Self-help yourself: Playwright Barbara Graham has written a book that emphatically says it's finally okay for all you career-driven, dysfunctional, recovering superwomen to relax. In Women Who Run With the Poodles: Myths and Tips for Honoring Your Mood Swings, Graham--who is no stranger to the myriad of self-help workshops and books, having seen and done it all--takes on the negative side of the self-help movement with a large, satisfying helping of humor. She'll do her best to indoctrinate you during a reading and book signing at 7:30 tonight at the Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl St., on the mall in Boulder. For further information about the event call 447-2074.
Thursday June 16 Round and round it goes: A little-known but internationally practiced art will have its day when a Woodturners' Exhibition, being held in conjunction with a woodturning symposium in Fort Collins, opens for a month-long run at Show of Hands, 2610 E. 3rd Ave. The fine wood works included have all been carved while spinning horizontally on a lathe, resulting in delicately thin, smooth, sculptured shapes. You can view these beautiful pieces and see a demonstration of how they're made at an opening reception tonight from 5 to 9. Or visit the craft gallery any time through July 14, when the show comes down. Call 399-0201 for details.
Tune town: For the 21st time, the world-class Telluride Bluegrass Festival rolls into the San Juans, setting down four days of nonstop music, bluegrass and otherwise, plunk in the middle of paradise. This year's guest list includes old favorites like Sam Bush, Bela Fleck and Tony Trischka, along with Alison Krauss (she's the youngest Grand Ole Opry member ever), our own Tim O'Brien and decidedly un-bluegrass names like Shawn Colvin and David Wilcox. Yes, musical heaven on earth. Admission, if you can still grab on to it, is $115; call 1-800-624-2422 for ticket, festival and campground information.
Friday June 17 In with the slide: Young acoustic guitarist Ben Harper is as simple and straight as they come. Influenced by early bluesmen Robert Johnson, Skip James and Son House, newer blues traditionalists Ry Cooder, David Lindley and Taj Mahal, and popular music icons Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Bob Marley, the 23-year-old Harper proves again and again that he's no babe in the musical woods. His socially conscious and cleanly played tunes (Har-per is a whiz on guitar, dobro and lap slide) can be heard starting at 8 tonight at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St. To purchase tickets, $6.30 in advance, call 290-TIXS.
Ready, set, go!: There's nothing like authenticity. When the Colorado State Games commence today with an Olympic-style torch ceremony and athlete reception (5 p.m., DU campus), the torch--which will have visited the four corners of the state, carried in relay by a slew of Colorado runners, walkers and bikers--will signify the start of a unique opportunity for amateur athletes of all varieties. Anyone willing is invited to compete with others of their age and skill level in any of over twenty sports. Events continue through Sunday at sports facilities throughout the area, including DU, the All-City Stadium near South High School and Eldorado Springs State Park. If you'd like to go to bat, do a figure eight, leap a hurdle or ace your opponent, event handbooks are available at Subway restaurants; for registration information call 894-7909.
Saturday June 18 Life in the fest lane: The festival season is in full bloom this weekend--with outdoor fairs of all shapes, colors and sizes taking place both in town and up in the hills. Potters will converge on downtown Manitou Springs for the annual Clayfest, where ceramists compete in throwing and building contests, give lessons, hawk their wares and celebrate clay with a Mud Ball at the Soda Springs Park pavilion. Games will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the 100 block of Canon Ave.; attend the ball from 7 to 9 p.m. Locally, there will be opportunities to stroll W. 32nd Ave. at the Highland Square Street Fair (today only between Julian and Osceola Streets) or cozy up to a llama at the Blue Ribbon Wool Festival, where they'll shear sheep, hold a knitting bee and give hands-on demonstrations of felt-making, paper-making and other crafts (10 a.m.-5 p.m., 1705 S. Pearl St., 777-2331). Or pick out your fanciest Victorian duds and head up to Central City for more adult delights, when the town celebrates Madam Lou Bunch Day, a paean to its most famous madam, circa the 1890s. A parade of madams, house girls and dandy Dans will prance through the streets beginning at noon, followed by a bed race, choreographed dancing, food vending and an evening dance at Harrah's Gilded Garter Theater. Call 1-303-582-5578 or 1-303-582-5808 for details or entry forms.