Category Archives: Weird

Seattle Underground Tour – definitely recommended!

IMG_0325Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour is a world-famous tour that I would definitely recommend. Starting in Doc Maynard’s Public House – a saloon from the 1890s, the tour takes you across Pioneer Square and eventually makes its way underground. At the first site is one of the first flush toilets in Seattle, invented by Thomas Crapper. The same site holds props from the 1973 movie The Night Strangler: a decorative wooden door, and a beaten up red couch.

IMG_0322From there, the tour moves on to the second site. Though it may seem like a giant wall of bricks, it is actually proof of the fact that Seattle was built on sawdust. Considered to be Seattle’s first economic father, Henry Yesler himself stated “We commenced sawing wood under a shed in March ’53; the saw dust we filled swamps with, and the slabs we built a wharf with.” The third and final underground site presents an old bathtub. Not every house had a bathtub and most settlers had one bath a month; once a bathtub was filled with water, a dollar would be charged to first person in the bathtub, fifty cents to the second, a quarter to the third person, and so on. Imagine paying fifty cents to bathe in dirty water!IMG_0327

IMG_0330The tour ends in Rogues Gallery, the Underground Tour gift shop. It features a fancy porcelain crapper imported from England, antique typewriters, and much more. Taking the tour is a very engaging experience that reveals little-known facts about Seattle. The tour guides are very engaging and tell you several stories, ranging from ghost stories to embarrassing stories that our early settlers wouldn’t want you to know.

–Formosa, Northeast, Teen Blogger


Here’s to a relaxing day with time to spend by the fire. :)

Ten Easy Steps to Get Your Halloween On

Have you noticed the cold tinge in the air? 

That’s not just the temperature dropping, that’s Death slowly taking center stage.  Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve, marks the passage of the season–harvest is over, plants are withering, and the leaves, despite their colorful defiance, are dying.  Many cultures have believed in this night when the dead walk the earth, and different practices evolved into the jack-o-lanterns, costumes, and trick-or-treating of today.  We can’t keep winter away, but don’t let this day of spooky revelry pass you by.  Start Halloweening!

Here are some ideas:

1)   Take this Zombie Bite quiz.  Then make your friends take it.  This is good for figuring out which friends you really want on your team in case of a zombie apocalypse – which is even more likely to occur on or near Halloween.

2)   Read a ghost story.  “Oh Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad” by M.R. James is perfect to read at night, in bed, right before you go to sleep. Check out this list for more recommended ghost stories.

3)   Carve a pumpkin! If you didn’t get a real one, find a pumpkin carving simulator online like this one.  Check your smart phones for similar apps.  Continue reading

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – brilliant with laughs at every corner

11My Opinion on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

(Warning: May contain Spoilers)

Where to start with this book: well first off it is five books in one. It is the entire Hitchhiker’s Guide series in one large book as well as a short story. The series is great with humor being the greatest driving force for it.

I am going to split the review into a few parts.  The first part is the first three books together and the other being the last two.  If you are wondering why it is split this way is because the first three books have their end being the start of the next book while book four and five are more separate.

This part will be the biggest and most complete because I am still in the middle of book five and this is three books.  Okay let us start the review (finally).  The three books are composed in a brilliant way with laughs at every corner.  You follow Arthur Dent, a normal human, and his friends as they travel around the galaxy.  How that ended up like that I am not going to say, because spoilers.  Whether it is the depressed robot Marvin or the dramatic Zaphod things just end up going a bit weird.  In this series, though, that is when the hilarities ensue.

Now on to the shorter part… books four and five.  So these two books are a bit slower and slightly more confusing for me at least.  The fourth book is mostly about Arthur finding love with a little bit of Marvin at the end.  It is interesting to read but not nearly as good as the first three. Book five is mostly about a parallel universe and it gets a little confusing.  Still it is interesting but once again not as good as the first three.

In short, this book is highly enjoyable and fun to read.  You will be laughing your head off at some points in the book and the time that you are not doing that you are still laughing.

— Ben, Greenwood, Teen Blogger

Slightly spooky reads

The Cavendish Home for Boys and GirlsLooking for something a little bit chilling (but not quite terrifying) to read this week? Give one of these a try–they’re perfect for middle schoolers looking for a bit of a fright.

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls stars Victoria, a perfect girl with perfect blonde ringlets who won’t stand for anything less than perfection. But then Lawrence, her only friend, disappears–along with lots of other children in town. And there are disgusting black roach-like bugs everywhere. And all of the adults in her life are smiling just a little too much. So Victoria may just have to learn how to break the rules to save her friend–and her town. Continue reading

Funion: A Diet that Works

Mmm, hamburger--the perfect weight loss food

Mmm, hamburger--the perfect weight loss food

Other diets and pills aren’t working for you? Tired of doctor’s promises that never come true? Want to lose weight but don’t want to put down those chocolate bars? Continue reading

April Fool's Teen Space @ Ballard

Teen Space

Teen Space @ Ballard
Sunday, April 1, 2012, 2 – 4:30pm

Teen Space at the Ballard Branch: a place to meet up and hang out! Why not get out of the house for a while and head to the library? Come alone or bring your friends — then make new friends!

In April Teen Space it might get loud!

We will host Blake Cisneros of the Yanvalou Drum School from 2 – 3 pm with an Afro-Caribbean drum workshop!

Come learn some cool rhythms that are the roots of popular music. He will teach the basics of hand drumming and some fun and funky beats you can play right away. We will play on drums from Africa and the Caribbean such as Djembes, Congas, Bougarabou and Djundjuns. This class is for all middle school and high school aged teens, regardless of musical ability. Drums provided!

From 3-4:30pm join us for our usual fun: music, snacks, games, art and friends.

Library events & programs are free and everyone is welcome. 

No need to register!

Happy St. Paddy's Day!


Ah, March 17th. 

St. Patrick’s Day. 

A day to wear green, pinch each other, and that everyone becomes “Irish.”  There’s stuff going on around town to celebrate and the library has tons of materials, but what does it mean and why do we celebrate? Continue reading

Rae's Manga Blitz: Soul Eater


Soul-kun says: "Your soul is mine this Halloween." slurp.

 Title: Soul Eater

Author: Okubo, Atsushi

Audience: Older Teen (16+)

Genre: Comedy, Action, Supernatural, Kitschy, Fan-Service

Summary: “Maka is a weapon meister, determined to turn her partner, a living scythe named Soul Eater, into a powerful death scythe — the ultimate weapon of Death himself! Charged with the task of collecting and devouring the tainted souls of ninety-nine humans and one witch, Maka and her fellow meisters strive to master their weapons as they face off against the bizarre and dangerous minions of the underworld. But the meisters’ own personal quirks may prove a bigger obstacle than any sultry enchantress! Continue reading

Toshokan Otaku: Neewollah

Ah, fall is here.  It’s my absolute favorite holiday for oh-so-many reasons!  Leaves changing into glorious colors, colder evenings and the rain that won’t stop for days, pumpkins everywhere & spicy specialties from our favorite baristas.  All of this is wonderful, but my favorite part of fall is…Halloween.  Not so much the ToT (I am at least nominally an adult), but all of the atmosphere around it.  Crazy costumes, lots of goodies, intentionally scaring the bejeebes out of each other.  I ❤ Halloween. 

Which, of course, made me think of i luv halloween this week.  It’s a crazed, gory, over-the-top manga that “celebrates” all things Halloween.  The library has it in print & as e-books, so lots o’ options there.  Warnings, it’s rated OT 16+ for Horror and the library has it in the adult collection.  As one reviewer put it: “At first glance, this book appears to have a Nightmare before Christmas meets South Park feel, though it is clearly not meant for those with a weak stomach. Placing itself in the comedy-horror genre, it offers more gore than laughs and even fewer scares.”  Ouch, so harsh.  But, she’s right.  Grab this book for the art and campiness of it (and, srsly, there’s no more Halloweenish book out there…well, maybe Hallo-wiener?  ;P), but don’t expect much plot:  “Believing that the apples they received at their first house of the night are the cause of the bad candy they’ve been receiving, the kids plot deadly revenge on the old lady who handed out the cursed fruit.”

My favorite review pretty much sums it up:  “Crass, tasteless, and brilliant.” – Newtype.

All that said, I feel I must provide another title, for those who don’t necessarily want the gross out.  Therefore, from the way-back, here is Pet Shop of Horrors, for your consideration.  This series has it all.  Great art, interesting yet horrifying tales, plenty of humor and horror, a mysterious plot that goes on for miles and an awesomely, otherwordly beautiful protagonist, Count D.  It’s like Tales from the Crypt (does anyone remember the tv show?):  there is no penalty without bad behavior.  Someone wants a pet and Count D provides them with a “special” pet that meets their needs.  He also gives very specific rules for dealing with the pet.  Some people fulfill those rules and live happily ever after.  Those that don’t…well, it isn’t pretty, but it is justified.

So, them there’s my Neewollah recommendations.  Do you have a scary, creepy, gory, funny, atmospheric comic that you love & would recommend?  I’m all ears!  Others I considered (and that you should check out) include:  Death Note, 07-Ghost, Yurara, and Bizenghast.

As a reminder, Anime Club meets from 4 – 6 pm on Tuesday, November 9th at the Beacon Hill branch.  Each month we watch a selection of brand-new, soon-to-be-released, and fan-favorite anime episodes. We also showcase new manga and partake of yummy snacks from Japan! Please join us!