Fionn mac Cumhail, better known as Finn MacCool, was set the task of cooking a salmon one day by his tutor, the Druid Finegas, who had caught the fish after it ate nuts fallen from the hazel tree. According to ancient teachings, salmon that ate these nuts possessed the knowledge of the world, as the hazel was believed to be the tree of knowledge. As Finn sat cooking the fish, he reached out to pop a blister that appeared on its skin. He burned his thumb and immediately put it in his mouth to soothe the pain. In this way, he acquired the prophetic vision he used to lead the Fianna to unprecedented levels of greatness.
Everybody got that?
Didn't think so.
Never fear: Eric McBride, who writes for The Celtic Connection, will clear everything up today at a St. Patrick's Day Open House from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Irish Times, 2204 Kearney Street. The shop offers all things Celtic, and today that includes McBride. He'll discuss legendary Irish hero MacCool, who was the leader of the elite warriors of ancient Ireland known as the Fianna and who some claim was the inspiration behind many tales of King Arthur.
Irish Times owner Kris Bergquist wished to kick off the St. Paddy's festivities a week early, and the establishment will offer discounts and expanded hours through the holiday. The neighboring Perk Hill Coffee Shop will get in the spirit as well, screening a selection of Irish films at 6 p.m. nightly through March 17, beginning today with The Quiet Man.
For more information, call 303-399-8463 or log on to www.myirishtimes.com. -- Adam Cayton-Holland
If the closest thing to a family meal you've had recently is a frozen Hungry-Man dinner with your dog, head over to The Kitchen's Community Bistro Night for some gastronomic pampering. Every Monday at 7 p.m., the chefs at the Kitchen, 1039 Pearl Street, Boulder, prepare a multi-course meal, pair it with wine and serve it family style around a giant table. (That means everyone sits down together and passes -- clockwise, please!) "We're trying to get people more into the idea of a community meal, where everyone is sharing food and conversations," says Hugo Matheson, chef and co-owner of the Kitchen. "We offer the chance for people to indulge in tasting many things off of our daily menu."
For reservations, $35, and more information, call 303-544-5973 or visit www.thekitchencafe.com. -- Richard Kellerhals
Weilworks honors Martha with a get-out-of-jail sale.
Now that congenial convict Martha Stewart is out on parole, Denver's Weilworks gallery, 3611 Chestnut Place, is commemorating the domestic goddess's homecoming with a giant sale. What could be more appropriate?
"Martha is the queen of tag sales," says the gallery's Tracy Weil. "Tag sales are more common to the East Coast, and we thought we'd honor her new freedom by having one here. It's like an upscale garage sale -- and this one will be a great place to get all your groovy goods."
Weilworks Tag Sale will feature vintage Barbies, Eames furniture, art and collectibles, all displayed in dioramas carefully crafted by Weil and his artistic friends to ensure that the sale is not just a collection of commerce, but an actual celebration of rummage. There will be enough extravagant flair and bargainy goodness to make even the domestic/delinquent diva proud.
Sifting gets started at 9 a.m. and goes on until 2 p.m. For more information, call 303-308-WEIL or visit www.weilworks.com/tagsale.
It's sure to be a steal! -- Kity Ironton
Raising the Dead
Explore the West's deadly past.
Death happens to all of us, but it isn't as fun to talk about as, say, your first kiss or that time you were on a reality-TV show. But tonight, death comes alive at the Fort, 19192 Highway 8, Morrison, in two lectures: "Dust to Dust: Memorable Deaths in the American West" and "The Atomic West."
Starting at 6 p.m., historian Patricia Limerick and Dr. Charles Scoggin lecture on and answer questions about how people died in the West during the nineteenth century. "This is a lecture that tries to face up to the limits of human life," Limerick says. "We are trying to bring the dead back into the world and make them alive again."
"Dust to Dust" looks into how famous people, such as Colonel George Armstrong Custer, and commoners died, from both a historical and a medical viewpoint. "The Atomic West" considers the role radioactivity played in history -- and still plays in our own back yards.
Ticket prices, which include dinner, are $45 for members, $50 for non-members, and $25 for university students and faculty. Call 303-839-1671 or visit www.tesorofoundation.org -- Richard Kellerhals