Week #12: Heart Shaped Box, Boot Camp Calorie Burn and Classic Banana Bread

All I have to say is…

I’m back, bitches!

The Recipe

This week I made up for the lackluster past couple of weeks with the Classic Banana Bread.

I feel like this is a thing most reasonable adults know how to make.  I hear people saying all the time how, “oh, my bananas were going bad so I just made banana bread!”  But I’ve never made it.  And I had a buttload of quickly ripening bananas.  So I googled and discovered this.

Now…we didn’t have a long, tube like pan to cook them in so my loving husband suggested ye olde faithful muffin tin.

And, as it turned out…this idea was the best thing that happened to me this week.

And just so you know…yesterday, Jason texted me that these little guys were the “best thing (I’ve) ever made.”  And then again today that I needed to make more of them.  I’m sure the most winning factor was my decision to add four bananas rather than the suggested three.

I’m such a goddamned rebel.

The Workout

The companion workout to my indulgent little fat-nuggets this week was the Boot Camp Fitness Workout.  Another in the series from Exercise TV, this was an asskicker.

PRO: It had that handy-dandy little countdown clock in the corner so I knew exactly how long until I could stop working out and start eating a banana muffin.

CON: It had that annoying little countdown clock in the corner of the screen so I knew exactly how much longer I was to suffer.

Notice how the women behind him appear to be dying.

PRO: The Instructor was a man instead of a chirping, annoying, Barbie FitnessBot.  The Instructor was also easy on the eyes.

CON: The Instructor was a chirping, annoying Ken FitnessBot

His name’s Kendall Hogan. In case you were interested.

PRO: The workout is only 30 minutes long.

CON:  There was WAY too much jumping in the routine.  I have downstairs neighbors, Kendall!

PRO: According to the YouTube description, the average person burns 400 calories in this half hour.

CON:  I SWEAT MY ASS OFF.

The Book

This week, I followed up The Shining with Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill.

When I was talking to Jason about what was next on my reading list, this is what our conversation looked like:

ME: What do you think is next?  Who would naturally follow Stephen King?

HIM: I don’t know, Tom Clancy?  Is this the week you do the Grisham novel I suggested?

ME: No, honey.  I’m reading Joe Hill.

HIM:  Joe Hill?  Who the fuck is that?

ME: Who the fuck indeed!  I’m glad you asked…Joe Hill is

Stephen King’s son.  Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King and this was his first published novel.

Stephen on the left, Joe on the right.

In fact, interesting piece of trivia: when Stephen and Tabitha checked into the Stanley Hotel in Colorado, Joe was two-three years old and King later stated the following:

“That night I dreamed of my three-year-old son running through the corridors, looking back over his shoulder, eyes wide, screaming. He was being chased by a fire-hose. I woke up with a tremendous jerk, sweating all over, within an inch of falling out of bed. I got up, lit a cigarette, sat in a chair looking out the window at the Rockies, and by the time the cigarette was done, I had the bones of the book firmly set in my mind.”

So…if you look at it a certain way, Joe Hill could be considered the inspiration for Danny “Doc” Torrance.  And now he’s a novelist.

Ok, ok, ok.  Enough Geekdom.  What’s the novel about, Sarah?

Heart Shaped Box focuses on an aging rock musician named…Jesus, what was his name?  I’ve already forgotten.  (It’s Jude Coyne–thank you, Amazon).  Anyway, the rocker likes to collect odd, creepy trinkets.  One day his overeager assistant stumbles upon a “ghost” for sale on the internet and together they click the “Buy Now” option (as though there are a warehouse of ghosts at the seller’s disposal).  The ghost arrives in the form of an old suit (shipped in a Heart Shaped Box) and proceeds to reek havoc on the life of Jude, his assistant Danny and his playmate Georgia (nee Marybeth).

Heart Shaped Box has some genuine thrills inside.  As the ghost is making himself comfortable on Jude’s farm, his interactions with the protagonist are pretty disturbing.  Once we get better acquainted with who the ghost is and why he has specifically come into the rocker’s life, circumstances spiral into violence in a way that builds some pretty impressive tension.  There is a thumb wound that grows significantly worse throughout the story, in a way I haven’t seen since Aronovsky’s Requiem for a Dream.  Everybody in the book gets beat up, gradually worse and worse until one truly can’t tell  if anyone will make it out alive.  For a ghost story, it plays more like Die Hard.

A lot of fans will likely ask the inevitable question: Is Joe Hill as good as his father? I’m not going to address that, really.  I think the author himself would like to be a stand-alone force outside of his connection to the most prolific novelist of our time, hence the pen-name (His full name is Joseph Hillstrom King).  I think the important question is: Is Joe Hill good?  The answer is yes, in my opinion and I think he’ll only get better with time.

Speaking of which, if you’re a Netflix subscriber, Joe Hill also wrote the book Horns, which is now a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe.  Enjoy!

As for me, I have to get back to Dostoevsky.

Next week:

Book: Crime and Punishment

Recipe: Belorussian “Souffle” Babka

Workout: Jillian Michaels for Beginners

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2 thoughts on “Week #12: Heart Shaped Box, Boot Camp Calorie Burn and Classic Banana Bread

  1. You should check out N0S4A2 (Joe Hill). I don’t like horror but had to read it for work. Good stuff! I’m still creeped out by it, though.

  2. Ma says:

    Souffle? You’re so brave.

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