Book Club

March 6th – March 12th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


So hey here’s a thing we just found out about recently despite ostensibly being a news source: due to a variety of circumstances both unforeseen and ultraforeseen the lovably local game shop co-op Worlds Apart Games is going to cease to exist soon. Like, by the end of March. So that’s a really unfortunate thing, right? It’s very important to our continued steadiness of mind that there exist Game Places in all Valley towns so that we have ample reason to go putter around somewhere should we find ourselves out and about.

The nice thing is that it seems like some very dedicated people of various stripes and interest categories are of the same opinion and working to figure out how to fill the void that will be left and with what to do the filling. Community game space? Event-hosting space? Something that lets a bunch of people play Magic the Gathering there really often seems like it could garner a decent amount of support.

Which is what they need! Support from you! Interested in playing a boardgame in Amherst that doesn’t involve being at someone’s house? Then go to their Facebook page and check out what’s up and head to their meetup at 5pm this Wednesday the 8th at The Works in Amherst to talk through things.

At a very minimum you’ll get to meet nice people and talk to them so that’s decent you know? Also maybe you’re independently wealthy and have a weird interest in sustaining a game shop in Amherst we don’t know our audience that well.

And finally check out NERDSummit.org! Again, if you’ve already seen it! The schedule’s up and it is going to be great and you should attend because it’ll be great and also full disclosure because they paid us money to tell you to attend so the more of you who attend the more obvious it becomes that giving us cash is met with great success and happiness. If you could carry signs or wear shirts saying “We came here because of the wonderful marketing of the folks at Valley Nerd Watch” we would appreciate it.

Have a lovely week, folks!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and 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, March 6th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Makerspace Monday
A weekly group gathering to play with stuff, make art, and just generally create new things for the joy of it!
Wednesday, March 8th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Knitting Clinic
Neet help knitting? Get help knitting! Know how to knit real real nice? Knit real real nice and help out people who need help knitting! Somehwere in between nice nice and need help? Then enter the Cave of Shadows and brave the trials three for access to the knitting secrets or ask for some tips from fellow knitters!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Forbes Library Zine Club
ZINES! Zines across the nation! Zines in our veins! Zines for teens! Zines for monotremes! Zines for any and all who have access to cheap copiers! Learn how to create a zine and distribute it!
Friday, March 10th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Unidentified Woman an Exhibition by Jodi Colella
In this exhibit the artist takes headwear and photos so old they’re actually daguerreotypes from the collection of Historic Northampton and explores the role of headwear in indicating the class, status, and occupation of the wearer. Collela stitches together the past and future by colorfully exploring women whose names have been forgotten by history.
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Free Second Friday
Do you want to go to a great local art museum but also you don’t have $5? Go ahead and check out the Free Second Friday! It’s a ton of fun and is totally without cost. Though if you can drop a couple bucks in the donation bin that would be very nice.
Saturday, March 11th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Make Harry Potter Potion Bottles
Do you wish your life involved more slightly-sinister storage, Snape-style? Suffer no longer! You can create some neat distressed bottles and make them look just like Snape’s! And hey if you don’t care about pretending to be a magical folk you can just make neat antique bottles!

Board Games:

Friday, March 10th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM
Tabletop Game Night
Board game meetup by the folks at the Pioneer Valley Geeks & Games at the Burger King! Bring a game if you want to share one or just play what other folks have brought! Beginners welcome, and there’s no better audience if you’ve got a game you’d really like to try!
Saturday, March 11th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Palmer Scholastic Chess Tournament
There are four sections, K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. It’s going to be a 4-round Swiss System and there are trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place! Entry is free but you should definitely bring a chess set and clock if you can and a bagged lunch if you want to eat!

Books:

Monday, March 6th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Poetry Discussion Group
A weekly poetry discussion group open to regulars and drop-ins! This week they’re going to discuss poems about Climate Change!
Wednesday, March 8th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Garry Brown Talk and Book Signing
Garry Brown will talk about the best stories he’s written over the past fifty-danged-nine years writing at Springfield newspapers which what the heck he has written an infinite amount we’re pretty sure. If we’re still writing these newsletters in fifty-nine years we’d just yell at people to give us a medal at any sort of signing.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Warm up with Kestrel Land Trust’s Love the Land Book Share
Grab a favorite read related to nature, land, or the nature of land and share it in an informal gathering! Heck you don’t even need to grab the book, just have a title and an author and a short bit about why you liked it and share it with the group! RSVP required but it is free! Email katy [at] kestreltrust [dot] org!
Thursday, March 9th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Ani Tuzman, The Temble of Love: A Novel of the Baal Shem Tov
In partnership with the Yiddish Book Center for an evening, the Odyssey will host a novel inspired by Rabbi Yisroel ben Eliezar, known as the Ball Shem Tov or the Good Master of the Name. Set in the 1700s Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth this reimagining of one of the most revered of history’s mystics allows readers to experience the timelessness and grace of unrestrained love! Which is pretty impressive for a novel, most of the ones we read just allow us to experience how cool lasers are.
Sunday, March 12th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Mohsin Hamid, Exit West
A love story, a magical realist story, a sci-fi story, a story about being a refugee… this book is a lot of things! Nadia and Saeed are young lovers thrust into an uncertain existence during a civil war and given the option to escape through a mysterious doorway. Emerging somewhere alien, they try to hold on to each other. It sounds like it’s worth a read! Buy it at Odyssey and get it signed!

Comic Books:

Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Comic Creator’s Jam
Are you a comicser? A comicilizer? Someone who makes artwork or writes stories and then slaps them together into a single thing? Hang out with a bunch of really nice creators who travel from near and like slightly less near but still pretty near to discuss the craft and business of comics! All it takes to get in is a $5 day pass that immediately becomes store credit!

Community:

Wednesday, March 8th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
National Women’s Strike
From the description: “In support of International Women’s Day, join the conversation after the demonstration on the Greenfield Town Common!”

Computers:

Monday, March 6th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM
One-on-one Tech Tutoring
Tech tutoring in English and Spanish! Register for an hour one-on-one session at least 24 hours in advance every weekday from 11:30am – 1:30pm or 4:30pm – 6:30pm! Sign up by calling 413-420-8118 or write to grivera [at] holyokelibrary [dot] org!
Tuesday, March 7th
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Northampton Webdive – After Work
Designers regular a coder nendezvous makers of web! It’s a good time to hang out and talk to folks who work on web-dev stuff and just generally have an alright time at a nice bar.
Thursday, March 9th
Cultivate and Nest [2 Bay Rd., Suite 100, Hadley, MA] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Hack for Western Mass Meetup
After a couple quick updates about ongoing projects, there will be a discussion about potential future options and then people are going to join teams and get hacking to make the community a bit better! It’s a really great group and they’re doing interesting stuff, you should join! Also dinner and drinks are on them so like there’s literally no reason to not go to this thing and say hi!
Friday, March 10th
North Amherst Library [8 Montague Rd, Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Drop-in Tech Support with PC Doctor Hank
PC Doctor Hank will put a stethoscope on your PC and diagnose what woes it! Hank knows what’s up with PC innards and is happy to help you understand it all!

Entertainment:

Thursday, March 9th
Franklin Patterson Main Lecture Hall at Hampshire College at 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
No More Talk About Us, Without Us!
The real women of the hit TV show and book “Orange is the New Black” discuss the reality of prison life and the way it feels to have people take a look at your own harrowing actual experiences though the lens of entertainment in a panel discussion that seems informative and necessary.
Saturday, March 11th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Doctor Who Club
Doctor Which is at it again with his scarfs! Free and open to all, snacks “strongly encouraged”! Watch some classic episodes of the show that’s endured for so long our parents were fans when they were our age!
Sunday, March 12th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM
“The Real Deal Purim-Shpil” with the Wandering Jew Players of the Congress for Jewish Culture
A musical mash-up featuring Purim plays, drinking songs, and general holiday cheer by great Yiddish writers including Sholem Aleichem, Itzik Manger, Moyshe Nadir, and more! It’s $8 for students, $10 for members, and $12 for general admission!

Kids:

Saturday, March 11th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Saturday Morning Kids Arts and Crafts
St. Patrick’s Day themed readings and arts and crafts! Make a Shamrock, or a pot of gold, or any of the innumerable items appropriate for children during this, the easiest holiday to make child-friendly!

Movies:

Tuesday, March 7th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
GPL Teen Pizza and Movie Night
Join librarians Francesca and Steve for the delicious combination of pizza and a film, open to ages 12 and up!
Wednesday, March 8th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Which Way Home
This film tackles immigration issues by focusing on the youngest victims of the struggle to just exist in the world. The film follows some of the thousands of unaccompanied children from all over Latin America who fled from their homes as they attempt to make the trecharous journey across the US border.
Sunday, March 12th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Film Screening, “There Are Jews Here”
More than a million American Jews live in small towns around the country, and this movie explores people working ot keep the Jewish spirit alive in places like Laredo Texas and Dothan Alabama. It’s $4 for students, $6 for members, and $8 for everyone else!

Science:

Tuesday, March 7th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Diabetes: Our Journey to Improve Our Health
This week, you’ll learn about diabetes and the effects carbohydrates have on it! Anne Bernardin will educate you and share her success story, as well as recap the other lessons in case you’re just coming in this week!
Thursday, March 9th
Nacul Center [592 Main St., Amherst, MA] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
OEB Science Cafe: Is it hot in here? Thinking about the evolution of menopause.
With Dr Lynnette Sievert this cafe will explore the evolution of mopause and post-reproductive aging as a human trait! She’ll talk about how humans as individuals and different cultures deal with menopause and the fact that we’re as species that oulives our reproductive years!

February 13th – February 19th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


First of all! Next month is NERDSummit! They asked us to tell you this, and they also gave us some money which is a very good way to get us to remember to do a thing! Check it out March 18th 9am – 6pm and 19th 10am – 5pm at the UMass Integrated Sciences Building! There are going to be a lot of great folks there to learn from and workshops for everyone from absolute beginners or non-coders to advanced coders!

So hey also we’ve been really digging Pandemic Legacy recently AND BUT ALSO we just got to play Seafall, which is the newest Rob Daviau creation and it’s a heck of a game. We just got to play the introductory bit, but it was a pretty decent combination of simple decisions and complicated effects.

The story being told also seems interesting. Sort of a fantasy colonialism but with a really obvious bent toward how incredibly short-sighted the provinces doing the colonizing are. Lots of “the locals say that there’s a VERY GOOD REASON to not do what we’re about to do, and they also demonstrated it directly with several very compelling examples but on the other hand aren’t we the smartest and best? Yes.”

“Anyway we did the thing and now half our crew have spontaneously combusted in what we can only assume is an entirely separate event.”

You should definitely check out Nerd Nite NoHo this week! It’ll be a really good time and we always appreciate seeing you there! As always half of the money plus whatever you want to put in the donation box goes to charity! It’s a very good system for doing good things for folks.

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and 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, February 13th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Learn to Paint the 45 Million Dollar Flower
Possibly the fastest way we can imagine to save for retirement! Award-winning pastel artist and teacher Gregory Maichack will teach you to paint Georgia O’Keeffe’s elegant Jimson Flower and then sell it for the price that people are willing to pay for a painting of this nice flower: $45.4 million dollars. Why haven’t we already done this! It’s so simple!
Tuesday, February 14th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Mead Reimagined: Take 2
The debut of Kota Ezawa’s “Gardner Museum Revisited”, which recreates 13 paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990! The paintings were worth over $500 million and the mystery is still unsolved because no on has ever been smart enough to catch us wait nO HOW DO WE DELETE POSTS
Wednesday, February 15th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Knitting Clinic
Having trouble with your knitting projects? want to modify a pattern? Bring stalled projects of any type to the knitting clinic so they can help!
Thursday, February 16th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Cookies with a Curator
Informal conversation and show and tell with the Forbes Library collection. And cookies!
Friday, February 17th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Emily Dickinson Poetry Discussion Group
The session topic will be “Emily Dickinson and the Art of Hiding”. So if you really want to impress them, just don’t show up and say you were there but you’re incredible at hiding. That’s using your noodle.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Submissions and Revisions
A free drop-in group of writers who gather to polish and send out submissions of work to magazines, agents, and editors! The submissions process can be terrifying and demoralizing, so do it with a group of friends who’ll applaud every time you shout “Sent!”

Board Games:

Saturday, February 18th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Mutants and Masterminds!
Why read about superheroes when you be superheroes? Well, probably because of the inherent difficulty in getting together a lot of folks to play an RPG regularly. That’s what this is for though! New players are always welcome for a wonderful time battling evil!

Books:

Wednesday, February 15th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Lisa Carey, The Stolen Child
Lisa Carey will discuss her book about magic and love and secrets and all that fascinating stuff. Set in Ireland in 1959, the novel follows a woman whose hands can mystically harm as she begins a tumultuous affair with a mysterious American woman who visits the secluded island on which she lives and the events of a winter full of terrifying and possibly mystical troubles!
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Book Talk & Signing: Katherine Anderson
Katherine will talk about her novel Hospital Hill, set in the Northampton State Hospital. In it, Valerie Martin – a former employee – returns after the closure of the hospital and discovers a dark secret! Why does no one ever return to an abandoned asylum and discover a delightful secret?
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Writing Critique Group
Writers of picture books, middle grade, and YA books meet to read and get some feedback! The group is facilitated by following SCBWI guidelines but you don’t have to be a member to participate.
Thursday, February 16th
Gamble Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Roxane Gay: Flashpoint!
The best-selling author of books such as An Untamed State and Bad Feminist will present a lecture exploring social critique and innovative reasoning on race, gender, and identity.
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Jilly Gagnon, #famous Book Prom!
Prizes for the best dressed at this book prom! Debut author Jilly Gagnon will talk about her novel about falling in love in front of the whole world and the terrifying thrill ride of social media and also liking another person!

Comic Books:

Saturday, February 18th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
LGBTQ Comics Meet-up
A good conversation with friendly people in a comic shop. Meet new people and talk about comics!

Computers:

Thursday, February 16th
The Dirty Truth [29 Main St., Northampton] at 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
User Experience, Accessibility, and Inclusive Design
For digital makers who are interested in creating products and services that provide a good experience for everyone! Things like considering whether or not your UI is readable to people who don’t see a difference between red and green!
Northampton Community TV [380 Elm St., Northampton, MA] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
WordPress Developers and Admins
Talk about current projects, problems and solutions for members, BuddyPress and bbPress, and installing SSL Certificates! It’s a great chance to get a rundown of some useful information about WordPress and to meet friendly people!

Entertainment:

Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Watch some anime! We’ve heard Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure is… weird? Good? We honestly can’t tell, but at least we can say we’ve heard that it exists, which means something!

History:

Monday, February 13th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Conversation with Author Series: Derek Strahan’s new book “Lost Springfield, Massachusetts”
Derek Strahan takes readers on a tour of the historic landmarks and wonderful old buildings that are living monuments to the history of a city of firsts, ad well as a look at some of the most historically significant places that no longer exist!
Tuesday, February 14th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM
A Polish Odyssey
Family historian Sara Campbell will tell the unique story of the Rzewski family and their travails as they attempt to reunite in their new Holyoke Home over the course of conscription into the Russian Army, children being scattered by WW1, and a pacific crossing! It’s a story of the deep familial love that keeps hope alive over the course of a long and difficult immigration process!

Kids:

Wednesday, February 15th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Story & Craft Time @ North Amherst Library
Hear a story, make a craft, generally enjoy the fact that you’re a kid and you’re having a good day!
Thursday, February 16th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Come Play Laser Tag in the Library!
Cauterize your friends! It seems like it makes very little sense to provide teens with lasers and set them loose in a library but hey we’re not in charge. Grades 5th – 8th, please sign up in advance!
Friday, February 17th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Stuffed Animal Sleepover in the Library!
See what your favorite doll or stuffed animal or action figure gets up to when they spend the night at the library! Hear a special story and then leave your stuffed pal for a night of fun! You can drop them off any time between 10am and 7pm! Reunite with them on Saturday at 10:30am and enjoy breakfast and pictures of their sleepover! This is so frigging adorable we cannot handle it.

Movies:

Wednesday, February 15th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Film Screening: Richard Pryor, Live on the Sunset Strip
Richard Pryor! Classic of comedy, in one of his first performances after his very public battle with drugs. A venerable comic mind tackles a lot of topics and we’re like 90% certain holds up without that wrenching disconnect you get with some older comedy specials.
Saturday, February 18th
MYSTERY LOCATION at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Potluck and Brazil (Director’s Cut)
Bring food and/or drink to share! After a nice dinner, the Western Mass Sci-Fi Group will watch a classic of weird SF, Brazil! It’s a Terry GIlliam film so you’re in for really distinctive visual design and a plot you can understand a bit in retrospect.  Sign up for the Meetup Group to find out where this is!

RPGs:

Thursday, February 16th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Play an RPG! Be a person you’re not in a world you aren’t! Or… or you could role-play exactly who and where you are! Just sort of recurse through your current experiences like you’re in a hall of mirrors!

Science:

Monday, February 13th
The World War 2 Club [50 Conz St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Nerd Nite NoHo: Trees and Nerds
Join us for another fun Nerd Nite! Half of all proceeds go to charity! This time around Henry Lappen will be around to teach us about trees and their various mysteries, and Melissa Lewis-Gentry will speak about nerd communities and how to host nerd events in a really meta talk!
Saturday, February 18th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Scientific Kids Club
Explore geology and volcanoes with Steven and Ralph this month! We’re assuming Stephen and Ralph is what the library calls their pet volcanoes.

January 30th – February 5th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


We feel like it’s an important time to remind you that monthly sustaining contributions to charitable organizations go a long way toward helping them accomplish their goals. Several that do extremely useful work: the American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Immigration Law Center, and the International Rescue Committee.

The most pertinent thing locally we can think of to remind you about is that this is one of your last possible days to submit a talk/workshop topic to the upcoming NERDSummit conference on web development and related technological stuff. It seems like it’ll be fun and full disclosure we’re involved with doing some marketing stuff with them but for real it’s the sort of thing you probably can tell whether or not you’re excited about so mostly that’s just been us informing you about it.

Anyway! Check out NERDSummit.org to submit a topic! Then go to the actual event March 18th – 19th!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and 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


Board Games:

Saturday, February 4th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Chess Club
Chess, the game of dukes as they say! Hone your skills at a board game that’s really been waiting on a sequel forever! Get some games under your belt so that you’ll be able to follow the plot in the upcoming Chess: The Movie!

Books:

Wednesday, February 1st
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
YA Book Club
A new book club! Look, we know the book clubs page is updating kind of infrequently, but you have to understand that these things pop up and disappear at a rate of about one a day. That said, here’s your chance to step in to say hi and see what the next book on the docket is going to be!
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Wicked Wednesday Book Club
Which isn’t to say we DON’T update the book club listings, we just did! We super appreciate it when they have a list planned out like 6 months ahead of time, that’s so much easier to keep up with. Anyway, this is your chance to be wicked on Wednesday by doing the most sinister thing of all: reading a novel!
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Mike Flynn, Beyond Answers: Exploring Mathematical Practices with Young Children
Mike Flynn wrote a book helping teachers in K-2 classrooms teach mathematical principles! He focuses on what it takes to get kids to really understand rather than just “do” math. Sounds helpful if you’re a teacher, parent, or otherwise responsible for making sure kids learn things!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:45 PM
Literature and Poetry of Brazil
Bigger than the continental US, the 9th largest economy in the world, Brazil remains pretty well unknown by a lot of the north. This event will explore poetry and writing from the country that houses a heck of a lot of diverse biomes and citizens.
Friday, February 3rd
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Adelia Saunders, Indelible
In her debut novel, Adelia Saunders paints a picture of a protagonist who can see information about all people written on their skin like ink. Some of it is banal, some of it is intense. When she meets someone with her name on their cheek, she’s intrigued. Then there’s a heck of a lot about other characters as well. Seems like a real web of a book, and we like that simple but magical premise.
Saturday, February 4th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Jeannine Atkins, Stone Mirrors: The Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis
Edmonia Lewis was a successful sculptor of historical figures who lived and worked for a long time in Italy in the 1800’s. She was also one of the first black women admitted to study at Oberlin, before she lost her place there after being accused of crimes for which she was acquitted. There’s not much known about her, so Jeannine Atkins has stiched facts and verse together to offer a picture of what might have been the life of an extremely interesting historical figure!

Card Games:

Sunday, February 5th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant St #B2, Amhersts, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Standard PPTQ – Pro Tour Kyoto – Hour of Devastation
Worlds Apart is hosting a PPTQ, and the winner will qualify for the Regional Pro Tour Qualifier and get a chance to play in Kyoto! It’s going to be Standard Constructed, with decklists required. It will cost you $30 to get in and there’s a cash pay-out based on attendance to the top competitors. It’s capped out at 32 players, so register soon!

Community:

Friday, February 3rd
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 9:30 AM to 8:00 PM
Friends Basket Raffle
Get some friends! They’re trapped in a basket, but if you get the right raffle number you can pull them out! If you’re very lucky you’ll find a BFF!
Smith College at 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Can You Hear Us Now Day 1
So we don’t see a ton of information on their site but this is a presentation of Smith College’s Black Students Alliance, a conference focusing on the importance of music in black culture. This day’s registration, open mic, and an overview of the conference!
Saturday, February 4th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Friends Basket Raffle
Last day of the Friends Basket Raffle! Don’t let any friends stay in the basket or they’ll be trapped there until next year!
Smith College at 8:00 AM to 2:00 AM
Can You Hear Us Now Day 2
Jeez, packed day. Lots of panels, conferences, networking, a keynote, parties, and also food!
Sunday, February 5th
Smith College at 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Can You Hear Us Now Day 3
This is the debrief! Talk about the conference with folks.

Entertainment:

Wednesday, February 1st
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
First Wednesday Speaker Series
Hear someone speak! Who? We’re not sure. About what? We are also not sure. Look, what we could find is literally the title, so we can tell you that there’s a speaker, they’re going to be there the first Wednesday of the month, and there will be more in the future OR there were more in the past. From here, we’re relying on you!
Thursday, February 2nd
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Watch anime, the entertainment media that is the best according to several very persistent sources we have.

Kids:

Wednesday, February 1st
North Amherst Library [8 Montague Rd, Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Story & Craft Time @ North Amherst Library
Listen to a story, make a cute little craft! Perfect for any kids that like both of those things which we’re pretty sure is a ton of kids!
Thursday, February 2nd
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Preschool Storytime
Listen to stories for a while, and then probably fall alseep or run around yelling? We can’t completely recall what our day planners looked like in preschool but we’re pretty sure that covers a lot of what we did.
Saturday, February 4th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Saturday Stories, Songs, and Crafts (Ages 0-5)
Listen to stories, then sing some songs, then make a craft! A full day’s worth of being a kid in just an hour, that’s efficiency.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Take Your Child to the Library Day
Drop in and make a hand-crafted book to celebrate doing the good thing that is going to the library! Kids should go to the library all the time, because it’s great!
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:30 AM to 4:15 PM
First Book Friendiversary
A huge day of excitement, books, films, and general delight for children of all ages! The Carle and their friends from First Book are observing their annual celebration of friendship and reading alongside Elephant and Piggie as well as other museum friends. There’s also a free book in it for every child that attends, which is a hell of a grift.

Movies:

Monday, January 30th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Far-out Film Club
This is a sort of film book club! Watch the film at home, discuss it at the meeting. The first pick is Rene Laloux’s The Fantastic Planet! You can pick up a copy in the Reference Room. It’s a kind of really really weird old stop-motion sci-fi film that features gigantic blue people.

RPGs:

Thursday, February 2nd
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Play a game where you pretend to be a different person for a while! That’s basically all it takes to be an RPG, the stats and cruft are all gravy so long as you’re pretending hard enough.

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.

August 31st – September 6th

XMen131CoverThe Valley Nerd Watch!


OH GOSH OH GOLLY IT’S ALMOST TIME

TOPATOCON! THE BIG EVENT! SEPTEMBER 26th – 27th

For real though we’re incredibly jazzed about TopatoCon, what fun it will be! Lots of nice artists and writers and designers and other creative types will be there hanging out with their wares. You can contribute directly to art you find enjoyable!

You can have that pleasant but kind of awkward conversation you have with a person you feel you know via their artistic output but who does not feel the same way about you! You might not be able to become fast friends with your idols, but it is still thrilling to have an opportunity to speak with them!

Also, guess what? Nerd Nite is the middle of the month this month! September 14th, put it in your calendar! It will be about cool artwork and implicit biases, you’ll like it. It will also have a shocking announcement! Your minds will collectively blow! If you only go to one Nerd Nite… please don’t do that, go to all the Nerd Nites they’re all fun.

Finally, if you are currently playing Rocket League – the excellent game about cars in hats with rocket engines playing soccer with a giant bomb – let us know! We’d love to play on a team with our wonderful readers.

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


Board Games:

Sunday, September 6th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday Heroclix!
Heroes that click! Heroes that fight! Also villains! Also just like, background characters at this point. BUT the point is here’s a miniatures game where you can make Wolvering team up with Venom to fight Shatterstar and Spiral, it’s awesome and you should give it a shot… bub! Hosted by Jaimie!

Books:

Friday, September 4th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Crafternoon: Book Bags!
Hey, you. Yeah, that’s right. Come over here. We here you like…. <__>… booooks. Yeaaaah. Yeah, you’re into books, we could tell. Well if you love books so danged much you sometimes have trouble carrying them home, head to forbes to get a library bag and then decorate it!

Card Games:

Tuesday, September 1st
Greenwood Park Senior Center [231 Maple Rd, Longmeadow, MA 01060] at 6:45pm
Longmeadow Cribbage Club
Some people at a senior center are looking for cribbage players! Cribbage is sort of like Magic the Gathering or Netrunner except it is considered classier because the pictures on the cards are more boring. And you don’t tap anything. Co-ed, 21+, call (413)848-2147!
Sunday, September 6th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00pm – 5:00pm
GPT Pittsburg – Modern
Alright we’re going to play Event Detective here. The only thing in this event description is a little gerblin with a lamp made of thorn vines. We assume this is Pittsburg, the Modern Gerblin. Your task is to play enough Magic the Gathering to make him happy again! Try to help out good old Pittsburg this Sunday!

Computers:

Tuesday, September 1st
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm
Northampton Webdive – After Work
Do you web-code? Do you gleam the cube? Hack the matrix? Are you Zero Cool? Well come meet up with other super cool um… phone phreakers? We’ve been putting up a false front everyone we got no clue about computers. If you do, meet up with fellow coders for a drink!

Entertainment:

Thursday, September 3rd
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Jones Library TRIVIA!
Mark “Harpo” Power has offered to host trivia on Thursdays now! Lovely! Do the Art Walk and then join everyone for a Trivia Night. Bring your friends and family if and ONLY if they will contribute to your team. If they aren’t trivia buffs, force them to wait in the car. Five people per team, $5-$10 suggested donation!
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Anime Club
Teens! Young adults! Anime fans! But we repeat ourselves. All cool teens and youngsters are anime fanatics. Meet to discuss and watch and read and enjoy anime and manga! It will be delightful.

Movies:

Wednesday, September 2nd
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:45 – 9:45
Beetlejuice on the Lawn
Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice is playing on the lawn! And beforehand, a band that plays unplugged movie soundtrack songs, the Super 8 Players, will be playing a short set. Bring snacks and a blanket and friends! We either accidentally put this in last week’s Nerd Watch or it got moved, we forget!

RPGs:

Thursday, September 3rd
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
RPG Club
Come hang out at the Palmer Library and play some sort of a Role-Playing Game with people who are nice! Create your own character or even characters! Describe their adventures until someone says “wait wait no roll a die first… okay yes continue”!
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Indie RPG Night: Night Witches
Indie RPG Night is a great way to play interesting games with wonderful people. And what an interesting game this time! Players take on the role of a member of the brave Night Witches, Russian female aviators in WW2 who flew 1920’s-era prop planes in some of the most daring missions of the war!
Friday, September 4th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Road, Chesterfield, MA 01096]
The Market of the Moons
Two days of fun for the whole family inspired by fairies! Don’t worry, bring your kids to this fun LARP! It isn’t like fairies are know for child-theivery! They assure us they’re just going to have a fun camp, vend interesting materials, and lead people on a fun dungeon advenutre! Ten dollars gets you access for the entire weekend. Bring your own tent or sleep in a group cabin! Come dressed in costume! Definitely don’t worry about fae folk robbing you of your little lones!
Saturday, September 5th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Pathfinder Society
The brave and mysterious Pathfinder Society has come to Comics N’ More! They all work toward a single goal… for now! Who knows what plots the people pulling their strings have cooked up? Join up now to find out over the course of a long and eventful official adventuring season!
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Public RPG: D&D 5th Ed
Join the dark and mysterious Master of the Dungeon LEX MANDRAKE as he weaves his spell of mystery and adventure around and about the crenelations of your brains! This is a single-session spectacular hand crafted by the Comics N’ More staff! New players are welcome and pre-made characters are provided!
Sunday, September 6th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 10:30pm
Saga of the Icelanders RPG
Based on the popular, extensible, fun, and LOCAL Apocalypse World system by Vincent Baker, this game is all about managing to settle the harsh environs of Iceland in 874! Play a Norse settler dealing with honor, blood feuds, and harsh winters! Build a new society from scratch and write your own Saga this Sunday!

July 20th – July 26th

XMen100CoverThe Valley Nerd Watch!


A Late Nerd Watch but for a super great reason: we had stuff to do that was mysterious! Okay mostly it was the mystery of procrastination, same as every week.

But THEN we had to take some time to see Ant-Man! Important nerd stuff. The Official Nerd Watch Review of this Official Nerdy But Very Much Within The Framework of Current Popular Culture film was that it was quite nice. It’s smaller than most of the Marvel offerings, Paul Rudd is a charmer as always, the character was played as legitimately interesting which was nice, and there were some pretty funny jokes interspersed with engaging action.

It was a nice come-down from Age of Ultron, which felt kind of over-stuffed at a lot of points.

We’re going to have some pretty interesting things to talk about probably this week or next, so stay tuned, people who we’re going to presume already do pretty much read these once a week! We take our reader loyalty on faith. We totally wouldn’t mind frenzied exhortations of our usefulness though. Feel free to light up our Twitter with how great we are if you’re so inclined! Also please share this newsletter!

We know everyone asks you to share everything and it’s always a bit mercenary and weird but look here is some straight talk: we really just want to make sure we’re useful. We know not everyone finds something in the newsletter they want to go to every week. But we’re pretty sure at least something appeals to the people reading this or friends of theirs reasonably often.

We also know that there are people out there sitting at home feeling left out of a community that would welcome them if they only knew about it, and we want to reach them. We’re not in this to figure out a way to turn your views into money and spam you with nonsense. We’re in this to inform, and to see how long we can keep making new jokes based around roleplaying formats. We appreciate any help you’re willing to give!

Also we are going to be going to D&D Encounters this week with a friend! They’ve never played an RPG and were wondering what they’re even like! It’ll be neat and we’re going to have a great time and probably we’ll do a small feature about it on the page afterward where we discuss introducing D&D and roleplaying games in general to a totally new player.

As always, be sure to check out the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And the Book Club List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Friday, July 24th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:30pm – 3:30pm
Hero Wristband Craft
Children! Create a unique and customizable hero wristband! We can only assume that children are aware that wearing the wristband in public might lead to super-villain fights, so be prepared to step up when the time comes! Warn your friends!

Board Games:

Sunday, July 26th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
PEN: Puzzle Enthusiasts of Northampton
Puzzles! We’d count our level of puzzle enthusiasm at the Nerd Watch somewhere between Professor Layton and Dr. Watson. No, not Holmes. Holmes was compelled to solve mysteries, but he didn’t really seem to find them enjoyable. Watson had fun though, he was the cool one. YES HE WAS. Anyway! Word games and puzzles in a pleasant setting, $5 Day Pass for admission, which is also immediate store credit! It’s like a drink minimum, but for taking up tables at Modern Myths.
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday Heroclix!
Heroclix! A fun miniatures battle game, basically bashing action figures together for those of us who always felt the experience needed more rules and math before it could really take off. Settle the age-old argument of who would win in a fight: Ant-Man or Aunt-Man!
Greenfield Games [228 Main St Greenfield, MA 01301] at 1:00pm – 4:30pm
Star Trek Attack Wing Op: Q Continuum Month 2, “Deja Q”
Man, remember Q? Q’s fun. Annoying, just the worst, and absolutely should not work on a show like Star Trek, but generally a good time we think. A testament to good acting and surprisingly decent trickster-god writing! Anyway! Play an awesome Attack Wing operation with special rules based on “Deja Q”! Entry is $5, and the special rules are here!

Books:

Wednesday, July 22nd
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 11:00am – 12:00pm
Hero Story Time
Oliver and Ellen will talk to elementary school children about magical objects, and then they’re going to read some super stories, and then they’re going to think about what makes someone a hero! It sounds like a packed event that is also excellent for budding heroic youngsters!
Thursday, July 23rd
  Packards [14 Masonic St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm
The Warrior’s Apprentice Book Discussion and Dinner
Join the friendly nerds of the Western Mass Sci-Fi Meetup Group to discuss a fun space opera! You can tell it’s cool because there are spaceships on the cover firing lasers. That’s never not fun. It’s about a manic space con-man, too! That’s great! Lots of fun. Even if you don’t have time to read it, go talk space books with space nerds! It’ll be fun.

Comics:

Thursday, July 23rd – Sunday, July 26th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060]  at All Day
Sidewalk Sale
Modern Myths is participating in the Northampton 2015 Sidewalk Sale! Come grab great old comics for a dollar! We at the Nerd Watch feel it’s important to tell you: just read the danged things. Read them and give them to other people to read and just don’t worry about preserving them. The boom is over, they’re printed on paper, and you got them for $1.

Movies:

Wednesday, July 22nd
Amherst Cinema [28 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Yeah yeah yeah you’ve either seen it and quoted it WAY too often, or you’re tired of hearing it quoted so danged often. But it’s funny and it’ll fun on the screen. Swear to GOODNESS GRACIOUS though if the Nerd Watch catches wind of you yelling quotes for weeks afterward we’ll be very upset.

RPGs:

Tuesday, July 24th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Public RPG: D&D Planescape
Planescape, of Torment fame! It’s this neat setting that basically is “what if we just mashed everything into one, but also had complicated metaphysical rules that made everything super weird and fun?” and it’s a great idea. Try playing in this cool setting with friendly GM Christian Haining and some pre-made 5th-level characters!
Thursday, July 23rd
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Public RPG: Mutants and Masterminds
Crispy/Nola, who we believe is some form of cereal golem(????) is hosting this great superhero/villain RPG! Play around with powers beyond the ken of mortals, invent your own colorful origin story… or more likely just sort of tweak one from a superhero you love it’s okay we all do it. Maybe be Wolverine but if he was a cool dog from space?
Saturday, July 25th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Star Wars RPG
Star Wars! That movie you saw once and appreciated but just never really felt like re-watching. Star Wars! People like it. Star Wars! It’s all well and good to bad-mouth the Prequel Trilogy, because it’s bad, but deep inside you know that when you see children love it makes you question everything about your fandom. Anyway! Play around in that universe we all like, creating fun stories. The GM will gladly help you get in on the action if you show up midway through a storyline!
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Public RPG: Pathfinder Pirates
Pathfinder! The also-ran, the runner-up, the actually-we-don’t-have-sales-figures-so-who-knows-maybe-it’s-the-one-in-the-lead anyway it’s like D&D but not exactly for reasons that either matter to you not at all or a LOT. Come grab a seat at the table to play as a dastardly probably magic pirate! We recommend that you play as a vampirate! Sailing eternally to avoid the harsh light of day.

June 1st – June 7th

IMG_20150531_175601059The Valley Nerd Watch!


Oh gosh oh gosh oh gosh a lot of people are coming to see James at Nerd Nite. Oooooh goodness.

He kind of forgot the creeping terror that accompanies public speaking! He kind of forgot that this was one of the nice bits about no longer being in academia! Well, we’re pretty sure he’ll manage. It’s a pretty good presentation, we think! Hopefully he’s not the only person in the room who’s interested in how many times Jean Grey has risen from the dead.

It might help, if you don’t mind, to just sort of all remain perfectly still and perfectly quiet, maybe hidden under some manner of tarp? Oh, or if anyone has a dog James could hold, that would definitely help! It’s impossible to be nervous while snuggling a pup.

The big news this week is that Hack for Western Mass is happening in Springfield over the weekend! It’s an opportunity to help out your friends and neighbors in the Valley via the use of whatever specialized skill you bring to the table! And we do mean whatever!

While most of the projects are in some way related to technology or web development, they desperately need people to help manage, promote, and guide projects in the right directions. You can be a big help whether you’re a dedicated coder or someone who feels more comfortable keeping a team coordinated and excited!

We’re going to be there, probably mostly contributing our skill at Twittering and taking photos of things and being very optimistic about the ability of other people to tackle important challenges!

As always, be sure to check out the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week!

THIS WEEK


Books:

Tuesday, June 2nd
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club
Introduce yourself to the good people at the Science Fiction and Fantasy book club! They welcome new members, regardless of whether you’ve read the book. And for the record we know we keep telling you to go to book clubs on a two-day notice and you don’t have time to read the books! We’re working on it! The book you don’t have time to read this week is A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab!
Wednesday, June 3rd
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Group: Small Gods
Introduce yourself to the good people at the Science Fiction and Fantasy book GROUP! They too welcome new members, regardless of whether you’ve read the book. The book you don’t have time to read this week is Small Gods by Terry Pratchett!

Computers:

Tuesday, June 2nd
The Foundry [24 Main St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm
Hang out with some real nice people who like to develop things for the internet. The Foundry is a really nice joint to hang out in as well! It’s got a great selection of the sort of interesting beer that fancy drinkers in the Valley demand, and it’s really comfortable! Have fun and introduce yourself to some fellow web developer people!
Saturday, June 6th – Sunday, June 7th
UMass Center at Springfield [1500 Main St, Springfield, MA 01115] at 8:30am
Like we said up top! It’s a big deal thing that you should check out. See how you can get ready for the event here, and plan out which of the challenges seem most interesting to you! You can also pre-register! 

Entertainment:

Monday, June 1st
Eastworks [116 Pleasant St, Easthampton, MA 01027] at 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Nerd Nite NoHo
Nerd Nite! We’re presenting! Or James is presenting, anyway! It’ll be a pretty great time! Thomas Schieffer will also be presenting a talk about stress. But, we’re pretty certain that we can say without a hint of bias that the most cool part of the evening will be seeing James talk about comic books and continuity! Learn what a “retcon” is, and why they’re so often deployed!
Wednesday, June 3rd
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Jeff Lord: Swords Through the Ages
Come see the man, the myth, the legend, the LORD of Jeffs! Watch in awe as he and Jeff Goodhind (arch-duke of Jeffs) of the Association for Renaissance and Medieval Swordsmanship demonstrate Western European Swordery of various ages! The truly brave amongst you can even challenge them to combat! Victor, as is custom, will take the throne of Britain. Sponsored by the Friends of Greenfield Public Library with the World Eye Book Shop!

Movies:

Saturday, June 6th
Amherst Cinema [28 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00am
Willow
This weekend, head to Amherst Cinema to see a really strange family-friendly fantasy movie! Starring Warwick Davis, it’s about a little person who finds a magic baby, and is protected by a brave swordsman played by Val Kilmer. It’s… it’s not exactly a good film. But it’s an interesting, strange film. Plus, Warwick is charming! Also it was produced by George Lucas after Star Wars, beginning him on the path to realizing Star Wars was pretty much going to be his only hit.

RPGs:

Thursday, June 4th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Indie RPG Night
Hang out with the kind folks at Modern Myths and give some weird RPG a shot! They’ve got great taste, so you can rest assured that whatever you wind up playing will have you duly entertained for a couple of hours! Last time I played, setup only took a few minutes, and we got a good couple hours of play in with a system I would never have taken a second look at otherwise. A real worthwhile experience for people who love RPGs, and who might want to branch out from the old standards. A $5 day pass is required to attend, but it is as always converted immediately to store credit.

Video Games:

Sunday, June 7th
The Quarters [8 Railroad St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 7:00pm
MAKETALKPLAY
Hang out and grab a drink at The Quarters while talking to fellow developers from around the Valley and beyond! This month the event is pretty much just hanging out and networking, no presenter. Last time we attended the crowd was extremely personable, and we highly recommend that anyone interested in game development attend, so as to meet people with a shared interest and a willingness to lend a helping hand!