Week #14: The Brethren, Cauliflower Pizza and Ryan Heffington’s Dance Party Workout

Remember a few weeks back when I co-hosted a bridal shower?  Gina got married last weekend!

Cake is always my favorite part

Since I’ve moved to Cincinnati, my Playhouse in the Park co-workers are essentially the only friends (besides Mom) that I have down here for which I can engage in social activities.  Part of my starting this blog was to get me out of my comfort zone and experiencing more and engaging with my fellow man more.  So, in that sense, Gina, thank you for including me in your special day.  I had a blast!

From left, ME and coworkers Josh, Patrick, Tara and Sandy

The night before the wedding, I also went (with MOM!) to see Tara in Cover of Life at Falcon Theater in Newport.  I would describe the play as a WWII era Steel Magnolias.  Only on for one more night (til 4/25) so catch it if ya can!

On to the essentials:

The Workout

Speaking of my Playhouse co-workers, we’ve even started our own quasi-fitness routine.  Everyday this week, Don the boss and Tara and I (and anyone else who’d like to join…we’re actively recruiting) did the steps down to the art museum and back up. It’s a good 50 steps (I’ll count and have a picture for you next week) and the first day, we did three trips, extending to four on the second and third days.  My calves are aching, but I suspect that may have been more a footwear issue.

For the Official Workout, this week, I selected Ryan Heffington’s Dance Party Workout.  I had no idea before this who Ryan Heffington was, I came across the video on an internet wormhole, saw the pants and thought I had to try it.

How could anyone wearing those pants cause me pain?

Apparently, the mustachioed hipster clown (and I mean that in the most flattering of senses) is an up-and-coming choreographer.  I like him, he’s nice.

“Get fit and have a ball!”

He did, however, lie to me.  Or at least PopSugar’s FitSugar program lied to me when they promoted this workout as a “Dance Party.”  There’s some dancing.  Of course, like most of the “dance workouts” I’ve tried so far, there’s a fair amount of grape-vining and the usual repartee of shuffle shuffle clap.  But half way through, we started doing yoga.  Emphasis on the PLANKING, emphasis on the perpetual push-up, emphasis on the suspended cat-pose that made me moderately suicidal.

And then…there was this hooker: 

The girl you see in the purple is Anna Renderer with PopSugar.  I think they put her there to comment relentlessly on everything happening in the workout.  If she’s so worn out by the end of the routine, it’s probably because her mouth does not stop running the entire time.  For more, visit the YouTube comments, you won’t be disappointed.

But the guy in the gray in the back?  Never says a word.  No one references him.  It’s like he’s not even there.  Like a fitness apparition.

I had another small SNAFU with this week’s


Curious about the carb-relocation program, I decided to try this Cauliflower Pizza recipe.  I went to the store, got all the ingredients and came home only to realize I didn’t purchase parchment paper.  I decided aluminum foil would be a viable solution:


The pizza came out looking relatively similar to the sample photo, right? Well…It was impossibly stuck to the tin foil!  Jason had to come and peel it off.  He rolled sections into balls and said, “Look, honey! You’ve made pizza rolls.”

I still have another head of cauliflower, but I dunno if I’ll try this one again.  The taste was ok (though I think I put too much cheese) but not mind-blowing.  The really ironic part?  We had wax paper the whole time.

The Book

Coming off of Crime and Punishment, I thought there’d be no better week to try a John Grisham novel.  Jason’s an avid fan and I asked him for a suggestion.  While standards like The Pelican Brief and The Client were kicked around, since I’d seen the movies, he suggested a lesser known title: The Brethren.

The story follows three corrupt judges in a federal prison just outside Jacksonville, Florida (where I, incidentally, lived until I was thirteen).  The judges have concocted a scheme to place a gay personal ad in a similarly attractant periodical, lure in rich types with lots to lose and then extort them out of their money by threatening to out them.  They reel in a Big Political Fish with their scam and that’s when the CIA gets involved.

The CIA of The Brethren are personally backing a new candidate for POTUS who would double defense spending.  In order to secure his nomination (and subsequent win), they flood him with defense donations and make bad shit happen to the US and its allies.  This novel was published a year before 9/11.  It’s eerie in the coincidences.  In fact, once I’d all-the-way finished with the novel, I visited the Wikipedia page to try and discover the windfall from such parallels and there wasn’t any.  I was shocked.

I was also shocked by the blatant homophobia.  I’m not really sure what Grisham’s actual stance on the issue is, even his website has very little to say about the novel.  But for something written fifteen years ago, it might as well have been set in Harvey Milk’s 70’s.  I found myself chanting at certain bits “Come out, come out wherever you are!” so unaccustomed was I to men so vehemently in the closet.  Did the omniscient voice of the novel think they should stay there?  Did he/she/it have an opinion on these circumstances?  It’s hard to say. No one in The Brethren is punished for their bad deeds, and yet seemingly every character commits them.

While I don’t necessarily want every story to give me a warm-fuzzy moral, nor do I believe every story has to have a happy ending, I was really shocked by this one.  Five percent from the end, I said aloud to the empty room, “Are they really going to get away with this??”  Perhaps I should try a different Grisham?  The Goodreads profile on The Brethren would have me believe so.

Next week:

Book: Grapes of Wrath

Workout:  Bollyrobics

Recipe:  Spiced mini-burgers with couscous salad


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s