2010, $2.99 (in the original shrink wrapper!), at Goodwill on Fair Oaks in Pasadena

First Impression: Just what I wanted for my birthday – a brand new butt!

Second Impression: Apparently, my old butt is about to expire.

Here’s another DVD from the creatively titled CARDIO box set.  Each of the four discs has its very own feeble little paper envelope and they just rattle around in the plastic case like dry pasta.

If you were expecting a lengthy introduction where our host, Janis Saffell, muses upon the place fitness has in your life and how this workout will get you there, you will have to adjust your expectations. I click Play and we’re already in it. March in place!

And by “in it,”  I mean that we’re in the auditorium where Carrie had her prom:

The warmup has a whole lot of Grapevine steps. This is on brand, considering the fake barn door they have off to the side:

Then we do Grapevine into Ballet, which is surely a move from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

“Grapevine, ha ha!” declares Janis Saffell, deploying her dimples to full effect. Allow me to take a moment to address the confusing habit that fitness instructors have of punctuating a move with a thoroughly humorless “Ha!” I’m not mad, I just want to know why.

And that was just our warmup. Now it looks like the workout was filmed entirely with low-res security camera from an airport lounge: 

The image gets blurry whenever Janis Saffell moves around, which is constantly. It makes my eyes go all wonky and I think I might have to stop the DVD. But I press on for you, Faithful Reader, and complete the workout so you don’t have to.

What’s that on the wall, a 70’s Tupperware lid?

After some nonsense with a stretchy band and hand weights, the lilting flute music tells us it’s time to cool down. So push your chest forward. Relax. Open your heart center to make room for the alien to burst out:

The end credits include the note, “Big Hugs and Kisses to my Sensei, Guillermo Gomez.” It should be noted that she’s talking about this guy:

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