My relationship to alcohol

I hold a memory of being, say, seven years old. My parents were hosting a family party, and I walked into their bedroom — maybe I was playing hide and seek with my cousins.

Something drew me to the sight of a classic red Budweiser can sitting on a TV table. Not only was I seven, but the can was probably room temperature and likely discarded. The taste was so jarring that I spit it out into a nearby plastic cup. That was the memory I had for the drink for years to come.

I didn’t drink at high school parties, or even in my early college career. It wasn’t exactly that I held some moral stance — most of my friends did drink before they turned 21. I had no insightful health or philosophical stance. I just didn’t like the culture that came with it. I felt mostly socially comfortable and came to like being different by not drinking.

Years later I would better understand there were issues of alcoholism in my family. That became a factor in my approaching drinking with a kind of detached anthropological approach. Somewhere in my mind is always the fear of losing control and hurting those around me, as others in my family have.

I recognized the deep and historical culture tied to it all, and I also respected many people who had very informed, robust views of spirits. I wanted to have something resembling that too.

Continue reading My relationship to alcohol

Apparently I have a lot of opinions about what cup you should use for your drink

The words we have for drinking vessels are old ones. Glass, mug and cup are all very old ideas.

Hence, there’s quite a bit of culture tied to them. So, though, I’m not an overly particular person in many household respects, I have a lot of opinions about them.

I remember being a teenager and finding a common bond among friends because we all agreed (and struggled to explain why), we thought it was strangely discomforting to have milk served in a plastic cup. Understand, we weren’t richly cultured.

We were middle -class teenagers who for the first time were confronting together an opinion developed independently based on culture and lived experience. This was new.

This is going to be a strange little post about feelings and memories about tiny, meaningless things. If you’re paying attention, you might draw conclusions to feelings about language and fashion and so many other cultural elements.

Continue reading Apparently I have a lot of opinions about what cup you should use for your drink

Whiskey Chats: Technically Media talks with Jim Brady

Over at TechnicallyMedia.com, we’re feeling out the editorial strategy of our editorial strategy company’s website.

For now, it’ll have about a post a week, usually focusing on lessons in growing audience and sharing content online, in addition to specific case studies from our work and now, whenever we have the chance to grab someone smart who pops into our new office to talk about journalism, the future of news and the like, we’ll share a new episode in our Whiskey Chats podcast.

We launched the first episode this week when former TBD.com General Manager and WashingtonPost.com executive editor Jim Brady stopped by.

Listen here.

Thanks to Sean Blanda for editing and naming the product.