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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Open House

Good news, "True Blood" fans! While you and I are waiting with bated breath for the return of our favorite vampire-centric television series, it sounds like the on-screen and real-life romantic coupling of Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer are doing whatever they can to satisfy our thirst for all things Bon Temps by bringing Sookie and Bill to the big screen!

Alright, that's not exactly the case. You see, Anna and Stephen are set to star in a movie together, but it sadly has nothing to do with "True Blood," vampires or the fangtastic Alexander SkarsgÄrd. Instead, the small screen's most lovable duo are hitting the bright lights of Hollywood in "Open House," an all-new thriller directed by Anna's brother Andrew.

According to IMDB, the movie focuses on a wealthy couple (played by Anna and Stephen) going through a marital crisis. As a result, they decide to host an open house in order to sell off their troubled home — but the real trouble emerges when they realize that one of their potential buyers is still lurking inside their house.

The "True Blood" duo are joined in the film by an excellent cast that includes "Battlestar Galactica" favorite Tricia Helfer and "Nip/Tuck" actress Jessica Collins. The film is apparently in post-production and set for a 2010 debut, so we might even get to see this film before "True Blood" returns to the airwaves next year — suddenly, the wait for Bill and Sookie's on-screen reunion isn't so bad, is it?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I couldn't resist

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Happy Halloween

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Halloween's History

Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.

Courtesy of

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Who Says You Can't Go Home

Courtesy of Charleston Daily Mail

Former Charleston resident Sam Trammell, who stars in the HBO series, "True Blood," will bring some spooky star power to a Halloween weekend event sponsored by East End Main Street and the Charleston Area Alliance.

HallowEast has been dubbed "an event you can really sink your teeth into," and is intended to be the first of an annual occurrence.

Officials from the alliance and East End Main Street announced details Tuesday at the headquarters of Kanawha Players in the East End, amid special effects that included a coffin and smoke.

Trammell, who plays a shape-shifter, or character who changes from man to animal in the vampire-themed series, is the headliner for the HallowEast fund-raiser. He will participate in an interview with David Wohl, dean of arts and humanities for West Virginia State University, that will be styled like the Bravo TV show, "Inside The Actors Studio."

HallowEast runs Oct. 28 to Oct. 31 with a variety of events from a cocktail party, VIP reception with Trammell, art show, a Halloween Hootenanny, Trick or Treat at Appalachian Power Park, the Kanawha Players production of "Dial M for Murder," and even a well-timed blood drive for the Red Cross.

Charleston artist Mark Wolfe has designed the logo and a special T-shirt for the event.

Mayor Danny Jones commented during Tuesday's press conference, "I appreciate East End Main Street's emphasis on arts and culture. We're looking forward to a new, family-friendly event around Halloween."

Trammell, in a prepared statement, said his current acting gig makes his visit a good fit for the event.

"If you've read the Charlaine Harris books (on which the show is based), you know she introduces a whole host of fantastical creatures. For sure, it's a Halloween sort of show."

While Trammell was born in Louisiana, he attended elementary, middle and high school in Charleston, graduating from George Washington High. His parents, Willis and Betsy, live here.

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