Sunday February 4 Beyond our Ken: In the old days it was comic books and baseball cards. Your mom threw them all out one year while you were at summer camp, right? Oh, the tears. But the collection to hang on to nowadays is far more shapely: Save those Barbie dolls, girls--you're sitting on a gold mine. In fact, if you're lucky enough to own a ponytailed, first-issue model plastic babe in an unopened box, slathered-on strips of blue eye shadow intact, the buzz is you're worth $7,500 more than you thought. Find out all about it at the Barbie Madness Mega Show, today from 10 to 4 at the Radisson Hotel South, 7007 S. Clinton St. Admission to the event, which will feature new and vintage merchandise and appraisals, is $5 ($2 children under twelve); for information call Kitty's Collectables, 670-9312.

Monday February 5 Fair trade: Visual artists from around the region will gather tonight at 7 at the Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave., to promote and raise funds for a local reading program. The benefit screening, Colorado Filmmakers for Literacy, features five 16mm short films, ranging from a documentary about a group of sisters to a Frankenstein remake. All proceeds culled from the $5 admission price will go to The Open Book, a nonprofit program that pairs tutors with non-reading adults.

Tuesday February 6 Ballet service: Formed 26 years ago by black ballet pioneer Arthur Mitchell as a tiny ballet school in the heart of Harlem, the Dance Theatre of Harlem has grown to encompass not only a school for both children and adults, but a renowned neoclassical performance company that has graced stages from London to South Africa. The troupe will make its Colorado premiere this evening at 8, on campus in Macky Auditorium, as part of CU-Boulder's Black Awareness Month. Students with IDs will be admitted to the concert free; all others can purchase tickets for $15 in advance at the University Memorial Center or Tivoli Student Center box offices, or at the Macky box office on the day of the performance. For information call 492-3227.

Places of the heart: The reason you've been feeling so inexplicably goofy probably has to do with the fact that Valentine's Day is just over a week away. But before you ship off your flotilla of valentines to the mailbox, consider this: All properly stamped cards dropped off by tomorrow at Front Range Arby's restaurants will be rerouted through Loveland, Colorado, where volunteer brigades will hand-cancel the envelopes and remail your gooey love missives as directed. Or place the cards inside a larger envelope and mail them first-class to: Postmaster: Attn.: Valentines, USPS, Loveland, CO 80538-9998. Ain't that sweet?

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