Month: June 2016

June 27th – July 3rd

The Valley Nerd Watch!


First order of business: Finding Dory was adoryble.

So hey it’s Steam sale time! That’s a fun time, right? Might we recommend that if you have a backlog of games that you haven’t yet played you devote a large portion of your purchases to pals? It’s always nice to make someone else happy! And not to worry, in 4-6 months everything you’re into will be on sale again.

This is also the perfect time to mention that Local Creator and Excellent History Person Rebecca Slitt has a game on Steam! That’s right, for the duration of the sale Psy High is only two danged dollars! Buy 30 copies! Send them to everyone you know!

So we finally “won” a COIN game, by default. We got 0 points to our opponents -1, -1, and -2. It was Falling Sky, the Gallic Revolt Against Ceasar, and it’s probably our favorite of the ones we’ve played. First of all, because we’ve always been interested in the time period. Second, the mechanics slotted together quickly and easily and produced a lot less decision paralysis than prior games we’ve played in the series. Though that might be because more of the players had played several COIN games already. Still,  a very good time and we got to kill Ceasar with Vercingetorix, kicking off an awesome alternate history!

Hey did you hear that Nerd Nite is back? It’s been a little bit, but wow have we got a great one lined up for July 11th at the World War 2 Club! It’s going to feature discussion of Philosophical Zombies and the vagaries of Digital Preservation! The speakers are both really excited to share their expertise and we’re excited to learn!

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, June 28th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Camp Odyssey – Make Your Own Night Light (Ages 5+)
Campers young and old and presumably in between, come decorate a jar to make a great night light! There’s a $5 supply fee per child or a purchase of a book to attend, and you need to pre-register now! Call 413-534-7307 to sign up!
Wednesday, June 29th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Young Writers Group
A select group of 8 you writers, ages 10-14, can sign up for some summer sessions with author and teacher Nell Wright to work on their Wrighting! A theme is going to be determined at the first meeting! Be sure to register as soon as possible, the space is limited! Call 413-772-1544 extension 5 for more info!
Thursday, June 30th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Candy Sushi Workshop
Learn to make delicious candy sushi! You’ll be starting from scratch, putting together a complex candy ecosystem to provide the ingredients necessary. First come the candy plankton, which feed larger candy organisms all the way up through a great candy chain to the delicious Candy Tuna.Then comes the Candy Rice farming! It’s a long process but it’s worth it.
Friday, July 1st
Historic Deerfield [84B Old Main St., Deerfield, MA 01342] at 12:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Rainbow in a Pot: Making Dye with Natural Materials
Daily, from July 1st – August 14th! Drop-in anytime! Join the folks at Historic Northampton to explore dye-making! Plant parts from roots to leaves to stems to flowers can be turned into beautiful pigments! Even mushrooms and insects can help! Prepare the dye pot by gathering dye plants, and leave with a lot of new learning and a hand-dyed project!

Books:

Tuesday, June 28th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Emily Barton, The Book of Esther
Emily Barton brings her inventive historical novel to the Odyssey! It’s an alt-history where the empire of Jewish warriors existing between the Black Sea and the Caspian has never fallen, and was now standing between Hitler and the conquest of Russia! It follows the daughter of the Chief Policy Minister figuring out how to fight for her traditionalist nation after realizing what an existential threat it’s under. Which involves possibly magically being changed into a man by a secret village of Kabbalists. It sounds like a pretty dang densely packed book!
Thursday, June 30th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Reading Relay: All Ages Read Aloud
Reading Relay is a story-time for all ages! A new theme every week with puppets, felt boards, and short plays during an hour in which everyone can read! Get your young readers involved, and bring along even younger listeners!
Friday, July 1st
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Community Input Session
Let the library know what you’d like to see! They’re creating a new long range plan, which will establish their goals for the next five years. This is your chance to get your pet concept into the plan! Want the library to spend more time investigating the ghostly wails in the Old Archive? Maybe you’d like them to put locks on any book that glows for longer than an hour with unspeakable runes? Get out there and ask!

Entertainment:

Monday, June 27th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Quidditch on the Library Lawn
Play Quidditch on the Library Lawn! It’s gotta be ground-only, unfortunately. We know we know, flying is a huge thrill but hey we need to include the folks who can’t. The Valley might be a magical place but it’s not a Magical place, you know? Very few Wizards around here. Impossible to get enough flyers together for a decent flying league. But hey, it’ll still be fun!
Wednesday, June 29th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:45 PM to 3:45 PM
Teen Takeover
No! RUN! They’re coming, they’re coming so much faster than we anticipated! The traps only slow them down, it’s like they don’t even feel pain anymore. What? Who? The TEENS, reader! The teens are coming, and they’re upending the old order! We grew complacent in our grandeur and now they storm the library, a just punishment from the Gods for our hubris. Nothing to do now… nothing to do but watch these Teens hang out, game, and talk while holding an informal meeting of the Teen Advisory Board. It’s drop in, so no sign-up required.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Amherst-Northampton Small Business Internet Marketing Meetup
A presentation about marketing your local business online! Followed by a Q&A. Roger Montti, an Internet Marketing consultant, will help you learn about marketing and make connections with fellow business owners in town!
Saturday, July 2nd
Historic Deerfield [84B Old Main St., Deerfield, MA 01342] at 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Open Hearth Cooking Demonstration: In a Pickle
Pickles and jam and lemonade and switchel and pickleade and switchjam. Learn how people in early New England kept cool during hot summer days and kept their produce from getting gross! Open hearth cooks will demonstrate for you!

Movies:

Wednesday, June 29th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Movie Night at the GPL – The Fault in Our Stars
Come weep with the GPL! These teens are so adorable, yet so tragic! Be aware that this very sad love story about dying teens is PG-13, and will make you all watery-eyed.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 8:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom on the Lawn
Indiana Jones and Not One Of The Good Ones But Not The Worst One is playing on the lawn! Bring a blanket and some snacks, enjoy a movie on a beautiful evening in the summer. It’s free, and you can pee at the pizza place nearby but you should probably at least buy a soda in thanks if you do so.
Sunday, July 3rd
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Defiant Requiem
In the Nazi concentration camp Terezin, imprisoned conductor Rafael Schachter led his fellow inmates to fight back with art and music, including a performance of one of the world’s most difficult and powerful choral works, Verdi’s Requiem, re-imagined as a condemnation of the Nazis. The film also tells the story of conductor Murry Sidlin, who decades later brought the Requiem back to Terezin in tribute. Students can get in for $4, Members for $6, and the rest of us for $8.

RPGs:

Saturday, July 2nd
Amherst Unitarian Universalist Church [121 North Pleasant St., Amherst, MA 01004] at 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Changeling: The Lost LARP – Mind’s Eye Society
No site fee charged for new players or for students of the Five Colleges! Donations beyond request fee count as donations to the domain and may be eligible for prestige! This Changeling game is about climate change basically! Bad magical climate change? Maybe? Figure it out when you get there!

Science:

Tuesday, June 28th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Exploring the Natural History of the Bridge Street Cemetery
Join naturalist Laurie Sanders for a walking tour during your lunch hour! Disturb the unquiet dead! Experience the terror of knowing skellingtons are directly beneath your feet! Learn about history and respectfully observe residents of the town gone by! Space is limited, so be sure to pre-register at lsanders@historicnorthampton.org. There’s a suggested donation of $5 if you’re a member, $10 if you aren’t. If you’re feeling generous though feel free to gift them a new wing or a 5-year research grant.

June 20th – June 26th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Happy Father’s Day to all of you!

We’re just about to step out and play another in the COIN series of games, and we’ll report back on how many dozens of hours it takes to fully understand what the heck you’re supposed to be doing in this one.

Last night we had the pleasure of introducing several friends to absolute classic Cosmic Encounter. We initially totally misinterpreted some very significant rules, and people were a little intimidated by how complicated some of the game seemed, but by the end we were doing what Cosmic Encounter manages to get most people to do: going “Ooooooooh!” real loud at every Encounter and accusing each other of being dastardly villains at the drop of a hat.

It’s a real good time! Probably doesn’t work as well divided into teams the way we were, simply because it increases the downtime as people argue about tactics. Ooooh also our extremely intelligent friend suggested putting on the Stellaris soundtrack while we were playing and good gracious did that up the Space Opera factor by about 200%, really spectacular way to add some atmosphere to a space game.

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:

Friday, June 24th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Bookbag Craft
Decorate a bag for books! If you read so much so often you wind up having trouble carrying the books home, this is the perfect chance to make a cute bag to make your reading life easier!
Saturday, June 25th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Summer Reading Kick-Off: Makerspace
A workshop featuring a 3D printer, a CNC router, and a bunch of materials to mess around with! Father/son team of Arthur and Peter Evans will be on hand to help demonstrate and teach! Space is limited, so pre-register by calling 413-772-1544 to sign up! Designed for anyone ages 8-12!

Board Games:

Tuesday, June 21st
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Palmer Library Game Night
Games! Games! Games for all! Reference section games are going to be available to all, and everyone can go ahead and bring their own if they like! It’s free and open to all, and you’re encouraged to bring snacks for the traditional eating of snacks during board-gaming!
Saturday, June 25th
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 a universe that’s sort of like a mix between Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, but with magic. It’s really interesting! The game itself is about maneuvering spaceships around a board in order to blow your enemy out of the… space. This is a chance to just hang out and play if you already know the ropes, or learn the ropes if you do not!
Sunday, June 26th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Sunday Heroclix!
Heroclix is the place to be if you insist on all games you play having a sufficient number of clix. Most Heroclix games have anywhere from 30-50 clix per match! Your team this time should consist exclusively of characters who used to have secret identities but don’t anymore because that was an annoying facet to write around. That’s at least Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, etc.

Books:

Tuesday, June 21st
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Children’s Book Writers Group
Do you write for children? It’s hard, right? Yeah, well, other folks are in the same boat. Talk to them about what’s going on in this group! A great way to meet new people and learn new things about your work, as well as a good way to support fellow writers!
Wednesday, June 22nd
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Summer Reading Kick-Off: Ready, Steady, Read – Rhythmic Moves
We’re not 100% certain how connected we find reading and dancing, as we’re usually pretty stationary during the process, but this does sound fun. Listen to some great music, dance, and make your own great music! Then: refreshments. No downsides here. Also presumably books are involved at some point?
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
C.E. Morgan, The Sport of Kings
Author C.E. Morgan brings to the Odyssey a thrilling tale of Kentucky horse-racing! Wealth, poverty, racism, and rage combine to paint a portrait of lives cast in the shadow of the enduring legacy of slavery. Sounds like some intense reading.
Thursday, June 23rd
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Reading Relay: All Ages Read Aloud
A reading relay! Basically your elementary and above readers will all read along and also have fun with puppets and short plays and other things that sound extremely family-friendly. Young listeners are also welcome! Contact Kay Lyons at 413-772-1544 for more details!
Friday, June 24th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Mark Beauregard, The Whale: A Love Story
A fictionalized account of the emotionally-charged bond between Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne, which could make you think about the meaning of Moby Dick in a new light! Buy a copy at Odyssey to get it signed!
Saturday, June 25th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Summer Reading Opening Ceremonies
Holy heck, there’s a lot going on here. Basically, first lawn games, then poetry and dancing with Janet Aalfs, then bike lab where you can ask bike questions and use bike tools from the Pedal People, then a Capoerira performance, some Yoga and a story-time! Sounds like a trip from start to finish!

Comics:

Monday, June 20th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Queers in Comics & Games
Do you like talking about both comics and games? Want to meet new people who by definition would not attend unless they shared this desire to chat? Give this event a shot! Great place for recommendations for what to read or play next, too!

Computers:

Thursday, June 23rd
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Cyber Protection
In this phase of the intro to computers course, learn how to utilize EMPs to protect yourself from any cyborg or robotic threats! Also, what viruses and malware are and how to combat phishing and hacking!

Entertainment:

Monday, June 20th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Summer Reading Kick-Off: Mike the Bublle Man
See the man made of bubbles! Wait no see a man who can make bubbles in a variety of imaginative and impressive shapes. We have absolutely no clue how this connects to summer reading. It’s possible he can make bubble books? Either way it does look extremely cool so probably just go regardless.
Thursday, June 23rd
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Do you want to watch anime? This is literally the perfect club for you. We had a lot of fun with some of One Punch Man, but we haven’t seen it all… we’ve really not paid enough attention to anime to recommend anything to people to be honest. But wait! That’s perfect! Go to the Anime Club and see what they’re into, they’ll have better ideas!

Movies:

Tuesday, June 21st
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Movie Night: Zootopia
Zootopia was a really cute movie! Go check out this cute film at the library on account of it’s free and adorable.

RPGs:

Thursday, June 23rd
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
The RPG Club is the place to be if you’d like to find adventuring companions! Go take a plunge into that horrifying cavern full of distressing noises, poke at that bejeweled skeleton thrumming with mystic potential energy, have fun!

Science:

Tuesday, June 21st
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Genealogy Open Lab
Delve deeper into the Green Book of The People to discover how your powers have waxed and waned across the ages, and what that sharp pain behind your eyes upon each New Moon means for you and the world at large.
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Botanizing Along the Bike Path Walking Tour
Join local naturalist Laurie Sanders for a nice lunch walk. Probably you won’t be able to eat during the walk easily, but then again we’re not the boss of you! Nor do we know the depths of your sandwich ingenuity. Either way this one focuses on flowers, you need to register by emailing lsanders@historicnorthampton.org, and there’s a suggested donation of $5-$10.
Wednesday, June 22nd
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Who, When, Where in King Philip’s War
So we know very very little about this aspect of American history, and heartily recommend you check out this educational event if you’re in the same boat as we are!

Father’s Day

You may have read a bit about my dad in the anniversary post, or in the about page. If you have, you know that due to the fact that he kicked the bucket several years ago I won’t be celebrating father’s day with him.

Which honestly, isn’t that big of a change. We didn’t really celebrate father’s day even before he croaked. He usually told us that any gifts we could manage to buy were either things he could also buy on account of having enormously more money than a couple of children, or things he didn’t really want which was why he had not bought them.

I think the only gifts he ever legitimately loved were the times when my sister and I scribbled on a t-shirt in fabric markers.

My sister and I spent a lot of time hanging out with my dad.

We used to go to the basement, which had a bit of a shorter ceiling, and stack up a big bunch of wooden blocks until we had a nice open tower with some wedges to keep it up. Then we’d huck a rubber ball at it, knocking off bricks we’d balanced on it, and trying to knock out the tougher support blocks and bring the tower crashing down, so we could have fun building a new one. It’s still one of my favorite games, I wish it was something amenable to apartment play.

He’d talk for hours about whatever thing it was we thought was important. I have fond memories of back-and-forth about whatever the Daily Show was about that night, or walking through the suburbs talking about what sort of Terran build beats a Zergling rush most effectively (I taught him to wall off the entrances with supply depots) or whether he thought we were ready to take on Diablo with the Sorceress.

It was never a mystery what my dad thought of us or what his priorities were. He loved us unconditionally, and was never happier than when we confirmed that we thought he was pretty great as well.

He never took credit for us. He always said that he was just lucky his kids were so wonderful, and not assholes like him. He’d say he stepped in mostly to prod us to keep doing more interesting things, and to remind us to respect the effort and the expertise of other people no matter how smart we thought we were.

My dad was a nerdy kid when being a nerd meant nothing particularly good. But dealing with ostracism didn’t make him bitter. He was never afraid of new people getting into his hobby or jealous that they didn’t have to deal with what he had to. He was excited to see the things he loved resonating with more people. Seeing Blade and Spider-Man and Iron Man and the Lord of the Rings and everything he’d ever thought was cool when he was 11 delighting millions of new people was an unqualified good in his mind.

I still get a bit teary-eyed whenever a new superhero flick comes out, knowing that as neat as I find them I’m never going to be as ecstatic about their mere existence as he was. I try to channel that excitement into this site, and I hope it comes through.

Every header image you see on this site is a photo of comic that my dad collected.

I’ve spent my time in the Valley meeting a lot of wonderful people. If I have met you since moving here, there are very good odds my dad would have thought you were excellent and that you would have tolerated him. I’m sad you won’t get to meet him.

I hope you have a good father’s day, whatever your situation.

June 13th – June 19th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


JiffyCon was a ton of fun! It was possibly the most tiny and focused con we have ever had the pleasure of attending. It feels like we’re insulting it to talk about the size but we legitimately think we can say that of every convention experience available this is the one for folks who are super into tabletop games, particularly indie RPGs. It was literally nothing but a series of chances to play either brand-new or in-development games, often with the creators themselves!

We got to get almost murdered by ghosts in Murderous Ghosts by D. Vincent Baker which to be frank was unexpected! See, we expected to be murdered by ghosts. Then we had a great time playing Epic Bronze Age Horrible Heroes in Heart of Bronze, a tiny game by Joshua A.C. Newman. It all ended in flame and terror and punches and a volcano, as mythic conflicts are wont to.

In the morning while we were at the table and spending a bit of time working, we also got a chance to speak with some great folks from Glowlime, and play some of their more recent games! They turn out impressive work under what we can only describe as extremely difficult schedules, and we can’t wait to see more of their finished products!

It was a great time and we cannot emphasize enough what a rare treat it is to play these games and at the same time see them taking shape underneath your feet. Thank you to everyone involved with JiffyCon for letting us set up our comically tiny little table with an embarrassing overabundance of flyers! We hope everyone who needed local event info got it, and everyone from out of town thought “Wow, what a hard worker. That sign made of two short-box tops is cute and definitely not super ugly looking!”

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:

Saturday, June 18th
Smith College, Neilson Library Browsing Room [Northampton, MA 01063] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
The Story of the Hestia Mural
You know that mural downtown that depicts the history of women in Northampton? It’s real nice, and educational. It was created by a group called the Hestia Art Collective with the aim of bringing the contributions of women back into the public eye. You can hear the full story of who, what, why, and how from some of the people who made it happen!
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St., Holyoke, MA 01040] at 10:30 AM to 12:30pm
Make Your Own Dichroic Fused Glass Pendants
No longer do you need to hunt down and trap an ancient Lich to unlock the secret! Learn how to use the tools you need to create awesome art and make your own pendants! Deenie Pacik will teach her techniques to guests ages 8 and up! There’s a limit of 30 participants, so please register at 413-420-8101!
Sunday, June 19th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Yiddish Fight Club
Curator Eddy Portnoy shares the story behind the oft-ignored history of Jewish boxers and wrestlers and the colorful Yiddish slang of that worl! Portnoy is a senior research at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, where this exhibit was first presented.

Board Games:

Sunday, June 19th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Dicemasters 101
Dicemasters! A game about throwing dice and then figuring out who won. It’s similar to a lot of games in that sense, but it also has special little packs of dice with weird images and such on them that you can buy, and that seems fun. It’s always pleasing to have a die with the ability to roll “explosion” and “Wolverine”. Learn how to play this game with the friendly folks at Modern Myths!

Books:

Monday, June 13th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Tiny Book Making Workshop
Not a tiny workshop about making books, a workshop about making tiny books! Adorable little babby books! There’s also the accompaning Tiny Book Show, which again is a large exhibit of many small books, not a small exhibit of normal sized books. Gosh this looks real cute. Stop by any time to look and learn!
Wednesday, June 15th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing
The Odyssey welcomes an extraordinary debut author to their shop! Homegoing is a sweeping epic encompassing three hundred years in Ghana, and winds up becoming a truly great American novel as well. Beautiful, sad, monumental, worth reading! Buy a book at the shop and get it signed!
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Nautilus II: Journal of Poetry and Art by Young Mothers Studying at the Care Center
The 14th edition of the annual journal of art and poetry by the young mothers at the Care Center is ready for release! Come buy a copy for the event and experience some excellent readings from the collection!
Saturday, June 18th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Experience the Book Event: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Come to GPL to experience Percy Jackson’s Summer Camp Party! Children 7 and up are invited to interact for an hour with some demigods just hanging out and having a rad time at summer camp. It is your job to ensure your kid doesn’t accidentally eat anything that traps them in Hades 6 months of the year!
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
April YA Panel: Jennifer Mason-Black, Lori Goldstien, Trisha Leaver
We’re not entirely sure why this is called the “April YA Panel”. One possibility is that they’re trying to throw people off the scent of this June event. Possibly there’s a bounty hunter on their tail? Either way here’s a chance to see three exciting YA authors discuss the business and creative ends of YA fiction! The panel features Jennifer Mason-Black, Lori Goldstein, and Trisha Leaver!

Card Games:

Saturday, June 18th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant St., #B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Eternal Masters PPTQ
The Eternal Masters return. They have always been here, really. They are Eternal, after all. They’ve been observing us. And now… now comes the Pretty Powerful Terrible Quiet. We enjoyed speaking, while it lasted. That or it’s a Magic the Gathering thing. We’re honestly never really certain which events are Magic events and which are you know magic events. Either way, exciting!

Computers:

Monday, June 13th
MYSTERY LOCATION at 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
CHEF! Monthly Full Stack Meetup
Fraser Pollock, the Solution Architect (much less fun than being the Problem Architect) at CHEF will be joing the meetup to talk about their product! They do IT Automation, which is probably useful to a lot of folks!
Thursday, June 16th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Intro to Computers: The Internet
Are you a regular surfster? You maybe don’t need these tips. Probably someone you know could totally use these tips though! Learn how to use the internet safely, how to pick a browser, and … well it says “internet culture” but we’re hoping that that’s a euphemism for “the less terrible parts about internet culture”.

Entertainment:

Monday, June 13th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
What to Say, and How to Say It
Western Mass SCORE presents a free workshop about how to create Good Content for your Social Marketing Sphere that will Engage The Singularity and Bring About the Final Collapse of the Scattered Beings into the Beautiful Oneness of All-Knowing. Also they’ll show you some useful apps! You need to pre-reg at http://www.westernmassachusetts.score.org/localworkshops!
Wednesday, June 15th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:15 PM
The O-Tones Perform
Hot, cool, and everything in between, the O-Tones have the music you need to dance the night away!
Thursday, June 16th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Cookies with a Curator
Grace Coolidge as the First Lady of Baseball? It’s more likely than you think! Join Archivist Julie Bartlett Nelson and Information Services Assistant Dylan Gaffney to find out more about how Grace Coolidge was a big deal for Baseball!
Saturday, June 18th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Frozen Princess Party
Join Princess Elsa, the only Disney princess who is also a mutant with ice powers, for singalongs, stories, and pictures! Anna will also be there! Wait, Anna’s also a princess, right? We’re not 100% on the movie or frankly the mechanics of what constitutes a Disney princess. Costumes are encouraged and adorable!

RPGs:

Saturday, June 18th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Free RPG Day
Do you like role-playing games but have an aversion to paying for things? Wow, this is a weird coincidence. We have literally the perfect event for you. What are the odds of that, right? Hunh. Well, it’s a fun day full of RPGs at Modern Myths and you don’t gotta pay for none of it, so it is basically impossible to be disappointed by this event. Have a good time!

Science:

Tuesday, June 14th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Natural History Walking Tour of Historic Northampton
Join naturalist Laurie Sanders for a walking tour during your lunch hour! Space is limited, so be sure to pre-register at lsanders@historicnorthampton.org. There’s a suggested donation of $5 if you’re a member, $10 if you aren’t. If you’re feeling generous though feel free to gift them a new wing or a 5-year research grant.
Wednesday, June 15th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Wednesday Wizards Science Fun
Learn Science! Do an Activity! Read a Book! All this and exactly this and not a single thing more and you’ll dang well like it at Wednesday Wizards Science Fun!

Video Games:

Thursday, June 16th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Minecraft Club
Minecraft exists. If you have children, they have already exhaustively informed you of the ways of this game. Get them out of the house for a bit to see if they can make new friends via the medium of excitedly explaining Minecraft to each other!

June 6th – June 12th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


So to the important business of the day: JiffyCon!

It’ll be fun, you’ll play interesting things that you may otherwise never have seen, and you’ll like hanging out with a friendly bunch of folks! We highly recommend checking it out and also while there picking up one of our informative flyers and carefully looking at it and saying out loud within our earshot “Wow this flyer is informative AND well written! I will cherish it!” and then loudly having it framed in front of us so we know that you’re being serious. You may also take stickers from us and then stick them to all of your treasured objects, friends, loved ones, etc.

Last night we had a chance to play The Castles of Burgundy, a very Euro-y game that was pretty fun! Basically multiple tracks of victory-point chasing with a reaaaaally light theme of historical castle building. You spend the game rolling dice to present yourself with a few restricted options for grabbing tiles off a central board and then adding them to your own board in a pattern that will get you the maximal number of points. There are wrinkles all over the place, but at the base it’s very much a sort of Catan-style “I will go for VP Condition A, then A-1, then maybe C since it seems no one is trying for that one…” and that’s a style that works well when balanced well, as Burgundy is!

Though it baffles us that Euro-style games are so mechanically focused and yet often unwilling to get out of like 15th century politicking as a basis for the flavor. It’s not any easier for me to understand that a Market will let me automatically buy either a Cow or a Boat from the board, why not toss it all out and make it like … instead of building a city you’re building an enormous bio-organism? Or you’re developing a brain? A space station? A group of friends? A tea set? The flavor is so ancillary to the point of play that it feels like a loss that it’s so blandly medieval/mercantile.

Anyway point is it was a lot of fun and we’d recommend it if you have 3 friends to play with and would like to regularly chase VP with them!

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:

Wednesday, June 8th
The 121 Club at Eastworks [116 Pleasant St, Easthampton, MA 01027] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Topatoco Drink and Draw!
Kick off a fun new event with special guest KC Green! Come hang out, have a drink or do not, draw or do not, likely at least one of them or it’ll be a little odd that you chose to attend but who are we to tell you what to do? If KC so desires he might watch some Simpsons while live-tweeting it and make you watch! A rare treat.
Friday, June 10th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Toys: Yesterday and Today. Artwork by Jan Ruby-Crystal
The opening reception during Arts Night Out Northampton of artwork exploring play and toys past and present. Jan Ruby-Crystal is a Faculty Emerita of the State System of Higher Education in Pennsylvania where she was a professor of Art and Design.
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 go to the Smith Art Museum but lacked the resources? Come check it out for free! They do suggest a donation obviously, but you can pop in and check out this surprisingly awesome local museum for the low low price of nothing. Plus there are activities for kids from 4pm -6pm!
Saturday, June 11th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Family Saltwater Painting Program
Children ages 8+ and their families are invited to learn some cool painting techniques! Saltwater painting will let them make neat fractal-looking images with watercolors! Nifty!
Sunday, June 12th
Damon Education Center [46 Bridge St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Panel Discussion: Do Today’s Toys Develop Lasting Creative and Social Skills in our Children?
Join Andre Boulay, owner of A2Z, Laura Frogameni, Director of Enrollment for the Northampton Montessori School, Bartlett Doty, Sales rep for Lego, and Meghann Obear, Obstetric Nurse at Cooley Dickinson as they talk about how toys today are doing. Are they doing well? Are they being good for kids? Find out! If they don’t spend like an hour on Minecraft they’re missing something big.

Board Games:

Saturday, June 11th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 12:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Tabletop Gaming Day
Get together with a nice group of people to play some games! It’ll be a great time. The room is convenient and private for the group. Bring a game of your own or play some of the games they bring!
FPH West Lecture Hall, Hampshire College [893 West St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM
JiffyCon
JiffyCon! We’ll be there! It’ll be a lot of fun! Yaaaaaay! It’s a little get together of a bunch of local luminaries and some out of towners to play and play-test and just generally enjoy games. Also you can easily get Cider Donuts at Atkins during the day, a perk no other con in the world provides.
Sunday, June 12th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Sunday Heroclix!
Heroclix! The heroes you can clix. This week we recommend you field a team comprised entirely of speedsters. Quicksilver, The Flash, Triathlon, Professor Zoom, Zoom, Reverse Flash, Inverse Flash, Reverse-Inverted Flash, Flash But He’s Mean, Slowgold, Admiral Accelerate, the Real Speedy Person, the Red-Blue Blur, there’s a ton of them to choose from!

Books:

Tuesday, June 7th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Ted Elliman, Wildflowers of New England
Ted Elliman is a person who knows what a wildflower is! He knows so well that he authored a guide to the thousands of species of wildflower that exist in New England with the help of the New England Wild Flower Society. It’s got nice color photos of all of them as well, so you can easily identify what the heck cute plant you’re looking at! Should be a fun time for anyone who is a fan of things that look and are nice.
Sunday, June 12th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Terry Brooks, The Sorcerer’s Daughter
Terry Brooks is kind of a big deal! His major claim to fame is the Shannara series, which has been turned into a television series on MTV. He’s got a new standalone adventure set within the world of Shannara POSSIBLY in an effort to let new readers jump into it rather than reading like 30 prior books. Because he’s kind of a big deal, RSVPs are required, either do it in the store, by phone at (413-534-7307) or by email (rsvp@odysseybks.com). You must purchase the book at Odyssey to get it signed!

Card Games:

Saturday, June 11th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Eternal Masters Draft
Ah, yes. It’s finally time. We thought we could escape, but that was mere fantasy. The Eternal Masters are here to draft us into their Ur-Conflict, raging nigh these past 3 eons. We will miss the halcyon days before the Draft… Or this might be a Magic: the Gathering thing?

Comics:

Monday, June 7th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Book Club
We know nothing about this event save the title so we’re going to say it is probably a comics-focused book group! Seems like a fun time, on account of we can all agree nothing is more fun than chatting about comic books.
Sunday, June 12th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Comic Creator’s Jam
Do you like people? Do you like drawing? Do you like both? Hang out with a bunch of fellow art-folks at Modern Myths! You’ll need a day pass which is $5 and immediately becomes store credit. It is a bunch of fun! We went once and got to play Pictionary Telephone with a bunch of much better artists.

Computers:

Tuesday, June 7th
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Northampton Webdive – After Work
A regular meetup of the sort of folks who like the word “webdive”! A great chance to find other people interested in the sort of work you do!
Wednesday, June 8th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Agile Methods Meetup
Topic for June: Agile contracts! How do you write a contract for an Agile project? You’ll get an intro to the concept of buyer vs. seller risk, then jump into a discussion! If you have a sample contract, bring it in to talk about it!
Thursday, June 9th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Computer Basics for Adults: Intro
Are you a beginner with computers? Wait… how are you seeing this? Dang this might not be the best medium for this message. Well, do you KNOW a person who’s in need of some basic computer training? They can get a nice introduction to the concepts here!
Saturday, June 11th
Hampshire College [893 West St., Amherst, MA] at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
How the Web Works
Take a look under the hood of the web! Look at fundamental technologies that you might use constantly but not quite understand, like HTML/CSS, Javascript, and Web Servers! Educate yourself! Knowledge is power!

Entertainment:

Thursday, June 9th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Anime is cartoons but there are more robots and fewer cutaway jokes. We don’t really watch any anime regularly so we can only recommend that you watch the Top Tier of Anime: FLCL and Cowboy Bebop The Shows We Liked When We Were 13. We can only assume we were correct in thinking they were the best.
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Spelling Bee
The Friends of Greenfield Public Library will hold a Spelling Bee, teams of three must preregister and there’s an entry fee of $15 per team. Suggested age for entry is 16+. There will be raffles, also food, and a guarantee of fun! Delightful.

Movies:

Wednedsay, June 8th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Resistencia: The Fight for the Aguan Valley
In 2009, the elected president of Honduras was overthrown by a coup d’etat. A group of farmers organized 2000 landless families to occupy the plantations of the country’s largest landowner and supporter of the coup. They build communities in the new land, resist the regime’s violent response, and hope for a return to democracy. Brought to you by Northampton Peace and Social Justice.
Wednesday, June 8th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Summer Stock on Silver Screen
A series of musicals presented as Summer Stock theater sorta. First one is Love Me Tonight with Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald, produced only a few years after sound was introduced to the world!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Finding Nemo
Check out a modern classic in the Community Room! Finding Nemo is about a tiny fish that is cute and about how Australia has diverse and interesting wildlife that oddly do not all have Australian accents!

RPGs:

Thursday, June 9th
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! We suggest you try some of the one-session RPGs developed by local creators! Try Questlandia this week!
Friday, June 10th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Rd., Chesterfield, MA] at 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM
Sins of a Nation FIRST EVENT EVER!
A brand new LARP! A world of technology and magic, where the industrial revolution involves a bunch of magic fights! Get in on the ground floor of a fun new LARP experience! Seize the moment!

Science:

Monday, June 6th
Union Station [125 Pleasant St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Why Doesn’t Siri Understand Me?
At this SciTech Cafe you’ll have a chance to learn how speech recognition works, what a dialog system is, and what social robotics is! Heather Pon-Barry, a professor of Computer Science and director of the Interactive Computing Research Lab about Mount Holyoke will guide you through the world of spoken-language processing!
Tuesday, June 7th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Genealogy Open Lab
Have you always wondered about your family past? Why guitars begin playing a mournful tune when you walk by? Why street performers bow as you pass and hand you their hats in supplication? Are you interested in discovering why listening to music in 4/5 time gives you the ability to see through walls? Learn to look for answers in this workshop!
Thursday, June 9th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Archaeology at the Emily Dickinson Museum
Another Orientation Training! Want to get in on Session 2 of science at the Emily Dickinson Museum? Learn the ropes at this orientation! You’ll get the standard whips and quips course as well as a brief lesson in how to avoid any curses the Dickinsons left around.