March 2nd – 8th

Vote! On the 3rd! Or tomorrow! You should find out where to vote and then vote in the Democratic Primary for whichever candidate floats your boat.

COVID-19 is probably less a threat to you than the regular seasonal influenza at this point, but it’s scary and also a good opportunity to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.

  • Get a flu shot
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Don’t bother getting a mask unless you’ve got actual symptoms, and in that case it’s mostly to prevent your sneezes/coughs from getting on other folks
  • Regularly sanitize the stuff in your home you touch frequently with some household cleaner
  • Get some sick-person food so you don’t have to deal with cooking if you get sick
  • If you have any sick time, take it when you feel sick! You’re very lucky to be able to stay home in the event of illness and you should try to keep your fellow workers safe

A new illness is scary, even if it’s less dangerous in real terms than the average commute. None of these recommendations will ensure you definitely don’t get sick, but they’re all good ideas in general for keeping yourself healthy. Also this is a great time to reflect on the fact that there is no reason at all that sick time in the US has to be so absolutely horrible.

On to less scary things! Head to Comics N’ More on March 6th at 5PM to meet extremely good local comic book creator Chuck Forsman! Two of his very good comics have been made into very good Netflix shows! Wild stuff.

Books! The Odyssey [9 College St., South Hadley] has a bunch of fun book signing events this week. On Tuesday at 7PM Jennifer Rosner will talk about The Yellow Bird Sings ‘In Poland, as World War II rages, a mother hides with her young daughter, a musical prodigy whose slightest sound may cost them their lives.’ Thursday at 7PM, Jenny Offill will present On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous ‘a shimmering tour de force about a family, and a nation, in crisis.’ Finally on Friday at 7PM Jacob Tobia will talk about Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story ‘A heart-wrenching, eye-opening, and giggle-inducing memoir about what it’s like to grow up not sure if you’re (a) a boy, (b) a girl, (c) something in between, or (d) all of the above.’

At the Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst] from 7PM – 8:30PM you can see Stephanie Butnick discuss “The 100 Most Jewish Foods: A Highly Debatable List.” ‘This book lists the most significant foods culturally and historically to the Jewish people. Informative, unexpected, passionate, quirky, and rich with layers of tradition and history, this book celebrates the one unwavering constant of Jewish life: food.’ Sounds delightful! We always like finding out about food traditions because it often feels like the recipes we know are very separated from each other. Like we know how to make Recipe X but we don’t realize that it’s part of a 10-recipe family that are all related to each other. Free for JCC and YBC members, $7 for the general public! To register, call the J at 413-739-4715 or email

Art! At Book Moon [86 Cottage St., Easthampton] from 6PM – 9PM during the Art Walk in Easthampton you can take a bit to stop in and check out he book-inspired collages of artist Dean Nimmer! At 7PM the artist will give a talk!

At the Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St. at Bedford Ter., Northampton] you can see Where We At?!: Black Women Artists and the Black Arts Movement Tuesday from 5PM – 6PM, which will feature Ph.D. Candidate Kiara Hill providing ‘…historical insight into cultural forces in the 1960s and 70s that helped give shape to The Studio Museum in Harlem, and will focus on the role of women in the Black Arts Movement.’ For more art check out Arts Night Plus Open Mic Thursday at the Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main Street, Amherst] from 5PM – 8PM.

There’s also Zine Club for teens Tuesday from 5:30PM – 7:30PM at Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst] where folks aged 11-17 can make zines! Materials provided!

Board Games! Tabletop Tuesday returns at Prodigy [116 Pleasant St., Suite 018, Easthampton] 6PM – 10PM. It’s $5 admission, 13+, and as they say ‘From dungeon delving to spell casting, Tabletop Tuesdays have your board game fix covered for the week!’ Then Wednesday is Drop-In Scrabble at Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St., Greenfield] from 6PM – 8PM. Thursday as always is Game Night at 2 Flights Up [399 1/2 Main St., Dalton] from 6PM – 10PM. It’s only $5 to attend all 4 monthly events! Friday is as always a great time for Magic: The Gathering at both Off the Wall Games [41 Russell St., Ste 6, Hadley] from 7PM – 10:30 and College Church [48 Pomeroy Ter., Northampton] from 7PM – ? with the Pioneer Valley Planeswalkers! And Saturday there’s more fun at Off the Wall Games for a Bolt Action Tournament from 12PM – 8PM! Entry fee is $15, which includes Pizza! A 1250 point game, first detachment of a maximum two must be infantry!

Teens! Make arts and crafts at the Holyoke Library [250 Chestnut St., Holyoke] on Monday from 3:30PM – 5:30PM with the Monday Arts and Crafts: Button Making! For folks aged 13-18, supplies provided free of cost! Then Pokemon Club is back on Thursday from 4PM – 5PM! Play the card game, Pokemon Go, the 3DS games, just hang out and be into Pokemon!

Miscellaneous! Things! Check out excellent local site WanderJest for information about a ton of fun comedy shows in the area! Invest in Avalon Lounge and Game Cafe if you’ve got money you’re able to contribute! We’d love a cool game cafe.

The Northampton Webdive will be happening at Platform Sports Bar [125a Pleasant St., Northampton] Tuesday from 6PM – 9PM! It’s a good time to meet up and speak to fellow tech-industry folks about whatever interests you! At Hawks & Reed [289 Main St., Greenfield] you can see the WeMAWL annual Women’s Day Arm-Wrestling competition! It’s only $5!

On Wednesday at Forbes Library[20 West St., Northampton] from 6:30PM – 8:30PM you can hear 10 Valley immigration activists report on the horrors they’ve witnessed at the Texas/Mexico border, and what you can do to try to make things less horrible. Can’t make it? Donate to the Florence Project.

Also at Forbes Library [20 West St., Northampton], it’s Garden Day on Friday! A ton of fun events from 1PM – 4PM, including a seed swap, kids activities, and pollinator garden tutorials!

We’ve been playing God of War! It’s a lot of fun, though a bit overly violence-themed. We really like the fact that the fighting is at least a fun blend of different systems though. Too many of these sorts of games where you run around a map looking for stuff to do wind up having interactions that are so perfunctory it feels silly to bother. Like we played an old Assassin’s Creed game where it really just felt like walking to locations on a To-Do list, never any real issue actually getting anything done since all fights consisted of doing a parry and then stabbing one person at a time.

We also really appreciate the voice acting, even if we’d have preferred the story be a little less stock “stoic dad opens up to son” story. It’s fun to think about how the actual tragic backstory of Kratos that he can’t bring himself to talk about is the most trite and ridiculous early 2000’s x-treme cool badass stuff. Maybe he’s just embarrassed!

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