Things to Do When Your Team Doesn’t Make the Playoffs

sesameJust got the call from my mom, the Captain, that our front row tickets for Sunday’s performance of “Sesame Street Live” just entered the building.

Thank you Steelers for your 8-8 season.

Not that I am not looking forward to seeing my 2-year-old Jeffrey set foot in Elmo’s World for an afternoon, but Sesame Street is a far cry from playing for a bid in the AFC Championship game.

I’ll be the jackass waiving the Terrible Towel when Big Bird takes the stage on Sunday, just like when Troy runs out of the tunnel.

Just like it.

Since there are several more agonizing weeks of watching other teams march to to Super Bowl, I though of some other pursuits to occupy my time while awaiting the opening of training camp, and a shot at redemption:


1. Turning My Camry Into an Art Car




2. Getting a Guinness Book of World Records Title Under My Belt




3. Arena Football?



Los Angeles Galaxy v Chivas USA

4. MLS Soccer?




5. Watching Paint Dry


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Dear Ray Lewis, God Has Better Things to Do

I’m just going to put my bias out there before I pull out my soapbox this morning.  Make no mistakes, I am a disgruntled, non-playoff making, die hard Steelers fan who spent far too many Sundays this season watching horrendous football on both sides of the ball.  We were not a playoff caliber NFL football franchise by any stretch of the imagination, and should spend the entire off-season wearing ass hats to display publicly our shame.

In this town being sidelined in the post-season is a bitter, bitter pill to swallow, and I’ve just not quite reached a place of acceptance concerning our parade of mediocre performances, botched opportunities, and not-getting-the job-done-ness to watch the NFL post-season without fits of anger and uncontrolled outbursts.

A glutton for punishment, I spent a considerable amount of time this weekend shouting profanities at the television as I watched teams I loathe triumph in the wild-card games.

Yes, Baltimore Ravens, I’m talking about you.

You expletives. 

I hate you.

As if it weren’t sickening enough to watch the expletives in purple trounce the Colts, watching Ray Lewis’s post-game remarks made me puke in my mouth.  Though I will eat a heaping helping of crow and acknowledge that this expletive is truly an animal on the football field (and off), and is unarguably one of the greats to have ever played the game; it makes me sick to cast this douchebag as an American hero or an ambassador to the game.

Exhibit A


Ray Lewis, penance happens offstage, with no audience, no crowds, no media, and without fanfare.  To see you conveniently strip off your game jersey and display your Psalms 91 t-shirt for the world to see made you an even bigger fraud in my eyes.

Color me crazy, but I think God had a few other items on his to-do list that trump your performance against the Colts, though he thanks you for your contrived praise and glory for the sake of your rehabilitated image.

God is a Steelers fan, Ray Lewis…and the Ravens are a franchise not even Jesus can love.


I feel better.

Go Broncos.

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If I Learned One Thing This Election Season

If there is one thing I learned for certain this election season, it’s that there is no way in hell I’m signing up to be president.  I just don’t think I have the stamina.

I’m not sure how it would fly with my constituents, if I were to ask for a two hour nap during the final push leading up to Election Day.  I’d imagine I would be preeeeetty tuckered out by my upteenth trip to Ohio; Ohio would not be getting my A-game.

Fancy for a moment an entire world focused on you, waiting for you to snap and throw someone the bird.  I’m self-aware enough to know that in such a state of fatigue, I’d give the media what they wanted.  You wouldn’t have to poke me too hard with a stick to get the money shot.

I’d pop off.

Call my opponent a four letter word into a live mike I thought was turned off.


Therefore, to save myself and my family from future apologies and embarrassment, and with much thoughtful prayer and consideration; I’m withdrawing my candidacy for the Office of the President effective immediately and forever.

God Bless America.  God Bless the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Why I Love Election Day

Mr. Wonderful at his wonderful-est

I remember as a kid, heading to McClellan Elementary School on Election Day with my parents.  The polling precinct was alive with a mix of excitement and nerves, palpable to a little kid who new little about the candidates or the issues.  As I walked past the dozens of red, white, and blue signs, collecting leaflets from pollsters like Halloween candy, I knew in my tiny gut, voting was a big deal.

My parents, the Captain and Mr. Wonderful, always took us behind the curtain of the voting booth; it made me think of the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz.  Now I know it’s far bigger than that.

We pulled the levers for our parents’ candidates: my brother, the favorite, got to pull the lever for president; I chose the unopposed candidate for Auditor General or the local librarian; Mindy was left at home with the family of wolves that raised her.

The Captain and Mr. Wonderful respected Election Day as a national holiday, today I did the same for my son.  We dressed in red, white, and blue and bid a heartfelt good morning to all who exercised this tremendous freedom we hold as Americans.  I spoke to him about how important this day was to all of us, and how his grandfathers, his father, and so many other brave Americans served and sacrificed so that we could cast our vote today.

I know on his two-year-old  level, he understood.

Jeffrey pushed the buttons today.  I hope you all do the same.

Thank you, God, for allowing us to live in this amazing country.  I’ll take America on a bad day over any other place in the world.

In honor of all of the brave men and women who have served, and continue to serve our great nation, please, please vote.

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I Can Take a Hint

I think I might be one of those people who goes on in conversation past the point where my audience loses interest…and then beats a dead horse…and then runs it into the ground.

No one wants to be that person.

More than that, no one wants to bump into that person.

I am that person.

Listen, I’m used to my own family cutting me off with flimsy excuses.  In the past week alone, the Captain has cut me off in the following abrupt ways:

  • “I gotta run.  I’m REEEEEEAL busy.”
  • “Molly, this is your brother calling.  I have to take this.”
  • “I’m getting in the shower.  If you don’t have anything new; I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
  • “Here’s your Dad.” (Followed by an extended pause indicating Dad has no desire to talk to me whatsoever)
  • “I’m on the other line with your sister.  Let me call you back.”  Still waiting.  Still waiting.  Still waiting.”

It’s a whole different show when someone who isn’t blood takes a pretend call to get you to give it a rest.

That was me this morning.

I cornered this poor guy from work who recently had his first child.  Initially he was happy to share a few tender tidbits of his first weeks of parenthood; he’d have been even happier if the conversation ended there.

Clearly he doesn’t know me.  I was just getting warmed up.

I continued to beat his ear with and endless stream of personal, parental wisdom and funny kid stories; until he politely put his headphones on and started to backpedal away.

Hint taken.

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Kinda a Feminist

A little background on my personal, party platform.  I’m not the type of raging feminist who slams a door in a man’s face when he kindly holds it for me.  I’m not going to spit in a man’s face for offering his seat on a crowded bus.  In my opinion, these simple gentlemanly acts are far too hard to come by in our increasingly rude society, and I’ll be sure that Jeffrey is taught the art of chivalry and good manners.

I am a gung ho believer in treating women as professional and intellectual equals, and giving them the salary and benefits their male counterparts receive.  I also believe that the role that women play in the home as mothers and keepers of the household  is waaaaaaay under-appreciated and undervalued in the grand scheme of things;  but its a thankless job I happen to love.

Our division of labor tends to run along traditional lines.  I keep the house from falling into filth and squalor.  I make sure no one leaves the house dressed like a clown.  I am responsible for most of the poop and vomit cleanup.  Jeff fixes things.  The yard is mine.  The cars are Jeff’s.  You won’t catch me changing my own oil.  I’m not dropping a tranny.  Power tools are off limits for me given the danger I pose to myself and others.

So you can see, pretty gender specific, but all-in-all a typical male-female 30-70 percent split of duties.

Ba dump bump ching.

I thought I had a car-related task to send Jeff’s way.  My car seems to have only two heat settings:  1) off, or 2) like I’ve opened the door of a blast furnace and stuck my head inside.  It’s been going on for a few weeks, and I was finally irritated enough to send the work order Jeff’s way–but this morning a miracle occurred.

My car healed itself.

I love when that happens.

Seems I’ll have to head home and break something else.  Just for the sake of fairness and domestic bliss.




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Peer Pressure Cures Everything

If you joined me yesterday, you are aware of the Halloween trauma that I inflicted upon my my 2-year-old son Jeffrey.  I am certain that judging by his hysterical reaction to his chicken costume, or “sicken” as he calls it, it is likely that a vegan lifestyle is in his future.

I am happy to report that he may have been spared from countless sessions of hypnotherapy thanks to a little peer pressure from the cute, little, blond, spitfire in his daycare.  It seems Jeffrey, much like his father, has a penchant for blondes (go figure, I’m as dark haired as they come), and the rougher the blonde the better. 

Tattoos and a leathery, orange. fake tan?  Yes please.

When Blondie appeared in her princess costume, The little “sicken” wiped his tears and morphed in front of my eyes into the proudest rooster you ever did see.

Apparently real “sickens” don’t cry.




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Halloween Misunderstanding

As you can see by the photo at left, Jeffrey and I had a little misunderstanding regarding the parent-child relationship and my entitlements as the one who brought him into the world.  Simply put, it is the divine right of parenting to humiliate one’s offspring up to and including the point at which therapy is required.

The chicken suit, purchased by his GoGo, a.k.a. my mom, a.k.a. the Captain, did not make it fully on his person before he said, “All done.”  All done?  Hardly, my son.  We are far from done.  We are, in fact, only just beginning.

I figured it was time to share with him a story of my youth, which helped me to fully understand the iron fist of parental humiliation.  I’ll take you back to second grade where the rule of the McClelland household as legislated by the Captain was so eloquently stated, “You pick your play clothes.  I’ll pick your school clothes.”

Every morning the Captain laid out an itchy, velvet, smock dress (I must have had at least a hundred of those), which I begrudgingly hoisted over my uneven bangs.  (The Captain, as captured in my school pictures in grades K-5, cut my hair with a dull, rusty blade, but will forever insist the style du jour was an “angled” bang.  BS.)

Outside of school house I contentedly dressed myself like a clown, and paraded around the neighborhood like a colorblind orphan.  We had found a easy stride of compromise, the Captain and I…until she pulled out the plaid knickers and matching plaid, piped shirt.

I protested.  I cried.  I wailed in hysterics known only in Hollywood.  I made deals with the Devil.  I refused to go to school (yea right).  I begged her to spare me the humiliation and the ruination of my 7-year-old reputation.

The Captain would not relent.  In case I was unclear about the policy currently in place, she barked from the bottom of the stairs,”You pick your play clothes.  I’ll pick your school clothes.”

I wore the damn knickers…with a brown bag over my head.

I’m not quite sure that Jeffrey got his 2-year-old head around the moral of my childhood anecdote, but he wore that stinkin’ chicken suit to school this morning.  You see, sweet child, I waited 36 years for this moment.  “You pick your play clothes.  I’ll pick your school clothes.” Wipe those tears, and get to cluckin’.

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“Taking Back Tuesday”: You Say Yee-roh, I Say Gyro

It’s “Taking Back Tuesday,” and I’m facing my personal inventory of gripes head on today. I’m putting them all out there in the Wild West of the Universe and letting the Big Man Upstairs sort them out.  You’ll see them once, and never again.  They’re dead to me.  In no particular order of importance:

  • I’m tired of being wet.
  • I’m tired of political ads and, more so, of the people who think they are biblical truth.
  • I’m tired of cleaning up toys, stepping on toys, and having toys stuck to the bottoms of my feet; only to pick them up and have them dumped back on the floor when I go to the bathroom.
  • I’m tired of paying in the $4 ballpark for a gallon of gas.
  • I’m tired of shifting summer and winter wardrobes.
  • I’m tired of watching men get paid HUUUUUUUGE salaries for what a woman can do before breakfast, and without all the “atta boys.”
  • I’m tired of matching socks, only to find my pile of partner-less socks getting larger and larger.
  • I’m tired of trying to decide whether or not to turn on the furnace.
  • I’m tired of wiping boogers.
  • I’m tired of cooking delicious dinner morsels that get caked in a) barbeque sauce, or b) ketchup, or are c) fed to our dog, Snoopy Jones.

Therefore, I have no other recourse than to axe my entire stash of bitches and moans in one fell swoop.  Tonight to celebrate my purge of negativity, I’m having a gyro all by myself… in the center of the toy heap, in dry clothes still warm from the dryer, with one sock on, and the television off.  The kitchen is closed and the ketchup is going on the fries only.  Let the boogers run.  Let the politicians whine.  Let the boys eat macaroni and cheese drowned in Heinz.

God, I love Tuesdays.

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Halloween on the Verge of Ruin

When I was in elementary school, I sat alphabetically in front of Joy McElhinny in nearly every class from Kindergarten through fifth grade.  In my opinion, Joy was the complete package:  smart, funny, a gymnast (I was the Amazon in the back row of all the pictures), and the perennial winner of the most original, homemade Halloween costume.  Clearly her parents loved her more than mine loved me.  I was Tweety Bird for my first eight years of life; Joy’s mom wrote sweet messages on the peel of her banana.

Two of Joy’s costumes are forever etched in my scrapbook of childhood memories.  In third grade in Miss O’Reilly’s class, Joy dressed for the Halloween parade as a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, her cherubic face encapsulated by paper-mache, ground beef.  In fifth grade, the McElhinnys brought their A-game, and dressed the diminutive Joy as a box of movie theater popcorn.  I was, again, Tweety Bird.

The costume was one for the ages, a HUGE red and white striped refrigerator box (judging by Joy’s costumes, the McElhinnys must have bought a new refrigerator every October) topped with REAL popcorn.  She was the talk of McClellan Elementary School, and rightfully so.  For the rest of the fifth grade class, festooned in old bedsheets and fake blood, Joy made the Halloween parade feel more like a walk of shame…until the unthinkable happened.

You see, there was a design flaw in the popcorn box.  NO ARMHOLES!  As we were coming around the bus circle on the final stretch of the parade, Joy tripped over the speed bump and face planted on the asphalt.  NO ARMHOLES!  Wonder what her banana peel read the next day at lunch?  “Dear, Joy, Sorry about the costume.  Glad the dentist was able to extract all of your teeth from the inside of your lips.  Love, Mom.”

The fifth grade class was traumatized, not only for witnessing Joy’s painful fall–and her fall from Halloween grace, but in knowing that Joy’s trick-or-treating prospects were looking pretty dim.  No candy for Joy.

You can imagine our…joy, when little Joy rose from the ashes like a phoenix The Great Pumpkin.  That Halloween, Joy ate her candy with her back teeth.  She was one tough broad.

Moral of the story: This Halloween, don’t let Frankenstorm rain on your Halloween parade.  Buck up, little ones, just like Popcorn Joy did.  Grab a pillow case and an umbrella and run like hell.  Get your sticky little hands on a Category 5 candy haul.

Just make sure you have armholes.

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