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• Create a painting. Nobody expects you to turn out the next Mona Lisa, but by putting brush to canvas, you may release some of this week’s stress. Grab some water colors, pastels, or acrylics, wash out a paintbrush, and get started.

• Go to a restaurant you have never been to before. Downtown Iowa City offers sushi, Mexican, Italian, fast food, sandwiches, and pizza galore. Pick a variety of cuisine you have yet to conquer, and expand your culinary horizons.


• Share a few chuckles with comedian Tim Bedore at the Englert, 221 E. Washington. Bedore has appeared on NPR, Comedy Central, and “The Bob & Tom Show,” so his brand of humor is sure to tickle the Iowa City community.

• Make tonight magical — have a Harry Potter movie marathon. The first five films are available on DVD, so grab some popcorn, wear your Gryffindor robes, and watch the story of the boy wizard from its origins — and observe Hermione’s hair decrease in frizziness.


• Emo/alternative rock band the Get-Up Kids stops by the Picador, 330 E. Washington. The group is in the midst of a reunion tour following its 2005 break-up. Tonight, you can relive those high-school emotions you cried about while listening to the Get-Up Kids in the background.

• Take advantage of the fruitful foliage that fall brings and make an apple crisp. Fresh apples are easy to find at grocery stores, and mixes for the crumbly baked goodness (the “crisp”) can be found with some thoughtful search. For extra flair, add cinnamon.


• Watch four UI students tickle the ivories at the Old Capitol’s “Piano Sundays” concert series. The show starts at 1:30 in the Old Capitol Museum’s Senate Chamber. Who knows — the classic melodies played by the nimble-fingered musicians might just inspire you to take up the piano yourself.

• Rest up. Homecoming Week starts today, so you will need plenty of energy as the activities begin to pick up. Polish your Hawkeye helmet, break out the black and gold face paint, and fluff the feathers on your Herky doll. When the hoards of alumni descend upon the city later this week, you will be glad you prepared.

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