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Last week was rough. I nursed a faulty wrist and elbow, got a nasty scratch from my cat (it was an accident), and discovered that work has been my primary source of entertainment during the pandemic. As per usual, I discovered just how important the use of my right hand was after I could no longer use it. So this week, I thought I would focus on what makes me happy. Here are some of my old and new favorites. I hope you discover something that’ll become a future favorite, and that’ll make this pandemic heaviness just a smidge lighter.

Entertainment

Thank you to all the talented actors, writers, producers, designers, directors, artists, composers, and everyone else who plays a role in TV and film production. Being artists ourselves, it’s nice to have a balance of art consumption and creation while we’re sheltering in place.

  • Schitt’s Creek
    • I’m SO glad that I gave this series a chance. It now ranks among my favorite TV shows of all time. If you love character growth, quick wit, light-hearted fun, and touching moments, this show is for you. The first five seasons are on Netflix, and you can watch the last season on Amazon Prime.
  • 30 Rock
    • Would you believe that I only discovered this show thanks to the pandemic? 30 Rock began the year I graduated college, which then culminated in my first few years of teaching. As you can imagine, I didn’t have time for new shows back then. Thankfully, my husband suggested it to me recently, and I’m so glad that he did. Again, if you enjoy character growth and quick wit, you’ll love this one.
  • Star Trek: the next generation
    • If you’ve never thought about becoming a Trekkie, now’s the time to reconsider. There’s a good reason that Star Trek has such a large and devoted fan base. If you enjoy using your imagination, exploring philosophical questions, and getting closure at the end of each episode, this show is for you.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
    • I’m only on the second season of this show, but I can already tell it’ll rank as one of my favorites. If you’re looking for memorable characters and something to make you laugh out loud, this is it.

Reading

Thank you to the authors who bravely put their research, dreams, and stories down on paper for the world to enjoy. I’m including only my old favorites on this list, because frankly, I’ve struggled to fall in love with any book I’ve read recently.

  • Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks
    • I’ve mentioned this book before, and I still rank it as one of the more fascinating books I’ve ever read. If you enjoy learning about neuroscience and music (without the clinical feel), I think you’d enjoy this book.
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
    • If it’s possible to have a favorite book, this one is mine. Jane is one of my favorite literary characters of all time. There are hundreds of quotes that I love from this book, but I’ll leave you with just one that highlights her wit and strength of mind.

“No sight so sad as that of a naughty child,” he began, “especially a naughty little girl. Do you know where the wicked go after death?”

“They go to hell,” was my ready and orthodox answer.

“And what is hell? Can you tell me that?”

“A pit full of fire.”

“And should you like to fall into that pit, and to be burning there for ever?”

“No, sir.”

“What must you do to avoid it?”

I deliberated a moment: my answer, when it did come was objectionable: “I must keep in good health and not die.”

-Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Zoom

Thank you to Zoom and its free plan for allowing me to stay connected with my friends during this time of isolation. Also, kudos for the option of changing our backgrounds. There’s nothing quite like chatting with your friends with a picture of broccoli worms in the background (look them up only if you want to be disgusted).

Local Restaurants

I’ve been grateful that our local restaurants are offering curbside pickup. I’ve been enjoying all of my favorite foods from the comfort of our living room. An enormous thanks to the restaurant staff who continue the hard work of serving up food to the masses.

Grocery Store Pickup

I’d never tried the pick-up option before the pandemic. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the service. I enjoy being able to tip the shopper directly, and I’m amazed by their willingness to find what I need when my preferred item is out of stock. If you haven’t tried this service at your grocers, I’d highly recommend it.

I worked at a grocery store all through college, so I’m familiar with its challenges. I still remember how the grime of the money discolored my hands every day and how often I was yelled at by customers for the price of products (if this is you, staaaahhhppp). An enormous thanks to the staff who, like all essential services right now, deserve so much more support than they’re getting.

Food

By now it’s clear that I’m thankful for food and the people who make it. Here are my all-star food picks this month.

  • Tazo Decaf Chai Latte
    • Since swearing off caffeine (to help curb anxiety), this lovely chai latte has replaced my morning cup of coffee. It is divine, and I’m pretty sure that I’m the reason they keep this stocked at our local grocers.
  • Whoppers Robin Eggs
    • These aren’t my favorite malted milk balls (Maltezers are the best), but they’re tasty and currently on sale. Grab them while you still can!
  • Progresso Lasagna Soup
    • This is the grown up version of Chef Boyardee, in the best possible way.
  • Tempura Green Bean Bowls
    • Did you know that you can get recipes from Hello Fresh even if you don’t get their service? This Tempura Green Bean Bowl has been one of my absolute favorites of all time. Even if you don’t include the fried green beans (which are delicious), it’s still delicious. You can get the recipe HERE.

Your Favorites

Please, please, please list your favorites in the comments section below. We could all do with a bit of cheering up. Also, I really need to find a new book to love!