We have plenty of recommendations up our sleeve, including a tasty and healthy breakfast choice, a cool music site, cozy and cuddly underwear, dark music for dark winter days and a handy site for people who like tinkering with bikes.
"Sam Kinison: Unleashed!" (Mill Creek) -- This three-hour DVD collects two specials that the late comedian Sam Kinison made for HBO -- "Breaking the Rules" from 1987 and "Family Entertainment Hour," from 1991, the year before Kinison died in an auto accident. A former preacher, Kinison sent shock waves through the entertainment world with his sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll brand of shock comedy that instantly influenced a generation of young comedians. For this DVD, the specials were digitally remastered and bolstered with previously unseen footage of a man that Rodney Dangerfield called "an absolute comic genius" and Robin Williams dubbed, "the cuddly Anti-Christ." --Bobby Tanzilo
Kashi Heart to Heart Oatmeal -- My morning Cheerios ritual changes to oatmeal in the winter and this season Kashi's Golden Brown Maple instant oatmeal is finding its way onto my breakfast table several times each week. The instant oatmeal is easy to prepare: just add 2/3 cup of water and microwave for 90 seconds. Add a little milk and you have yourself a healthy and tasty breakfast. This stuff is packed with antioxidants, including green tea and grape seed extract. Buy it by the case on Amazon or by the six pack at any local grocery store. --Jeff Sherman
Cuddl Duds -- Until this winter, I was stuck in "old school" long underwear: the waffled, white-with-pink-flowers kind that I've worn since I was 7. This year, however, I received the gift of Cuddl Duds: long johns made from a unique fabric that's cotton on the inside and nylon on the outside. I don't even feel like I'm wearing an extra layer because it's so light -- and yet so warm. Maybe I'll actually strap on some skates this year. --Molly Snyder Edler
"Beware" by Bonnie Prince Billy (Drag City) -- The word probably most associated with the latest album from singer-songwriter Will Oldham -- who has released a record per year since 1999 under the moniker Bonny "Prince" Billy -- is "ambitious." It's easy to see why critics are hailing "Beware," which comes out March 17, as such. It's got horns, throngs of new voices and almost -- almost! -- a reccurring up-tempo mood. For any Oldham fan, it's a genuine and soulful departure from the usual stripped-down frailty we've all come to expect and adore. That's not to say that his signature self-deprecation and delicate, poetic cooing is gone. It's just now one part of a much bigger, grander musical canvas. Like the majority of his releases, this one is a keeper. --Julie Lawrence
Viral videos poking fun at Microsoft's new Songsmith application -- If you've never heard of Songsmith, go to YouTube.com and enter it into the search engine. Watch the real commercial. Then, watch the knockoffs. It's a great way to kill a half-hour when the boss is away. --Drew Olson
Bright Eyes' "I'm Awake, It's Morning" -- This album was released four years ago this week, and yet, it remains my favorite when I crave Music To Bum Out To. The CD opens with Conor Oberst telling a story about two strangers on an airplane that's plummeting towards the ocean, and one starts to sing the first song on the album, "At the Bottom of Everything." The album doesn't get any more uplifting as it goes on, making it ideal for those melancholy winter days when you just want to bask in the low light and uncage the demons for 10 songs or so. --M.E.
"The Ultimate Gift" by Jim Stovall -- Need a great pick me up for the New Year? Pick up a copy of Jim Stovall's "The Ultimate Gift." It's a light read and a nice story of personal growth. Nothing too deep or preachy, but a good reminder of what we all are called to do. Stovall's story is great too. He's a national champion Olympic weightlifter, a successful investment broker and entrepreneur. He used his blindness and creativity to create the Narrative Television Network, which makes movies and television accessible to blind and visually impaired people and their families. "The Ultimate Gift" isn't going to win any major awards, but it's an easy read that helps you better focus on what's truly important. --J.S.
"The Taking of Power by Louis XIV" (Criterion Collection) -- At a 1962 press conference in Rome, already-legendary neo-realist director Roberto Rossellini announced that cinema was dead and that he would "retire from film and dedicate myself to television." There must have been a collective groan. For the next 15 years, Rossellini completed more than 40 hours of historical films, including this one, which some have called his most successful work. Based on the life of the French king after the death of his most trusted advisor, this gorgeous film confirms Rossellini's skill and validated his decision of '62. As expected, Criterion does a fine job in presenting it and putting it into context in this package. --B.T.
Thesixtyone.com -- The slogan is simple: Find your new favorite song in less than five minutes a day. This is a great site to sample new music. Imagine how cool you'd feel if you were the first person to tell your friends about Bon Iver. You may find the next big thing here ahead of almost everyone else. --D.O.
Apollo Cafe's Greek potatoes and fries -- I'm a big fan of Apollo, 1310 E. Brady St. Love the Apollo burger and its blend of lamb and beef. But, the Greek potatoes and fries truly keep me coming back. Fries are topped with feta cheese, a bit of oregano and some lemon juice. They are unique, salty and tart. The potatoes are drenched in olive oil and baked. Wow. --J.S.