Accio, Movie Viewers!

The Vortex will be showing ALL EIGHT original Harry Potter movies on Wednesday, December 26 through Friday, December 28. We’ll start the movies playing at 12:30 p.m. each day and watch until we’ve seen them all!

The approximate schedule will be as follows:
Wednesday, December 26
12:30 p.m. – Harry Potter and the Sorcer’s Stone
3:00 p.m. – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
5:45 p.m. – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Thursday, December 27
12:30 p.m. – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
3:15 p.m. – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
5:30 p.m. – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Friday, December 28
12:30 p.m. – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1
3:00 p.m. – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2

There will also be Potterverse trivia (with small prizes), coloring pages, and light refreshments.

So, If you need a way to magically escape from the winter doldrums, join us for a Harry Potter Marathon!

Daisho Con 2018 Photo Dump

Hey guys! Back in late November, the husband and I went to Daisho Con that’s held every year at the Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells! I love this convention because it’s like Anime Convention: The Beach Episode!

It’s a super good time and I’ll be sharing with you some of the photos of cosplays we took! ❤

When I know what the cosplay is from, the caption will list it! If I missed what anything is, feel free to let me know!




Wintry Gifts Galore!

Are you looking for some last-minute holiday gifts on the cheap (for the winter holiday of your choice or just for fun)? Hand-made arts and crafts are always a great, low or no-cost gift, especially for grandparents and older family members; they eat that stuff up!

Lucky for you, we have a ton of great chances to make someone’s season bright!

Image result for string art heartOn Tuesday, December 11 from 4–5:30 p.m., Teen Makers will be creating holiday signs using nails and string (a.k.a. string art). The design to the left is just for reference; the actual project will be more holiday-inspired

You can register here!.

On Wednesday, December 12 from 3:30–5:30 p.m., be prepared to make some DIY Ornaments. We’ll have patterns, templates and all the materials you need to make an ornament that will be the envy of all your other ornaments!

No registration required, but you kind more information here!

And don’t miss out on Tangled Winter Holiday Cards on Thursday, December 13 from 6:30–8 p.m.. Artist Christine Thornton will walk you through the art of tangling to create unique hand-drawn, colorful cards using colored pencils and a touch of creativity!

You can register for this program here!

See you there!



Know Things? Win Big!

Attention all hoarders of knowledge! It’s that bi-monthly time again to show off how much you really know?

Come test your mettle against other teens and see which team will win the big prize on November 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the Vortex! (grades 6–12 only.)

Past topics have included Harry Potter, comic books, history, Fortnite, geography, Star Wars, kitchen trivia, video games, anime & manga, computers & technology, math, biology, classic cartoons, and the ever popular Name that Tune!

Each member of the team with the most points will win a gift card to some of your favorite local businesses like Dunkin’ Donuts, Burger King and Regal Cinemas.

Register now!


Book Review – Watched by Marina Budhos

by Marina Budhos
Place a hold.

Summary from Goodreads:
Naeem is far from the “model teen.” Moving fast in his immigrant neighborhood in Queens is the only way he can outrun the eyes of his hardworking Bangladeshi parents and their gossipy neighbors. Even worse, they’re not the only ones watching. Cameras on poles. Mosques infiltrated. Everyone knows: Be careful what you say and who you say it to. Anyone might be a watcher.

Naeem thinks he can charm his way through anything, until his mistakes catch up with him and the cops offer a dark deal. Naeem sees a way to be a hero—a protector—like the guys in his brother’s comic books. Yet what is a hero? What is a traitor? And where does Naeem belong?

Reaction from Tara:
What I loved about this story was that, as in life, right and wrong are a little squishy and sometimes hard to tell apart. Is helping the police find possible terrorists right or wrong? What if it means setting people up to be judged for things they have yet to do? What if these people are your friends and family?

Naeem wants to do the right thing. He also wants to help his family. He wants to feel recognized and special. And just maybe, he wants a little revenge against the one who betrayed him. Not all of his motives are the most honorable. Do his motives even matter if the result is a good thing? What does it mean to be loyal and to whom do you owe your loyalty? Every character in this book would have different answers to these questions. That can be a little frustrating because we want right and wrong to be easy to recognize. The fact that they’re not just makes the story that much more fascinating and compelling.



Anime Recommendation: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

slimeAge Recommendation: 12+

Genre: Comedy / Fantasy

# of Episodes: 6 (ongoing; updates Mondays)


“Corporate worker Mikami Satoru is stabbed by a random killer, and is reborn to an alternate world. But he turns out to be reborn a slime! Thrown into this new world with the name Rimuru, he begins his quest to create a world that’s welcoming to all races.”



This is my favorite, favorite, favorite anime to watch right now. I seriously never want it to end. I thought I was over the “Japanese character gets shoved into another world/game/etc trend but NOPE. It sucked me in. It subverts a lot of the tropes (the main character is a friggin slime!), and is just so enjoyable you can’t help feeling happy after each episode is over.

It’s really oddly wholesome in a way that’s indescribable. Just how Rimuru interacts with the world around him and is just so pure of heart and accepting of others is so refreshing. I get sad after each episode is over only because I know I’ll have to wait another week for the next one to update! I never know what the next one will bring, and thankfully there’s no spoilers for the “next time on” other than the title of the next episode (I really don’t like shows that do that!).

The cast has a wide range of characters and races from cranky dragons and dwarves to adorable and kindhearted goblins (not a phrase you often hear! Especially considering the other anime that’s popular these days. Note: Goblin Slayer is NOT teen friendly. DEFINITELY NOT. Don’t watch it. Especially the first episode. Please.).

We watched That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime for November’s Anime Night. But if you missed this month, it’s still available to watch for free any time on crunchyroll!

Stay tuned for our next Anime Night on December 3 at 5 p.m. Dun dun dun~!   


Happy Halloween!

It’s Halloween!!!!!!!!! (The awesomeness of Halloween totally justifies the use of multiple exclamation points.)

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday and it’s still the best time of the year, imho. It’s the one day out of 365 when you can dress up like a superhero or a vampire or a unicorn and, instead of strange looks, you get CANDY! (Seriously, I’ve tried wearing my unicorn horn around during other seasons and no one gave me candy, not even those gross peanut butter things.) The joy and beauty of Halloween is too much for a single day; in my family, we call the whole month Halloweentober. (This makes the entirety of September Halloweentober Eve, in which it is also acceptable to celebrate and dress up and do Halloween-y things.)

Other Reasons Halloween Season is the Best:

  • Socks with skulls and black cats are out at all the stores.
  • Everything smells like cinnamon and allspice, like pumpkin spice lattes and apple cider.
  • That crunchy sound as you walk through fallen leaves.
  • The colors of the leaves.
  • I can wear my pirate costume.
  • Pumpkin-shaped Reese’s cups.
  • Pumpkin patches.
  • Haunted houses.
  • No one expects me to buy them gifts (unlike *some* holidays.)
  • I’m not expected to travel cross-country to spend of time with relatives I don’t particularly like. (Again, unlike *some* holidays.)
  • No green bean casserole.
  • It’s (usually) not snowing yet.
  • It’s (usually) not hot and humid.
  • Glow sticks are plentiful.
  • Halloween stores full of skull coffee mugs, bony photo frames, black wigs and enough other cute and creepy cheap crap to make a closet goth like me squee!
  • Bats.
  • “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”
  • Apple picking.
  • Scary movies especially the old, cheesy kind.
  • Corn mazes.
  • Awesome, creepy music about monsters and ghosts.
  • Dia de los Muertos (not part of Halloween, but same season).
  • Samhain (the Celtic holiday that shares roots with Halloween).
  • Bobbing for apples.
  • Hay rides.
  • Bonfires.
  • Did I mention costumes?
  • Jack Skellington
  • Carving pumpkins.
  • Roasting pumpkin seeds.
  • Stuffing scarecrows.
  • Ghost-shaped Peeps.
  • Count Chocula.