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IQ: We are alive! 

What with Enron, 9-11, shrinking pie and creeping midwinter malaise, we need ways to let our hair down, relax the ol' shoulders, take a few deep breaths, and remember we're alive.

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Kristen Simpson
Food service
Lower downtown

What's your preferred mode of stress relief? Yoga and riding my bike. It gets me centered and back to that peaceful place where all the crazy stuff doesn't bother me.

Where're the best hot springs? Valley View, up near Buena Vista. It's clothing-optional and on a mountain with lots of good hiking and interesting things to see.

What's the weirdest stress buster you've heard of? Naked rollerblading. Some friends and I used to do it at a place called Green Lake in Seattle.

What's your favorite comfort food? Mashed potatoes with jalapeos and cheddar cheese.

What kind of music do you use for stress reduction? Usually some kind of trancey music like Water Bone or world sounds like Tibetan monks with sounds of drums, sand and such.

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Michael Donahue
Real-estate agent
Village Seven

What's your sure-fire stress buster? Going out to do karaoke. It's harmless, it's fun, it's funny. You never know what's going to happen.

What's your favorite locale for relaxing? A coffee shop and a book. Or just sitting at a bar and listening to what people are saying. It's always entertaining.

What's your comfort food? Ice cream. I have it only a couple times of year, but whenever I need comforting, I turn to ice cream with nuts, whipped cream and a cherry at Michelle's.

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Brian Paulson
Music promoter
Newport Heights

What's your preferred stress buster? I market a tape I made called Brian's Brain Buster that produces deep theta states, a profound state of relaxation and abundant endorphins.

Where're your favorite hot springs? A place in Little Rock, Arkansas that's [known for its] quartz crystals.

What's the most unusual stress reliever you've heard of? A device called the cha'i machine. You lay on the ground and put your feet on these slots that exercise for you.

What's your comfort food? Organic, unsalted, crunchy peanut butter.

What's your favorite anti-stress locale? Garden of the Gods. It's a powerful but relaxing place. To relax, you have to center and that place centers you.

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Shane Hansen
Medical technologist
Shook's Run

What's your sure-fire way to relax? Reading. Maybe a little biking.

What's your favorite hot springs memory? I've never been to a hot springs, but I have fond memories of hot-tubbing outdoors with friends up at Monarch.

What's the oddest mode of stress relief you've heard of? Mud baths. It's not my cup of tea, though.

What's your favorite locale around town for relaxing? Home. On my couch with a book and my feet propped up.

-- Bob Campbell

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