Friday Five: A Mini-Review of Amazon Prime Pantry, The Dang Ed Sheeran Song That Haunts Me And When You Wear Headphones As Earmuffs Because It’s So Cold Out

Oh, man, winter doldrums. I’m feeling them pretty hard this year, mostly because I think I’m still feeling a bit of exhaustion from a busy holiday and New Year’s season — and starting all these new duties at my job — and haven’t had much opportunity to really recover. I’m pooped and feeling very unmotivated, not to mention everyone at home is getting sick. Judging from my fatigue, I’m headed in that direction, too! Still, trying to keep up my spirits — especially during this political climate where everything is just NUTS and very, very scary — is both hard yet necessary. Here’s a bit of what’s keeping me sharp, sane or satisfied this week…

+ One new thing we did this week was try out Amazon Prime Pantry, their service for Prime members where you basically order up a box full of food/pantry items and they send it right to your doorstep. I was envisioning this nice big box full of various odds and ends that we always seem to run out of — and as a result saving a trip or two to Target. (I’ve long established my hatred of running too many errands.) Well…it didn’t quite work out the way I hoped. My partner did the ordering through his account, and we got all the items in a piecemeal fashion, spread out over a series of shipments — and not all of them arrived within the 2-day Prime shipping deadline. (It took about a week and a half to get his entire order completed, in fact. In the meanwhile, guess who had to make an extra Target run because we really needed something we were counting on to arrive in two or so days?) He did get some kind of credit or refund for the wonky shipping, but it seems overall Amazon needs to iron out some kinks, because getting all the items over several packages over several days seemed to be a bit of a waste — all those boxes and all that gas to transport everything — and very inconvenient. Technology: so often promising to make lives easier, but instead making everything so needlessly complicated!

+ For this week in movies, we rented Hell or High Water. Or rather, my partner did — left to my own devices, I probably would have never picked out a Western, no matter how nouveau it was. I knew critics loved it when it came out in theaters this summer, but I still had some lassitude when it came to watching it. But the critics are right: it’s really good, with good-to-great performances (especially by Jeff Bridges as a police officer who is on the tail of a pair of bank-robbing brothers), great cinematography and an unexpectedly complex script.

+ ARGH I CANNOT GET THE NEW ED SHEERAN SONG OUT OF MY HEAD! Seriously, I just have to hear a snatch of it somewhere and it gets stuck in my brain. I mean, I know it’s like a Billboard #1 single at this point, so I’m not the only one, but still…HALP!

I do dig this dance set to ‘Shape of You’…I even spent an evening learning it! (So now you know what I do after Budgie goes down to sleep every night…I find dance videos on YouTube and learn the choreography because I really want to take dance classes again but I can’t find one that works in my schedule!)

+ File this under a “stop-doing list,” but I decided this week to unsubscribe to Krista Tippett’s ‘On Being ‘ podcast, which I had earlier enjoyed. But as time went on, I found myself letting the episodes pile up because finding the time to listen to a hour-long podcast was tough — I generally listen to them in the car or while getting dinner ready, so the shorter 30-minute format works better for me. And I found myself getting kind of annoyed by Tippett’s vocal tics, like her constant ‘mmmm-mmmm’ and her habit of saying something or another was used in a ‘muscular’ way. (I get it, people get lazy and imprecise with the language of emotions and values, but calling something ‘muscular’ was feeling just as imprecise!) I still think there’s a lot of great thinkers on there with so much insight and wisdom — but I realized that the best podcasts often feel like you’re hanging out with friends, and hanging out with On Being was starting to feel like taking prescription medicine. But! I have been listening to Tsh Oxenreider’s The Simple Show podcast, and I found the episode on ‘hygge’ — the Danish art of coziness — to be a nice antidote to the winter blues.

+ This week’s featured outfit is basically my new “outfit recipe” — wear black and throw a nice grey wool coat/blazer over it. I love this coat from Old Navy because I can wear it either as a lighter coat or as a very long, slouchy grey blazer (and pretend I’m Tina Chow, only without the amazing bone structure). It goes well tossed over workout clothes — I’m wearing Fabletics moto-style leggings and a short-sleeved mesh-accented workout top — as well as over quirky dresses, jeans and sweaters and so much more. Basically we all need some kind of item that can bridge the different aesthetics and impulses in our style, and this one does that for me. But the best part of my outfit are the headphones, which are a legit accessory in my book — if only because I was out and about on a brutally cold and windy day without a hat and they covered up my ears quite nicely! Who knew Beats headphones also make great earmuffs in a pinch?

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