The Moron of the Week Award Returns

OK, I know I’ve been gone for a while and I appreciate the e-mails, calls and tweets that came in encouraging me to come back.  Don’t worry, I’m still around; have just been working on a few other projects in the meantime.  However, know this…I still get the urge to show up on here and have some fun.

So I decided what better way to come back than to give out a “Moron of the Week Award.”  So let me introduce you to Maranda Wyatt - our award recipient.

Maranda, who is from Atlanta, made national headlines for her planned wedding to Jeff Yoder.  Maranda was even featured on the popular TV show ‘Say Yes to the Dress,’ where she was anxiously made decisions on a dress a mere eight days before the wedding.

Why was her story so fascinating?  For starters, she publicly called it the “most insane, magical love story imaginable.”  How sweet!  But, what a minute…oh, I guess I forgot to mention that she had never met her fiancé.  That’s right; she had NEVER met Jeff in person…ever!  The couple had met through mutual friends and started chatting online five months before their planned wedding.  “The first time I ever meet my fiancé is going to be on my wedding day,” said the 36-year-old Wyatt.

So let’s recap.  They:  met online, talked for five months, never met in person, get engaged, agree to meet for the first time on their wedding day, buy a dress eight days before the wedding, go on national TV and appear all over in the media.

So, at the end of the day, did they get married?  YES.  Did last?  That’s a big NO.  And why do I care?  I care because stupid stories like this end up on the news and on TV, and I have to hear about them.  And I question why some people are so stupid.  I mean…sure, I’m all for a magical happy ending and a good story, but let’s be serious…this was a recipe for disaster from the beginning.  Does anyone, other than these two, actually think that a marriage under these circumstances will work?  Maybe I just don’t get the online dating thing, but you’d think she’d have a better chance of marrying a Twitter Crush than this guy.

Interestingly, Maranda now lives in Florida and is dating Billy Wyatt, who has the same last name as her.  I guess she’s attracted to unique situations…

maranda-wyatt-1 maranda-wyatt-3
Maranda Then                               Maranda Now

maranda-wyatt-6 maranda-wyatt-2
Maranda’s Old Man                     Maranda’s New Man

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Black Tuesday

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?

best-buy-black-friday

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Dating Etiquette

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?

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Is It Her?

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!

james-hooker-and-jordan-powers
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).

constance-yacobozzi
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)?

julie-warning     eric-arty
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.

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Avery

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

avery-lynn-canahuati
Courtesy of Avery’s Bucket List

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The Last Dance

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!

brooke-burke
Source - The North Olmsted Police Department

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Mama Knows Best

Most of you should know Alicia Silverstone.  She is the pretty actress who became famous after starring in “The Crush,” “Clueless” and the Aerosmith video, “Cryin.”  Well, the 35-year-old actress made headlines for another reason this week.  She posted a video blog which showed her feeding her 10-month-old-son, Bear Blu Jarecki.

In the video, Silverstone is seen eating food, chewing it up and then spitting it into her son’s mouth for him to eat.  Of the experience, Silverstone says, “I fed Bear the mochi and a tiny bit of veggies from the soup…from my mouth to his.  It’s his favorite…and mine.  He literally crawls across the room to attack my mouth if I’m eating.”  You can view her entire blog post here and watch the feeding video here (it’s only 39 seconds).

Now…personally, I watched the video and felt the “ick factor.”  I think it’s gross and a weird feeding habit.  But even more interesting were the comments on Silverstone’s blog and on her YouTube site.  They ranged from the good (”i love that you are proud of the natural ways you interact with your son”) to the bad (”he’ll turn this into fetish.”)

My issue is also Silverstone posting it on her blog and calling it “bear eating my mouth.”  I’m sure she knew it would draw criticism, just like this.  Further, I think the “he literally crawls across the room to attack my mouth” comment is very bizarre.  So what do you think?  Normal?  Not normal?  Just plain weird?  And in your opinion, should this eating habit continue or be stopped before the child gets much older?  I’m sure all the parents will have an opinion on this one.

alicia-silverstone     breakfast-with-baby-bear
From IMBD                               From The Kind Life

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Life Lessons

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?”

trezahn-blaha-1     trezahn-blaha-3
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?

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Moron of the Week

With some of the crazy stories in the news this week, I thought it was a good time for the “Moron of the Week Award” to make its return.  Enjoy the below-stories and comment on who you think should win.

Nominee #1 - Teacher’s Pet - I was originally going to write an entire post about this story, but ultimately felt that it was a better fit here.  Meet James Hooker, age 41.  He was, until last week, a high school teacher in Modesto, CA.  That is, until he moved in with a student who was a senior at the same school.  Meet 18-year-old Jordan Powers.  Hooker has known Powers since she was a freshman.  This week, Hooker quit his job, left his wife and kids, and moved into an apartment with Powers.  In the article, he says they are “following their hearts.”  Others say a crime has been committed.  I just think it’s freaking weird.

james-hooker-and-jordan-powers
James Hooker and Jordan Powers
Courtesy of Google

Nominee #2 - Dorm Room Days - Meet Lindsay Blankmeyer, a former student at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts.  She has filed a lawsuit against the school claiming that her roommate’s alleged inappropriate sexual behavior drove her into a deep depression.  Blankmeyer is seeking $150,000 in damages and has cited violations of the Rehabilitation Act, the federal Fair Housing Act Amendments, and Massachusetts anti-discrimination laws.  According to court documents, Blankmeyer alleged that during her senior year, her roommate engaged in online and actual sex right in front of her.  She alleges the roommate “would have sex with her boyfriend while [Lindsay] was trying to sleep just a few feet away,” and would also “engage in sexually inappropriate video chatting” while Blankmeyer was in the room.  You can read the rest of the article here and you can actually follow Blankmeyer on Twitter here.  Why didn’t her roomate just put a sock over the door knob?

lindsay-blankmeyer
Lindsay Blankmeyer
Courtesy of Twitter

Nominee #3 - Red Carpet Mistake - Everyone knows who Zac Efron is.  He’s the guy who starred in the “High School Musical” movies and dated Vanessa Hudgens for a few years.  He just completed the Dr. Seuss movie “The Lorax.”  Well…while walking on the red carpet to promote “The Lorax” - a children’s movie, Efron accidentally had a condom fall out of his pocket in front of reporters.  The blushing star tried to maintain his composure and has since commented on his belief in safe sex.  I’m still trying to figure out who he was going to meet and bang on the red carpet.  You can watch the video of the dropping-incident here and read the rest of the story here.  Zac, buddy, please note that a condom in your pocket and walking on the red carpet = disaster.

zac-efron
Zac Efron
Courtesy of IMDB

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Quality Family Time

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.

wheeling-island-1

wheeling-island-2

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?

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