Sunderland Public Library

March 27th – April 2nd

The Valley Nerd Watch!


So despite the fact that we repeatedly forget to mention it because we’re not on Facebook all THAT often we’re huge fans of Brass Cat Game Night! The Brass Cat is a nice as heck bar, particularly when it’s got that patio area open in the summer, and more importantly Justin Dowd puts on a very friendly game night.

Justin knows the rules, he’s an extra player if you need one, and he’s really good at figuring out a good selection of games so people all get a chance to have a good time. Plus all the folks who attend are quite friendly. It’s really delightful! Have you been? Fill out this survey! Have you never been? Still fill out the survey, to provide useful data about how to make it the best event it can be!

Also! If you notice that a local business or event either has a website that’s no longer functional or notice that they’re not popping up on Google or only post on FB whatnot, let us know! We’re trying to get a list together of people we miss because like they’ve only got a Facebook page or the site has changed. But more eyes on the problem is always a big help!

Oh also since there’s a bunch of prison policy related stuff in this issue, why not take the opportunity to donate to the Prison Policy Initiative?

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 27th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Drop In Sit and Knit Group
Sit! Knit! Hang out with people who like to knit. Ask them for advice, chat with them, generally get along with other human beings in a pleasant environment and at the end of it have a little bit of progress in a creative project. Dang, we gotta knit more.
Tuesday, March 28th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Short Story Series
Dramatic readings by professional actors bring short stories to life! Linda Tardif will be reading “Sorry Fugu” by T.C. Boyle, and Troy David Mercier will be reading “Taste” by Roald Dahl! It’s like an audiobook but free and you can thank it afterward.
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
The Mead’s Feejee Mermaid: An Interdisciplinary Re-Appraisal
See the Mead’s strange example of some faux-mythical weirdness! Then, assistant museum educator Keely Sarr will reconstruct for you the cultural context of what the heck made people decide to stick together a fish and a monkey for some danged reason in a post-colonial lens. All are welcome!
Friday, March 31st
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Reception for Whitney C. Robbins “Akin II”
Beautiful artwork displaying the bond between humankind and other animals, reminding us that it’s a good idea to generally be decent to living things. Also, it’s real pretty! This is a reception so usually that means some cheese and tea or something, if you’re lucky!
Saturday, April 1st
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Community Day: Fool Mead Once
Animation! Cartooning! Make some artwork, attend some talks. All activites inspired by Kota Ezawa’s animated films and the lightboxes on display on in the museum! Stretch your cartooning muscles! Have fun!
Sunday, April 2nd
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
The Final Flourish, the Rhetoric of the Hat – by Margaret Bruzelius
What do hats mean? Why are hats worn? How do they indicate what a person is societally and mentally and why? Beginning with 30’s screwball comedies, Margaret Bruzelius will discuss the patterns and the meanings of hats in film! It sounds like a top hat of a presentation alright that one fell apart the same moment we said it wait hats off to Margaret for a wonderful presentation!
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Talk – “The Borscht Belt: Revisiting the Remains of America’s Jewish Vacationland” with Marisa Scheinfeld
The Catskills, famously popular for a long time with Jewish vacationers, used to be home to hundreds of hotels, bungalows, and clubs where top performers played for huge crods. Many of them have spent the years since their heyday slowly decaying. Marisa Scheinfeld documented the fate of these onetime vacation paradises, and will talk about the experience and sign her book after the talk!

At:

Friday, March 31st
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 8:30 AM to 9:30 PM
Morgan Library Bus Trip
A big day for Dickinson fans! A big bus trip to visit the Morgan Library in NYC to see “I’m Nobody! Who are you? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson” Ride in a nice coach with fellow Dickinson-heads, screen a biography of the poet, and eat some gingerbread from her own recipe! It’s a long day, but it sounds delightful. Seats are limited so head to the site and buy a ticket soon! https://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/morganbus

Books:

Tuesday, March 28th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Harriet Scott Chessman, The Lost Sketchbook of Edgar Degas
A companion novel to Chessman’s other acclaimed work Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper, it’s a lyrical work about what art can reveal. It presents a nuanced picture of what familial, racial, and financial forces might have influenced Edgar Degas’s work presented through the lens of his cousin Tell finding a lost sketchbook of his work.
Thursday, March 30th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Mindy Fried, Caring for Red: A Daughter’s Memoir
Fried provides a moving account of caring for her ninety-seven year-old father Manny. Manny was an actor, a writer, a labor organizer, and survived political persecution in the McCarthy Era. The memoir chronicles her and her sister dealing with issues that, if we’re lucky, we’ll all face caring for our elderly loved ones. It seems like it has some worthwhile lessons to impart and also just that Red’s neatand it’s probably fun to read about him.
Saturday, April 1st
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Q.M. Zhang, Accomplice to Memory
Local author Q.M. Zhang discovers secrets surrounding her father’s exodus from China during the decades of civil and world war leading up to the revolution of 1949. She weaves togther history, nonfiction, memoir, and novel to explore an immigrant parent and the difficulty the second generation has understanding the first.

Community:

Monday, March 27th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Animal Friend Loss Support Group
If you’ve lost an animal you loved, this is a place to talk about it! We definitely remember our poor little hearts breaking when our childhood doggie died, and we think it’s probably a good idea to talk to people when you’re feeling that low down.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Collateral Consequences
Panel conversation with four Massachusetts residents who’ve had personal experience with incarceration. They will give you a human perspective of the effects of being impacted by the carceral state.
Tuesday, March 28th
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
In this final discussion you’ll learn about the connections between diabetes and exercise! Get yourself ready to be as healthy as you can be!
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
Learn more about diabetes, a disease that’s worth knowing about! This last meetup is about how important it is to exercise if you want to deal with diabetses effectively.
Wednesday, March 29th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Real Madness: Warehousing People with Mental Illness in Prisons – Presented by Robert Fleischner
Find out more about the horrificly torturous system of American prisons! We incarcerate more people that any other nation, and it’s not because we’re good at it! Robert Fleischner will discuss why so many people with mental illness wind up in prison instead of being helped, and what we can do about it.
Saturday, April 1st
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
League of Women Voters – Health Care Committee
Find out how to combat the latest terrifying thing to happen to healthcare! Band together with fellow citizens to ensure that Massachusetts remains a pretty decent place to be sick in.

Entertainment:

Wednesday, March 29th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
The Kerry Boys: Irish Music Performance
Connecticut’s finest Irish Balladeers! Vocal harmony, instrumental vibrancy, danged good fun in the classic Celtic spirit.
Thursday, March 30th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Watch anime! It doesn’t have to be good, even! Sometimes it’s fun just to watch a cartoon that’s exciting and a bit silly. It’s also possible to watch good anime but we’re just saying, don’t feel like that’s a requirement. Probably talk to other folks at this event about what everyone’s feeling into this particular night!
Saturday, April 1st
Chapin Auditorium, Mount Holyoke at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Staceyann Chin: Keynote Speaker, The 2017 Women of Color Trailblazers Leadership Conference
The keynote is open to the public, free for all MHC students, faculty, and staff, and $5 for Five-College and non-conference attendees! Staceyann Chin is a fulltime artist, resident of NYC, and a Jamaican National. She’s been an “out poet and political activist” since 1998. For more information about the conference check out https://www.mtholyoke.edu/diversity/women-color-trailblazers-leadership-conference
Kittredge Center at Holyoke Community College at 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
PodCamp 2017
PodCamp! It’s an event for well… for basically people like us? Hang out with the sort of people who want to talk about things and know that others are hearing them or write about things and know that others are reading them! It’s like $40 is the thing, but it does seem cool. Podcasts in particular will have a lot to learn, but they welcome all those of us who do things online and try to get people to pay attention! Find out more here: http://www.podcampwm.org/about/

Kids:

Monday, March 27th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Mucho Gusto Spanish Free Sample Classes
A free bilingual Spanish/English story hour with Laurie Davidson of Mucho Gusto Spanish! It’s for children ages 0-5 and their caregivers!
Thursday, March 30th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
LEGO Club
LEGO Club! Build things and play with them around other kids! Ages 5 and up!

Movies:

Monday, March 27th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Pathway to Change: The Jail Labyrinth Project
Watch a documentary filmed at the Hampshire County Jail, about the Labyrinth program started by Cathy Rigali and Sister Lorry Villemaire. The film shows the development of their curriculum, as well as the construction and dedication of the labyrinth!
Wednesday, March 29th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Far Out Film Discussion
This week: El Topo! Watch the film at home, then come to this meetup to discus it! It’s written by, directed by, and stars Alejandro Jodorowsky so you know it’s very odd and compelling. Give it a watch, then discuss with smart people!
Friday, March 31st
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Tuck Everlasting
Watch the film of the book you probably read around 8th grade maybe by Natalie Babbitt! It’s probably not the world’s best film but the underlying premise and themes are useful to think about plus it’s free so hey who’s complaining.

RPGs:

Thursday, March 30th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Play an RPG! Play Noirlandia, it lets you be a detective in a weird wonderland with rules you create yourself, plus you get to make an Evidence Board!

Science:

Monday, March 27th
Nacul Center [592 Main St., Amherst, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
SciTech Cafe: A Quantum Mechanic’s Approach to Next-Generation Electronics
What’s magnetism? How do we make useful quantum devices? How can you harness the power of the QUANTUM with a pencil and scotch tape? How are computers created? All these questions and more will be answered by Joseph Checkelsky, an assistant professor of physics at MIT!

Advertisements

December 19th – December 25th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Have an extremely good holiday season this year! Bring good cheer to other folks, it’s a good time to make sure that other people are doing okay and that they have what they need. Lots of gift-giving holiday times does sometimes mean a bunch of stress, though! Take care of yourselves.

This is a great time to become a sustaining monthly donor of a great charitable organization like the Food Bank of Western Mass! You can also donate in the name of your friends or family as a way of avoiding having to figure out what the heck to get them. Well, and as a way to do good in the world. But like, with the side benefit of making shopping for gifts during the Gifting Season less stressful.

Anyway, Happy Holidays!

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:

Friday, December 23rd
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Cookie Decorating
Open to all ages! They’re going to provide the frosting and the sprinkles and the cookies, you bring the ability to assemble those items into little adorably decorated cookies! It’ll be a top-notch time.

Board Games:

Tuesday, December 20th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Palmer Library Game Night
Play board games at a Game Night! We’ve been playing a bunch of Pandemic: Legacy, you should take a chance to try out Pandemic: Not Legacy and see if that seems like a fun time. It’s a super nice game that works well, and even better in Legacy form!

Card Games:

Friday, December 23rd
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Friday Night Magic: Booster Draft
Draft cards, play magic, win prizes! A $16 entry fee includes tax, and gets you 3 booster packs to draft with, and adds a pack to the prize pool! Everyone gets at least 1 prize pack, and extra packs and foil cards will be awarded for exceptional play!

Comic Books:

Monday, December 19th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Queers in Comics and Games
A discussion group for excellent folks led by the inimitable manager of Modern Myths! It’s a great place to discuss comics and games, get recommendations, and meet friendly folks in a very nice store full of games and comics!

Entertainment:

Wednesday, December 21st
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Youth Holiday Bingo
Bingo! That’s what you say when you’re playing the game Bingo, a sort of live gambling game which we have to say seems like a lot of fun. It’s kind of just an attention-game, like multiple people can win at the same time but you need to be on point to shout out the keyword (bingo) first!
Thursday, December 22nd
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Anime! The sport of kings. We’ve heard a ton of good things about the anime Fullmetal Alchemist! The recent Brotherhood re-make of it is a lot shorter and well-regarded we think. The little kid in the suit of armor is so neat is mostly what we gathered from the series!

Movies:

Monday, December 19th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Monday and a Movie for Teens: Great Unsung Women of Computing
A special screening of the movie Great Unsung Women of Computing! Learn about the mothers of computation, the people responsible in a direct manner for the very device upon which you read these words! There’s also popcorn and a discussion after the film!
Wednesday, December 21st
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:15 PM
Film Screening: Scrooged
Bill Murray in a classic tale of the fantastic: an extremely wealthy man coming to the understanding that other humans are worthwhile persons and not objects! Also it’s a retelling of the Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol”, it’s really funny and good!

RPGs:

Wednesday, December 21st
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
RPG Encounters: Star Wars
Did you like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, About the Movie Star Wars Which You Watched and Enjoyed? Then play an RPG set in the universe! Did you not like Rogue One: A Star Wars Tale About the People in Star Wars? Well, you probably have strong opinions which you can express by playing an RPG set in the Stars Wars universe!
Thursday, December 22nd
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Step inside another life! RPGs are fun time games for folks who like to play pretend around a table. You can basically play whatever, though Fake Medieval Place Role-playing is pretty much the most common.

November 9th – November 15th

XMen32Int1

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Welcome to a slightly late and slightly small Nerd Watch! We’re heading toward that most American of Holidays: Canadian Thanksgiving The Sequel, which we hope you all have a good time celebrating. Definitely let us know if you’re writing for NaNoWriMo, or if you’ve read anything interesting for NaShoStoReMo, which sounds more our speed. Just read a short story a day instead of writing an entire danged novel.

We’ve had the opportunity to read the very excellent stories contained in Gods, Memes, and Monsters. A novel that has short stories by a ton of authors, including local notables Emily Care Boss and Julia Ellingboe. It’s a sort of updated bestiary for the modern world, and it runs the gamut from old-school creepy to basically long form jokes. A lot of fun, we recommend you find a copy.

We also got a chance to check out Paranormal Petunia, by local creator Chris Collins. It’s a legitimately neat comic about a paranormal investigator who can see ghosts and suchlike, and mostly is just getting by while helping people through their personal tragedies. I’ve always been kind of a fan of the paranormal dealings as externalized therapy genre, when it’s done well. And it’s got some rather creepy bits in it too, very neat.

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

THIS WEEK


Art:

Monday, November 9th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] 4:00pm – 6:00pm
NaNoWriMo Write-In Session
Forbes Library supports National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) by helping writers stay dedicated! The forbes Writer in Residence, Naila Moreira, will be there to help you figure out how to ensure a jaw-dropping climax to the latest in your Superpostion Cycle.
Friday, November 13th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 2:45pm
Art Journal Study Group
Moderated by local artist Laura Curran, this art journal group will help people explore new ideas and experiment with new techniques in a supportive environment!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00pm – 5:00pm
NaNoWriMo Write-In Session
Continue your writing! You’re almost there! Think of all the filthy lucre you’ll make when you finally get that HBO series based on your Ultramyth Quintilogy!
Saturday, November 14th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Art Walk
Join the lovely staff at Comics N’ More for art! And not just the art that resides in the titular Comics, but the art that resides in the N’ More that is Easthampton! They’ve got a little gallery space and it’s great so you should check it out!

Board Games:

Friday, November 13
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Tabletop Game Night
Another night of tabletop board and card games on King Street! A fun time with nice people. Bring a game to share! Cards, boards, just so long as it isn’t the Most Dangerous Game! Wait no. We suppose everyone brings the Most Dangerous Game with them just by attending. Just don’t hunt each other, we guess is what we’re saying.
Sunday, November 15th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday Heroclix
Heroclix, the game that finally makes the clix the hero! Wait no it’s a game about superheroes and actually the little miniatures don’t click very much at all. For a challenge, construct a team of nothing but lawyers!

Books:

Monday, November 9th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 6:00pm
Alex Gino & Leslea Newman
Join Odyssey for a discussion about LGBTQ issues with two middle grade authors! Alex Gino has been involved in queer and trans activism for years, and Leselea Newman is the author of 65 books, one of the more famous ones being “Heather Has Two Mommies”.
Tuesday, November 10th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 8:00pm
UMass Press Reads at the Jones Library: Bruce Laurie
Bruce Laurie is a professor of history emeritus at UMass Amherst. His latest book is “Rebels in Paradise: Sketches of Northampton Abolitionists”. He profiles five rebellious figures who launched the abolition movement in Northampton and links it to broader national developments. Free and open to the public!
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Lauret Savoy: “Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape”
In a provocative and powerful mosaic of personal journeys and historical inquiry across time and a continent, Savoy explores history and race in the United States.
Saturday, November 14th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:30pm
Megan Lambert, “Reading Picture Books with Children”
Do you love picturebooks? Do you read them with wonderful young people either personally or professionally? Do you wish you had a better idea of how to make the reading experience more engaging? Come see Megan Lambert speak!

Computers:

Wednesday, November 11th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Project Management Meetup
Project managers! Or just people who have to deal with large complex projects involving many people! Come hang out, network, talk about how to manage stuff. It’s a fun time with people who can help you do what you do better!

Entertainment:

Saturday, November 14th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Forbes Library Doctor Who Club
Who? A doctor? A doctor of what? Not a doctor of medicine, certainly. Not a PhD, doesn’t have the right temperament. I think this man might be some sort of traveling vagrant! If you too love the Doctor, head to the Community Room! Contact Jason (junglejasonjr@gmail.com) for more information!
Thursday, November 12th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Anime Club
Anime! Animated things you can watch, a good time for all. Open to teens and young adults ages 14 and up!

Movies:

Monday, November 9th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
The Story We Tell
Filmmaker Sarah Polley investigates the truth about her family history via a series of revealing interviews. Sounds interesting!

RPGs:

Thursday, November 12th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
RPG Club
Create a character! Explore their adventures! Meet their parents! Be sure to be on your best behavior! No, what? No how could you say that? No more adventures make a new character. All ages welcome, no experience necessary.

Science:

Saturday, November 14th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375] at 1:00pm
Wolf Talk!
Wolf Talk clarifies many misconceptions about one of our most valued endagered species: Moose! Wait no, Wolves! You’ll learn all about these surprisingly friendly creatures, including their eating habits, pack structure, history, and different populations around the world! This presentation is for children and their families.

October 12th – October 18th

XMen49CoverThe Valley Nerd Watch!


First of all, some sad local news. In case you were not aware, the Platinum Pony experienced a very intense fire last Monday night. No one was injured, as it took place after the close of business. Because of the damage, the Platinum Pony will be closed until former notice. If they need community support to rebuild, they’ll ask and we’ll let you know! For now, they’ll update about performer relocations and the like. Here’s hoping they get back on their feet quickly and put on more fun events!

So hey on a totally different note: it’s Halloweentober! The creepy month of scary things. You know what you should do during the month of Creeptober? Read a bunch of comics that are about monsters and all that jazz!

Local artist Lex Cornell is a good place to start! She draws a bunch of comics, one of which is the charming “Welcome to Enigma“, which we bought at TopatoCon. It’s a comic about a town full of monsters who are all really nice and a young man who believes monsters are fairy tales finding out that oh wait no they’re totally real and totally rad! Well… it ends before he comes out and says “whoa all these people are rad” but it’s obvious to the READER that monsters are rad. It’s light, it’s a quick read, and we were charmed.

Not a local, but we have definitely got to recommend reading Emily Carroll’s amazing work as well! She does just… really intense, really impressive stuff. Her monsters are not rad! They’re scary and distressing. Probably our favorite stories of hers are “Out of Skin“, on of the most distressingly illustrated works we’ve read, and “His Face All Red“, an understated but very creepy tale. You can pick up some of her work from local retailer TopatoCo!

Finally, kind of splitting the difference between terrifying and funny, there’s Abby Howard! “The Last Halloween” is a rollicking horror-adventure-comedy. Abby’s art style works incredibly well for this cross-genre storytelling. It’s as light and fluffy and cartoonish as it needs to be to sell a dumb joke, and then it turns around and presents real freaky horror monsters just when you get comfortable! Super nifty across the board.

So yes, read all those comics. Also probably re-watch The Thing? That’s a heck of a horror flick.

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:

Saturday, October 17th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Board Game Playtest
Are you a fan of board games? Want to help local designers refine their work? Come to Modern Myths! Local board and card game designers will have beta test games available for playtesting! Try something new, and help people out with feedback! If you’re a local designer and want to demo, send a message to Modern Myths!
Sunday, October 18th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday Heroclix
Heroclix! Fun little collectible super-person fight miniatures. It’s a little bit streamlined and you don’t have to paint them! Or get to paint them, if you’re the sort of person who likes painting minis. Although you COULD paint them, we suppose…
Saturday, October 17th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at Mystery Time
Star Trek Attack Wing
We’ve never played the attack wing games, but they seem really well-made and entertaining. Though really shouldn’t the Star Trek variant be composed primarily of rolling “make passionate speech” die and maneuvering into position to reach out a hand of friendship across all worlds.
Sunday, October 17th – 18th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at Mystery Time at All Day
Kings of War Demo
Kings of War! A miniatures game. We really don’t super understand how to differentiate between these sorts of rule systems, but it seems fun? Wow could there be fewer orc/elf/dwarf fantasy wars though. You can bring your own models, but there will be miniatures in the store to learn with for free!
Saturday, October 17th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00am – 2:00pm
Palmer Scholastic Chess Tournament
For any student attending the Palmer Public Schools! The games begin at 10:00am, and it’s a 4-round Swiss system. Entry is free, and you get a trophy for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each age bracket! Fun times. Bring a lunch!

Books:

Saturday, October 17th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00am – 12:00pm
Traditional or Independent Publishing?
Join Steve Strimer of Levellers Press, Zane Kotker, a nationally acclaimed fiction writer, and Dusty J. Miller, a non-fiction and mystery writer for a panel about publishing! How to get your work out there and what challenges await, from experienced people!
Tuesday, October 13th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
May Alcott spends her days sewing blue shirts for Union soldiers, but she dreams of painting a masterpiece. she moves far from Massachusetts to make a life for herself with room for both watercolors and a wedding dress, can she succeed? And if she does, what price will she pay?
Wednesday, October 14th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
A stunning collection whose remarkable characters intersect in life-affirming and heartbreaking manners. A 1930’s Soviet censor painstakingly correct offending photos, a chorus of women recite their stories, two brothers share a fierce and protective love. A captivating work from a great new talent!
Thursday, October 15th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
You might say risk… is his middle name. Probably gets that literally every single moment of every day. A shooting in Central Park is the impetus for an investigation into a cast of complex characters. When a blackout hits, all of their lives will be change forever!
Friday, October 16th
South Hadley Public Library [2 Canal St., South Hadley] at 7:00pm
A master creator of heavy-hitting novels for young readers presents his newest book. This novel presents the shattering story of Joseph, a father at thirteen who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter.
Sunday, October 18th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Moderated by the Jones Library’s own Young Adult Services Coordinator, Garrett Pinder, these three authors will discuss their most recent novels. They’ll also give some insight into the strategies and techniques they use to craft compelling characters that resonate with readers long after the end of their books!

Card Games:

Saturday, October 18th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00pm – 7:00pm
Standard PPTQ & Modern GPT Pittsburgh
Ah, our old friend Pittsburgh the elf. Back again, Pittsburgh wants you to try your skills at Standard Proud Princess Training in Quarterstaffs, and Modern Grand Pleasant Times! There are a ton of prize packs, and buy-in is $30.

Comics:

Thursday, October 15th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Queers in Comics & Games
A monthly discussion group meeting the third Thursday of every month, discussion topics such as LGBTQIA+ representation in comics and games. It’s a nice group where you can talk and listen and get great recommendations! Admission is a $5 Day Pass which you an immediately redeem as store credit.

Computers:

Thursday, October 15th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm
Western MA Drupal Meetup
Are you a Drupal developer? A website person who makes those websites with Drupal, the website making development kit? Well, why not talk to other people with similar skills and interests? Trade tips, make connections, generally have a good time! Drinks generally to follow.
Friday, October 16th
Packard’s Bar – Library Room [14 Masonic St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 8:00pm
Northampton Webdive – After Dark
Do you code? Why not talk to other people who code? It’ll be a good time, you’ll meet some new pals with similar skills and interests. Also, this one is After Dark so it’s all sultry and dangerous. Maybe you’ll solve a murder AND get mixed up in some sort of star-crossed love affair?
Saturday, October 17th
Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center [Cabot Street, Holyoke, MA] at 10:00am
Workshop/Bootcamp: Design Thinking: The Fundamentals of Human-Centered Design
A half-day workshop about designing using rapid prototyping and innovative thinking, including a bootcamp where you can try out the process! You’ll learn how to inspire and steward a culture of creativity in your team and how to create sustainable and effective design solutions.

Entertainment:

Saturday, October 17th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Quidditch Club
Quidditch is extra-appropriate during the most magical month of the year! They play the muggle version, because most of the kids around here can’t fly yet. You can also take classes with Professor McGonagall! For kids ages 6-13, rain or shine!
Thursday, October 15th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Anime Club
Anime! It’s cartoons, mostly from Japan and with a much higher awesome cyborg average than most Western cartoons. Come talk about anime, manga, and whatnot with some other folks. Open to teens and young adults, 14 and up.

Movies:

Friday, October 16th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00pm
Hocus Pocus Movie Night
Hocus Pocus is SUCH a strange film. It’s a Halloween classic, but wow. So many little slightly distressing and surprisingly child-inappropriate bits. Still, we always make sure to give it a watch during October!
Sunday, October 18th
Mystery Location Shown Only to Members
Hello, McFly! Back to the Future Movie Night!
Join the friendly folks at the Western Mass Sci-Fi club as they welcome Marty McFly to the future with a viewing of Back to the Future Part II. Why the 18th, instead of the 21st? The 21st is a Wednesday. It costs $5 to attend, and you need to sign up for the Meetup group!

RPGs:

Sunday, October 18th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
13th Age RPG
Try a fun D20 RPG! It’s been praised by a lot of folks for having a really interesting and well-crafted set of non-combat systems. And really, as fun as it is to bash goblins, the most entertaining part of playing RPGs is figuring out those interpersonal moments.
Thursday, October 15th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00pm
RPG Club
Come hang out and roll up a character! Go on adventures, take daring risks for incredible rewards, and have a fun time with some other people telling an exciting story.
Friday, October 16th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Road, Chesterfield, MA]
Magestry LARP Autumn Game 3
Magestry! Adventure, mysticism, and bewonderment in our lovely Valley! This is the penultimate game of the season and they’re putting out a general call for the maximum number of NPCs! Be a villain or a monster and stand in the path of the brave heroes as they bop you repeatedly! Sounds kind of awesome honestly. NPCing is free, and they feed you! Even doing it a few hours would help out. Contact NPC@Magestry.com if you’re interested.

Science:

Thursday, October 15th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 3:00pm – 5:00pm
STEAM Events for Kids
Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math! Learn and have fun at the library every Thursday with a guest presenter. Who’s presenting this week? It is a mystery. But they will be delightful, that’s guaranteed.

October 5th – October 11th

XMen47Int1The Valley Nerd Watch!


We’ve had an excellent week, everyone! Thank you for being happy for us. So first of all, hey Star Wars and/or miniatures fans: have you tried Star Wars Armada? It’s a miniatures game and it’s a heck of a fun time.

Basically the fun part of it is the fact that you’re controlling big old terrible battle-cruisers that move at a snails pace and turn on like several hundred thousand dimes laid out end-to-end. So you wind up in situations where you have no choice but to ram your danged Star Destroyer into an asteroid field, or another Star Destroyer! And we say Star Destroyer because we assume our gentle readers, like the Nerd Watch itself, understand the strong force-choking based leadership of the Empire is necessary to keep the outer systems in line.

It’s also got lovely dice. We don’t tend to notice dice in games, but the three different classes of eight-sided die in Armada are wonderfully designed. They’re just random enough that you can have the occasional thrilling flub or amazing success, but on average they’ll do a bit of damage. It means you can easily predict what will happen and maneuver for reasonable probabilities while leaving the door open for some fun surprises. Plus there’s just something really fun about picking up a big handful of different colored dice and knowing oh dang this is going to be awesome.

Also you can kill Luke Skywalker and end that pesky rebellion before it starts.

Also! We’re pretty excited to say that soon, very soon, the Nerd Watch will extend beyond the petty borders that constrain it! All the way to the far-off land of Maine! We’ll update as things actually happen, but it should be cool!

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:

Thursday, October 8th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00pm – 5:00pm
ARPS – Jones Makerspace
Alright so we know what a makerspace is, right? It’s what we call arts and crafts areas now that we’re in the cyber-future. So without any description on the actual event, we can only assume it’s the Amherst Rocking Psychedelic Syber makerspace.
Saturday, October 10th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Easthampton Art Walk
Join the fine folks at Comics N’ More for a good time walking some art. Take some of the lovely photos from Glowworm photography on a stroll about town, we assume. Let them mark their art territory? This metaphor got away from us.

Board Games:

Saturday, October 10th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 12:30pm
Tabletop Gaming Day
Tabletop games are great because they allow you to stare your opponents right in their lying eyes and just dare them to try to make a move. Oh yeah, you think you’re clever don’t you? We’ll see who’s clever. Mostly they play Euro strategy games, but they’re open to whatever you’d like to bring! Beginners are welcome!
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at All Day
Highlander 40k Tournament
Alright it took a bit of digging to figure out what the heck this is but basially Highlander is a format of Warhammer 40k where you take only one of a troop type, possibly to prevent strategies people think are boring? Either way, hook up with the fine folks of the 131 and play the day away! Details here.
Sunday, October 11th
Wild Willy’s Games Galore and Table Top Emporium [424 East St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 3:00pm – 10:00pm
Sunday 40K Brackets
Warhammer 40K Bracket Tournament! One on one annihilation! You can submit your lists by 2:30pm Sunday if you plan on participating, and make sure you’re ready to fight for 3:00pm! There’s a $10 buy in with some excellent prizes! You have 1000 +/- 5 points, 0-1 unit choices, 2.5 hour rounds with 20 minute breaks. No formations, no lords of war, no super heavies!

Books:

Monday, October 5th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Alejandro Velasco, “Barrio Rising: Urban Popular Politics and the Making of Modern Venezuela
Venezuela is… a complicated place at the moment. It used to be known in the region as a stable inclusive democracy, but seems to have fallen into turmoil. Alejandro Velasco will teach you why the conflicts today have their roots in the very beginnings of Venezuelan democracy, and how their basis is in a fight over what democracy should be in an unequal society.
Wednesday, October 7th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Earth and Cosmos: Nature Writing
A part of the literary series going on at Forbes, this one will feature Dava Sobel, author of The Planets, Jonathan Mingle, author of Fire and Ice, Michael Dover, editor, and Elizabeth Farnsworth and Katie Koerten, contributors to Earth Matters. It will be moderated by Forbes Writer in Residence Naila Moereira. Didn’t know they had apartments in Forbes…
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
First Wednesday Speaker Series: Leslea Newman
Local poet Leslea Newman will be reading from her new collection, “I Carry My Mother”. She’s the author of seventy books including picture books, middle-grade novels, poetry collections, and short stories. “I Carry My Mother” is a book-length series of poems that explores a daughter’s journey through her mother’s illness and death, and her own grief.

Comics:

Sunday, October 11th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060]
Comic Creator’s Jam
Come to Modern Myths to sit down and have a nice chat with a bunch of other people who like to draw, write, or otherwise work on producing comics! You can talk about how cool TopatoCon was, and how you can exhibit there next year!

Computers:

Tuesday, October 6th
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm
Northampton Webdive – After Work
Are you a coder? A webber? Are you a spider that designs webs and places them in spaces? Are you one of the spiders that weaves the web by which we knit the world together? Meet up with your peers and talk about designing, coding, whatever is up! They’re nice folks.
Friday, October 9th
Bay Path University [Blake Student Commons, Longmeadow Campus, Longmeadow, MA] at 7:30am
An Inside Look at the FBI’s Cyber Division
Slap on your shades and get ready to code with a ‘tude, because we’re about to get C*Y*B*E*R with the coolest cats on the block: a large governmental agency! Join the FBI for the 3rd annual cybersecurity summit to hear about the new focus on cyber intelligence and cyber threats. No photos, video, or audio taping. Also, pre-register!

Entertainment:

Friday, October 9th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00pm
Ghost Hunters
Presented by The Atlantic Paranormal Society, learn how to ghost hunt! Which is to say, how best to frighten yourself in a dark space by projecting outward the fears that gnaw at you. Well, that or you actually find some ghosts and they turn you inside-out for a lark, it could go either way.

Movies:

Wednesday, October 7th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on the Lawn
When you think of it, doesn’t it make a lot more sense that the movie takes place entirely in the mind of Ferris’s sister? After all, the shenanigans of Ferris and the gang are so wildly unlikely, it would make sense if they were dreamed up by a frustrated student who wanted to escape.

Science:

Thursday, October 8th
The Nacul Center [592 Main St., Amherst, MA] at 6:00pm – 7:00pm
OEB Science Cafe: Gut Feeling
Gut Feeling: fostering a diverse and healthy microbiome! With Dr. Jeff Blanchard. Have you considered the waking nightmare that is your physical form? You’re basically a bag of horrific tiny monsters that are constantly killing each other. Learn more about the horror that is existence re: your gut microbes at this Science Cafe!

August 24th – August 30th

XMen42CoverThe Valley Nerd Watch!


Remember, if you don’t see your favorite local shop in the Valley Nerd Watch newsletter there are a couple possible ways forward. First, alert us to the absence! Via Twitter, Facebook, or just plain-old reliable email. We’re only [?] people, and can’t find every neat local place on our own! That’s why we need rubes to extend our reach. Second, check the WEEKLY EVENTS page! It’s possible the store you like is just not doing any special events this week, only their regular weekly stuff. Which is on the Weekly Events page. As always, thank you for reading!

Hey, any of you out there into Netrunner? You know, the card game? Because we’re kind of big fans of Netrunner and we don’t get to play it as often as we’d like. And it seems like local stores are not so into doing anything but Magic when it comes to card game stuff. Let the Nerd Watch know if you too bemoan the lack of running nets around town and maybe if enough people are interested we can talk some shops into making a… Thursday Night Netrunner or something. Just spit-balling, it could even be a Tuesday Night Netrunner. The possibilities are literally seven.

Finally this week we would like to point you to a local artist! Aaron Wood has been creating really solid propaganda/retro-travel/art deco designs about a lot of geeky topics for a while now and you should definitely check out his work.

We feel like he does a solid job of creating pieces that are effective in their own right, rather than just being interesting because they’re done in a retro minimalist style. The planets series in particular is spectacular use of the mythical sense of what planets might have been, before we found out that Venus wasn’t hiding a rainforest and Mars didn’t have watery canal systems. Our favorite is Mercury, though.

Look at that! Lovely.Anyway the point is, if you need posters to brighten up your living space, support a nice local person by giving him money in exchange for interesting artwork! The best deal is definitely the big pack of all the retro planetary travel posters. Save $25, and give some to your friends if you can’t quite support eight planets and one dwarf planet’s worth of posters.

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:

Monday, August 24th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375]at 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Board Game Night
Come play board games with friends! Bring your own or play some of the provided games. There’s also popcorn for snacking! Grades 5th – 8th only, no sign up necessary!
Thursday, August 27th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Game Night
Join the fine friendly folks at Palmer Public Library for a chance to learn new games and enjoy old classics! The featured game will be revered classic sheep-trading simulator Settlers of Catan, but others from the library’s collection will also be available!

Card Games:

Friday, August 28th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 6:00pm
August Friday Night Magic
Every Friday in August, Greenfield Games is hosting Friday Night Magic! Two tournaments in two formats: Standard and Modern. There are three to four rounds of Swiss pairings. There’s also a $5 entry fee BUT fabulous prizes like booster packs and a cool promo card.

Entertainment:

Tuesday, August 25th
Haven at Divas [492 Pleasant St #3, Northampton, MA 01060]at 9:00pm – 2:00am
Haven Faire
Okay so this is a thing? How’d we miss this. Let’s see Medieval merriment, goth/industrial dance, a midnight costume contest… turkey legs oh gosh no don’t eat turkey legs while clubbing PLEASE no one do that. Dress up in costume, dance and have fun, do not eat any turkey legs! There’s an $8 cover and it’s 21+.
Friday, August 28th
The Platinum Pony [0 Cottage St, Easthampton, Massachusetts 01027] at 10:00pm
Serenity’s Chibi-Con Drag Show: Darkstalkers
Darkstalkers has never really been the king of fighting games, and certainly never the the King of Fighters of fighting games. But it certainly does have colorful characters. Here’s your chance to dress up as them! Doors open at 9:30pm, dancing starts at 10:00pm, there’s a costume contest at 11:00pm, and there’s a big drag show at midnight! Come in character, win prizes! There’s a $10 cover, and it’s 21+.
Friday, August 28th – Sunday, August 30th
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center [1 Atwood Dr., Northampton, MA 01060]
Wow! So many conventions nearby in such a short space of time. This one in particular seems like a fun, low-key con with a focus on science fiction and cosplay.

Movies:

Monday, August 24th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060]at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
The Heist
The Northampton Committee to Stop War presents a free screening of The Heist followed by a discussion of the film. It seems like a reasonably wide-ranging film focusing on the idea that there’s a significant and purposeful subsuming of the democratic process by business interests in the US. The discussion should be interesting!
Wednesday, August 26th
Forbes Library Lawn [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:45pm
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!

RPGs:

Monday, August 24th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 3:00pm – 7:00pm
Public RPG: Dungeons & Dragons
Dragons get a bad rap. Sure, they’re enormous and they hog resources and they eat people and also they see humans as no better than ants, but they’re important apex predators! And besides, you’re more likely to get killed by a snack machine falling on you. Well, unless you’re an adventurer. It’s 5th Ed., hosted by Neal Robinson!
Thursday, August 27th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Public RPG: Mutants & Masterminds
Play as a superhero and beat up villains in what they’re calling a comic cook themed RPG on the Comics N’ More calendar. We think that’s a typo, but why not run with that? Make yourself a cooking-themed superhero! We suppose The Iron Chef is a gimme, but yeah that’d be fun. Join at any session, new players welcome, pre-made characters and dice are provided, hosted by Christopher Paton and Nola Leigh!
Friday, August 28th – Sunday, August 30th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Road, Chesterfield, MA 01096] at 7:00pm
Dreams are forcing their way into reality! The menace of the Gatekeeper looms! The darkness of the Evernight hides powerful enemies! Magestry is now a lot more welcoming to new players, so sign up now! The fee is just $30 for first time players, including Saturday Dinner. It’s FREE for volunteer staff, plus meals! Email info@magestry.com to get a free account for the online character generator.
Saturday, August 29th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Public RPG: Edge of the Empire
Star Wars! Only in a different, slightly worse universe. Basically Luke got killed by Vader during A New Hope, and now things are cruddy as they are wont to be when a Death Star is something that’s actually being factored into governmental policy. Play as mysterious mercenaries making your way in a harsh world! Pre-made characters available, join any time, hosted by Tim Shields!

Science:

Thursday, August 27th
The Platinum Pony [0 Cottage St, Easthampton, Massachusetts 01027] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
SEXperts
Whoa, racy, saucy, educational! SEXperts is your chance to see a panel of some of the Happy Valley’s best and brightest sex experts and educators. They’ll cover the gamut of basically sex things, which a lot of people consider quite interesting and important. They’ll provide informative demonstrations, and there’s a chance for a Q&A. Come at 7:00pm to submit an anonymous question and grab a drink!
Forbes Library, Coolidge Museum [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00pm
Cookies with a Curator
Learn about the mysterious Charles Forbes himself with Local History & Genealogy Librarian Elise Benier-Feeley! You’ll get to see historic documents, diaries, and learn about the benefactor of our wonderful local library.

August 17th – August 23rd

XMen24BackThe Valley Nerd Watch!


So we’re still not completely certain if any of our readers have Steam accounts, but we’re pretty excited to recommend you play a computer game! Invisible, Inc. is a really fun game about stealthily robbing places around the world in order to save your super-secret spy organization. It’s kind of like playing a much more serious version of Archer. Part of the fun is that you tend to triumph against odds that seem impossible, even on the beginner difficulty!

Let us know on the Facebook page or on our Twitter account whether or not you actually play video games! If you do, we might be thinking of putting together something fun like a Towerfall or a Nidhogg get-together!

So are you all as excited about TopatoCon as we are? Because we’re REALLY EXCITED! There are a huge number of really neat exhibitors! You’ll definitely find something of interest to you! Including, of course, a lot of locals who are doing various cool things.

Read the TopatoCon code of conduct to know how to conduct yourself at the con! It boils down to: be cool, please.

And finally, we think they’re still looking for volunteers! If you want to pitch in, just use this form.

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:

Wednesday, August 19th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Teen Creative Writing
Are you a budding novelist? A poet who DOES know it? Also a teen? The creative writing group meets to work on a variety of writing activities and share their work together as they feel comfortable. Facilitated by Bridget, and snacks are provided!
Friday, August 21st
Platinum Pony [0 Cottage St, Easthampton, Massachusetts 01027] at 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Dr Sketchy’s
A body-positive cabaret figure-drawing session! Hone your craft while hanging out and having fun! Bring your own supplies, get some drinks and delicious foods, sketch some cool models, and even enter for a chance to win prizes from FOE, Topatoco, and Oh My Sensuality Shop!

Board Games:

Saturday, August 22nd
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at All Day
Cook Out With the 131
There will be miniature game demos, there will be some open play, and there will be a chance to meet and greet with the community! What fun. Good place to be if you’re looking for people with whom to play miniatures battling games!
Sunday, August 23rd
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday Heroclix
Hosted by Jaimie! You can hang out and play this cute miniatures battling game where you bash all the various heroes and villains of Marvel and DC and Dark Horse and WIldstorm and… comic people just in general! Try a team of alternate versions of a single character! Maybe Captain Marvel.
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Sunday Board Games
Stop by the store and play some board games! Games provided, or you can bring your own! We recommend Pandemic, that’s a fun time. Oh, or we’ve been looking forward to trying out the XCOM board game, it seems neat! Don’t bring Diplomacy.

Books:

Wednesday, August 19th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00pm – 4:45pm
Teen Advisory Board
Teens! Take as much control as possible of your local institutions as early as possible. We hate to break this to you, but things aren’t looking great and older people are all pretty much just banking on having croaked right as it gets really bad. The TAB meets regularly to discuss books, plan library events, and improve programming at the library!
Thursday, August 20th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Discussion of Go Set a Watchman with Prof. Barry O’Connell
Join the nice folks at Jones for a lively discussion of Harper Lee’s new book, the sequel to that one book you probably read oh it’s just a little thing called… TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD? The conversation will be led by Barry O’Connell, James E. Ostendarp Professor of English, Emeritus, at Amherst College. Oh those weren’t three people that was a title that makes more sense. Refreshments will be served.

Card Games:

Thursday, August 20th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at All Day
From the Vault Angels Pre-Order
We’re going to straight-up admit we do not know what this is. What vault? Why angels? What even are the particulars of the afterlife in Magic: The Gathering? When you play the game is the implication that everyone dies when you put a card in the Graveyard? Still, buy some new cards for $67.50 – $75.00!
Friday, August 21st
Greenfield Games [228 Main St Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00pm
Magic the Gathering August Friday Night Magic
All month long at Greenfield Games, you can play Friday Night Magic! Two tournaments with two fun formats: Standard and Modern. There are Swiss pairings of 3 to 4 rounds, and a $5 entry fee. There are lots of prizes!

Comics:

Thursday, August 20th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Queers in Comics and Games Discussion
This is a really great discussion group! Fun times with kind people who talk about interesting things. You can always count on an interesting recommendation and a lot of very thoughtful discussion of LGBTQIA+ representation in comics and games. Admission is a $5 day pass that becomes store credit immediately.

Computers:

Thursday, August 20th
Amherst Media [246 College St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Western MA Drupal Meetup
Meet fellow Drupal developers and trade secrets! Develop handshakes! Join together, bound by unknowable, gossamer threads. Thrumming, potent, sing new worlds into existence. Drinks generally to follow at a place TBD at the meetup!
Friday, August 21st
Packard’s Bar – Library Room [14 Masonic St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 8:00pm
Northampton Webdive – After Dark
A regular meetup of coders, web designers, web… just web-type people. It’s a great time to meet up with other developers and get some advice, or just hang out and develop friendships with people who understand your frustrations and triumphs!

Entertainment:

Tuesday, August 18th
Divas [492 Pleasant St #3, Northampton, MA 01060] at 10:00pm – 1:00am
Games Geeks and Cosplay
You heard them! It’s a fun time with some DJs spinning chip tunes dance hits because when you’re nerdy you actually cannot process music that doesn’t sound like an old video game we think. There’s going to be some vendors with neat stuff, video games, and it’s a Game of Thrones theme! Dress in costume! IT’s 21+ and there’s an $8 cover.
Thursday, August 20th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Laser Tag in the Library!
Kids grades 5th – 8th should sign up and come to the library to play laser tag in the library! Act out zombie-apocalypse fantasies in a fun setting! With ray guns.
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Anime Club
Anime and manga are fun times that a lot of people enjoy. Hang out with these people and watch, read, discuss, and enjoy these art forms! Open to teens and young adults ages 14 and up. Though the Young Adults part suggests a ceiling? We’ll say 14-24? We’re not really certain when Young Adult ends. If it feels weird, pull the ripcord!

Movies:

Wednesday, August 19th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Ex Machina in the Community Room
A cool movie! Or so we’ve heard. We haven’t actually seen it, and we’d like to! This is a chance to see it, so we’re excited about that. We’ve heard good things about Ex Machina, even heard it compared favorably to Blade Runner!
Saturday, August 22nd
MYSTERY LOCATION [Must join the meetup to find out!] at 6:00pm
Akira
Akira! A real awesome incredibly influential anime that people are big into for good reasons. It’s a beautiful cyberpunk vision of the future, one of the best animated movies of all time. Please bring $5 to defray the cost of food! Join the meetup to find out where this neat event is happening!

RPGs:

Thursday, August 20th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
RPG Club
Create a character! Explore their adventures! Explore their mind! Really get in there deep and think about what it would be like to be that person! No! No wait, too far! You’re all the way in! You’re tumbling through the Space Between and being reborn in the world of the RPG you were playing! All ages welcome, no experience necessary.
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Public RPG: Pathfinder Pirates
Stop by the shop to adventure on the high seas! This is a 5th-level game, but new players are totally welcome! You can join at any time and you’ll get tossed a pre-made character and some dice! It’s hosted by Tim Shields, a very nice person. You’ll like it! Play as a Parrot Elemental if you can. That’s just a swarm of parrots in the form of a person.
Saturday, August 22nd
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Pathfinder Society
Play in an official Pathfinder Society game! If you get to a high enough level in the game, the Last Starfighter clause kicks in and you’re drawn into a mystical world of adventure! That’s how it is at all official RPG events, it’s why you see people disappear in a twinkle of mystical light so often!
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Star Wars RPG
Star Wars! Wars in the Stars! Technically, we suppose all wars take place in the stars. We’re pretty excited about the Rogue One announcement, it seems like it might be a pretty cool film. If you are the sort of person who also gets excited about Star Wars, play the RPG at Modern Myths!

Science:

Wednesday, August 19th
River Valley Market [330 North King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Free Picnic Presentation/Stealth Science Cafe?
So there’s a free picnic presentation series at River Valley Market, it seems fun! The current week looks like it’s in the general Nerd Watch sphere of interest because it has Skye Long and Laura Doubleday presenting, two of the people who organize the OEB Science Cafes! Though it doesn’t say what they’ll be presenting.
Friday, August 21st
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at All Day
Free Fun Friday
Learn about an interesting local celebrity at a museum! Become more historically literate, and all at no cost to yourself.
Saturday, August 22nd
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00pm
Caleb Cooley Dickinson: Eccentric, Lunatic, or Something Else?
W. Michael Ryan will speak at Historic Northampton about Caleb Cooley Dickinson! Kind of always assumed that the hospital was named after two people! He was a Hatfield farmer who left his $100,000 estate to build a hospital in Northampton. His kids tried to prove he was mentally unfit so they could get the money! Sounds like a heck of a story.