Five favorites

The Verge runs this regular feature where each of their writers lists five favorite obsessions. Stealing ideas happens to be one of mine, and here are some others:

Blundstone Black Boots for the ladies. (I think they're for the ladies.) There is zero flash or glamour to these boots but they are comfortable and water-resistant and once carried me up the side of a mountain in a blizzard in Bavaria, which was no small feat. (Get it?) In fact I believe they were the only shoes I took with me on that trip, which means they also went to the opera. Classy! Two years in they still look brand new, so I guess I'll wear them until I die. Available at Zappos, Kingdom of Fast Shipping. $200.

Up top: La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral is the best daily sunscreen I've ever used and I've tried almost everything (runners up: Aveeno and Neutrogena). Goes on lightly, doesn't stink, absorbs quickly and DOES NOT CLOG YOUR PORES. No zits is what I'm saying. No zits! I love it more than I love having a face, which ironically is the whole reason I use it. Available at almost any drugstore; costs about $30 but will last for at least 3 months of daily use, unless you decide to drink it.

The Station Agent was marketed as a comedy when it was released in 2003, which I find hard to believe, but I'm not really the best judge of genre assignments. Maybe I'm watching it upside down. Peter Dinklage (get yer Tyrion Lannister wallpaper here) plays a lonely railroad fanatic who inherits an abandoned train station in a small New Jersey town. When he moves in, Bobby Cannavale and Patricia Clarkson arrive to fill up his life in big and small ways, with a little screwball bumbling and a lot of quiet graces. Disregard the horrible unrepresentative DVD cover image I'm showing you and watch it on a summer night with the windows open. It will make you want to fly. $9.99 on iTunes.

Starbucks VIA Ready Brew: an intriguing, out-of-left-field, controversial choice! During the summer I add a packet of this to a glass of ice water and a splash of milk and suck it down with a straw whilst applying my makeup, like the purebred, dairy-fed Midwesterner I am. There's something undeniably industrial-tasting about instant coffee, but I can't afford to be precious when I start to sweat just by rolling out of bed in the morning. p.s. I prefer the blonde with the soft and friendly disposition. 12 packets for $10 at any Starbucks locale. Relax, haters: I know that's a rip-off, but I have plenty of other things in life to feel bad about.

Runner's World is the only monthly magazine I read cover-to-cover, because I'm training for a half-marathon and need all the encouragement, tips, and factoids I can get on how to stop feeling like a clod in nonrestrictive microfiber wrapping. I think of it as the fitness version of O! the Oprah! Magazine, minus the sanctimony, dubious scientific claims, and $500 cashmere throws. $17 for a one-year print subscription.