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OMC Recommends: Cool stuff we like right now

Rishi's Jasmine Pearl tea -- For the first time ever, coffee has a rival in my world. I recently drank a tall Jasmine Pearl tea -- a green organic tea made by Milwaukee's Rishi Tea -- and I not only loved the sweet, floral favor and smell, but it also has enough caffeine to jump start even the most sluggish morning slacker. Rishi's Web site describes this lovely tea to a T: "The most tender green tealeaves and silvery down covered buds are hand rolled into small pearls and naturally scented with the essence of fresh jasmine blossoms." -- Molly Snyder Edler

"It Won't Be Soon Before Long" by Maroon 5 -- The band finally releases their sophomore effort and I'm hooked. Sure, I have an attachment to "Songs About Jane," but this is new and it's good. The band has mixed rock with danceable pop and funky R&B stylings. Fave tracks include "Goodnight Goodnight," "Kiwi" and "Nothing Lasts Forever." -- Heather Leszczewicz

Thebasketballjones.net and other hoops sites -- There's not enough local NBA coverage, especially once the Bucks fade from the play off picture. So, I must go nation for my fix. Thebasketballjones pod casts are great. J.E. Skeets and Tas Melas dish out daily hoops buzz in a fun and free flowing format. No officially filtered David Stern spin here. Check it out. I'll also recommend hoopshype.com for a quick, aggregated look at NBA headlines. While I'm at it, check out ESPN's True Hoop blog too: http://myespn.go.com/nba/truehoop. -- Jeff Sherman.

The Miles Standish from Suburpia -- Submarine sandwiches are a perfect grab-and-go meal in the summertime and this offering from the reborn shop at 10853 W. Blue Mound Rd. in Wauwatosa is a perfect blend of turkey, mayo, lettuce, cheese, oil and spices on a chewy Sciortino's roll. For $4.70 (without chips and soda), it'll keep you going at the office, the beach or the golf course. -- Drew Olson

Live Butterfly Garden -- The concept is similar to an ant farm: you buy the kit and then mail order for the bugs. This has always seemed a little weird and gross, but it works. Within two weeks of sending for the caterpillars, a small box containing four of them showed up in our postbox. The instructions are easy to follow and simple, detailing how to watch the creepy critters build their chrysalis and eventually emerge as painted lady butterflies. One word of warning: Turns out busting out of a cocoon is bloody work. Don't be surprised by splotches of red goo after the transformation, which is actually meconium. Find this for $19.99 on Amazon.com. -- M.E.

Boston, Mass. -- Boston is one of the great cities in the country, particularly in the summer and early fall, but we're talking in this case about the 1985 album by the Del Fuegos, a popular regional garage-rock band that flirted with national success (kind of like New England's version of the BoDeans) before fading into the ether. This album, produced by Mitchell Froom, captures the Fuegos' raw energy and clever songwriting. Lead singer Dan Zanes has achieved monstrous success in the world of children's music and his brother, Warren, has numerous degrees in visual and cultural arts and is now the vice president of education at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. Back in the day, they rocked hard. Their mid-80s show at Shank Hall remains one of my all-time favorites. The day they finally made this available on iTunes was a happy one, because I loaned my copy of the CD to a friend and never saw it again. -- D.O.

Izze and gin -- It's almost summertime, which means my gin intake increases almost as much as my corn-on-the-cob consumption. Bombay Sapphire and tonic has been my poison in previous years, but it seems like this summer will be a blur of Sapphire and Izze - sparkling water mixed with natural fruit juice. I thought I was sold on the grapefruit Izze mixed with gin, but then I tried one with the pomegranate. -- M.E.

Flight of the Conchords -- This band used to bill itself as "New Zealand's fourth-most popular guitar-based, digi-bongo, a capella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo," but now they are "the almost award-winning fourth-most-popular folk duo in New Zealand." They just got a show on HBO and their music clips are hits on YouTube. Love the songs "Business Time" and "Hiphoppopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros." But I think what's more funny, and interesting, is that one of the members, Bret, had a tiny part in "Lord of the Rings." -- H.L.

The guava mojito at Yaffa Lounge -- Colleague Jeff Sherman raved about the specialty mojitos at Yaffa, 106 W. Wells St., weeks ago, and he was right. For $7, you get a cool, refreshing and delectable combination of rum, mint and lime lovingly muddled by expert mixologists. Feeling adventurous? Try ginger, basil or cilantro. I hear they are great. -- D.O.


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