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THE GUIDE

The Guide: Dating book matrix

Whether you are a man or a woman looking for classy or trashy dating advice, books cover relationships to the nth degree. The more no-nonsense self-help books are, the more popular they become, especially when it comes to dating. It all depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re into serious relationships, life partners, marriage or casual fun, we have the right reads for you.

THE GUIDE ARCHIVES

The Guide: Pet groomers

Where to go in CoMo to get Fifi bathed, brushed and pedicured

(Web Exclusive) Pets and their owners are itching to play outside now that it’s getting warmer. Unfortunately, the nice weather also brings more opportunities for Spike and Sassy to roll in the mud, become covered with skunk stink and discover old roadkill. Vox offers a guide to getting your dog or cat clean and fresh-smelling this spring.

The Guide: Alternate routes for Columbia's flooded roads

Navigating local road closures during spring flooding

(Web Exclusive) This year’s flood forecast could be bad news for Columbia’s roads. The National Weather Service’s St. Louis office recently announced that moderate to major flooding is probable in the next three months.

The Guide: Karaoke

Where to go to hit the right notes ... or at least try to

(Web Exclusive) If day-to-day obligations are causing a case of the blues, why not sing away the sorrow — in front of a bunch of total strangers? There’s something strangely cathartic about putting it all on the line and belting out Elton John classics. Vox has the guide to bars and restaurants in Columbia so you can brave the stage and reach for the microphone.

The Guide: 2011 Calendars

Whether you're a cat fancier or a hormonal teen, there's a calendar that's just right for you.

(Web Exclusive) A calendar is like a wingman: It’s honest, loyal and it keeps you on track. It knows everything from when your next work meeting is, to when you’re going on a date with the cute girl from down the hall. It is by your side for 365 days. The good news is that you get to choose it, but make sure you choose wisely because it’s going to be by your side for the next 365 days.

The Guide: New Year's Eve 2010

(Web Exclusive) Don't be left at home on New Year's Eve watching Dick Clark -- or, worse yet, infomericals. There's plenty to do on the last night/first morning of the year.

The Guide: How to build an awesome snowman

Tips for creating a snowy masterpiece

(Web Exclusive) Grab a corncob pipe and a button nose. And a magic old silk hat if you can find one. It’s time to build a snowman. From the classic three-tier snowman to Smurf sculptures, here’s how to make your snowman the envy of your block.

How to cook a great winter meal and entertain right

Columbia’s culinary all-stars show you how to look capable this holiday season

(Web Exclusive) People need more substantive meals when the temps dip low. But along with the plummeting mercury, come a slew of holidays that leave many people needing to entertain and share a meal with family and friends. Luckily for you, some of Columbia’s best chefs and bartenders offer some tips to cook a great winter meal and how to entertain right.

The Guide: Where to donate or sell unwanted items in Columbia

Vox finds the perfect places to donate and purchase goods for the holiday season

(Web Exclusive) As you clean out your closet in anticipation for a new wardrobe that could be currently sitting under a tree, don’t throw your old clothes away. In Columbia, multiple places take donated clothing, bedding and electronics, and some will also purchase these items. Once you’ve finished piling all of your shoes and T-shirts in a bag, let Vox show you the best places to take your soon-to-be-replaced items.

The Guide: Bookstores

Check out the best locations for those can’t-put-down page turners

(Web Exclusive) It’s time to grab the Snuggie, make some hazelnut coffee, and get out the reading glasses. If you’re on the prowl for your next good read, peruse Vox’s guide to Columbia bookstores to find the perfect fit (and potentially a new reading spot).

CoMo's guide to international grocery stores

Once the leftovers are gone, check out these stores to spice up your kitchen

Times have changed since 1620. What started as a group of fleeing Quakers landing on a rock and getting a dinnertime bailout from Native Americans has morphed into a very American day full of family, football and food.

Campus Eastern Foods

What you'll find: Eastern and Middle Eastern Foods

Tucked beneath the Islamic Center of Central Missouri, this place is a pantry of Eastern and Middle Eastern foods. The well-stocked store has freezers of naan and other flatbreads, and a trip down the narrow aisles will reveal dozens of types of rice and curries.

Meechu's Filipino Market

What you'll find: Asian, American and Spanish influences

Filipino food is a true fusion experience. Influenced by the islands’ geographical location and history of occupation, the cuisine blends Asian, American and Spanish influences, but all with a little twist. Meechu’s carries what you need to get started, and if you’re a little lost, the owners will be happy to help you out.

Kea International Market

What you'll find: a variety of foods, including Jamaican jerk sauce and Thai sweet rice

Inside Kea International Market, customers can find a variety of groceries, such as spices, mixes and grains from a surplus of nations, as well as oyster and Jamaican jerk sauces.

Chong's Oriental Market

What you'll find: Asian ramen, rice cookers, and sauces

Los Cuates Latin Store

What you'll find: Mexican goodness

“Los cuates” in Spanish means “the guys.” Because the manager, butcher and counter clerk are all men, the name is fitting — if you know Spanish (and you’ll get bonus points here if you do). If you’re an English speaker only, just look for the two-story building past the Gerbes on Paris Road. The top floor houses Los Cuates’ restaurant, but the store is downstairs. Park on the side closest to Paris, and you’ll find yourself in Mexico.

Natasha's Euro Market

What you'll find: Russian beer, baklava and more

Summer is a time for light Mediterranean salads and chilled gazpacho, but once winter hits, it’s all about hearty soups and smoky meats. Enter Natasha’s Euro Market. The store specializes in Eastern European groceries, which means it has a huge variety of breads, sausages and imported cheeses.

The Guide: Mexican restaurants

Vox checks out CoMo's Mexcian dishes, drinks and atmosphere

(Web Exclusive) Put away that Hamburger Helper, grab your sombrero, and spice up your dinner routine with a meal from one of Columbia’s Mexican restaurants. From the appetizers to the drinks, Vox offers a guide to everything Mexican.

How to carve a pumpkin

A step-by-step guide to creating this Halloween decoration

(Web Exclusive) Your jack-o’-lantern can end up as unique as the person carving it. Be prepared for this to take a bit of time and to create quite a mess, so carve outside or over a trash bag. Wear clothes that can be easily cleaned or that can be thrown away.

The Guide: Local sushi

Taste the Monkey Goes Nuts and finish with a Screaming Orgasm with our guide to sushi spots

(Web Exclusive) Finding good sushi hundreds of miles from the ocean can often be pretty hard. Fortunately, CoMo’s landlocked residents have plenty of options to excite their palates. Get adventurous, and go fishing for some delicious rolls at these local sushi restaurants.

The Guide: Columbia's movie rental options

There’s more than one way to rent a movie

About 15 years ago, if you wanted a movie, Blockbuster was the most likely option. But times have changed. With computer-operated kiosks, mail-in services, online rentals and cable and satellite on-demand options, the closing of movie rental giants has become a trend. Hollywood Video and Movie Gallery have closed. According to The Wall Street Journal, Blockbuster is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, and the future of other brick-and-mortar rental places is a mystery. With the options for watching unlimited movies, businesses are gearing toward video rental practices without human interaction. Vox examines the perks of going to a video store versus sitting on the couch and clicking away.