I love beer. I really love beer.

Now when you read that, what was your first reaction? Was it negative?

It’s my belief that American culture towards alcohol is primarily a negative. When I say I love beer, I often wonder if I’m perceived as an alcoholic or a beer swilling frat boy.

I don’t think I’m either. I just love beer.

I like the taste of beer. Sure it was an acquired taste at first, but now it’s an appreciative taste. Depending greatly on my mood, I may thirst for a Labatt Blue, or a Budweiser. If I’m feeling eclectic, perhaps a PBR tall boy.

Hot summer day, something hoppy like a Magic Hat H.I.P.A. And nothing tastes better than a fresh Switchback after a day of skiing.

So what brings this up? Well, I was on a business trip with some colleagues last week. We had been delayed in Richmond, VA for a couple of hours and we were had a couple of drinks at a bar there. Finally we took off and landed in JFK (most disgusting airport I’ve ever been in) where we were delayed for another couple of hours. By then it was after nine o’clock and I was sick of being in an airport.

The others grabbed a table at a restaurant while I stayed outside to answer a phone call. I got back and they were all drinking waters. I ordered a Yuengling (they don’t distribute to the VT so I try to order it hen I can) and maybe it was me, but I felt like I got looks from the group.

This could have been a total paranoid observation on my part, but I think it did spark something in my mind re: alcohol and it’s perception in the U.S.

When I think of alcohol and it’s effects, I think back to my high school French teacher and his description of the French devotion to wine. He said essentially that the French don’t drink to get drunk, it is instead a side effect tot he experience of drinking alcohol. They drink wine in an appreciative way – appreciating the taste, fell and smell of the drink and conversations and experiences while drinking.

I’ve tried to think of drinking in that way too. I won’t apologize for my love of beer. Like I said before, I love the taste of beer. I love tasting new and different varieties of beer and returning to old favorites as well. Beer varieties can be like tags for the memory. Certain beers will bring up specific memories.

I will always associate a recent trip out west with Fat Tire Ale. College: Labatt Blue, the first summer out of college: Harpoon Summer, a NEACAC conference in Boston: Samuel Adams Summer Ale, a trip to Paris: Heineken, St.Patrick’s Day my freshman year of college: Magic Hat #9, and there are many more.

So where does the problem begin? At what point are we taught that alcohol is bad and people who enjoy alcohol (without taking it to excess) have a vice?

I need to think about a little more. This post is already much longer than I had anticipated.

Messing around with some of the page elements. I’m looking to switch blog services this year. I think Typepad is way to rigid and not nearly Web 2.0 enough. WordPress seems to be a popular one, but I just like Google’s products better. Although I know it isn’t as hot, I like Picasa better the Flickr and I’m liking Blogger better than WordPress.

Google’s stuff just seems to be more intuitive and easy to use. Plus, you can customize it more. I like that I can throw a Facebook badge up there and a Picasa (Flickr too actually) sideshow right in you blog page. It’s also easy to use the Foxy Tunes thing.

Now playing: Kenny Chesney – When the Sun Goes Down
via FoxyTunes

Our boss was in the hospital last week having hip replacement surgery. We thought it would be funny if the Purple Knight delivered a gift basket that we put together for him.

When the word “mascot” comes up in the admission office, I’m using the first to be volunteered to wear the costume. I actually have a lot of fun wearing that thing – despite how much it smells and how hot it is.

After delivering the basket, we thought it would be fun to visit some of the kids in the oncology ward as well. I put this little video of the day together. I was definitely having too much fun.

We had a staff retreat today. Typically I dread these things, and i was certainly not looking forward to this meeting.

As we got into it though, I didn’t seem to mind it as much as I did past retreats. I think this is because it was the professional staff only.

It will sound elitist I’m sure, but it’s tough to bring the two groups together for one meeting. We have such different jobs that it is very difficult to get things done when the two groups are together.

Today, we had an agenda, stuck to it, and were able to get quite a bit accomplished in a relatively short amount of time. Everyone was involved with the conversation, and there was not a lot of excess opinion blabbering. Everyone was able to stay on task because they had a better understanding of what we were covering.

It was definitely a good meeting. I came out with the feeling that we had accomplished something. A rare feeling in higher education.