Friday, August 31, 2012

Baby Names for the Modern Family

There are an abundance of interesting baby names that are popular today. I work in an industry where I process a lot of paperwork for families throughout the country, so I come across some interesting names every single day. As a country that's been around for over 230 years, people seem to finally be getting tired of common names such as Jonathon, Elizabeth, Mary, and James. But now, nobody wants the same old name as the other kids on the block (Am I right, every Jessica or Ashley or Michael or James born in the 1980s?).

Instead, people want something fresh, something new. Baby names are useful for making your child stand out in a crowd, for getting your politics heard, and they seem to be the best place to express your personality as a couple.

Enjoy the list!

Baby Names for the Modern Family:

  1. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION   Name your child after a place. This is the simplest way to tell the world that "we had sex in this city, and that's where the wife got knocked up with this child" or "we've never been to this city so we're living vicariously through our kid's name." Talking to you, parents of kids named Paris.

    But sometimes, a lot of other people have used the exact same name as you. Because they too want to enjoy the sights and sounds of Denver through your kids names. So why not switch it up a little? Make your kid stand out!

    If your current name choice is Madison
    Choose an accurate alternative that means the same thing: Bland
    Or, go with a modern twist: Midwesterner Lee (Because every midwesterner's middle name is Lee)

    Current Name Choice: Brooklyn
    Accurate Alternative: Bad Accent
    Modern Alternative: Gang Fight

    Current Name choice: Dallas
    Accurate Alternative: Cowboy
    Modern Alternative: Republican


    Name your child after a movie star. Because nothing says "I put my family first in my life" like naming your child after an actor who will be a has-been by the time your child is old enough to find out who his namesake is.

    Also, apparently naming your offspring after a celeb's last name is a popular idea in some groups of women who have no hobbies. So, here are a few ideas to get you started:

    Current name choice is: Ashton (after that guy who was in that show, you know?)
    Accurate Alternative: DoucheBaggery
    Modern Alternative: Dimples

    Current name choice: Pattinson (after that "guy" who was in that vampire thing with the girl puppet Kristen who has dead eyes?)
    Accurate Alternative: Ghastly
    Modern Alternative: Glitter

    Current name choice: Mischa (after that girl with the face)
    Accurate Alternative: Cheekbones
    Modern Alternative: Who Fucking Cares

  3. LET IT GROW!  Plants make great namesakes for kids, but typically the market has been cornered by female names such as Daisy, Rose, or Fern.

    I'd like to propose some foliage names for boys:

    Skunk Cabbage

    ...or even some names inspired by foliage, which can be used for either gender:
    Vascular Bundle (You can forever refer to him as your bundle of joy! OMG that's so cute like seriously I can't even)

    Or maybe, if you're not a green thumb, you could name your child after an animal!
    Dromedary (Guess what day it is!?)
    Aoudad (exotic!)
    Woodchuck (call him Chuck!)
    Quagga (or Q for short)
    Jerboa (add a 'qua' at the end for girls)
    Chameleon or Chamelia (she'll probably blend with the crowds in at school though...)
    Porpoise (they're so cute, your kid will be too)
    Mammal (because it's like sooo meta)


     You drive one, why not name your baby after one? Apparently there's an entire list of car names for babies. I kid you not.  Surely if your child attends daycare, you've met children with names such as "Mercedes" "Porsche" and the much less expensive but still classy "El Camino With Pimped Out Rims" who was in the dusty corner of the playground.

    But what if you want to step away from the common car names? I give you a few matching first and middle names for the baby being born into your road-trip loving family:

    Shelby Danica
    Camry Jetta
    Lexus Aston
    Tie Rod
    Leather Interior
    Fossil Fuel
    Pretentious Hummer
    Never-Taken-Off-Road SUV
    Reliant Chevette

    And while we're at it, let's name our kids after some other things we can't afford:

    Diamond Ringue (or her more affordable QVC cousin, Diamionique, which I have seen as a name. Seriously.)
    Second Mortgage
    Payday Loan
    Extravagant Wedding
    Painful Divorce
    RV Retirement
    Term Life Insurance
    New Boobs
    Vaginal Rejuvenation
    Socialized Medicine
  5. WORK IT!

    Many people prefer classic names, and long ago, we named our children after professions. You've seen:

    Hunter (he who hunts),
    Carver (sculptor),
    Fletcher (an arrow-maker),
    Sawyer (a wood sawyer),
    Ward (a watchman),
    Bailey (a bailiff)...

    ...but most of those professions are out of date. What about some modern names based on professions that people work today? I've added some cutesy endings for the kiddo in your life.

    Secretarierre or her modern sister, Administrative Assistante
    Nurse (boy OR girl name!)
    Janitor, or Yan Itor  depending on your country of origin
    Small BusinessOwner
    Direct Market'er
    Jamberry Wrapper


    If profession-based names aren't your forte, what about verbs? You're surely familiar with many classics:


    But what about some new verbs, you know, to keep it fresh?


    Some people prefer to stick with classic names, but with an alternate spelling. Why not? It alleviates the hum-drum and takes a classic, plain name from boring into magical - it becomes something that not even the most astute Professor of Ebonics ("African American Vernacular, natch) can pronounce. It's a great way to make your child stand out in school.

    Here are some cute alternatives!

    Anne becomes: Aynne, Ahn, Eyn
    Ruth becomes: Ru'the or Roothe
    Jessica becomes: Jesikke or Jessahkeh
    Jennifer becomes: Gynquiffeur or Jennafurr'kolandah
    Stephanie becomes: Stefani, Stephaknee
    Jason becomes: Jaysen, Jaehsonn, Jasn
    Robert becomes: Rabrt, Robbort, Rob'rte
With this go-to list of baby names, your child will surely have the most modern, talked-about name on the block! And isn't that what having kids is all about? Getting people to pay attention to you?

You're friggin' welcome, moms-to-be.

~Re'Bekahh Denver Sunflower Subaru OfficeClerk Pontificate Su'

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Setting a date

Everyone is asking if we have a date picked for our wedding.

These are my goals before we even set a date:

1. Have a long discussion about what type of wedding we envision. My vision?

  • Large venue with ample lighting (I LOVE BRIGHT LIGHT!)
    No more than 200 guests
  • Local to Phoenixville  - not a destination wedding because destination weddings scream "I don't want you to actually come share our day with us, I just want the gifts"
  • I prefer ceremony and reception at same venue - and I don't want a church wedding
  • I do NOT want an outdoor wedding (I'm far too unlucky, it'll be horrible weather)
  • How many are in bridal party (I'm going with a maid of honor - Laura! and I have 5 bridesmaids that I've asked at this point, that should be it)
  • DJ or band? DJ in my opinion, unless we can get the Foo Fighters - haha
  • NOT a winter wedding (I hate cold) or a fall wedding (I hate fall colors) - so late spring or summer but not too hot (so basically the most expensive wedding season)

2. Get a rough price estimate for each detail of the wedding -

venue rental, photographer, DJ, cake, catering, honeymoon, bridal party gifts, bachelorette/bachelor party costs, pre-wedding pampering for bridal party, etc

3. Based on the price estimates, we will then budget to be able to afford the wedding in a timely manner. I'd like to avoid taking out a loan but I'm sure we'll have to, I'd just rather pay as much as we can without a loan. I realize this might be a pipe dream, but I refuse to go into massive debt over a wedding when we still have a house to purchase someday soon thereafter, and we plan on popping out 2 more little Hubers someday

4. Based on the budget, we will then set a date.

It is now August of 2012. I'm sure the wedding date will be set for sometime in 2014 at the earliest. I'm in no rush :-)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Letter to my Bridal Party:

I just wanted to say a few things to the ladies that will be sharing my big day with me. Despite the fact that I don't ever watch those Bridezilla type shows (because I want to pretend that all my wedding ideas were originally mine, and watching those shows would shatter that illusion. It's the same reason I can't watch Martha Stewart...I'm pretty much set on the idea that she stole all her ideas from me.), but I do know that Brides tend to be a bit Crazy during their wedding planning.
And guess who bears the brunt of that Crazy? It can't be the groom - we're in the home stretch, can't scare him off. No, no...I've gotta keep my Crazy Monster Side locked away until I have him tied down to the altar.

It's the bridal party. The bridal party deals with the bride's crazy and her emotional highs and lows and her losing her mind about EVERYTHING. And since every bride seems to give herself the green light to stomp all over her best friends just because she's the bride, I've decided to write a letter to my party now - before my Bucket-'O-Crazy comes out. Let's hope they hold me to my word.

Dear Bridesmaids,

First of all, I chose you to be in my wedding party, so this means that we're close friends who adore one another. Please keep this in mind over the next few months. You like me. More importantly, I like you. I really do. You know that I'm a level-headed (when sober), caring person who just wants to have a fabulous, simple wedding day. But you also know that, like many of us ladies, I have a whole bucket of Crazy at the ready, at any given moment. I promise to do my best to keep this Crazy in check, even when things get hectic. Feel free to point it out of it starts showing.

They say that every bride should be the most beautiful girl at her own wedding. While I agree with this, I don't think it's cool to create a juxtaposition by putting the bride in a beautiful, flowing white gown, and standing her next to a chiffon overload of brightly-colored bridesmaids who look like they're wearing a pastry chef's rejected first try. Therefore, I promise that I will include your opinions and body types in *our* selection of bridesmaid dresses. You will look hot, I promise, in a well-fitting dress with a beautiful, simple color scheme. Also, affordability and rewearability will be a huge factor in our bridesmaid-dress-picking process. You're welcome.

Oh, you should also know: I'm cheap. If I can't get it on sale or clearance, I won't get it. I've been trying to kick this exhausting addiction to frugality, but sometimes it's just more sensible to be cheap. And at weddings, one fabulous way to go "cheap" is to do it yourself with wedding favors and decorations. I have a million ideas (I came up with them ALL myself). I would love your help. (Please help. I didn't realize how big this task was and I can't do it. Oh dear God, I can't do this alone!)

I promise I won't get drunk at my own wedding. You, however, feel free. If you're single, I'll try to invite as many hot single guys to drink with you. I will force you to have fun, not work your butt off, at the reception. I promise, you won't be stuck doing grunt work. We'll hire someone for that. Also, I promise to have the photographer get tons of pictures of you looking smoking hot for you to put on facebook. Again: you're welcome.

And now a few requests, if you don't mind? I love the cheesy thing where you clink your glasses until the bride and groom kiss. It's cute. However, I have something that is both cute for the newlyweds AND embarrassing for the guests: I have an aunt from Newfoundland who had a great wedding tradition: to get the bride and groom to kiss, someone must stand up and belt out a line from a song with the word "LOVE" in it. Oh yes - it's like wedding day Karaoke, but better. Also, I lied about it being my aunt's Canadian tradition. I thought of it all by myself. You're welcome. (Okay, fine, it's a Canadian thing. Whatever.)

Another request: I want toasts, and lots of them. Cheesy, embarrassing toasts that make the guests laugh and the bride and groom blush. If you can't think of any, we need to hang out so you can build up some embarrassing stories. Get on it. On that vein, I also want a really fun bachelorette party - drinking, laughing, dancing, but no guys. I'm pretty darn happy with Future Husband. And if we have male strippers, that gives him a ticket to get female strippers - and we all know that's never a good idea. Nobody wants to smell like stale used stripper at their wedding.

Also: Who's down with doing a fun, funky bridal party dance that surprises and amuses the guests? Come on. Let's embarrass ourselves. Let's make it a night to remember. As you know, I also thought of this idea and we'll be the first bridal party EVER to do this. Again, you're welcome.  Also: if we're all not comfortable with this, it's all good. I can't dance anyway.

Another point: please don't be overly critical of the things I choose to do and use in the wedding. I'm highly opinionated myself so I know that stating opinions can sometimes hurt people. You probably know that I'm a super wimp who takes things personally and can't get criticisms and fights out of my head. Let's avoid this possibility by only expressing constructive criticism if any at all. I'm also a bit of a control freak, so let me take the reigns even if I'm asking for opinions. I probably won't ask, but just in case, don't get upset if I ignore your idea and go with mine. I'm a bit of a flake.

In conclusion, Bridal Party, I love you ladies. Thanks for being in my bridal party. Thanks for being part of the most epic wedding party to ever have existed. Let's make this a fun day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

He Proposed!

On August 22, 2009, two weeks after we met one another, I was curled up on the couch with Dan and our daughter, watching a movie at his old apartment. He had intentionally set it up: a great movie that we all loved (Wall-E!), all of us curled up on the couch, a smile on my face... and that's when he asked me to be his girlfriend.

Three years later, I left work at 5:45 as I usually do, and on my way to pick up the kiddo from summer camp, my boyfriend Dan called and said that he had picked her up. Usually he works 2pm-10pm, but he'd had to go in early to interview someone yesterday, so he worked a 9-5 shift instead.

I got home, and he was already there with our daughter and my sister, who he had apparently asked to babysit. "Let's go! We've got reservations!" he said as he rushed me out the door.

He drove me downtown, and took me to the same restaurant where we had gone on our first date, PJ Ryan's Pub. He led me to the same table as our first date, where a vase with roses was waiting...and as soon as we sat, the waitress arrived with our meals: the same thing we had each ordered on our first date.

We talked and had a great dinner, reminiscing about how different things were from when we first met. Since then, we've each gotten new cars, I've gotten a new job, he's moved up at his company, I moved out of a horrible apartment with horrible roommates and he moved from an hour away to the house that we now share. Everything is different and all for the better, since we met.

We finished our meal - him not eating half of his, mine completely gone because yummy - and the waitress took our plates and left the check. He scooted our empty glasses to the side and took my hand across the table.

He said (and I'm paraphrasing, because I was in shock and I don't remember exactly what he said), "So, I couldn't take you back to the place where I asked you out the first time since I don't live there anymore, but I thought the place of our first date would be nice. Three years ago I asked you to be my girlfriend. We've been through a lot together."

I think that's when I realized a proposal was coming.

Then he got down on one knee (at which point I noticed the waitress was behind me, videotaping the entire thing with Dan's video camera), opened the little box with a beautiful ring inside, and asked, "Rebecca Sue Simmers, will you marry me?"

I don't remember if I said yes out loud. I think I did. I nodded and my eyes were filled with tears...and we hugged, and kissed, and everyone clapped and said "congratulations!" at which point the whole story came out with the waitress and Dan laughing over their shared secret planning.

It turns out, Dan had coordinated the whole thing with the waitress, Alika, days before, who was actually not a waitress, but the head bartender. She had stayed well past the end of her shift just to help orchestrate the whole thing. She had the meal ready, the flowers ready, and the camera waiting. They had worked out a signal system for her to sneak in and start videotaping. She went way out of her way to do her part in all this and I can't believe it.

I can't believe how much thought and planning went into everything...I am so amazed.

It was absolutely perfect. We went on a little walk afterward, because I was still shaking and needed to calm down, and we stopped in to our favorite shop in Phoenixville, Bridge Street Chocolates. As always, Gail was so nice and the chocolate was perfect. She gave me a big congratulations and a hug :-)

And looking back, he was clearly nervous. He picked at his food and was relatively quiet the whole time. (But to be fair, anyone in a conversation with me is relatively quiet since I babble.) He hadn't needed to go in to do an interview that morning, but instead had planned the entire thing around our anniversary date. All his coworkers have known about this for weeks.

Apparently he had the ring in his pocket the whole time, which he took care to hide. He also had the waitress' cell phone number and name in his pocket the other day, and panicked when I started poking at the paper in his pocket. "You're tickling me!," he had claimed, and I had stopped. Oh, silly, trusting me...

The Ring

I can't imagine a more romantic, well-thought-out proposal. I never ever told him that I wanted a big public, down-on-one-knee proposal, but he somehow knew it was my dream. I don't recall telling him the cut and color and size of the diamond that I preferred, but he knew exactly what I wanted and it's so far beyond perfect. It's a certified diamond that he picked out by hand, and it's ethically sourced and certified by the GIA. I'm still unable to stop staring at this beautiful thing on my finger (which also happens to fit perfectly, despite the fact that he never measured my finger. He did, however, "hold hands with me and compare our hand sizes" at one point to get an idea of my finger size....sneaky sneaky!)

My handsome man, after the proposal
I am so, so lucky to have such a thoughtful, sweet man! I love you, Dan.

Monday, August 13, 2012

5 Steps for Guys to Avoid Serious Relationships

Gentlemen, are you meeting girls who take you seriously? Are you accidentally getting dragged into relationships with girls who fall for you and see you as a potential boyfriend? Are you comfortably stuck in a groove that you just don’t want to leave, but those pesky booty-calls are interfering with the mediocre lifestyle you’ve worked so hard to achieve?

Here are five easy tips for meeting girls for casual encounters only. These tips will ensure that you don’t find someone worth dating because – and here’s the secret! – by following these easy steps, you’re ensuring that you’re not date-able! That’s right, just follow these five easy steps and you’ll be single for the rest of your twenties and well into your thirties, until you meet a worn-out shell of a woman who is desperate enough to settle down and procreate with the balding failure you’ve become.

(Remember the girl you blew spitballs at in high school, the one who was kind of pretty but needed to lose about 40 pounds and bleach her mustache? Yeah, her. She can be YOUR future wife!)

But until you reach that elusive perfect marriage, these steps will not only dissuade a woman from becoming genuinely interested in you, they will actually repulse her, thereby ensuring that you get to remain the single stud-muffin that you are.

Step one: Be a mooch.
Remain financially dependent. Whether you’re living with your parents, six roommates, or an ex-girlfriend, you’re sending a clear signal that you’re not ready to strike out on your own yet. If you do happen to live alone, make it clear that your parents subsidize your rent and that you still go “home” for mom to do your laundry. Make sure you’re on someone else’s cellular and car insurance plans. The modern grown-up woman most likely doesn’t expect to eventually be your little housewife while you’re off being Mr. Breadwinner. She probably has career goals, life dreams, and the ability to be financially and emotionally independent. So if you can show her that you have none of those things, she’ll pass – leaving you to sit back and let the intoxicated, sexy hook-ups come to you.

Step two: Know nothing; do nothing.
Exhibit absolutely no skills for daily living. If possible, have someone else cook your food, do your laundry, and clean up after you.  Keep as few amenities in your place as possible: your fridge should be empty, your toilet paper should be sparse and as thin as possible (think: the last four squares on the roll of Scott toilet tissue), and your kitchen sink should have a yeasty odor at all times. While every woman supposedly has a maternal streak, women aren’t usually into dating someone who comes with the same responsibilities as a child because it makes them feel icky when they touch your pee-pee.

Step three: Who needs a budget!?
If you find yourself getting serious about a girl, quickly overdraw your bank account, or default on your auto loan. Nothing says “not boyfriend material” like phone call passive-aggressively asking for $300 and a ride to the impound lot. Live above your means and ask her for help to get out of the mess.

Step four: All that glitters really IS gold!
Show her that you’re just a good time by spending at least 25% of your income on “entertainment expenses.” This means that you should attend every big-name concert that comes to your city, go out on the town at least twice a week, keep a constant supply of alcohol and recreational drugs in your place, hit the movies for every new release, and regularly purchase the latest electronics. Spend a lot of time online and on your xbox. Make sure you have the latest iPhone and all of its overpriced accessories.

Step five: Belittle, belittle, belittle. 
If all else fails, here is your Hail Mary to lock yourself into her mind as a single man who is not, was not, and will never be “Boyfriend Material:” Assume that she couldn’t possibly enjoy your hobbies. Don’t let that girl jump in on a round of Left4Dead; there’s no way she could possibly kick zombie ass as well as you do (ignore the high scores she leaves on your Xbox when you’re sleeping). Don’t teach her how to shoot a gun, understand the basics of football, or appreciate your favorite craft beer. If she asks a question about something you love, give an overly-wordy and drawn-out explanation ending in “But it’s much more complicated than that; you wouldn’t understand.”

 Make it obvious that you see her as just a little girl in a man’s world. Obviously, she’s below you and won’t ever have the right to be a part of your world.

If you do all of these things, I promise that you will be left alone to have all the hot, dirty hook-ups that you want with none of the responsibility and drudgery of being a purse-holding, pussy-whipped boyfriend.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Not-Quite A Book Review: 50 Shades of Grey

There are some books that you just can't bring yourself to read.

Cookbooks, for example, or the dictionary...or books describing Hitler's sexual obsession with feces, or your mom's diary detailing her first sleepover date with Dad.
Or the Twilight series, which was written for 12 year old girls with no grasp of what an actual romantic relationship is like. And now, 50 Shades of Grey...which I just heard is apparently a fan fiction of Twilight? God kill us all. Please. Do it now before this gets made into a movie.

"Everyone" is reading it? No. Unsatisfied, bored housewives and bondage fans whose preferred genre is clearly lacking in variety are reading it. That's it. Everyone else is backing away slowly while snickering.

People say it's an erotic novel...but from the many reviews I've read (both good and bad), it appears to be the literary equivalent to a book with Fabio on the cover - hardly worth calling a novel, and certainly not worth more than $1.99 on your supermarket checkout rack. I'd sooner consider "Barney's Art Project" literature than this drivel.

It's certainly not hailed as "literature" by anyone who has read a grown-up book.

I did find about 4 positive reviews which ultimately made it sound like nothing more than sad, pathetic dross, written by someone who doesn't understand plot or character depth, decent dialogue or emotional growth. But according to its fervent (probably unemployed) readers, the plot holes were nonexistent and the characters were intriguing - and the book was excellent because it was super duper fascinating to see how the relationship played out. Really now? I consider watching someone lose her entire miniscule-to-begin-with personality to be rather depressing, not enthralling.

Ultimately, I found this gloriously hilarious review which pretty much sums it up as the piece of crap high school girl chick-lit that it is...And I just don't understand why people subject themselves to this type of BS when there is actual good literature out there, or even just fun chick-lit that doesn't make you want to simultaneously masturbate with kitchen utensils while crying into a box of Kleenex and vowing to stop hating yourself someday.

I'll leave you with the words of Katrina Lumsden of the above review:

"It's this kind of ignorant trash that sets feminism back decades. Women who defend this book are, however unwittingly, participating in some of the most blatant misogyny I've ever witnessed, giving the impression that some women enjoy being debased, abused, and controlled (outside of a consensual dom/sub relationship).
This is not a book about BDSM, this is a book about one sick, abusive man and his obsession with a young, naive invertebrate. It's a book about a girl who has absolutely no sense of self, who sacrifices any pretense of individuality in order to hold onto a man who doesn't even show her the faintest glimmer of respect. It's about two attention-starved individuals with the emotional maturity of toilet paper convincing themselves that their relationship is 'like, the best thing ever, OMG'.

It's trite, insulting, and dangerous. I fear for any impressionable young women who read this and think that this is how an ideal relationship should operate. If nothing else, it should be issued as a guidebook to mothers around the world to show their daughters the kind of man to avoid at all costs. This book does good men (and indeed, all of humanity) a disservice."

No thanks. I'll stick to books with characters who have souls.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Stupid Commute: Stupid Church Signs and Christianese

On my commute every day, I pass this church which apparently has a pastor that only speaks Christianese. If you're unfamiliar with the dialect, Christianese is a language spoken exclusively by lifelong churchgoers.

Some of the common phrases in Christianese are taken from Bible verses or old hymns, and they require that you know the verse or idea that is being referenced in order to understand the phrase you're hearing. But if you weren't raised in a church and you don't know the phrases, you're bound to think that anyone speaking Christianese is a part of a weird, freaky cult. 

I'm pretty sure the Bible says that the purpose of church is to reach out to the world for God. But time and time again, I come across churches that are completely ineffective in this, because of their Christianese.

Listen, if I were to start a secret club with its own language, and if I wanted to recruit members of the community to join my club, I wouldn't do all my advertising in my secret language, would I? Of course not. Because until you're a part of my club, you'd have no idea what I was saying. So why do these churches feel the need to speak in a dialect that is completely unfamiliar and perplexing to people outside the church?

If I were at a church and they started talking about being "washed in the blood of the lamb," I would leave, because I'd be pretty sure those people were drinking the funny kool-aid at the end of the service. And then if they broke into an emotional rendition of a song that includes lyrics like "He touched me, and oh, the joy that floods my soul...," I would get my kids out of there, *fast*, because I'm pretty sure that song is about someone losing their virginity to an older man.

One time I was at my town's First Friday event and a church was handing out bread wrapped in paper that said, "Jesus is the Bread of Life." As a church kid, I know that Jesus referring to himself as the bread of life was originally a message to his people about how he is their provider, but I nearly walked up to those church people and asked them, "Is there some kind of human blood in this bread? I don't get it." just so that they could see that their phrase was not only ineffective to the general public, but it was also super, super creepy. 

 The church that I mentioned above has a history of posting their sign almost exclusively in Christianese. A few weeks ago, their message was "A dusty Bible leads to a dirty life." Their message to the world? "If you don't regularly read our church's literature, we find you to be dirty and repulsive." Of course that wasn't what they meant, but they certainly weren't considering how their words would be taken by the world.

This week, their sign reads, "Only Jesus Satisfies!" Insert sex joke here, because this phrase has absolutely no logical appeal to the non-Christian, and brings to mind some pretty offensive subtext.

My proposal is that every church hires a non-Christian to evaluate their marketing. It's going to be called "Hire-A-Heathen." I'll find a bunch of objective pagans who are very good at analyzing marketing campaigns. They'll tell the church whether the things they're saying and posting are terrifying to the general populace. And in most cases, it probably is weird and creepy.

Beer Review: North Coast Grand Cru

I'm lucky enough to work at an office of a small company where the owners are total Guys' Guys... which means a lot of beer and wine are consumed between 9am and 5pm in our office.

Today I heard the boss talking about an odd beer he pulled out of the well-stocked fridge, wondering who bought it.

I'm going to be honest here: I don't love beer.

I like beer. I enjoy a beer now and then when the boyfriend cooks up a good venison steak, or when I'm out and in the mood for a relatively cheap-alcohol-content-for-your-dollar buzz. I most certainly love a man who loves beer. But I'm definitely not a beer girl. Give me a cheap mixed drink, a malt beverage or a white wine any day. So when the guys offer to pour me a glass, my response is usually "No thanks."
But today, when I overheard the phrase "agave nectar," I dropped what I was doing and poked my head out of my office like a kitten that smells tuna. "What are you talking about?" I inquired, like a little kid asking if that neat wrapped present in the corner was for him. My boss read me the description:

"North Coast Grand Cru is brewed exclusively with Pils malt, with an addition of agave nectar in the kettle. It’s subtle, complex, and lightly hopped with a deceptive 12.5% ABV, and aging it in oak gives this unique beer an extra dimension. The result is really champagne-like."

So, I tried a glass. And this beer? This beer is different. They weren't kidding when they said it had a champagne-like taste, except this is less dry and easier to drink in my opinion than champagne. It comes in at a pretty hefty 12.5% and I'm definitely feeling it already, but it's so easy to drink that I don't even notice.
Couple the sweet, easy taste and light hops with the bubbly drinkability of this brew and I must hereby declare: this is the best beer I've ever tried.

I'm not sure if that's a compliment to the brewer or not, but I'm most definitely having a second glass.

Who wants to drive me home?