And Now, For More Irreverent Foreplay 

We're exhausted. As an organization, we're not very good at saying "no." Or maybe we're just too good at saying "yes." Besides churning out daily content for, assembling the weekly print edition and selling ads like crazy to pay for it all, we spend a good deal of our personal time manning event booths throughout the summer and working extra-long hours testing the coldest beer all over Ada County. Last week's Coldest Beer edition is a two-month process, and this year, we did it while also finalizing the 2011 edition of Annual Manual, which is now at the press, and will hit stands on July 27.

But don't pity us too much--though we may pull a few late nights before big deadlines, we recently managed to squeeze in a midday drinking session in our conference room with the folks from Deschutes Brewery and team up with Northstar Cycle Couriers to throw the annual badass Bars and Stripes Alley Cat race. Which, coincidentally, also involved copious amounts of beer.

So this week, now that Annual Manual is finished and the year's coldest beer winner declared, we're going to breathe a bit. Maybe sleep a little later. Maybe leave the office an hour earlier. Maybe actually leave our desks for lunch. And we're not going to feel bad about it because, though it may be the calm after a major storm, it's also the calm before the next major tempest--Best of Boise.

For the third year, we'll split Best of Boise into two editions: Staff Picks, which publishes Sept. 21, and Readers' Picks, which publishes Sept. 28. The purpose of the former is not to contradict the readers' winners. It's merely the irreverent foreplay to get you excited about the main event.

Voting starts Wednesday, July 20, at Check this same space that week for a QR code to take you directly to the voting landing page online. And for the first time in a few years, we'll host a Best of Boise party--because, frankly, after BOB has worked us over, we need a drink. We're hammering out the details of the party, and as soon as we do, we'll let you know.

As for the week's edition, News Editor George Prentice started reporting on the main feature before the subject of his story, Margaret Lawrence, passed away. Her death, like her life, touched many in Boise. Prentice's story looks at her life and final days.

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