Oh, hi! Good to see you. How have you been? I was just telling everybody about that one time I was in South America saving tiny monkeys from flooding and how I came upon a double-decker bus full of tourists that were about to get caught in a mudslide and I had to carry them all on my back at once to the nearest village. It was no big. But the funny part was how, in the village, I was accidentally mistaken for a missing bikini model and had to spend all day getting waxed by a team of Colombian UPS men.

That, my friends, is one of the many stories I plan to tell while I’m hobnobbing around Restaurant Week. I’m so excited! I work hard all week as an astronaut, eating gross dehydrated ice cream sandwiches and turkey jerky, and I really look forward to grabbing my significant otter and hitting the town for some super delicious culinary concoctions.

Chico is a great town for eating out. We’ve got the best burgers, the best ambiance, the best local produce, and the tiramisu that comes in a little mason jar at Crush will make you question why you ever became a Laker girl in the first place. You’ll just want to eat three of them in a row. I love going out in Chico, I love seeing familiar faces and all that smiling and laughing and camaraderie that comes from living in such a cool, friendly community.

You’re really going to want to plan for optimal eating pleasure, not like that time we planned a birthday party for MacGyver. I still can’t believe after all that planning he escaped. I told you the chewing gum and paperclip favors wouldn’t be ironic! Anyway, plan better than that. Check out chicorestaurantweek.com for menus and pricing information for lunch and dinner options. And your support of local Chico restaurants means that you’re supporting local producers. Additionally, one dollar of each meal served will be donated to Chico Eat Learn Grow (chicoeatlearngrow.org). You will be eating well and doing great things for your community at the same time. It reminds me a lot of that time I went fishing and happened upon a baby humpback whale nursery that was about to be plowed through by a giant Red Lobster boat. I blocked their boat with mine until they gave up because I was too fiercely protective.

This issue of the Synthesis has so much good stuff, I don’t even know where to begin. The Ruthless Rye scene report, Nolan’s interview with Amanda Detmer (in which he wasn’t at all moony eyed), and a whole page of psychic predictions for 2013! This is like the issue that keeps on giving. I’d also like to draw attention to a new feature that’s been added to our weekly, the crossword puzzle! Our resident MENSA member, Bethany, has been working hard to add a little sophistication to the joint. I’m not saying we’re the New York Times, but put on your dork goggles and give that puzzle a shot over coffee and see if it doesn’t feel like home. Thanks Bethany!

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Sara makes the words happen.