Thursday, May 28, 2009

Things I Hate (#1)

You know what I hate? People who toast. People who take their glass - no matter if it's filled with $100 wine or Dr. Schnee - hold it in the air and make some ridiculous statement that will be the reason we all should drink.

"To great friends!"

"To Billy and Jessica."

"To true love!"

"To our journey in life and the choices we've made that have brought us all together tonight!"

"To wasting my time and letting my beer get warm!"

It's not that I hate friends getting together. Quite the contrary. I love it. There is nothing more enjoyable than 4+ people, all of whom enjoy the company of one another, sitting on a patio in the spring and sipping some suds. Nothing beats that. If I could pick a perfect evening, that is it right there. Head to a bar, turn on a baseball game and everyone sit around laughing at all the self-important people around us toasting.

But Jason, how will people know you enjoy it if you don't clink your glass with their glasses?

You know how? Because I'm doing it. The plans were made, I said I'd go and here I am. What's the motivation behind the lead toaster? "They said they wanted to come, but this will be the ultimate all of us coming together!" Fail.

The only place toasting should be allowed is weddings. The place it should never be acceptable is when shots are being taken. Weddings = classy. Shots = alcohol irresponsibility. Want to get messed up a lot faster than we would casually drinking beers like adults? Hell yeah! Vodka shooters, man. One, two............oh wait, what should we drink to? To finding the woman of our dreams while slurring our speech after these shots. Three!

But what really chaps my ass about toasting is that I'm usually mid drink when the lead toaster starts making a toast. I've got 1/4 of my Bud Select already making its way through my blood stream when I hear, "What should we drink to?" How about to you realizing you left the iron on and having to go home.

And what's worse is when there are 10 people sitting at a giant table. That means I have to stand up and reach across the table to toast your sister's boyfriend's imported beer. God forbid we don't clink everyone's glass. Then the toast won't come true. Will you years from now be like Mouth in The Goonies? "This toast......this toast right here.....this was mine. And it didn't come true. I'm taking it back. I'm taking them all back."

So I raise my glass to you, the person strategically positioned at the head of the table who is loving too much the fact we all got together. Here's to no more wasted moments. Here's to you finally knowing that the reason I'm drinking is because it's $2 you-call-its and not because I want world peace. Here's to never again having to sit and wait for you to stumble over your two-syllable words that make up the toast we will all laugh about later when you leave.

Here's to never toasting again.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Have A Dream(sicle)

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of prodding from Facebook or a mass email. Some of you have come fresh, wondering if this is going to be as cliched as I believe it to be. And some of you have come from areas where your quest - quest for a diet pill that leaves you un-battered by the sweat of an early-morning workout or staggered by the winds of a late-evening jog - leaves you shamefully tired. You have been the veterans of creative procrastination. Continue to work with that belief that Panera Bread is good for you. Go back to your McDonalds, go back to Arby's, go back to Steak-n-Shake, go back to Wendy's, go back to Captain D's, go back to the onion rings and nuggets beer battered and fried, knowing that somehow those love handles can and will be changed without effort.

But do not invite me to wallow in your valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though you face the constant glaring of your peers with your mushroom tops and man breasts, I still have a dream(sicle). It is a dream(sicle) deeply rooted in the American dream(sicle), deep below the layers of fat you have piled on since college through laziness your children will soon emulate.

I have a dream(sicle) that one day this nation will rise up before 10 a.m., eat a healthy breakfast and live out the true meaning of its creed: "It is your fault that you are overweight, and you can't change that by substituting sugar with Equal."

I have a dream(sicle) that one day in the gyms across America, the sons of former obese men and the sons of former obese women will be able to sit down together at a table and eat something that doesn't start with the letters Mc.

I have a dream(sicle) that one day even the more than 22 million overweight children in America, a country set on blaming the media for unhealthy body image, always looking for the quick diet pill that will help shed 100 pounds overnight, will realize they can still be transformed into healthy citizens through hard work and diet.

I have a dream(sicle) that my three (beautiful but still far from being born) little children will one day live in a nation where they WILL be judged by the respect they show for themselves by having proper eating habits and an exercise routine, as well as the content of their character.....and the success of their never-seems-to-be-aging father.

I have a dream(sicle) today!

I have a dream(sicle) that one day, people on their couches in front of reality shows, with their Pringles and sour cream and onion artificial flavoring, with their his lips dripping with the grease from "Pandamonium" and "Five Dollar Foot Longs" - one day right there on those couches, those people their friends say have a "healthy appettite for life" will be able to join a gym, without a doctor telling them, so they can live a life that isn't filled with late-night crying and motorized carts through the grocery store.

I have a dream(sicle) today!

I have a dream(sicle) that one day every colon shall be cleansed of fatty residue, and every curve and lump on a woman will be ones that make the men on the street go ga-ga , the chubby places will be made hard, and the flabby places will be made tight; "and the glory of swimsuit season shall be revealed and all flesh shall be seen with a longing instead of everyone kind of throwing up a little bit in their mouth."

This is my hope, and this is the faith that was instilled in me by my parents, both of which are incredibly fit for their age.

With this faith, we will be able to take the Dew out of the Mountain and drink water for a change. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling arm fat of our nation into a beautiful bicep. With this faith, we will be able to workout together, to jog together, to eat a complete meal together, to not drive around for 10 minutes to find a close parking space together, to stand up and change the channel instead of using a remote together, knowing that we will all be fit one day.

And this will be the day - this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing without shortness of breath:

My dinner's trans fat free, sweet stalk of celery, low-fat whipped cream.
Land where my food's not fried, land of fruits I've tried,
Eat beans that aren't refried, no Burger King!
And if America is to be a healthy nation, these must become true.

And so let the workout sting from the prodigious Hill of Art.
Let the workout sting from the bench press at Gold's Gym.
Let the workout sting from the treadmill at Club Fitness.
Let the workout sting from the yoga mat in your living room.
Let the workout sting from the medicine balls at Bally's.
But not only that:
Let the workout sting from a walk in Forest Park.
Let the workout sting from 5ks, 1/2 marathons or the full.
Let the workout sting from every hill and bike trail in Missouri.
From every cardio machine, let the workout sting.
And when this happens, when we embrace the workout's sting, when we let it sting in the mornings, or on our lunchbreak or late at night, from every gym to Abs of Steel DVD, we will be able to speed up that day when our health insurance isn't through the roof, when black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Goldfish crackers spiritual:
I love fishes, they're so delicious!
But I think I'm going to have an apple instead!