Month: May 2016

May 30th – June 5th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


We hope all of you are having a lovely, if incredibly hot and muggy weekend. Jump into a pool if you are able, otherwise attempt to reconcile the vehemence with which you railed against winter cold with the horror of the summer heat as is the Massachusetts way.

We just got to re-watch Captain America: Civil War at a drive in, and our verdict is that the movie is significantly improved by the addition of fried pickles. This brings up the tantalizing prospect that every movie is improved by the consumption of fried pickles! In the spirit of inquiry we have committed ourselves to a multi-year study of this phenomenon and are currently writing grants to get together the resources we need to really get to the bottom of the issue.

We also saw the Alice in Wonderland sequel, Alice: Through the Looking Glass and can say that while it too benefited from pickle-fry accompaniment it was absolutely not super interesting. Best part was probably how Anne Hathaway never moved except to glide with hands held outstretched.

We’re really excited for JiffyCon, coming up in just a couple of weeks, June 11th! We will be there with a bunch of flyers that have useful information on them for the sort of person who likes to be well-informed and excellent. We’ll also just chat with whomever comes up to our little table because we are extremely personable. See you there!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Monday, May 30th
Amherst Books [8 Main St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Cheney/Lawless/Power/Theoharides @ Amherst Books
A bunch of poets! Chris Cheney was born and educated in MA, and recently released his debut collection of poems: “Lay Me Low”. Amy Lawless is the author of two books of poems including “My Dead”, and collaborates with Cheney. Ali Power is the author of the book-length poem “A Poem for Record Keepers”. Halie Theohardes is coming out with her second book “Final Rose” this September!
Thursday, June 2nd
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Amherst Art Walk and Poetry Night
As always, there will be lovely art on display all night, as well as a Poetry Open Mic. The Featured Readers following the Open Mic will be Halie Theoharides, author of the chapbook “Into the Leaf Gloom”. She’s the managing editor of jubilat and the co-illustrator of the Emily Dickinson Tarot Deck, and Ann Ward, Senior Poetry Editor of Cosmonauts Avenue and Co-Curator of Springhouse Magazine and currently an MFA candidate in fiction at UMass Amherst!

Board Games:

Sunday, June 5th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Dicemasters Draft
Dicemasters is a fun looking game about rolling dice, which is probably implied by the name. Basically grab a bunch of 6-sided dies with different effects and stats on each side, and try to roll to get what you need to build a team that beats your opponent. Drafts involve picking out your dice at the event to try to maximize the potential of your team and counter your opponent!

Books:

Wednesday, June 1st
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Misfits: Asperger’s/Autism Young Adult Support Group
This month, there’s going to be a discussion about John Elder Robison’s book “Look me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s”. It’s an entertaining and inspirational memoir of growing up in an unusual family, feeling different, and the dramatic changes that have happened since his being diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 40.

Entertainment:

Tuesday, May 31st
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Ancient Greek Language Study Group
A weekly gather (a few weeks in) to study the Ancient Greek Language with retired professor Nicolas Gross. Study’s going to be based on Athenaze Book 1, 2nd edition. To get more info, get in touch at nicolaspgross [at] gmail [dot] com.
Wednesday, June 1st
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
First Wednesday Speaker Series: Tiny House Northeast
Isa Bauer, Project Manager and lead designer from Tiny House Northeast will discuss the basics of planning for and owning a tiny house on wheels, both the challenges and advantages! Challenge: so small that there is barely space for you + an atom. Advantage: the most adorable form of housing!
Friday, June 3rd
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Garden Days
The prelude to the Salad Days, the Garden days are alright but not amazing really. Volunteer in the garden at the museum and create a “pollinator patch” to help out some of our local bees/hummingbirds, learn about the history of the land, and generally help make beautiful things grow!
Saturday, June 4th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Re-Frame Your Gilty Pleasures: A Hands-on Gilding Workshop with Conservator Bill Myers
Learn about the art and history of framing while learning how to gild! A selection of picture frames will be available for you to adorn. Also for real: best title we have ever seen, that’s some dedicated punnery A+ job! Space is limited! Call 413-259-3097 to register!
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Pomeroy Terrace Historic District Walking Tour
Join guide Steve Strimer for a walking introduction to the proposed new historical district! See some impressive old houses that have nifty designs and learn about the history of a place close to home! If you live in the proposed district, this is the perfect time to stage elaborate tableaux that make people think these houses are haunted!

Movies:

Saturday, June 4th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Movie Sangha – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
See a classic film, then have a nice discussion and activity afterward! Seems like it goes kind of long? Then again, there’s not really a set limit on how long you can do yoga after a film we suppose. If there’s yoga, we should say. It’s definitely an event that’s open to suggestions! Go, watch, discuss, make new friends!
Sunday, June 5th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
In Search of Israeli Cuisine
A profile of chefs, home cooks, farmers, lots of folks from the many cultures that make up Israel today. A portrait of the people who make up Israel today told through food! Students pay $4, members $6, and the public $8!

RPGs:

Thursday, June 2nd
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Indie RPG Night
Are you an interesting person interested in interesting RPGs? Interesting. We’ve got a proposal for you: check out this night of fantastical RPGs that might have passed you by! It’s a great opportunity to find wonderful new games, often by local creators! This is on account of our local creators being extremely cool and good at making fun RPGs.
Saturday, June 4th
Amherst Unitarian Universalist Church [121 North Pleasant St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Changeling: The Lost LARP – Mind’s Eye Society
This season is all about mystical climate change! Sounds like a heck of a topic to inspire heated discussions and some intrigue. LARPs are a really fun time, and this one seems pretty low-key. Costumes are encouraged but not required. There’s a $5 site fee, but no site fee is charged for new players or for Five Colleges students! If you donate anyway, you’ll get prestige! And a warm feeling from supporting a fun thing!

Video Games:

Sunday, June 5th
The Quarters [8 Railroad St., Hadley, MA] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
MAKE TALK PLAY – Lightning Talks
Lightning talks! June is going to be a bunch of quick 5-minute talks about a variety of topics related to game development. It’ll be a great opportunity to learn some new things and also eat hot dogs while playing video games!

May 23rd – May 29th

The Valley Nerd Watch!

It’s not really a local game, but heck: DOOM (2016 Version EX Hyper Edition) is a fun time according to us. If you are into using a fanciful arsenal to shoot demons in their faces, you will not go wrong. Surprisingly, one of our favorite elements of the game was the low-key comedy of Doomguy’s characterization as a comical barbarian with a very single-minded dedication to destroying Hell with high explosives.

Speaking of local games, some local games are out for you to check out! A lot of these come from the Pioneer Valley Game Developers page, and some from friendly folks on Twitter.

LoveLime – A game about a lime who is trying to date other attractive fruit. The lead developer is Sam Luangkhot, a student at Smith College who apparently saw Hatoful Boyfriend as a challenge. You can download the demo here!

Pirate Squabbles – A game developed by GlowLime games in one semester at Hampshire College. It’s a point-and-click adventure for your phone about pirates! Get the full game on Google Play or the App Store!

Vanishing Point – Less a game than a cool as heck VR music video, this is finally on Android! Experience Ben Sollee’s beautiful music alongside Pat King’s beautiful virtual ride! Check it out on Google Play!

We look forward to more video games coming out of our little corner of the world! Keep up the good work, everyone!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Tuesday, May 24th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
UMass Writing Project for Teachers
Contact Bruce Penniman at 413-687-0910 or penniman [at] english.umass.edu to find out more about this mysterious writing project for teachers! We’re thinking it is probably that they’re working on the next Star Wars film.
Thursday, May 26th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Emily Dickinson’s Shakespeare with Dr. Paraic Finnerty
Dr. Paraic will clarify the role that Shakespeare had in Dickinson’s life by locating her allusions to his writing in the 19th Century American context. He’ll shine new light on Shakespeare’s wide-ranging presence in Dickinson’s life! This is free and open to the public, no reservations required!
Saturday, May 28th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Jones Library Makerspace (Ages 8-12)
Make a thing. Any thing you can imagine! A bunch of supplies are available for a child aged 8-12 to indulge any fleeting creative impulse and make physical the artifacts of their imagination.

Board Games:

Saturday, May 28th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
X-Wing 101 & Open Play
X-Wing is a game set in the very popular Star Wars universe in which you attempt to blast to smithereens the spaceships of your opponent. It’s a tactical tabletop game which means lots of measuring distances and dice rolling and it seems a lot of fun. Learn how to play it at Modern Myths! Requires a $5 Day Pass which is immediately converted to store credit.
Sunday, May 29th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Sunday Heroclix!
Heroclix! Try this on for size this week: make a Heroclix team that is entirely comprise of characters with the ability to change shape. Beast Boy, Wendigo, the Hulk technically, Super Skrull, Morph, Normal Skrull… there are actually a ton of shapeshifters in comics dang.

Books:

Tuesday, May 24th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Thad Carhart, Finding Fontainebleau: An American Boy in France
In the 1950s, just after WWII, Thad Carhart’s family packed up and moved to the town of Fontainebleau in France. In his memoir, Carhart weaves stories from his family’s life with stories from the town and of the massive Chateau of Fontainebleau that defined it.
Thursday, May 26th
Pizzeria Paradiso [12 Crafts Ave., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Red Mars Book Discussion & Dinner
Discuss the classic by Kim Stanley Robinson while munching on pizzas. Discuss the grand scope of the first in a trilogy of novels about Mars, this one covering the brave first 100 colonists. Just tell the staff at Paradiso you’re there for the book group. You’re expected to order something to eat to justify the whole getting a nice room for free. RSVP to make sure you can fit! Not a fan of this particular book? See the whole 2016 reading list here.
Saturday, May 28th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Megan Dowd Lambert & Nicole Tadgell
Local author Megan Dowd Lambert and illustrator Nicole Tadgell are back to talk about their newest picturebook ‘Real Sisters Pretend’! Two adopted sisters have a conversation about how adoption made them ‘Real Sisters’ even if they have different birth parents and don’t look alike. Attendees will enjoy snacks and a storytime, and are encouraged to add drawings of their own families to a mural to be displayed at Odyssey!
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Eric Carle Book Signing
A limited number of tickets distributed day of! No advance tickets. Meet Eric Carle! Plan to arrive early to make sure you get a chance to see Eric. He’ll be signing books only, a 3 book limit, and no personalization. Dang that’s gotta be heck on the wrist, signing for hours and hours. Have fun!

Card Games:

Saturday, May 28th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Marvel Munchkin Splash
Munchkin: we gotta admit we’re not super into this game, everyone! It’s too long to be short and too short to be long. The jokes are there, but they’re not like “haha” funny, they’re just kind of references to things we like. BUT we’re not the only people in the world and a ton of other folks dig it. So try the Marvel version and enjoy the Marvel puns contained within!
Sunday, May 29th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Marvel Munchkin Splash
Marvel Munchkins again! Except with a twist: this time it is just a humongous box of Munchkins from Dunkin with the names of superheroes written on the outside of the box. Delicious.

Entertainment:

Monday, May 23rd
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Percy Jackson Auditions
Audition for and get more information about the Percy Jackson Experience the Book event that’s going to be held on June 19th! Contact Kay Lyons for more info at 413-772-1544 x5104
Wednesday, May 25th
Goodwin Memorial Library [50 Middle St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Organic Gardening for Everyone
Learn how to cultivate the fruits of the earth with Naturalist, Landscaper, and Unusually Appropriately Named Person John Root! Trick entropy into helping you maintain the ordered arrangement of your complex body parts! Free admission, with perennials for sale!
Thursday, May 26th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Laser Tag in the Library!
Have you always wanted to vaporize your friends, local teen? Well rein that in, that’s not an urge you want to indulge. But if you’ve always wanted to play laser tag with your friends well you’re in luck this week! Run around the library shooting beams of light at each other because it’s fun!
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Anime is by all accounts animation produced primarily in Japan. We mostly have seen anime about punches, but we’ve got it on good authority that punches are not the sum total of anime. Talk to fellow fans in Palmer this week! Probably watch some, too!
Saturday, May 28th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Dickinson Meets Shakespeare in the Garden
Enjoy a performance of Shakespeare in the garden of the Emily Dickinson Museum! actors from the Springfield Conservatory of the Arts and the Hampshire Shakespeare Company will bring scenes from Dickinson’s most beloved Shakespeare plays to life! Free and open to the public, no reservations required.
Sunday, May 29th
The David Ruggles Center [225 Nonotuck St, Northampton, MA 01062] at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Sojourner Truth Memorial Walking Tour
Sojourner Truth was an African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist. She was born into slavery in New York, but escaped with her daughter to freedom in 1826. Her best-known speech was delivered extemporaneously in 1851, and widely know by the title “Ain’t I a Woman”? Learn about this important woman during a walking tour this weekend!
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
The Poet and the Bard
Explore the houses where Shakespeare became an invisible but important guest. Dickinson became a huge fan of Shakespeare during a period in which public estimation of the Bard rapidly changed from thinking he was the bee’s elbows to thinking he was the bee’s knees. Find out more on the tour!

Movies:

Wednesday, May 25th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
FLOW: How Did a Handful of Corporations Steal our Water?
Hang out at Forbes and watch an award-winning documentary about the growing World Water Crisis. As the supply of fresh water dwindles, this documentary offers a clear look at why. Interviews with scientists and activists raise the question “can anyone really own water?” You’ll also see some possible practical solutions to the issue, so that you do not sink into a deep pit of despair immediately.
Smith College Chapin Lawn [Northampton, MA 01063] at 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
Cinema Northampton presents a free outdoor screening at Smith College of the seminal weird/charming film about eccentric man-child Pee-wee Herman. Bring a blanket and snacks!
Sunday, May 29th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Sholem Aleichem: A Conversation with Ruth Wisse and David Roskies
Recorded live at the Yiddish Book Center last fall, two engaging Yiddish scholars discuss the inimitable Sholem Aleichem on the hundredth anniversary of his death. Learn and laugh! Students get in for $4, members for $6, and the rest of us for $8!

RPGs:

Thursday, May 26th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
You can be anything you want to be in an RPG! An astronaut who kills dragons, the president who also kills dragons, a gnome that becomes president of the Forgotten Realms and kills dragons… the only limit is your imagination! Hang out with fellow adventurers in Palmer!
Friday, May 27th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Rd., Chesterfield, MA] at 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM
Magestry LARP 2016 Spring Season – Game 3
Petalsong lingers in the air with the Magestream restored and one of the Mongrel Shadow Queen’s most powerful allies defeated. Now, Elmerton has other problems. Can they get a tribunal council going to convict the evil House Windlock? Are the sores growing from the trees and buildings going to wind up being a big deal? New creatures emerge from flickering portals to bedevil our heroes. And for yet another year the town turnip farmers wonder if they’ll ever have a year where the planting season isn’t such a danged ordeal.
Saturday, May 28th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Dungeons & Dragons!
Dugeons traditionally were not actually sprawling extravagant underground ecologies packed to the gills with treasure. Mostly they were like, terrible rooms. But heck, with a fantasy world, why not go wild? Play a 5thl-level adventure hosted by the friendly Neal Robinson! You can hop in any time, there are pre-rolled characters available for new players!

Science:

Saturday, May 28th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Archaeology at the Emily Dickinson Museum
Members of the museum are invited to participate in an ongoing archaeological dig on the ground of the Homestead! Learn new skills, make exciting discoveries, dodge poison dart traps, steal the mysterious treasure that made Dickinson a poet! You must attend the orientation to get cleared to work, because they gotta make sure you don’t just take a hammer to everything. Spots are limited, register here!

Video Games:

Monday, May 23rd
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Minecraft Group
Minecraft is such a sensation we probably don’t need to tell you what it is. But basically it’s like a beta version of the Matrix. Children love it, and should hang out at Forbes with other Minecraft-playing children in order to have fun and socialize outside of the Cyber Zone. [a black cat walks by]
Friday, May 27th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Minecraft Club
Minecraft is such a sensation we probably don’t need to tell you what it is. But basically it’s like a beta version of the Matrix. Children love it, and should hang out at Forbes with other Minecraft-playing children in order to have fun and socialize outside of the Cyber Zone. [a black cat walks by… again?]

May 9th – May 15th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Jeez Lousie is it a packed week, wow! Also, happy Mothers Day! Our mom is great, we hope your mom is or was also great and, should you be a mom yourself: continue being great! We believe that covers most people.

Hope you all had a good time on Free Comic Book Day yesterday. We actually celebrated early by buying a big Doom Patrol trade paperback which while not precisely in the spirit of Free Comic Book Day did mean we got to stay inside reading and listening to the rain on Saturday which we must admit we kind of wanted to do regardless.

We’re really excited to check out Captain America 3: It Is Another Avengers Film tonight! We’re pretty big fans of the big-screen version of Cap. The comics have at times had trouble dealing with the character, since he’s just so damned upstanding and forthright that at times it feels like the only sources of conflict available are senseless betrayals on the part of all the spies he keeps hanging out with.

The movies, having a much shorter overall time-frame, seem to be making the most of the fact that Cap is still kind of in the adjusting-to-the-future period. He’s allowed to come off as a person potentially blinded by personal tragedy rather than an unimpeachable avatar of the American ideal.

Civil War in the comics was by all accounts a gigantically successful and hugely silly event book that no one should read because wow is it nothing but superheroes punching each other despite having saved the world from annihilation like 10 times in the past month. It’s a long road to a very mild alteration in the Marvel Universe status quo.

In the course of the comic Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic create an evil robot clone of Thor that then kills Goliath. Also they imprison people without giving them a trial in an alternate dimension which is full of immortal bug-monsters and whose warped reality slowly drives all of its denizens mad.

The movie will probably keep from making these narrative missteps. We’ll let you know how it is after we check it out!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Monday, May 9th
Mead Art Musuem [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Shakespeare’s First Folio Exhibition Opening Reception
Celebrate the greatest playwright of the English language with a reception marking the opening of the First Folio exhibition at mead! There are only 233 copies available in the world today, and the Mead is the only place to see it in Massachusetts!
Thursday, May 12th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
What the House Remembers: An Interactive Discussion of Three Poems by Robert Francis
The late Amherst poet Robert Francis will be honored in an event led by poet and writer Wally Swist. Swist paid weekly visits to Francis during the last three years of his life, and will read three poems and facilitate a discussion after each.
Friday, May 13th
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Free Second Friday
Have you always wanted to sort of passively rob the Smith Museum? You can indulge your sinful whim on the Free Second Friday this month! It’ll have some kid-friendly events starting at 6pm, and you’ll gain access to sweet sweet art for free. There’s a suggested donation of $5, though!
Saturday, May 14th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Art Walk
Easthampton has a fun art walk every month, and Comics N’ More is a great place to be during the Art Walk! They have a wonderful little gallery space up above the store, and you can bet there’s something there you’ll want to see, or possibly buy!
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Makerspace Workshop with 3D Printer and CNC Router.
What can you make with a 3D printer or a CNC Router? Lots! Mostly physical objects, but who’s to say whether or not you’ll be the one to first craft a bubble of still time with a CNC router? Kids ages 8-12 can come stretch their imaginations for free!
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
The Annual Emily Dickinson Poetry Walk and Friend’s Day
The Poetry Walk! It’s the anniversary of the death of the great poet Dickinson, with readings of her poetry at six historic sites in Amherst. This spring’s walk will feature her works inspired by and alluding to Shakespeare! The walk begins at 10:30am in the Homestead garden and proceeds through Amherst, stopping at significant sites. Then there’s a friends luncheon at noon!

Board Games:

Friday, May 13th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Tabletop Game Night
Another night of tabletop fun at the Community Room! It’s a private room, so no worries about it being in the Burger King, and it’s reserved exclusively so you can just hang out for a bit. Bring a game to share! They tend to dig Euro games. We’d recommend you try Splendor with people, that’s a real treat that’s easy to pick up and play.
Saturday, May 14th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Rose King Splash! – An Envoy Demo
An Envoy will come to Modern Myths to show off a neat new game about the War of the Roses, that one time in history when a bunch of competing noble houses got involved in intricate plots to take over a contested throne and did a bunch of backstabbing and fighting. Who will rule? That’s up to you! Learn to play a new game this week!
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell St., Hadley, MA 01035] at 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Star Wars X-Wing Tournament
Star Wars! You either like Star Wars or the Redeemers have not made it clear to you yet that you MUST like Star Wars. Keep up your desperate charade by playing this really fun Star Wars branded sorta-naval combat tactics game, it has really nice minis too! It’s a 100pt game with a $10 entry fee, plus a prize of a mini kit plus some cash!
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Palmer Scholastic Chess Tournament
Chess! The famed Game of Thrones itself. You win or you have a fun time playing, as they say. There are 4 sections, K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Round 1 starts at 10:00 AM, there’s a 4-Round Swiss System, and trophies for 1st/2nd/3rd in each section! Entry is free! Bring a set and a clock if you have them, and a bagged lunch!
Sunday, May 15th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Dicemasters 101
Dice! Hm. Mysterious geometric figures. They hide their mysteries inside those tiny forms. But you will break them, and uncover their secrets. You will master dice! Command them to do as you will! Your armies of dice will engulf the world! All of this is of course contingent upon rolling a natural 20. That or this is a fun time where you learn the game-format Dicemasters from friendly staff members at Modern Myths.
Greenfield Games [228 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Star Trek Attack Wing Temporal Cold War Event 2: Future Tense
A small craft from the future adrift in space that you want to study, nice! A pleasant and slow board game about just looking at a spaceship. But wait! An enemy fleet! Oh shoot no it’s going to be a fight to control this ship! It’ll be $15 for the blind booster, and you need to bring a 90 point faction-pure build to the event!

Books:

Tuesday, May 10th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Jennifer Haigh, Heat and Light
Jennifer Haigh will read from her new novel. A PEN/Hemingway award winning author, she’s probably pretty good at writing books. Heat and Light is about bringing the world of Bakerton, an old coal town, into the 21st century. Environmental activism, economic depression, dramatic character conflict rooted in understandable divergent opinion, it sounds like a good yarn!
Thursday, May 12th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Elizabeth Brundage, All Things Cease to Appear
Hampshire College grad Elizabeth Brundage will read from her new novel! A mysterious murder, an easy suspect, a secretive spouse, all these elements make up a layered who-dun-it that will keep you guessing! Get your noir fix at Odyssey!
Sunday, May 15th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Meet Tom Angleberger and Cece Bell
Tom Angleberger, author of the Origami Yoda series we need to look up right now and Cece Bell, author of Newbery Honor book El Deafo, will talk about their books, discuss the writing and illustration process, and answer your questions! A signing will follow the program.

Computers:

Wednesday, May 11th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Agile Methods Meetup
Dev teams! Maybe you’re not Agile, maybe you went for more of a Strength or Intelligence build. But if you’re producing work, why not come to share and learn from other people?

Entertainment:

Thursday, May 12th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Anime! Maybe you like animation? Animation of a particular style common in Japan? Find fellow folk who agree! It’s a good opportunity to watch some shows and talk to some people who like anime!
Saturday, May 14th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Sheep in a Jeep!
Sheep in a Jeep is a book about sheep in a jeep! So come to the library to pet sheep, and then go on a story walk! Sheep are adorable. Unfortunately, there are no jeeps to pet.
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Book, Bake, & Plant Sale
Do you want a book? Have you the desire to posses a croissant? Would you accept a cactus into your life? This sale has all this and more and possibly not croissants or cacti we don’t actually have access to the list of items for sale! Get a grocery bag of books for just $7! Incredible!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Forbes Doctor Who Club
No matter Which Doctor you’re interested in, this club has the Doctor That you want to see! Watch a bunch of that show you like with other people who like the show and talk about how you like some parts of the show but dislike other parts. Bond with people using shared media experiences and some lighthearted critical thinking!

Movies:

Wednesday, May 11th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
The Occupation of the American Mind
Film screening of a new movie from the Media Education Foundation about Israel’s Public Relations War in the US. Director Sut Jhally will introduce the film and lead discussion afterward, hosted by the Northampton Committee to Stop Wars.
Saturday, May 14th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Forgotten Plague: M.E. and the Future of Medicine
A documentary about the experiences of people with the disease Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It’s mostly about the fact that sufferers feel the medical community kind of decided they were all malingerers early on due to there being few visible or testable symptoms since it’s basically chronic pain and fatigue. Seems interesting, and patients will share their experiences at the event as well!
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Shakespeare Movie Marathon: Gnomeo & Juliet/The Tempest
Gnomeo & Juliet seems like a terrible film made explicitly to use a terrible pun, but kids will probably dig it because they have awful taste. The Tempest at least looks like it has some people trying to do a good job of acting.

RPGs:

Wednesday, May 11th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
RPG Encounters
A *NEW WEEKLY EVENT* at Modern Myths! Gone are the days of Wednesday just being about primarily tactics-based D&D gameplay! Now it’s a regular weekly meeting to play some RPG for 2 hours, whatever strikes the fancy of the organizers! That sounds like it’ll be pretty wonderful.
Thursday, May 12th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
RPG club at Palmer is your chance to step into a new role and play with other people and whoa wait is that why they call it that? Neat!

Science:

Monday, May 9th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Epilepsy Foundation Support Group
The Epilepsy Foundation of New England will provide support to persons with epilepsy, their families, and caregivers.
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Designing for Climate Change in Your Backyard
As we all know, the future will bring us fire and terror in equal measure as punishment for our hubris. Learn how to use permaculture design to make your gardens more resilient to the apocalypse that awaits us with the help of Ashley Schenk, an experienced homesteader and landscape designer!
Wednesday, May 11th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
This Business of Fighting: A Human Face on WWII
We don’t know much about this event, but it’s never a bad idea to have a more thorough understanding of the human cost of warfare.
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Wednesday Wizards Science Fun
A presentation about science, followed by a neat activity to get kids involved in the subject!
Friday, May 13th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM
The Great Meadow: Natural and Cultural Histories of Northampton’s Meadows
Northampton’s Meadows used to be the heart of agriculture in Northampton, and now it’s a place for parties and encampments and… bomb squad detonation sites? And also a nature preserve, and a farm. It’s a complicated place. An opening for the exhibit that will explore this complicated place takes place at 5:00pm, and a presentation by Laurie Sanders, a naturalist, will give a deeper insight to the area at 2:00pm.
Saturday, May 14th
The David Ruggles Center [225 Nonotuck St, Northampton, MA 01062] at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Women’s History Walking Tour of Florence
A walk through Florence highlighting landmark items of historic significance to women and women’s rights! Learn about how Florence is neat for more reasons than just that new pie shop. Mmm. Pie.

Video Games:

Monday, May 9th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Minecraft Group
Minecraft! The world inside your computer that goes on forever and ever and will eventually become the Matrix. Hang out with other kids and play!

May 2nd – May 8th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Top news story of the day: The Banner Saga is a really good game that is also beautiful. Give it a look if you’re into games about positioning little people on a board and making them hit other little people.

Other important things: The Nerd Nite for this month unfortunately had to be canceled. We can’t get into the nitty-gritty of it but suffice to say there were a lot of extremely well-choreographed martial arts sequences as well as a mysterious individual carrying a briefcase that we couldn’t allow into enemy hands. Now that we’ve recovered the case, we can focus on next month! The presenters are going to be spectacular, so you should start getting excited right now to ramp up for the reveal!

JiffyCon! JiffyCon is a thing that’s happening and we’re excited about it. It’ll be next month, and it’s going to involve a lot of gaming and designing and game testing! It’s a small convention held at Hampshire College, and it’s mostly an excuse to experience a whole lot of new things at once. It’ll be $10 for pre-registration, $15 at the door.

They’re also kindly sponsoring the Nerd Watch! This is extremely flattering to us. But we promise to not allow this to compromise our dedication to the most serious and accurate reporting to you the date, location, and time of the event. No matter how much money they give us we will never insist that JiffyCon takes place in an ice cream palace full at exactly the moment that you most feel like playing games!

Also do continue to check out the Noirlandia kickstarter! They’re adding new authors and extra stuff constantly, and the game just looks really neat to boot. Make Big Things? More like Make Good Things? Eh?

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Tuesday, May 3rd
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Star Wars Faux Terrariums (Ages 10 – up)
Star wars and tiny little habitats of fake plant and animal life, the match-up for which we were all waiting is finally here! Put together a tiny little world where a bunch tiny stars have tiny wars with each other!
Wednesday, May 4th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Star Wars Planters
Star Wars and potted gardening, the match-up for which we all were waiting is finally here! Take a planter, paint it up like a stormtrooper or a droid or whatever strikes your fancy, then take it home!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Writing about Disability
A panel of several writers will discuss writing about disability. Featuring Claire BLantchford, Katherine Duke, and Susan Stinson. This is the perfect opportunity to educate yourself or share your own experience with some experienced writers!
Thursday, May 5th
Mead Art Musuem [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Evening at the Mead
Artist Tom Friedman will be featured, giving a talk about his work and the connections between some of the pieces on display at the Mead. See art, learn, and generally become a better and more well-rounded human being!
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Amherst Art Walk and Poetry Night
Hang out and listen to delightful poems! First there’s going to be a musical performance by Conor Ritchie-Dunham, then there’s going to be some open mic poetry! It might feature you! We recommend that you pick a real crowd-pleaser of a poem and see if you can manage to surf. After the open mic there will be featured readings from Victoria Luizzi and Sasha Burshteyn!
Saturday, May 7th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Sprout Street Neighbors Community Art Show with Anna Alter
Honor the creative talents of young local illustrators at the art show with local author and illustrator Anna Alter! Contest participants and their grown-ups will browse a gallery of submitted artwork that highlights what the artists think is special and important about their community. Enter a raffle to win a free school visit from Anna Alter!
Sunday, May 8th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Comic Creator’s Jam
Are you a pencil-pusher but in the sense of pushing the pencil in elaborate patterns which create beautiful images? Are you an INKredible inker, or do you want to become one? Hang out, sharpen your skills, meet new friends! You’ll need to buy a $5 day pass, but it immediately becomes store credit!

Board Games:

Saturday, May 7th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell St., Hadley, MA 01035] at 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Star Trek Attack Wing
Star Trek posits a beautiful future free of conflict and want and also full of ridiculously well-armed “science vessels” that constantly poke about dangerous and politically volatile areas to “study” what effect dozens of Proton Torpedoes have upon the hull of enemy vessels. Play a fun game about those conflicts!

Books:

Tuesday, May 3rd
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Tommy Shea, Dingers: The 101 Most Memorable Home Runs in Baseball History
Local author Tommy Shea will head to the Odyssey to talk about the biggest hits in basebal! Whether it’s the time that Hank Aaron hit a ball so hard that it knocked a satellite out of orbit or the time that Joe Carter hit a baseball that traveled all the way around the world and wound up scoring him a triple during the next inning.
Wednesday, May 4th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
John Elder Robison, Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening
Local writer John Elder Robison is a nationally recognized advocate for the Asperger’s and Autism communities. He was asked to join a study lead by Dr. Alvaro Pascual Leone in the use of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to examine the Autism. This book is the story of what happened afterward. Robison will be on hand to read, answer questions, and sign!
Thursday, May 5th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Richard Russo, Everybody’s Fool
Everybody’s Fool, a sequel to Nobody’s Fool, and presumably a prequel to Some People’s Fool, takes readers back to North Bath, NY. It’s a small town with some hard luck and the fickle whims of fate! Russo will be on hand for a reading and signing! It’s a free event, but you will need to reserve a spot via rsvp@odysseybks.com!

Comic Books:

Saturday, May 7th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Comic Con
Comic Con at the library! Come to celebrate Free Comic Book day, and wear your favorite cosplay!

Comics:

Saturday, May 7th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Free Comic Book Day
Free Comic Book Day! The most spectacular day of the year, true believers! ‘Nuff Said! Wait no that was a bit where we used Stan Lee’s style we need to say more: you can get free comics at Modern Myths on this day, it’ll be great!
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Free Comic Book Day
Free Comic Book Day! The most fantastic day of the year, true believers! Excelsior! You can get free comics at Comics N’ More on this day, it’ll be great!

Computers:

Tuesday, May 3rd
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Northampton Webdive – After Work
Hang out with the sort of people who want to wind down from a hard day of working on a computer to talk about working on a computer! It’s a good chance to meet new folks in the field, learn new things, or just relax with people whose gripes will line up with your own!
Saturday, May 7th
Hampshire College [893 West St., Amherst, MA] at 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
WordPress Under The Hood
Meetup organizer Mark D. Hamill will take attendees “under the hood” of WordPress, the lightweight CMS that this website is built with! This is designed with relative newcomers in mind, designed to let you know as much as you need to about what to expect from WordPress and figure out whether or not it’ll meet your needs. Check out the Meetup group to RSVP! 

Entertainment:

Tuesday, May 3rd
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
UMass Press Reads @ the Jones Library: Jim Hicks
The author of Lessons from Sarajevo: A War Stories Primer, and editor of the Massachusetts Review will examine how war has been perceived, described, and interpreted in a variety of genres from photography to poetry to graphic novels and performance art. It’s free and open to the public!
Wednesday, May 4th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Star Wars: May the Fourth Be With You
Get it? Get it? There’s a whole day of Star Wars related events at Jones! Crafts, trivia, video games, costumed librarians, lots of fun stuff. Also, secretly, they’ll be testing for Force sensitivity. That’s right folks you heard it here first Star Wars is real!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Misfits: Asperger’s/Autism Young Adult Support Group
Young adults on the Asperger’s/Autism spectrum and folks with family or friends on the spectrum are invited to a support group meeting in the Bak Study Room of Forbes. Introduce yourself, share common experiences, and participate in Big Bang Theory trivia!
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
First Wednesday Speaker Series: The Making of a New Garden
Pat Leuchtman will show you photos and impart upon you some know-how about how to create a wonderful new garden this spring! Gardening is an excellent way to get a close-up view of some majestic deer as they just rip all your hard work to tiny shreds and then trample the remains.
Thursday, May 5th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Trivia Night!
Trivia at Jones! Hang out with a team of up to 5, and try to answer questions about things. Questions specifically designed to make you think oooooh you know that one but then argh you can’t quite remember exactly… wait! Yes! Awesome! A suggested donation of $5 would be appreciated!

Movies:

Wednesday, May 4th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The new movie! It was pretty good! Wow, it’s already out for home viewing? Neat! Anyway, see it on a moderately-big screen at the library and re-experience the magic you experienced several months ago!
Saturday, May 7th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 12:30 to 4:30
Movie Sangha – District 9
A showing of District 9 will be followed by some discussion and… other group and personal process modalities. We’re guessing they didn’t intend for that to sound as sinister as it definitely does sound.

RPGs:

Thursday, May 5th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Indie RPG Night
You’ve played the rest, now play the best! Or, you’ve not played the best, now play an interesting RPG! Indie RPG Night is your chance to break out of the standard-issue RPG mold and try something new, something unique, and often something local! It’s a great chance to expand your horizons!
Saturday, May 7th
Unitarian Universalist Church [121 North Pleasant St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Mind’s Eye Society – Changeling: The Lost Game
The Mind’s Eye Society is a licensed World of Darkness LARP. Costumes are encouraged, but not required. No weapons! Conflicts are resolved via card pulls. They do ask that people pitch in a few bucks for the room usage fee! This game is about climate change and possible fae doings, and it sounds like it will be a hoot and a half!

Science:

Wednesday, May 4th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
The ABCs of Genealogy with Dave Robison
Genealogy! The study of the mysterious circle of stones from which you emerged fully-formed one misty night naught be a year ago. It weren’t an opening, not really. It was just open, somehow. The ground, the air. It was open in a way that it wasn’t anywhere else and never will be again. Study the runes, examine the shapes. Discover what you can before the time comes that whatever you fled comes knocking.
Thursday, May 5th
Nacul Center [592 Main St., Amherst, MA] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Back from the Dead: Real-Life Zombies in Nature with Dr. Priya Roy Chowdhury
Resurrection is real! It happens! Not to us, of course. Fortunately or unfortunately depending upon the story. But many animals, plants, and viruses, are able to preserve themselves when conditions are poor, emerging from seeming death when the stars are right again! Dr. Priya Roy Chowdhury will explain the hows and whys for you in this entertaining talk!
Saturday, May 7th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Why Die For Beauty? Dorothy Wrinch’s Saga Through Science
Dorothy Wrinch presents an interesting view of the scientific community. She was instrumental in the “Protein War”, figuring out how and why Protein react to certain stimuli. She battled sexism, just plain jerkery, and the raw fact of academia. Ultimately, her model was wrong. Marjorie Senechal, Professor Emerita in Mathematics at Smith and editor-in-chief of the best named Journal we’ve encountered recently The Mathematical Intelligencer will explore why exactly Wrinch was willing to fight for a flawed model to the bitter end.