“Slings and Arrows” -- Maybe I'm a little behind on this one, but I just recently pushed this black comedy Canadian TV series to the top of my Netflix queue. I've only perused one season (of three), but I can already tell it's worth recommending as a quality time-passer until nicer weather calls us outdoors. The show follows the behind-the-scenes antics of the fictional New Burbage Festival, a Shakespearean theater festival perpetually on the brink of disaster and / or failure after the accidental death of its artistic director. His replacement is the certifiably mad, yet brilliant stage actor Geoffrey Tennant (Paul Gross) who has more than a few emotional ties to the festival. The fact that it's co-written by former “Kids in the Hall” member Mark McKinney was an initial draw and the humor here is subtle, intelligent and grows exponentially as you become more familiar with the quirky characters. --Julie Lawrence
Ariat “Fat Baby” Boots -- I was thrilled to find these chunky boots during last year's fashion trend that featured primarily pointy-toed footwear. These “cowboy” style boots come in a variety of colors from black with white stitching to red with rhinestones to basic brown. They range in price from $90 to $120, which is fair for a pair of leather boots that are comfy enough to become your favorites. Find them online. --Molly Snyder Edler
Plasma car -- Need a cool toy for your son or daughter or even yourself? Look no further than the Plasma Car, the 2005 winner of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award. These things are sweet and big fun. The Plasma Car uses kinetic energy and doesn't require pedals, gears or batteries. It simply harnesses the natural forces of inertia, centrifugal force and friction. To make it go, rotate the steering wheel continuously from left to right. It also works in reverse. To zoom backwards, just switch the set of four front wheels around so that the larger ones are closest to the front of the car. To stop, just put your feet down Fred Flintstone style, and, of course, stop moving the wheel. Easy to control and fun to drive, they are available in various colors including a super hot and limited edition yellow. We got ours at Sprout! In the Third Ward, but they are available online, including Amazon.com, for about $70. --Jeff Sherman
"The Helvetica Documentary" -- Helvetica is a ubiquitous typeface that surrounds us, penetrates us and binds the galaxy together, similar to “The Force” or duct tape. This surprisingly engaging documentary addresses the history of modern graphic design through the straight-forward sans serif Swiss font, which is used in everything from famous logos like Target, Staples and American Airlines to the U.S. Postal Service truck numbers and the cheap-o Chinese restaurant down the street. Helvetica is clean and legible, yet boring and corporate. I knew Helvetica was all around us, but after watching the film I truly began to see it everywhere (which was maddening for my girlfriend, to whom I am constantly pointing it out). For those of you with Netflix, the film is available to watch for free! --Jason McDowell
Death Cab for Cutie's Web site -- Are you as excited as I am about the new Death Cab album, “Narrow Stairs,” due out on May 13? In anticipation of this long-awaited release, I visited the DCFC Web site (www.deathcabforcutie.com) and spent far more time there than planned. I listened to the new single, “I Will Possess Your Heart,” found out that Chris Walla appears on World Café this Thursday, March 21 (he'll play tunes from his solo effort called “Field Manual”) and purchased an awesome T-shirt from the online shop, which is something I almost never do. --M.E.
Taken 2 The Cleaners -- Taken 2 The Cleaners has one goal: “To remove 'dry cleaning' from your to-do list.” Done, I say. Just pick up the phone and call (414) 921-4966 and tell them where you want your dirty laundry picked up. Then, Ryan and his friendly staff will show up, pick up and drop off a day or two later. How easy is that? The service area includes Racine to Mequon, Downtown to Brookfield and everything in between. Prices vary by the garment, but my shirts are $2.29. Delivery is included in the price, so it's more than worth it. Get a $5 coupon at taken2thecleaners.com. --J.S.
Club Timbuktu -- I spent St. Patrick's night at this pan-African bar and restaurant located at 520 E. Center St. and, while there, remembered how much I like this space. It's airy and ambient, with high ceilings, colorful art and plenty of seating. Timbuktu features tons of live music, and many of the shows are smoke-free so it doesn't reek like other venues. Because the evening was in celebration of an Irish patron saint, I spent my money on bottles of Guinness, but next time, I'm sampling some of the food. A woman sitting next to me at the bar chowed down a plate of tigajigi and rice (peanut stew) and said it was "marvelous." The owners are natives of Somalia and Guinea, and together they created a friendly, unique establishment that's a slice of African culture unlike anything else in the city. --M.E.
Shadows Professional Pet Grooming -- When we adopted our two standard poodles from a woman specializing in that kind of hard, but rewarding work, she set up the adoptions through Shadows (S82 W26355 W. National Ave., in Waukesha), because the owner had a standard poodle of her own and was willing and able to foster the dogs. The result was that our dogs loved the owner, Debbie, especially the first one we adopted, who knew her best. Our dogs have boarded there, had haircuts there and each made a major life transition there. So, if you’re looking for someone you can trust, especially if you live out that way, look no further than Shadows. --Bobby Tanzilo