Happy Birthday Carla!

Carla Gesell-Streeter

The heart of Hoperatives

It is the prerogative of every husband to embarrass his wife on her birthday. But only in a good way. I want this to be in the good way.

Today is Carla’s birthday. I hope that doesn’t come as a surprise considering the number of times I’ve mentioned it so far. It’s in the title, people. Try to keep up.

Anyway, it’s become my custom on this day to post something here on Hoperatives acknowledging both the day and the fundamental role Carla plays in making this place what it is. I’m planning to do this. But this year is going to be a little different because I’m going to say just a little more. I’m writing this in my typical flow-of-semi-consciousness style. I’m trying to suppress my internal editing except for the grammar and spelling I care about. Well, and things that are justified to get me “smacked up side the head” as the good-old-boy who lives in my head tends to say. So I know where I’m going with this post, I just don’t know how I’m getting there yet. I may mention things other than beer in the process. If that offends you, I’ll be happy to send you a full refund for every cent you’ve paid to read this. In fact, I’m so good I know who you are and the check is already in the mail. You just keep waiting for it.1

It’s all the rage here on the Interwebtubes to use ‘because’ as a preposition. In that spirit, let me just say:

Hoperatives? Because Carla.

Short. To the point. Utterly true.

I write stuff on Hoperatives when something crosses my mind. Carla writes on Hoperatives when it’s time to post the stuff that brings you wonderful folks back day after day. Carla compiles “This Week in Beer.”  She compiles the weekly Tastings and Growler report. You’d think every better beer location in town would just send us their lists each week because free publicity (see what I did there?) And you’d be wrong, wrong, wrong. There are some who do — they know who they are and we know who you are and we love you! — but they are the exception rather than the rule. Carla doggedly tracks down what’s going on and makes sure those posts go up each and every week. No matter what.

This year has been a year of “no matter whats.” And not in a good way. Just a few weeks ago Hoperatives mascot and all-around wonderful cat Bock died suddenly. Carla was Bock’s human. It was a quieter week on the site than normal, but she kept it all going. We both have lives and careers that, annoyingly, don’t always involve beer and sometimes don’t go the way we want them to. You’d never know that from what you read here. That’s also Carla. There have been times I’ve been perfectly willing to chuck the whole thing. You’ll notice that hasn’t happened. The new Local Blogger Spotlight feature?  That was Carla’s idea (and of course she’s making sure it gets done). And the newsletter for registered Hoperatives?  You guessed it.  Carla. I have ideas for the site too, but the main difference between her ideas and my ideas is that hers actually see the light of day. That’s why she’s so good. Ideas are easy.  Execution is hard. Carla executes.2

I think I’m going to stop here. If I go much further I might start talking about how lucky I am to have been introduced to her all those years ago. I’d say things like I’m the luckiest guy in the world to have found someone who makes me a better person.  I’d talk about how she can simultaneously keep me grounded and keeps me in touch with the better angels of my nature. I’d talk about all those things and more and still not nearly cover it all. I mean, when it comes right down to it, what else do I have to say except I married someone who loves beer as much as I do? Without Carla beer would still be a big part of my life, but it’d also likely involve me often being face down in a ditch as well.

I may question her judgement in spouses, but I don’t question mine.

So join me in wishing my wife, partner and soulmate a happy birthday. Happy birthday honey. Take it out on me. None of these folks had the slightest idea I was going to do this.


1Special note to the sarcasm-impaired: I’m not sending you any money.
2I really just wrote “Carla executes” and meant it as a romantic endearment? I think I just set the bar for romantic endearments to an all-time low.

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One comment on “Happy Birthday Carla!
  1. Craig in Delhi says:

    Nicely done, Tom. Your love for beer is clearly rivaled by your love for the missus. Or is it the other way ’round?

    Either or, she rocks. So Happy Birthday Carla from the west side, so sorry to hear about Bock, whom I’ll properly toast this evening (only cat families toast other’s cats…)

    Cheers,

    Craig



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