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OMC Recommends: Cool stuff we like right now

Verlo's knockoff of the Tempurpedic mattress -- You've seen those very convincing commercials in which the guy jumps up and down on his space-aged mattress, while the glass of red wine remains perfectly still. Pretty cool, eh? But $1,800 cool? I didn't think so, either. But I'm a toss-and-turn guy, and after doing lots of research, I found that you can find a queen-sized memory foam mattress online at for just a few hundred bucks or at Verlo for about $700.

If the idea of buying a mattress without ever lying on it seems too weird (it did for me), then Verlo might be the way to go. I must admit, it's not the life-changing experience the commercial made it out to be, but it does result in less fitful sleep. It's not cheap, either, but amortized over the life of a mattress, it's not a ridiculous amount to spend for some better zzz's. Yes, it gets very toasty warm, even in the winter. But that's easily combated by a "cool max" mattress pad from Target that'll run you a measly $30. Your spouse will thank you. Sweet dreams. -- Andy Tarnoff

Shiner Bock beer -- Brewed in the small Texas town of Shiner, which is located roughly between Houston and San Antonio, this tasty brew is the best 142 calories you'll consume on most days. You can find around town, finally. If you see it, buy it. You won't be disappointed. -- Drew Olson

"The Brag & The Cuss" by Rocky Votolato -- It's simple. If you liked the sweet, beer-stained ballads of 2006's "Makers," chances are you'll be equally taken with Votolato's follow-up, "The Brag & The Cuss," dropping June 19 on Barsuk Records. The difference here is whereas on his previous four albums, Votolato embraced his minimalism, making him a great tour match-up with Lucero and William Elliott Whitmore last year. This time, however, he welcomed the collaborations in droves -- James McAllister (Sufjan Steven) on drums, Bill Herzog (Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter) on bass, Casey Foubert (Pedro The Lion) on electric guitar, banjo, mandolin and percussion and Rick Steff (Cat Power, Hank Williams, Jr.) on Hammond B3, piano and accordion. Although there's no mistaking this to be Votolato's music, the concerted effort sounds like an easy and welcoming next step. -- Julie Lawrence

"Umbrella" by Rihanna -- I'm absolutely in love with this song right now. I've been playing it on repeat on my iPod and have yet to tire of it. I also bought it as a ringtone. When it rings I tend to want to ignore the caller and listen to the song instead. The video is what turned me onto the song. It's beautiful and artistic. Rihanna can dance and she busted out a pair a black toe shoes for one part. Love it. -- Heather Leszczewicz -- If you're the kind of person who likes to learn how things work (like me) but who also rarely has enough gumption do anything about it (also like me), then you might appreciate The ultimate DIY site for uber geeks, it contains directions on how to build the darndest things: a night-vision toilet lamp, a homemade mp3 player, a cell phone charger that runs on breath... you get the idea. Most of these recipes call for soldering and skills way beyond the average weekend warrior. But who knows? Maybe you'll feel inspired to make a paper wallet, or "prison booze" or a "Han Solo in Carbonite Chocolate Bar." -- A.T.

Catherine Tate/David Tennant Comic Relief Sketch -- You have to love British humor. I'm a big "Doctor Who" fan, so when I heard about a sketch involving David Tennant for Comic Relief, I had to watch. It's a laugh-out-loud funny sketch with Catherine Tate's hilarious, rude schoolgirl character, Lauren Cooper. The sketch will turn you on to Tate, whose Cooper is the best. She'll make you want to add the phrase "Am I bovvered?" to everyday speech. -- H.L.

"92 Subaru" from the new Fountains of Wayne CD "Traffic and Weather" -- Even if you hate the boys from Jersey (and many do for foisting "Stacy's Mom" onto an unsuspecting culture), you have to admit that they craft some pretty impressive power pop tunes about commuting, cubicle romances and go-nowhere jobs. (If "The Office" had a bubblegum soundtrack, this would be it.) The album itself is full of the usual catchy hooks and clever rhymes, but I'm not sure if I like it yet. I just know that listening to "92 Subaru" makes the commute seem a little more manageable. -- D.O.

Cake flushing -- From the masterminds and stars of "Hot Fuzz" and "Shaun of the Dead" comes cake flushing! In three parts, the boys -- Edgar Wright, Nicholas Frost and Simon Pegg -- decide that cakes are better for flushing that eating. It's a bit childish, but somehow the joy that they take from flushing cake will bring joy to your life. I'm also a huge fan of the "Fuzzcasts" on iTunes, which show the making of "Hot Fuzz." -- H.L.



mitchgat | May 17, 2007 at 12:50 p.m. (report)

Right now, I'm likeing the Lobster or Pumpkin ravioli from Ceriello Fine Foods at the Public MKT. If you like ravioli, you're not on a diet and on a very delicious dinner for two, buy a box of either and enjoy. At $9.99 for a dozen, it is far cheaper and tastier than going to a fancy resturant and being charged $20 bucks. The pumpkin ones taste awesome with a cinnamon cream sauce... you have to make that yourself. :-)

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