March 9th – 15th

So, the pandemic is continuing to be terrifying! The reasonable steps you can take to protect yourself and others remain the same:

  • Get a flu shot! You do not want to deal with the flu on top of this.
  • Wash your hands. Soap, water, 20+ seconds, scrub all around and under your nails. Do it every few hours, every time you go to the restroom, before you eat, and every time you get back to your home.
  • Don’t touch your face, particularly your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Sanitize frequently-touched surfaces. Kitchen cleaners should be fine, just be scrubbing pretty regularly, particularly things like doorknobs that you’re going to be touching constantly.
  • Don’t go to big public gatherings.
  • Buy enough food to get yourself through a crappy several weeks of not wanting to prepare food. If you get this and it’s mild, it’ll still suck and you’ll definitely not be able to go shopping for food.

None of that will guarantee that you do not get COVID-19, but the more people who keep this set of reasonable actions up, the slower it will hit and the more resources we’ll be able to devote to each person in need.

Now, we’re fully aware that “don’t go to public gatherings” kind of completely countermands what this entire site is about. The way we’re squaring this circle is to say: please don’t go to big group events if you are in any of the higher-risk groups, and also just if you’re a bit freaked out by this pandemic. It’s okay to put these things into your calendar and return to them when things cool off.

First off, check out the WanderJest Comedy Scavenger Hunt!

  1. Visit any show listed on WanderJest between March 1st and March 31st, 2020.
  2. Post a photo of the show to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and tag @WanderJest.
  3. Win fabulous prizes.

Every show you see increases your chances of winning the $200 grand prize.

There’s also a $100 prize, and two $50 prizes! It’s a neat way for you to find a fun comedy show locally, and also maybe get cash! Which is nice. Spend it locally! It’s important.

There’s also $1000 available to you via Civic Action Grants from the League of Women Voters!

The League of Women Voters of Amherst is offering grants (up to $1000) for anyone–league member or not, member of a non profit group, student, any individual–who is interested in furthering one of the Leagues’ priorities: climate crisis, health care, affordable housing, energy, social justice.  If any of these concerns are yours and you have ideas, you might apply for one of these Civic Action Grants.  Check the website for more information and an application form.  We look forward to helping turn ideas into civic action.

We just found out about the newly formed Leverett Gaming Guild at the Leverett Coop [180 Rattlesnake Gutter Rd., Leverett, MA]! Unfortunately the first meeting was yesterday but heck here’s what they’re about:

At 2pm I will be teaching and playing my most recent release, Quartermaster General WW2. The greatly revised second edition came out in January from Ares games. That will take about 2.5 hours including the explanation. I will also bring a dozen other games, like Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, etc, as a game library. If you need to setup beforehand, you can come a bit earlier. Also, the Coop will have brunch food you are encouraged to buy. You cannot bring in outside food or beverage, but they have stuff to buy.

Do you have extra cash on hand? Why not fund Avalon Lounge and Game Cafe on MainVest? Mostly we ask because we want to have some nice game places in the Valley!

Science and History! On the 12 from 6PM – 7PM at The Nacul Center [592 Main St., Amherst] you can see a presentation on How Cities Domesticate Nature (And What it Means for Us). Dr. Paige Warren will discuss how nature responds to our messing about making our homes. It’s funny there aren’t many other animals whose houses do so much to the local environment!

At Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland] on March 9th from 6:30PM – ? you can learn about Birds of the New England Swamp from wildlife photographer Peter Christoph. This event even has a cool bird we’ve never seen before on the event page! We had no idea New England swamps had such cool looking birds!

Then at Historic Northampton [46 Bridge St., Northampton] on Thursday at 7PM you’ll be able to learn about Men’s and Women’s support groups! will read from his new book “Chosen Family: Men’s and Women’s Support Groups, An Inside Look”

At Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst] on Saturday from 2:30PM – 4:30PM you can see a screening and discussion of Standing on My Sisters’ Shoulders.

In 1965, three ordinary women from Mississippi walked into the US House of Representatives in Washington D.C. Descendants of African slaves, they had come to their country’s capital seeking civil rights, the first black women to be allowed in the senate chambers in nearly 100 years. A missing chapter in our nation’s record of the Civil Rights movement, this powerful documentary reveals the movement in Mississippi in the 1950’s and 60’s from the point of view of the courageous women who lived it – and emerged as its grassroots leaders

And finally on Sunday the 15th at 5:30PM – 7PM you can join co-director and naturalist Laurie Sanders for a walk down Hockanum Road to the site of the former Hockanum Ferry on the Connecticut River.

Teens! Head to Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA] this week. On Monday from 3:30PM – 5:30PM, for Monday Night Arts & Crafts for Teens: Friendship Bracelets, where you’ll craft the weapons you need to take on the dread … wait a sec nope, it’s friendship bracelets. For teens aged 13-18!

Then on Thursday for Pokemon Club from 4PM – 5PM, or Tapestry Presents: Sex and Relationship Mythbusting for Teens at 4PM – 5:30PM! Two very different events, but both sound fun!

Pokemon Club is for fans to play the card game, Go, the Switch game, battle and trade with your friends, or just generally have a fun time talking Pokemon! It’s a family friendly event, which frankly we’re comfortable saying all Pokemon events should be… hm. Though now that we’re thinking about it we bet there’s been an uncountable number of fun Pokemon burlesque shows or whatnot.

Tapestry Presents is going to allow folks to ask in person or submit anonymous questions about sexual health, relationships, bodies, or gender and have them answered by a local health expert! Oooh and we bet they seed it with some extra questions so even if you do ask a question that you’re worried will embarrass you it’ll be sandwiched into other ones. Also, a great opportunity to find out if what you’re experiencing is actually the awakening of mutant powers. For teens aged 13 – 18!

Then at Palmer Public Libary [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA] head to Teen Book Prize Bingo! Free snacks! Open to ages 12-18, it’s the thrill of bingo meeting the thrill of reading in a climactic showdown!

Speaking of Palmer: RPG Club on Thursday the 12th from 4PM – 6PM! We just got the survey back for our Kickstarter copy of The Bloody-Handed Name of Bronze by Joshua A.C. Newman. That’d be a fun as hell one to try at an RPG club. Anime Club is right after at 6PM-8PM! We still love Eizouken, it’s fun as heck!

Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] is having a Y.A. Movie Night on the Saturday the 14th from 6PM – 8PM, showing the live-action Disney Cinderella? That happened? It… how did we miss that entirely? The live-action remakes have been such a weird combination of massively extravagant and completely forgettable. Free popcorn!

Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA] also has a bunch of good events! On Monday the 9th from 6:30PM – 8:30PM there will be a meeting of the Northampton Photographic Society

Designed for photographers who would like to show and discuss their work with fellow photographers out of a desire to develop their own expertise. You are encouraged to bring up to 6 jpeg photos of your choice to share, on a USB flash drive so as to be viewed on the projection screen. Each session will begin with a short instructional video. These are not classes but informal sessions intended to meet the needs of the participants. Feedback is welcomed.

That’s so neat! Very good time to hang out and get better at taking photographs.

Then for little folks, there’s LEGO Club on Tuesday the 10th from 3:30PM – 4:15PM where kids ages 5 and up can spend the afternoon playing with LEGO…sssss we say LEGOs we know it’s wrong but it’s what we say!

Wednesday the 11th brings us to the Forbes Library Zine Club from 6:30PM – 8:30PM! It’s a great club for you to talk and create and have a fun time doing both! All supplies are provided, so no worries are needed!

Or maybe you’d prefer to go to the presentation on [Oversized] Backyard Tiny Homes In Northampton also on the 10th from 6:30PM – 8:00PM! It’ll give you a rundown about how tiny homes are legal in Northampton, backyard palaces of up to 800ft. That’s nice! Maybe a way to slightly stem the rising prices. Learn the rules, how to get subsidized, and how to get it built right!

Then Thursday at 3:30PM – 4:15PM there’s a Comics Club for elementary and tween readers! Read, write, and draw comics with Callie at the Children’s and YA Department!

On Friday, there’s even more! Teen Arts: Woven Wall Art will be meeting from 3PM – 4PM. Hang out with teen artists, use supplies, eat some snacks, and just generally have a good time! Teens only!

And finally to end a busy week, on Saturday from 3PM – 4:30PM head to a Presentation on Cuba from the Saturday Spanish Conversation Group. Open to anyone, presented in Spanish!

Magic: The Gathering will be played this and pretty much every Friday! First at Off the Wall Games [41 Russell St., Ste. 6, Hadley] from 7PM – 10:30PM “FNM FormatZ! Modern & Pioneer // 7PM // $5 | 4 rounds!” Then Pioneer Valley Planeswalkers at College Church [58 Pomeroy Terrace, Northampton, MA], which will be from 7PM – ?

At a typical Pioneer Valley Planeswalkers meeting, we play whatever format the group favors that evening. Often that’s a booster draft of the current set, where $10 buys three fresh packs to draft. Other times we’ll play Commander or do a Cube draft, in which case there’s no charge. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Commander deck or draft experience; someone will lend you a deck if you need it, and we love to help new players get into the game.

Books! At Odyssey [9 College St.  South Hadley, MA] there’s a book talk and signing with Laura Zigman on the 10th from 7PM – 8:30PM, the bestselling author of Separation Anxiety. It is

a hilarious novel about a wife and mother whose life is unraveling and the well-intentioned but increasingly disastrous steps she takes to course-correct her relationships, her career, and her belief in herself

and we like this bit

Judy never intended to start wearing the dog. But when she stumbled across her son Teddy’s old baby sling during a halfhearted basement cleaning, something in her snapped. So: the dog went into the sling, Judy felt connected to another living being, and she’s repeated the process every day since.

And then on the 11th from 7PM – 8:30PM there’s a book talk and signing with Andrew Altschul, author of The Gringa. Andrew will be in conversation with local author Ellen Meeropol.

On March 11th there’s going to be a Book Discussion at Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] from 6PM – 7:30PM about “Braiding Sweetgrass”, the Community Read.

And finally you can meet Yuyi Morales at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! It’s $7 for non-members, $5 for members, and you’ll get to have your books signed and most importantly just say you like the work of a wonderful author! “Space is limited for this event. Advance online registration begins February 7. Coupons and passes not valid for tickets to the program.”

It’s also Free Second Friday at Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St., Bedford Terrace, Northampton] on Friday from 4PM – 8PM and you can go play D&D at the Westfield Athenaeum Saturday [6 Elm St, Westfield] from 12PM – 4PM!

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