Awesome Websites: Captain Awkward, Advice Columnist

We all have those tough questions for tough situations, and sometimes it feels as if you have nowhere to turn. That’s what I absolutely love about advice columns. They’re a place where you can get help from a neutral party who can give you an idea of what to do next.

One of my favorites is Captain Awkward. She gives awesome advice and is super understanding and compassionate to the letter writers that send in their questions. She’s been doing this for quite a long while and is approaching letter 1,000! Whoa!

She handles advice of all kinds for all ages. I will note there is sometimes swearing in her advice, so if you’re uncomfortable with that, I’ll redirect you to another page that Captain Awkward references quite a bit which is called Scarleteen. It’s a website dedicated to informing teens about sex education, gender identity, relationships and so much more! They have a message board, live chat and a number you can text to get advice as well.

And don’t forget, we’re here! Here in the Vortex we care and you can come to us at any time about subjects you need advice on if you’re comfortable. If not, that’s totally okay too!

We also have plenty of books on sensitive subjects that you can check out discreetly using our self checkouts.

Just remember, no matter what you’re going through. You’re never alone. ❤


Feeling Blue?

There are moments in everyone’s day when they just need to hear something positive, something reassuring, something encouraging – just something *nice.*  


Art by Gemma Correll

Hopefully, when you fall into one of these prickly moments, you have someone nearby who can remind you that you are a phenomenal, little nugget of joy and awesomeness who deserves all the best things in the world. However, if you’re alone or just not in a place where anyone can give you that reminder, I suggest checking out some Positive Doodles.

Image result for hug?

Artist Unknown

Emm Roy creates adorable drawings of friendly animals sending you warm-hearted messages of strength and affirmation.  It’s nearly impossible to feel horrible when looking at a chubby, little dragon urging you not to give up!

Here are a few of my favorites!

And, you can always check out Emm’s work and more on her tumblr!




Video Game Recommendation: Final Fantasy XII: Zodiac Age

final fantasy zodiac agePlatform: Playstation 4

Rating: T

Genre: Japanese Role-Playing Game

First Released:

July 11, 2017
Previous release: March 16, 2006

Part of a Series? Nope! Dive in and play away!

Brief Synopsis:

“The game takes place in the fictional land of Ivalice, where the empires of Archadia and Rozarria are waging an endless war. Dalmasca, a small kingdom, is caught between the warring nations. Vaan, a Dalmascan youth, gets caught up in more than he expected when he runs across what he always dreamed of becoming: some sky pirates.”


By now I’m sure you’re realizing most of the games I play are either Zelda or Final Fantasy (this includes Kingdom Hearts) related. If so, well, you’re not wrong…


ABOUT FREAKING TIME, SQUARE, THAT YOU RELEASED THIS. While Final Fantasy XII initially came out to the U.S in 2006, we didn’t get the whole edition. Now, in the remaster, Square made a few changes as well as bringing the additions that Japan had that we never received!


    • Expanded License board. Instead of one license board (the system you use to teach your characters abilities and raise stats), there are TWELVE! Woo! There’s twelve jobs to choose from and each character can have two different jobs! SO MANY COMBINATIONS. It’s kinda almost overwhelming? But super exciting! And there’s plenty of sites to get advice from.
    • Speed Mode! Press L1 on the controller to toggle between normal and speed mode. Speed mode allows your party leader to walk faster, making leveling a breeze!
    • Chest location changes. This may sound like a weird change to be excited over, but what you have to know about the original U.S. release of FFXII, is that there were 4 chests on the map (that without a guide you’d never know about) that if you opened, would eliminate your chance of getting one of the best weapons in the game: The Zodiac Spear. This is no longer a thing!!! Open chests in Zodiac Age anxiety free!
    • Soundtrack changes. You can now in the Config menu change between the orchestrated version of the soundtrack and the original version.
    • Language options. Play the game in English or Japanese! Can be changed at any time on the Config menu.

These changes, especially the first three I mentioned, make the game so much more enjoyable! I love being able to make each character something different with the new license boards, rather them all having the same abilities by the end game (at that point, you decide on which character you prefer to see on the screen!). I can’t wait to beat it!

Go on and check it out and play through the game with me! As of writing this we have the game on order, so hopefully soon it’ll be in stock! Check back periodically!

Totally JAWSome Art!

Holy Mackerel, guys!

In honor of Shark Week, we challenged our grouper of teens to a shark-themed coloring contest and y’all dove right in without a cage!

We received 19 entries and they were all super sharp and creative! Sea for yourself!

It was a gilly hard decision.  I love all the details and colors and shading and patterns and occasionally even glitter!  The final judgment came down to neatness and attention to detail.

And the winner is…


Congratulations to our chomper Champ!




Comic Recommendation: Patsy Walker aka Hellcat

hellcatGenre: Action / Comedy

First Released: 2016

Number of vols: 2—3rd and final volume not released yet.

Brief Synopsis:

“Patsy Walker has managed to escape her past, her enemies and Hell itself (literally)–but nothing compares to job hunting in New York City! Between trying to make rent and dodging bullets, she barely has time to deal with the popular republication of her mother’s exploitative romance comics about Patsy’s teenage years, much less their interference with her work and dating life. As she goes from living a double life to living a triple one, what the Hell is Patsy supposed to do? There’ll be burgers, monsters and rent checks; old friends like She-Hulk and Valkyrie; and a ghost from the past with questionable motives! Patsy Walker returns to the spotlight in her first solo ongoing series since the ’60s!”


I had the first volume of Hellcat checked out for a while after a friend recommended it to me. After renewing it twice and it’s due date fast approaching, I finally made time to sit down and read the first volume. Oh man, am I so glad I did!

As a fan of the Netflix series Jessica Jones, reading Hellcat put Jessica’s best friend in a new light for me. Note, this is a completely different canon separate from the TV show as far as I can tell! So it’s perfect for new fans of comics to pick up and read.

The art style is great and a pleasure to look at as you follow Hellcat’s day to day life. My only disappointment with the series is that I found out that there were only be three volumes. At least according to tweets from the writer Kate Leth, it does have an actual ending. But WHY DOES EVERYTHING I LOVE GET CANCELED. FIRST POWERLESS (tv show) NOW THIS.  Excuse me now while I go and sob forever. 

Knitting 101 Bootcamp: July 17 & 18

Have you ever wanted to learn to knit but never had time? Then join us on July 17 and 18 for our Knitting 101 2-day Bootcamp from 2:30–4:30p.m! (Yes, you must attend both sessions).

Learn how to start a project, knit, purl, and finish a project! Our end result will (hopefully turn out to) be an adorable mini hot drink cozy!


Cute cozy on a mason jar! You can put yours on whatever you please!

Sign up today! Limited spots remain! Grades 6–12 only please.