apparently 3G is a big deal for these guys.  Three of the four claimed the most users in Cincinnati (Verizon) and they all claimed the best customer service (Flavor's Eatery).  Apparently it's a cutthroat competition among cellular telephone carriers.

I've stumbled upon a brilliant marketing for the little mom and pop company to take over the top position on the mobile phone market - 7G's.  It's more than double the G's at the same price.

Seems so simple - more G's.  We crave the G's and I think it's high time someone gave us those G's...the country is crying out for those darn things. 
Think of the children...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I'm ready for my closeup Mr. Bill

Three shows in a row this week.  We call that a trifecta in the biz.  And by "we" I mean me, and by "biz" I mean horse racing.

Tonight we're doing a public show, tomorrow night a small private party of maybe 25ish, and Friday night a private party of maybe 350ish....doesn't feel so private, does it?

My friend (we'll call him "Joe") has said that you want at least 20 and no more than 100.  We haven't done a show with less than 20 since our first performance (you may remember our performance at the Cancer Wellness Center?) and we've done a bunch with 100+.  50 feels about right for improvisation.

So tonight is our last public show of 2009, and it's a free one.  I think it's our first free show since our command performance for the octogenarians of Mallard Cove (I need a famous celebrity maybe from the movies?  Stan Laurel!  Abe Vigoda!) so you can't beat the price.  We'll be at the Northside Tavern - 4163 Hamilton Ave. - Cincinnati 45223 from 9-11 tonight. 

Come on out - it should be fun...or at least free...

I'd invite you to sneak in on the private shows, but I don't really know where they are...

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Just wondering how different the news would be if a bunch of young fellas had broken into an office complex named Waterpickle in '72?

It would have caused the Waterpickle cover up/scandal.

More importantly, we would in the future have:


I'm not sure the news would run with pickle as a suffix quite as much as they seem to love "gate"

That just occurred to be as I was driving back to the Murphy estate this morning...

now go and use this knowledge to change the world!

Monday, December 07, 2009


I had a front row seat in Scott's leadership for dummies class this weekend.
I was the dummy.

Our medium sized group met and helped a lady move her house on Saturday.  We actually just moved all her stuff and left her house where it was.  It was nine steps up and down from her front door to the street - and we moved to a second floor apartment.  I should mention that she took her appliances with her as well.
When we arrived, not much had been done.  Stuff wasn't packed, boxes weren't together...we were basically starting from scratch and it was a bit overwhelming...but then Scott stepped up. 

He took over and it was brilliant.  I was the connection from the lady (who has M.S. and isn't able to lift much) and our group.  I was sort of waiting for her to give us our marching orders, but Scott quickly understood that she wanted us to take over.  And that's just what he did.
Within three hours we'd taken apart cribs, bookshelves and beds.  We'd loaded cars, SUV'S (for those who hate mother Earth) and pickup trucks (for those who love NASCAR).  We took apart a fridge and moved it along with a stove.  Couches & recliners and dressers oh my...

If Scott hadn't taken over, I'm fairly certain that we'd still be there.
It was a pleasure to watch and to follow his thanks doc...

Friday, December 04, 2009

Birth announcement

My big brother (we'll call him "Brian") turns one day older tomorrow.  He's also officially one month older...and one year older on December the 5th.

So here's my problem.  We purchased for him a magazine subscription to the Excellence in Sports Programing Network.  So what do you give someone on their birthday when all you have is a paid bill?

Here's the other issue - he's in Egypt.(insert 80's music reference here)  It seems a little much to travel to the Middle East...or Africa...or Kentucky for that matter, just to give him a card letting him know he'll soon enjoy 12 months of sports reporting that he could obtain on the world wide web for free...but this way we kill a few trees and give his mailman something else to fill up his mailbox.

Maybe we shouldn't look at it that way.  So I'm thinking that maybe we send him an e-card?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

School Picture Day

Getting my picture taken today.  That's kind of an odd one, because they're realy taking nothing from me but my likeness.  Ultimately they'll be giving me a picture and taking nothing from me.  I should say right here and now that my faith doesn't allow for the idea that those magical picture taking machines actually steal your soul.  I don't want to ram my religion down your throat, but that's just what I believe.

Having said that, I really dislike having someone point a camera in my direction and saying, "now really Sean, smile!  Smile for real!  Just smile!"  It's far too many exclamations for something so mundane.
I should also mention that my teeth were bound by metal braces for nine years.  I was well versed in the closed mouth smile, or smirk.  It was through my formative years that this habit began and it's hard to break a habit that was formed while I was being formativedated.
But I was told to wear a dark shirt and smile at 1 o'clock today.  I'd rather live my life on my terms (see young Brad's weblog for insight) and shun the cameras flash and click...but alas, I a man who follows orders...

I'm just hoping I get one of those plastic combs...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Do as I write

I am struggling to lift my arms up to the keyboard and type this.  I have been lifting the weights for a while now...or so I thought before today.

Today I began an actual program.  Before today I would lift what was, to me, a decent amount of weight...get tired...and then go home.  This morning was different.  Today I followed the advice of a book.  It was like having a personal trainer, only you have to count for yourself...and save $50.  It was also incredibly difficult.  It's interesting what having an expert's opinion will do to something as simple as lifting weights.
So after one day of following this new lifting plan, I'm really hurting.  At the same time, I feel like I now have the knowledge to "train" someone else.  I've read about and now know the program and could take just about anyone through it..and it would work.  Silly, but true.  My internet-touch even has instructional videos on hundreds of if I forget how to do something, I just click a button.  Presto-bamo everybody wins.
About fifteen years ago I was asked to teach a parenting class.  I wasn't a parent and I thought it was a silly idea (teaching the class...not parenting) I did it (the class...and eventually the parenting).  The things I said were true, and I believe people might have even learned a few things from this non-parent.  You can teach people stuff that you're not really doing.
We do it all the time (we being parents, teachers, coaches, pastors, Amway salespeople, you get the point by now talkers).  Sad, but true.  It's easier to teach/write/talk/preach than it is to do.
I've done enough talking, and this morning I did a little doing.  I like the doing's just harder.
(you get the irony of me running home to write this, right?)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A flock of seagulls

I ran today.
I had a new gameplan in the gymnasium and it wasn't fun.
At all

A few months ago I went in and "ran" for one minute.  I walked for 19 and ran for 1.  The next day I walked for 18 and ran for 2.  Then 17 & 3...and so on until I hit 30 minutes of "running".  After I was comfortable with my thirty minutes of running (really it was more of a jog or an incredibly fast walk complete with the pumping of my arms and the constant threat of vomit) I started increasing my speed every day.

I also started lifting weights.  The problem with lifting weights is that they're really heavy.

And much like my running goals, I set some lifting goals...and eventually met those.

So I've decided to try something new...and today it began.  I walked, then jogged, then jogged a little faster...and then faster...until I was running the fastest that I have since being chased by the secret police after I wrote that scathing article about flip flops in Pravda.

It was awful.
And tomorrow I'll do it again...and it won't be so bad...or maybe it will...but I'm going to do it on Thursday too.  I've had a little success in the past three months with incremental goal setting, and ultimately I don't want to drift into 2010 wishing I'd be more proactive with my time and health.

I'm not waiting until the end of December to start my resolutions and start living how I want to live.  There's just not enough time to waste another month.