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Looking for Lunch

Mr. Bento lunch style. Source: nadja.robot hide caption

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Source: nadja.robot

This is going to sound really dorky, but you know how if you turn on your radio at four in the morning you can hear an NPR newscast? (I don't do it that often, but we had a coffee rub on our steak last night.) That's a live (semi, I'm sure) person. And you know how you can hear interviews at ungodly hours on Morning Edition with generals and reporters and others? That's because someone was up all night booking them (one of our newer staff members is a former ME booker — she still bears some scars). Newscast and Morning are two essential parts of NPR — and even though they're wonderful (I feel like I actually can't wake up without both of them), it's well known that working on both units is hard work that will really screw your circadian rhythms up. All this is to say that Talk of the Nation, besides being good fun and filled with great people, has very few drawbacks schedule-wise. Except one: The Great TOTN Lunch Conundrum (GTLC). That two o'clock (E.S.T.) deadline makes it very hard to eat. (I realize this pales in comparison to working the overnight — I'm sorry, y'all.) Fighting the crush at the microwave is darn near impossible (it seems like everybody in this building eats Lean Cuisine and Trader J's). Basically, everybody on this show has a different strategy about how to raise their blood sugar when they're crashing on a deadline (I have a virtual pantry — and an actual mouse.) So, when this cute little tool came to my attention, I was intrigued. The Mr. Bento (there's a Ms., too!) lunchbox enables you to heat up your lunch, and keep it cold, all ! But here's the thing I really love about it — there's a Flickr group that's entirely dedicated to what they put in their Mr. Bento. It's called Mr. Bento Porn, and it's full of great lunch ideas (don't worry, it's not full of actual porn). The trick is, don't start looking at the pictures when you're on deadline — a), it will suck you in, and b) you'll get hungry. It's a great use of social networking — and an even better use of the lunchbox itself. I'm looking forward to documenting my lunch as soon as my Mr. Bento arrives. I am a journalist, after all.