Hello loyal readers of The Constant Complainer. Yes, I’m still alive, although it’s been a few months since I last posted. Please accept my apologies for being away. I’m rested, ready to get back on track and hope to be around again on a more regular basis.
What, do you ask, was so monumental that it made me want to return? Well, that’s easy. It was Black Friday. Actually, back up a minute. It was Black Tuesday (that’s what I’m calling it at least). I went to the local Best Buy last night (Tuesday) at 6:15 p.m. And what did I see? People already camping out in preparation for Black Friday! On Tuesday!!! So you guys know me…I went inside the Best Buy and started questioning the associates about the campers.
Best Buy said the two tents were pitched on Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. Further, Best Buy said the rules were that someone had to be in the tents at all times, in order for the shoppers to preserve their space in line. So let me get this straight…you want to sit in a tent all day Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and miss Thanksgiving, so you can get into Best Buy first at 12:00 a.m. on Friday? That thought process has never made sense to me. I’d rather pay $200 more for something than stand in line. And if there was the possibility that I wasn’t going to get something because of low quantities, I still wouldn’t wait in a long line. Although, my personal favorites are the morons on the news who are first in line this year, but have no idea what deals the stores will even be offering.
The second part of my problem with the whole Black Friday mess is the stores who are now open on Thanksgiving Day. What happened to the idea of spending Turkey Day with your family? Don’t get me wrong; hospitals, drug stores, gas stations…they have to be open and employees choose to work there. I get that. But now it seems that retailers are just skipping over Black Friday. Bed Bath & Beyond says they have Black Friday pricing now. Wal-Mart, Sears and more than 100 other major retailers are saying they will be open on Thanksgiving Day - some as early as 6:00 a.m. You can see the complete listing of major chains planning to be open on Thursday here. Interestingly, I went through a Burger King drive-thru the other day and they had a note posted saying that they had decided to open on Thanksgiving Day, but that the only employees working are those that volunteered to do so. I thought that was classy. Wal-Mart on the other hand, hasn’t been so lucky - employees in as many as 12 states are threatening to walk-off the job in protest of their Thanksgiving Day hours.
When I was a kid, Black Friday meant my mother got up at 7 a.m. and headed out. As I got older, people left the house a little earlier in the morning. Years later, people were heading out by 3 a.m. Then it became midnight. Now it has become standing in line for days. To each their own I guess, but I think it’s absolutely ridiculous to stand in lines and pitch tents to save $50. And I question retailers who are now scheduling their employees to work on Thanksgiving since they’ll be open. Make it a lottery system where every consumer has the same chance and then show up first thing on Friday for your place in line. I should probably receive a major award for that suggestion. Best Buy?
I was talking to two female friends recently. One is 28-years-old and the other is 44. Both are single. I had asked them their opinion on a recent news story out of Oregon. The story involved a 49-year-old woman who met a 69-year-old retired dentist online. They went on three dates. On the fourth date they had sex. She asked him to wear a condom and he agreed. But once the sex started, she realized that he wasn’t wearing a condom and that it was “too late.” As they lay in bed afterwards, he told her that he had herpes. She kicked him out of her house. She contracted the disease from him and has had several painful outbreaks since then. The woman sued the dentist and a jury awarded her $900,000.
So I asked my two friends what they thought about dating in 2012 and stories such as the dentist one. Both women pretty much said the same thing. They said that if you’re sexually active today, you need to be worried about things like this. Both also told me that they are regularly getting tested for STD’s. They get tested not because they think they have anything. Of course the test will make sure, but they also do it in case they are questioned about it (if they have been tested) by a potential sexual partner. And in turn, they said they don’t hesitate to ask a potential boyfriend if he’s been tested.
Now, I’m 12 years out of the dating game, so maybe I’m ignorant about it, but the women’s matter-of-fact answers surprised me. So I decided that I’d get another opinion, but this time from a guy. So I asked a buddy of mine. He’s 29-years-old and single. He agreed with the ladies and said that as he gets older, he’s having more sexual partners. And he’s obviously meeting women who have had more partners too. Then he very matter-of-factly said that he has no problem asking anyone he’s dating if they’ve been tested for STD’s recently (or at all). And he thinks that conversation should be happening.
I suspect that whether you’re single, married, dating, have friends who are dating or are old enough to have kids who are dating, you’ll have an opinion on this. As I sit here thinking about it; I could probably write an entire post about today’s society and how sex is pretty much expected if you’re dating (no matter how old you are). Or one about the sexual irresponsibility displayed by both kids and adults today. But those are topics for a different day. Today I’m wondering about the people out there who are like the dentist and the woman. Should he have told her that he had herpes? Should she have asked beforehand if he had been recently tested for STD’s? Should those conversations be commonplace in today’s dating game? And lastly, should people be able to sue over situations like this?
Hi all. Sorry for the delay in between posts. I took some R&R time off after running in the Cleveland Marathon a few weeks ago. Just trying to get back into the swing of things tonight…reading some blog posts and trying to get one done myself.
You know; one thing that continues to amaze me these days are these teachers out there who continue to get themselves in trouble with allegations of inappropriate behavior involving their students. A few recent examples…
#1 - Although we’d like to, how can we forget James Hooker and Jordan Powers. He was 41 years old, left his wife and kids, moved in with Powers and said they were following “their hearts.” Ick!
Courtesy of Google
#2 - Then there was Constance Yacobozzi, who is 28 years old. She resigned from her teaching position and admitted sending two text messages to a high school student, one of which was of her in a bikini top (I wouldn’t mind seeing that).
Courtesy of North Ridgeville City Schools Staff Directory
Now, I’ll need you to test your eyesight for this third example. Meet Julie Warning from New York. She’s 26 years old and is accused of being the woman in this video kissing student, 18-year-old Eric Arty. Sources say that Arty had a $500 bet with several friends to see who would be the first one to hook up with Warning. Most publications, including the New York Post are saying Arty won and that Warning is the woman in the video. But both Arty and Warning now say it’s not her. What do you think? Is it her (note the smiles in each picture)?
Courtesy of Facebook Courtesy of Bossip
Several of my friends who are teachers are scared to death about this kind of thing…having a student make allegations against them or have something come up that could be construed that they acted inappropriately. And as a result, they are not on Facebook and never do anything that could put themselves in a compromising situation. But should they always be on guard and have to protect themselves? It seems like it. Is that just the way it is these days? Are we living the movie “Election?” Don’t get me wrong…I’m not, by any means, saying that all teachers flirt or cross the line. And I’m not condemning every teachers based on the actions of the above-three. But what I do think is this…I suspect that the flirting and inappropriate behavior occurs far more often than we think (on both sides) when you take into account today’s sexually-charged society.
No complaints today. No crazy celebrity news stories. No off-the-wall antics. I’m just sharing an amazing and beautiful story that truly brought me to tears. Now…although I blog from behind the made-up character of The Constant Complainer, I’m actually a very nice and caring guy. And over the years, I’ve always taken pride in trying to help promote charities or stories that I feel are worthy.
Two days ago, I did not know who Avery Lynn Canahuati was. Then her story was leading the news headlines on MSN and caught my attention. As one of my friends later put it, Avery’s story is a “blend of humor, honesty and humility.” Allow me to explain.
Avery is five months old. She suffers from an incurable genetic disease called SMA. She will die within the next 18 months. So her family has turned her story into an amazing and inspiring journey of hope, love, laughter and awareness. Basically, they’ve created a Bucket List and daily blog for Avery. The stories are written by her parents, but from Avery’s perspective. You can view the web site here. I haven’t come across such a heartfelt story in a very long time. And it also proves that you don’t need to be in your 80’s to have a Bucket List!
Here are some of the items that Avery has already crossed off of her Bucket List.
- Being on TV
- Rocking a bikini
- Getting asked out on a date
- Flying a kite
- Passing out watching infomercials
- Getting grounded
- Getting proposed to
- Wearing Mardi Gras beads
- Taking a college campus tour
You know; it’s hard not to get choked up when reading about her adventures. But it’s also easy to be positively impacted by the inspirational message as they try to help educate others about SMA. So check out Avery’s blog, write to her or leave a comment below.
Avery’s Bucket List
P.O. Box 2849
Bellaire, TX 77402
Courtesy of Avery’s Bucket List
You know; for as long as I’ve been doing this blog, some of the best stories to talk about continue to be the ones that make absolutely no sense. For instance, meet 36-year-old Brooke Burke of Strongsville, OH. Brooke attended the wedding of James and Margaret Burke last weekend. Brooke is the bride’s new sister-in-law (she’s married to the groom’s brother).
Well, a day that James and Margaret wanted to remember forever will indeed be unforgettable, but for reasons different than you think. At the wedding reception, Brooke began slow-dancing with the groom, when things became uncomfortable and the bride asked her to stop. For some reason, Brooke refused to stop and kept slow-dancing with the groom. At which time, chaos broke out.
Witnesses said that Brooke tried to hit the bride, pushed a pregnant woman, screamed at two men, fell to the ground kicking and screaming, pushed another man down, hit a police officer and then tried to get in her car to leave while allegedly intoxicated. Wow! The result…she was arrested and charged with assault and disorderly conduct.
The story then went viral and was picked up by just about every media outlet in the universe. Talk about making this wedding day one to remember. Many witnesses tried to justify Brooke’s behavior by saying that she was noticeably drunk and visibly intoxicated at the reception.
You know; we’ve all seen or heard about wedding reception experiences like this and people making asses of themselves. For example, I once saw a guy literally get knocked unconscious on the dance floor during a drunken rush for the garter belt. So the question becomes…is a wedding the place to get hammered beyond comprehension? Is out-of-control behavior acceptable? Should you party harder if you’re in the wedding party? Is grinding and extreme slow-dancing acceptable between non-spouses? Should you care what you do there or in front of who? And what about this Brooke? Chalk it up to possible drunk behavior? White trash behavior? You be the judge!
Source - The North Olmsted Police Department
Take a look at these two pictures. Now…if I were driving down the street and saw a kid standing there with that sign, I would probably ask myself, “Good parents or a good judge?”
Pictures courtesy of Chronicle.NorthCoastNow.com
Meet 12-year-old Trezahn Blaha of Elyria, OH. Blaha recently admitted to stealing a telephone, bracelet and mouthpiece from the local mall. As a result, and to teach him a lesson, his uncle made him stand on the street corner with a sign reading, “I like to steal and have no respect for my mother or authority!”
Blaha, who has been arrested several times, was also suspended from school a few days ago. According to this article, Blaha’s uncle, Ricardo Pamplin, said, “Since the law claims that we cannot, what they call, discipline them on three strikes, I figure why not embarrass them? I think if more parents stood in line and disciplined their children with either embarrassment or either a good old fashioned a - whooping, this community would be a better, and safer place and the jails wouldn’t be so packed.” Blaha now says he made the “made a wrong choice” by stealing. And his uncle thinks the unique punishment may keep him from doing it again. You can read the entire story here.
I think this story creates a fascinating conversation about disciplining your child verses what, if anything, is too extreme. I mean, if you were this kid’s parent, what do you do if he wouldn’t listen, stole, got arrested, was suspended or something else? And would you ever consider public humiliation as a possible solution? I once had a boss who said, “If they don’t respond, embarrass them!” Maybe he’s right. What do you think?
Does any family time qualify as quality family time? Some people may say yes. That’s what my buddies and I were discussing last weekend during a trip to Wheeling Island (casino and racetrack in West Virginia).
We went there to watch the dog races. Now, under normal circumstances, children are not allowed in casinos, so we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. But at the racetrack, children are permitted. Basically, you’re sitting in a large area with tables. You can order food and drinks, you can watch the live dog racing or you can watch closed-circuit races from around the country.
During the afternoon racing session, we noticed several families sitting at the tables. Generally, the kids were eating while the parents gambled. Even though it was in the middle of the day and they were sitting in the non-smoking section, it still seemed like a strange environment for the kids (the non-smoking area is right next to the smoking and cigar area, there were degenerate gamblers yelling profanities when their dogs lost, etc.).
Now let’s fast forward to the evening session, where the races were expected to last until 11:30 p.m. Now the place is packed, there is lots of drinking and smoking going on as well as the usual yelling and profanity. And of course, once again, there are numerous families with their kids there. So I took some pictures of the family seated closest to us.
In the first picture, the kids look bored out of their minds (I partially blocked their faces because they are minors). The dad was placing a bet and nobody was watching the little one. She later climbed up on the rail and could have fallen. The second picture is approaching 11 p.m. As you can see, the one kid is actually asleep. But yet the family-fun-night continued. At one point, the little one was getting fussy, so they gave her some more food and stuck a pacifier in her mouth.
So does the age-old-adage of enjoying family time still hold true. Or should the parents have gotten a babysitter before heading to the racetrack or chosen another destination for their evening?